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Organizing and a long-term commitment to co-governance laid the groundwork for victory.

Down Home North Carolina members are celebrating a big victory: the revitalization of the Granville Street Park. This park, in a Black neighborhood of Oxford, North Carolina, was allowed to fall into disrepair and was ultimately closed to the public by city officials.

Last spring, DHNC members noticed that $2.8 in funds allotted to Oxford through the American Rescue Plan (ARPA) for COVID recovery was unspent, and the city had a multi-year surplus of more than $7 million. Together they set their sights on the city’s budget process, with a goal to revitalize the park.

Photo by Harry Turfle at Down Home North Carolina

All summer and fall, they held organizing meetings, which grew in size and culminated in a meeting of the Oxford City Commissioners on September 12, when they voted unanimously to refund the park.

Soon after this victory, Down Home Granville member Guillermo Nurse was elected as the city’s first Black mayor, while DHNC Granville members Steward Powell and Curtis McRae were elected as Oxford Town Commissioners.

Congrats, Down Home!