North Carolina Newspapers

• •o
NEWS/tEige Ci^Btlotte $O02
Thursday, July 20, 2006
Agency boosts West End
Continued from page 1A
principal at Neighboring
Concepts, an urban plannir^
and architectural firm that
has worked on
projects with
. think goir^ for-
ward they’re
looking at
strategic paii:-
nerships, so the
Williams impact will be
even greater.”
Challenges remain before
the Northwest Conidor can
meet its potential. Poverty
and crime, while muted, are
issues to recruiting develop
ers and retailers. But with
more families and disposable
income moving in. Historic
West End, as the CDC calls
the corridor, will attract more
people and businesses.
“A lot of people want to
make synonymous Afiican
American and poverty,” said
Isley who worked in
Charlotte’s neighborhood
development department
before joining to the CDC in
2004 as economic coordinator
“They don’t realize Afiican
Americans have income and
African Americans on
Beatties Ford Road have
income. A lot of times they
want to bring out the stan
dard fast food place or shoe
place. There’s still a market
that’s untapped and there’s a
professional market here
... and we’re still under
Recruiting efforts are tem
pered by potaitial gentrifica-
tion, which has already start
ed in historically-black nei^-
borhoods like Wesley
Heights, Seversville and
Biddleville. As more upper-
income residents move in, ris
ing property values threaten
to push long-time lower-
income folks out- The chal
lenge is to maintain balance.
“That’s the thing about gen-
trification - it’s not about
white people, it’s about
money moving in,” Isley said.
“In order to stabilize a lot of
these neighborhoods, we’ve
got to have mixed income.”
Said Williams: “The big
challenge is making sure we
deal with gentrification It’s
coming, it’s just a matter of
how it happens. The key is
that a mechanism is in place
that the money spent 1h«e
stays in the community and
everybody is involved. It’s a
thin line. The community
needs diversity but you want
to make sure it doesn’t go
fiem one extreme to another”
The CDC sponsors wealth
building workshops that
include homeownership sern-
investing and financial litera
cy for students. The goal,
Isley said, is to improve the
financial health of families
and businesses along the cor-
‘We want to change the
image without changing the
faces,” she said. “Part of
maintaining the community
is to make sure the individu
als who are here get all the
information they can about
maintaining and growing
their income.”
Changing the image of
northwest Charlotte starts
with its name. The CDC
pushes Historic West End to
tie in to the area’s heritage as
the center of Afiican
American life.
“The name is what is push-
ir^ the attitude,” Isley said.
‘When you say west
Charlotte you get this stigma
of negativity and we get the
media’s perspective of gun
shots, prostitution and things
like that. But when you say
Historic West End, people
think of something more cul
tural, it’s a little softer. That’s
the branding effect of having
it called Historic West End”
The CDC’s community ties
have served neighborhoods
well over the years, Williams
said. As the area has grown,
Push for extension of Voting
Rights Act moves to Senate
Continued from page 1A
in the House. The measure was held hostage
by a group of Southan lawmakers who object
ed the extending key sections of the Votii^
Rights Act. In a compuroise with House lead
ership, they were allowed to offer and vote on
four amendments tiiat woiold have weakened
the legislation.
Hilary Shelton, executive director of the
NAACP Washington Bureau, says he has
received reports that senators may offer simi
lar amendments. Sen. John Comyn (R-Tfexas),
a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee,
has reportedly expressed concerns about the
pre-clearance dause of Section 5. However,
Comyn’s staff memba:^ said he has not yet
dedded whether to propose an amendment.
Republican- Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama is
among those who daim the law unfairly tar
gets the South and is said to also be consider
ing whether to author an amendment.
The “Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks,
Coretta Scott King Voting Rights Act
Reauthorization Amendments Act” is still in
the Senate Judidary Committee, which has
yet to vote to send it for a floor vote. The
Senate, heavily debating a bOl to expand stem
cell research this week, was not expected to
take up the Voting Rights this week. However,
dvil rights leaders are hoping an unencum
bered bill is passed before the August recess.
A spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader
Bill Frist (R-Thnn.), said that Frist is commit
ted to the renewal. But she declined to say
whether he was committed to the renewal in
ihe same form that the House passed it - free
of all amendments.
“Senator Frist, as an original cosponsor of the
voting ri^ts extension, does plan to brir^ this
important issue to the floor once the judidary
committee completes some work,” said spokes
woman Carolyn Weyforth.
S^. Judidary Committee Chairman Arlen
Specter (R-Penn.) has said he intends to send
the bill to the House floor by July 20 with
hopes that Prist wfll bring it to a floor vote
before the i-ecess. Frist gave committee mem-
Community Meeting
CATS Will hold a public meeting to receive teedback ob proposed cbauges to
Routes 5 Airport and 2 Ashley Park. It the proposals are adopted, Route 5 would
be adjusted to serve the Cbarlotte-Douglas International Airport utilizing
Wilkinson Boulevard and thus would not travel on West Blvd. Passengers desir
ing to travel to the Charlotte Transportation Center from the West Blvd corridor
would be able to utilize Routes 10 West Blvd and 25 Clanton Park. Route 2 would
also be adjusted to serve Marlowe to Lumlna to Ashley Rd inbound and outbound
and thus would not utilize Greenland Ave or Wilkinson Blvd to Alleghany.
July 27, 2006
6:30 pm-7;30 pm
West Boulevard Branch Library
2157 West Boulevard
Charlotte, NC 2B208
Formore information, cali 704-336-RIDE
or visit us online at
July 26, 2006
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West Service Center
4150 Wilkinson Blvd
Charlotte, NC
the agency’s board, made up
of development professionals
and neighborhood leaders, •
continues to build bridges
with developers, govemmmt
and financial sources such a^'
banks and non-profit founda
“They have a good foimd&-' •
tion,” he said. “The other
point is having leadership
that xmderstands develop-
ihent. Some CDCs are set up
to fail because they have peo-
.ple who don’t have that
■^expertise. You have to run a
CDC like a business.”
On the Net:
Northwest Corridor Community
Development Corporation
Celebrating "29" .Years....
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amendments. At press time, no amendments
had been submitted. ,
Bush has pledged to sign the bill into law.
Shelton says he is comfortable that the bfll
wfll pass with no amendments. “I believe good
judgment wfll win over narrow-minded prob-
lanatic agendas,” Shelton says. •
Meanwhile, Gordon and NAACP delegates
lobbied the Hfll this week to make sure the bat
tle that happened in the House does reoccur.
The House passage came after some of the
most intense lobbying seen by civil rights lead
ers since the act was last renewed 25 years ^o.
“Tbday we have measured celehraticai, and
not a -victory” says Jesse Jackson Sr., who wit
nessed the passage finm the House Gallery
For him the arguments had sounded like
echoes of those made by segregationists during
a time when he and others fought for the ri^t
to vote. “I watched from the House Gallery 41
years later as current Confederates made eeri
ly similar arguments for jurisdictions covered
by Section 5. We must not celebrate too early”
Ultimately the vote of 390-33 last Thursday
proved it to be a new day as some ifltra conser
vative Republicans, who consistently make Fs
on the NAACP Legislative Report Cards,
fought for the measure along wiih members of
the Congressional Black Caucus.
House Judiciary Chairman F. James
Sensenbrenner, normally on the opposite side
of the CBC, consistently echoed remarks of the
dvil ri^ts leaders as he led the bill to passage.
“By extending the VRA for an additional 25
years, H.R. 9 ensures that the gains made by
minorities are not jeopardized. 1 am proud to
stand here -with my colleagues as I did in 1982,
to esnsure that votii^ rights remain protected
for an additional, 25 years. Congress again
made our nation proud today by passing this
historic and -vital legislation,” Sensenbrenner
said in a statement.
CBC Chairman Mel Wa-tt (D-N.C.) applaud
ed the House action, but turned immediately to
the Senate.
"Passage of the bfll with such a resounding
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Charlotte’s 9“’Annual NBWW event,
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our panel of exceptional women.
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