This morning started out in SE Raleigh with a wonderful event organized by the Raleigh Parks and Recreation department, The Home Depot Foundation and KaBOOM! to build a community playground at the corner of Lane Street and Idylwild. KaBOOM! is a national nonprofit organization that envisions a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America. They use their community-build model to bring together business and community interests to construct new playgrounds, skate parks, sports fields and ice rinks across North America.
The build was funded through a $61,000 grant from The Home Depot Foundation along with a $7,500 contribution from the Raleigh Parks and Recreation Department. As a founding partner of KaBOOM!, The Home Depot Foundation provides financial support, materials and numerous volunteers for play space projects across North America. In addition to funding, more than 150 associates from local The Home Depot stores spent their day off helping volunteers from the City build the playground.
Than I returned to North Raleigh for an interview with the Triangle Business Journal. My husband Ron & I own MedPro Rx, Inc - a specicialty pharmacy serving people with chronic neurological conditions and bleeding disorders. MedPro was nominated to the "Fast50" by the TBJ for the second year in a row. Last year we were honored to earn the #1 spot as the fastest growing business in the triangle! Raleigh has truly been an excellent place for starting and operating a buisness, and I believe we need to continue supporting this environment. It is important for the City to offer strong support for local businesses and consider the existing taxpayers when deciding on investments to stimulate our economy.
Later in the evening I attended a celebration with the Capital Area Friends of Transit at the Boylan Brew Pub. This was an awesome gathering of folks who are working for the best possible transit options for our community. The most recent progress came from the NC Legislature with the passing of permission to put the 1/2 cent sales tax to a voter referendum. This would provide Wake [also Durham and Orange] County and Raleigh with the funding to work on increasing bus service and exploring light rail. The Boylan Brew Pub was an appropriate location because it overlooks the trainyard around which downtown Raleigh developed, and is now projected to be the future transit hub.
To close out the evening I attended "Retrospective 25" at the Miriam Block Gallery. Over the past 25 years the City of Raleigh Arts Commission has served our community by supporting local artists and arts programs. During my first term on Council I have served as the liaison to the Arts Commission, and our work together has been productive. This Council approved the "Percent for Arts Ordinance" which establishes a 1/2% tax from capital projects to be diverted into a fund for public art. A newly created Public Art & Design Board will oversee the management of this fund, with approval by the Council for art investments by the City of Raleigh. Studies have shown that for every __ dollars spent on art, ___ dollars are returned.
It is really great to live in a place where community is so rich and there are so many exciting cultural opportunities. Raleigh is a wonderfully diverse and dynamic city whose future is excitingly bright! Of course we've got work to do, but I am confident in the commitment and caliber of people who are working together to back Raleigh a great place to work, live and play!