Aug. 3, 2021
A not-at-all-funny thing happened on the way to gathering intelligence on what’s on the community’s mind: Today’s Open Forum was dominated by the fallout from Covid-19 and the new Delta variant.
School masking. Evictions. How to persuade the unvaccinated. The stresses and strains of pandemic life appeared to be uppermost on Forum participants’ minds. Below is an outline of the issues raised, and supplemental material mentioned during the session.
Delta variant of Covid
Mary Johnson started off with Covid. During discussion of when unvaccinated people who have contracted Covid are eligible to get vaccinated, Stephen Valder sent in this link to a Centers for Disease Control & Prevention Frequently Asked Questions web page.
Youth and Parenting
Gwen Forney is executive director of Bright Hopes, Inc. a Charlotte nonprofit whose programs aim to improve student attendance at CMS schools. She raised issues related to reaching young people have been left “bored” during lockdowns and cutbacks in schooling.
CMS Governance, plans for fall
Jennifer De La Jara is an at-large member of the CMS Board of Education. She wanted to raise public awareness of the board’s exploration with a consultant of how it should be governing CMS, and dealt on the fly with many other questions. De La Jara shared these links:
- Facebook Live video from the CMS Equity Committee’s most recent meeting on April 29 is here.
- Video from the June 9 CMS board meeting which she said was wholly devoted to exploring restorative justice practices. The video is here.
- A clip from a meeting “to entice you to watch future Student Outcomes Focused Governance work” is here.
“Always feel free to reach out to me by e-mail if you ever need anything, have questions.”
Evictions and the courts
Courts administrator Jessica Davis spoke of the work of the local courts to schedule backlogged eviction cases. She said the goal was to catch up by October, and then deal with the cases that administrators were expecting following Saturday’s end of a nationwide eviction moratorium.
The CDC Tuesday evening put in place a new targeted moratorium through Oct. 3 covering all areas of the country “experiencing substantial and high levels of community transmission.” The New York Times reported that the new moratorium was expected to cover about 90 percent of Americans who are renters.
The Aug. 3 order includes a U.S. map that seems to show that all Charlotte metro area counties would come under the new moratorium.
The order specifies that counties not qualifying Aug. 3 would be added if those areas experience a spike in Covid cases. By the same token, the moratorium could be lifted before Oct. 3 in counties where community transmission subsides.
In connection with landlord-tenant issues coming out of Covid, Davis offered links to Community Relations’ website as a place for renters seeking mediation with their landlords.
After the meeting, CRC Dispute Settlement Program Supervisor Donna Murrell added this: “Our mediation program is called the Dispute Settlement Program, which is under the Community Relations Department. The contact person for Landlord-Tenant cases is Lisa Forde and can be reached by e-mail or 704-336-5330.
The City of Charlotte’s separate mortgage relief and rent relief programs are described here.
Davis said she could be reached by e-mail.
Help for those facing eviction may be available at Crisis Assistance Ministry. Info here.
Laura McClettie asked participants to send in suggestions of speakers they would like to hear from at future Forums. McClettie’s e-mail is here.