We’re reprinting some of our favorite public comments from the public hearing on the housing choices proposal held by Chapel Hill Town Council on January 25, 2023. Simon Palmore is a Morehead-Cain Scholar at UNC, and serves as the chair of the Town of Chapel Hill’s Community Policing Advisory Board. He has also interned for the UNC Center for Civic Rights and serves as the Chair for the Board of Elections for UNC student government. You can follow Simon on Twitter, where he recently polled followers on whether they wanted Chapel Hill to be walkable. 

Hi, everyone. My name is Simon Palmore. I’m a student at UNC. I’m 22 years old and I’m graduating in May, which means that I’m getting ready to think about the next phases of life.

I like to think of myself as reasonably intelligent. I have a lot of energy. I’ve spent a lot of time in service to this town. And I have a somewhat harmful tendency to spend money on local businesses and restaurants.

And as I think about the next stages of life, and think about whether Chapel Hill might be a place to settle down, it feels somewhat unattainable to be able to buy a house and and build a life here as a 22-year-old looking ahead. It feels like something that would mostly be attainable at much later stages of life when I’m already kind of settled in a high paying job that frankly I can’t quite count on.

I think that speaking for myself and people like me, we have a lot to offer to this community. We want to stay here, we want to serve the town. And what we really need is for the town to give us the ability to do so and so I asked that you continue to support this proposal to open up possibilities for us to live.

We don’t need giant homes. We don’t need McMansions we don’t need huge lots. We just need a safe, comfortable place to live that we can afford. So I thank you for your for your past support for for these proposals and I ask that you continue them in the future. Thank you.

In the last municipal election cycle, we helped increase turnout by over 20 percent. We're all volunteers who care deeply about Chapel Hill and Carrboro, and we're working to make Chapel Hill and Carrboro more vibrant, accessible, fun, and sustainable.  Please consider a small donation to help us keep our digital lights on, host events, and hire students to do data deep-dives.