Politics Topics on this Forum?

Lol, not sure how much @dtraleigh wants us to talk about politics on this forum. It’s another one of those things where I could yammer on for hours.

I wonder how people feel about a thread devoted to complaining about politicians, both locally and at the state level, that way it wouldn’t bleed into other topics. Presumably we would focus on how they impact DTR and stay away from debating the finer points of actual policy positions.


I vote NO across the board. Let’s leave the political poop throwing for another forum.
This site is thankfully, usually excluded from those discussions.


I appreciate your sentiment. I also tend to agree with this. One thing that IS nice about this website is, you don’t have to read something if the topic doesn’t interest you. I wholeheartedly ignore several threads. I was suggesting it because we already have some references, particularly to city council and the legislature, and I was thinking maybe we could put them in their own place and keep them out of the other threads?

I might also be totally wrong. I’d be curious to know how others feel.


I agree with you totally @Steve.

I think that it’s relevant to talk about policy as it pertains to the direction that we’d like to see DT and Raleigh go. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, participative politics is the vehicle by which we make policy and set the framework for success or failure.
I personally think that we have to talk about politics by specific policy if we are serious about the conversations we are having. I also think that it’s fair to speak to how political narrative and policy affect downtown’s future and viability. I think that if we are specific to a topic, respectful, and objective, we can have these discussions here. For example, there was, and continues to be, a backlash to HB2 in NC. I think it’s fair to talk about that because it resulted in a change of perception and consequention actions by corporations who had looked to NC for expansions and investments. Even after its “repeal”, HB2 has proven to be consequential to those types of ongoing business conversations. To neither talk about it, nor figure out how to change those perceptions, would be like sticking our heads in the sand or living in a bubble. Without forensic examination of the topic, we would likely find ourselves continually perplexed why x-corporation didn’t pick Raleigh and went somewhere else instead.


NOBODY wants to talk politics on this forum but our current legislature IS impacting the economic fortunes of our State in an adverse way, namely the cities. Not sure how many of you are aware of their legislation eliminating a Cities ability to annex (ie: Grow) several years ago? Basically, Raleigh can’t expand its borders without some absurd 90+ vote by the area being annexed. So a development next to the city limits can benefit from City services and yet, not pay for them. In short, politics in the case of North Carolina are now inexplicably tied to our legislature’s distaste for our urban areas. Ignore talking about it if you want, but I will point to Exhibit A) PayPal(charlotte) or Exhibit B) Deutsche Bank(Raleigh) (Combined 1500 jobs) as economic hits charlotte and Raleigh took as a DIRECT result of this legislature’s actions. Even our own Atlantic Coast Conference pulled out of the State during that moronic HB2 nonsense.


Okay, so you and I are basically saying the same thing here.
Many recent laws & redistricting passed by the NCGA and signed by the governor do have an effect on NC’s cities. I’d add to your word distaste, that the NCGA also has a resentment toward its job creating and successful cities from both an economic and cultural perspective.

Limiting annexations pretty much assures that the only lands that ever get annexed going forward are tracts of land owned by a single developer who wants their land to be part of a city for its services.

As I talked about in a previous comment, Raleigh’s municipal population matters, especially since its within an MSA that already splits and diminishes the Triangle’s true size. If previous annexation laws were still in effect, Raleigh’s population would likely have already passed 500K. As it stands, Raleigh’s not going to reach that threshold by 2020, something unthinkable in 2010. While the metro will still grow, the perception of the city will be that it’s static, not urbanizing, and getting out of control with suburbia…all because of the simplified way that people interpret metrics.
I’m a total geek about these sorts of stats and watch the cities around Raleigh in the national population rankings quite closely. In particular, Omaha and Colorado Springs are interesting cases. They are our peers in municipal data (as is Miami, but they are rightfully seen on a different level). Both Colorado Springs and Omaha anchor metros that are not only much small than the Triangle but are also both significantly smaller than Raleigh’s MSA. Both cities are “larger” than Raleigh, and every time we are compared to them, our stature diminishes. Our rightful statistical peer “cities” are Nashville, Cincinnati, Austin, and Milwaukee, but we almost are never included in those conversations as peer cities. When we are compared to Nashville or Austin in other forums, it’s usually “debunked” using Raleigh’s “official” data.

In particular, let’s look at Nashville. Both Nashville’s municipal and MSA populations are larger than Raleigh’s, but they also both include massive land areas compared to us. On the other hand, the Triangle’s CSA is both larger and growing faster than Nashville’s, and it does so in less land area. Raleigh’s developed urban area population also surpassed Nashville’s a few years ago, but who would know that? Nobody.

Now let’s look at Omaha. It’s added more people this decade than its county has, and that’s almost exclusively because of annexation of existing residents on its periphery. It’s not even real growth! Its CSA isn’t even half the size of the Triangle, yet that’s our peer city.

The quirk/oddity that is the Triangle’s metropolitan area representation, along with the NCGAs stifling of our growth, is a one-two punch in the gut to Raleigh’s and the Triangle stature and reputation.

