Voters born elsewhere make up nearly half of N.C. electorate

One hundred years ago, when North Carolina had a population of about 2.5 million people, more than nine out of 10 residents were native Tar Heels. Today’s North Carolina, in contrast, approaches a population of 10 million, with more than 4 million residents born in another state or country. Population growth and change have had […]

Windy Ridge: A neighborhood built to fail

In Charlotte, one neighborhood more than any other came to represent the housing crisis. Built between 2002 and 2004, the Windy Ridge neighborhood of 133 small, single-family homes fell victim. By 2008, 60 percent of the neighborhood’s homes were in foreclosure. Crime rates rose, property values plummeted and the homeowners association couldn’t afford to keep […]

Will optimism on economy continue post-election?

For at least the last 50 years, polling organizations have been using two simple questions to get respondents to describe how the last year treated them from an economic viewpoint and how they think the next one will be: Compared to this time last year, would you say your current economic situation is better, about […]

Voters’ economic outlook isn’t pushing them to the polls

Are people who are unemployed or financially distressed more likely to vote than those who have jobs or are financially sound? According to data going back to the 1992 general election, they are not. Time will tell whether the job losses and damaged personal finances of the Great Recession featured in this election campaign will […]

Finding a lesson in city’s budget, streetcar impasse

How did this happen? How did a Charlotte City Council – with all 11 members willing to vote for a small property tax hike to pay for an ambitious, five-year plan of neighborhood improvements – wind up killing that five-year plan? Plenty of armchair quarterbacking is going on now, divvying blame or credit (depending on […]

Amid sustainability criticism, poll finds public prefers planning

Amid a political environment attacking global sustainability initiatives, a new national poll by the American Planning Association released Thursday finds bipartisan support for planning, as well as belief that community planners play a key role in economic recovery. Some political groups have attacked planning and are crafting laws that would bar cooperative planning or ban […]