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Organizers’ Circle gives public a space to discuss issues

Throughout the month of Jan. Neighbors for Bettter Neighborhoods is hosting their Organizers’ Circle to create a space where residents can discuss their issues.

Organizers’ Circle gives public a space to discuss issues
January 09
09:41 2020

What is the role of our elected officials? That’s the question Neighbors for Better Neighborhoods is asking throughout the month during their Organizers’ Circle held weekly at weekly Malloy/Jordan East Winston Library Branch. 

The Organizers’ Circle is a program for residents, local grassroots organizers, and activists who are looking to uplift the community and help bring about change and equality. According to representatives from Neighbors for Better Neighborhoods, the purpose of the program is to have a space where individuals can come together to brainstorm and have a serious conversation on ways to make Winston-Salem a better place for everyone. 

Every week during the Organizers’ Circle, there will be a speaker who will talk about the topic of the month, which will be followed by a group discussion where residents and others with vested interest in the city can share their thoughts and opinions. This week the guest speaker was County Commissioner Tanya McDaniel who spoke on the role of elected officials. County Commissioner Fleming El Amin was also on hand during the meeting.

McDaniel, who is a representative for District A on the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners, talked about the role of the County Commissioner. She said “As County Commissioners, we hold the purse strings to the funding in Forsyth County.”

The Forsyth County Board of Commissioners is responsible for several things, including adopting the annual county budget, setting the county property tax rate, establishing county policies, and handling zoning and other land issues within the county. The board is also responsible for handling finances for the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, the Forsyth County Sheriffs Office, public libraries.

“My role is to ensure the various county entities are funded. How are they funded? They’re funded with your taxes,” McDaniel said. 

During the Q and A, attendees raised several questions about how to get funding for non-profit organizations, the recent rise in violent crimes and gun violence, policing in African American neighborhoods, funding for education, and of course, the 2020 election. Although several points were made throughout the open discussion, everyone in the room seemed to agree the community needs to do a better job of holding elected officials accountable. 

When discussing the success of the first Organizers’ Circle, several people said they were excited to see how the event has grown, including Michael Banner who is a member of the Neighbors for Better Neighborhood Board of Directors. 

“It’s amazing to see how the Organizing Circle has grown from its humble beginning,” Banner said. 

Neighbors for Better Neighborhoods will host the next Organizers’ Circle on Tuesday, Jan. 14, at the Malloy/Jordan East Winston Library Branch. The guest speaker will be City Councilmember Denise “DD” Adams. On Tuesday, Jan. 21, City Councilmember and Representative for the East Ward Annette Scippio will join the circle, and on Jan. 28, Forsyth County Clerk of Court Renita Thompkins-Linville will be the guest speaker. 

For more information on the Organizers’ Circle, visit “Neighbors-For-Better-Neighborhoods” on Facebook.

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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