When we are talking about corporate relocations & expansions, silly as it may seem, these things matter.


I agree with Drew… If you want to complain about politics then just go do it on Facebook or Twitter. This site is normally a safe place from those who seem to want to make everything political… I enjoy this site too much to want a few to ruin it because they can’t stay on message.


Actually you are incorrect in your statement about a Cities ability to grow. Voluntary annexations are very much allowed and about a 100 or so of them happen within Wake County every year. Apex and Fuquay Varina are both currently expanding at amazing rates right now. Raleigh is limited in its growth due to Swift Creek to the south and Falls Lake to the North and Cary to the West. The only way Raleigh can grow basically as it stands is to the east right now. The law that you are talking about is limiting Involuntary annexations which would be of established neighborhoods that would not want to be annexed by any City.

That’s an important distinction, I think. But like John said, that doesn’t mean the rule change doesn’t have a real effect on those Census numbers. I don’t want to get into name-calling and that kind of political mudslinging, but the actions of City Council and NCGA do directly impact the topics we talk about here. And it’s not always one side or the other, either! While the NCGA can be viewed as hostile to urban areas, “progressive” bodies like City Council can also be viewed as “limousine liberalism,” especially when it comes to equity and/or NIMBY issues. It’s not taking sides, it’s not even being “political,” it’s just being honest about the outcomes of policy. As long as we keep it respectful, I’m fine with it.


And another thing! I have no doubt companies large and small (maybe even as large as Apple) sometimes peek into forums such as these to see the general vibe or level of engagement an area may have, especially regarding policy issues. Something to keep in mind. High-minded discussions here serve DTR and the Triangle well.


This doesn’t have to be a forum to vent about every political issue, but the link between government and growth in a capital city is readily apparent. As long as it is relevant to our development, growth, downtown focus, I don’t see why it should be excluded. Trying to dance around it is a disservice to honest discussion.

I’m a democrat that doesn’t care about historic neighborhoods and gentrification, and is pro development and generally anti regulation as it pertains to our city government. I don’t expect anyone is going to see eye to eye with me, and I don’t want to have endless theads of political argument. But we can all agree that the city council politics affects downtown’s growth in some way, and that the Republican legislature is anti-urban in many of its policies.

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I think that was UncleJesse’s whole point. Voluntary annexations aren’t going to happen if people can have their cake and eat it too. There are lots of developed holes and weird edges that should be in the city of Raleigh but aren’t due to this law and the active and ongoing resistance by those land/homeowners living there. They essentially don’t want to pay city taxes.
Voluntary typically annexation happens when a developer assembles land, wants to put a subdivision on it with lost of homes/apts and needs city services to make it all work on tiny lots. That’s why suburbs grow faster now.
Nonetheless, Raleigh has been densifying since the new law took effect, and this is ultimately a good thing. I’ll just be a lot happier when the city crosses a half million and the Triangle is put back together into one MSA.
Raleigh, as a city of a half million, in a MSA of 2 million+ is going to look a lot better on “paper” for corporate expansions and relocations than our current statistical classifications.
As for annexations, it will be interesting to watch and see if 5401 North project at the intersection of 540 and 401 is annexed into the city of Raleigh. http://www.5401north.com/

I’d love a politics thread but from my experience on the internet, politics discussions always seems to go bad. I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback due to the fact that the blog and other projects do not have politics. That’s main driver behind me not really pushing the topic.

I think you all are right though that what the council and legislature are doing do in fact affect downtown Raleigh. I’ve debated with even evaluating all city council candidates in future elections but personally don’t know a good format to do that.

Does anyone know a site that seems to do politics the right way? The only way I can think of doing it here is with a heavy moderating hand. I’m moving this to a new topic to discuss.


Perhaps just try a government policy thread with a hard requirement to leave the donkeys and elephants out of it. Political discussion, when framed by party affiliation, always seems to turn caustic. I’d hate to see all of that bleed over into this forum.

Everyone likes to complain about politics yet so few actually exercise their right to vote. I came across this a while back. Perhaps you’ve seen already.

One thing I like about this forum is the lack of politics. When things were feeling political in this thread yesterday, I thought “Oh No”. My vote is to keep them out.

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There’s a difference between forums with LIBTARD and Liar in Chief terms thrown around while yelling about abortion and national security, and a civil discussion about actual policy matters that affect downtown. I don’t know if it’s worth managing from an admin standpoint. I certainly appreciate this site and all the work that goes into it, and wouldn’t dream of telling Leo how to run it. But I (maybe naively) think it would be a great example of how people can exchange points of view about specific, somewhat dry matters in a civilized way.


I agree. Inasmuch as policy affects downtown, I think it’s perfectly reasonable to have discussions about it.
The reality is that we talk about issues that are political all the time without ever acknowledging it.


So, 5401 North has to get approval from the City, or at least I think they do because they’ve submitted plans to the planning council (done in several sections). So if they aren’t actually in the city, why do they have to do this?


Please save us from politics. Please Sir. It’s a cancer to this blog.

Thanks for all you do Sir!