City of Durham NIS Community Engagement

Neighbor Spotlight August 2017- Robin Davis

Neighbor Spotlight August 2017- Robin Davis


What is the name of your neighborhood?

Albright Neighborhood, but I have specifically done most of my work on Spruce Street.

How long have you lived in your neighborhood?

I have lived here for 10 years.

Tell us about your neighborhood.

Spruce Street has changed a lot in 10 years.  The other day, I learned that a Spruce tree is a survivor and can grow in any environment.  The street is adequately named. It has come back from the bad state it was in for a while and is thriving now. I am proud of my street.  Habitat has made a huge difference in the neighborhood by building new homes.  I am a habitat homeowner, as well as many of my neighbors. 

What successes have your neighborhood and community had?

We have cleaned up a lot of the negative aspects of the neighborhood.  Boarded houses are unboarded and fixed up.  There are more homeowners.  We used to have a lot of drug activity, which we don’t have anymore.  You actually see kids outside playing and we have a park being built by community members off Juniper Street.  We have had monthly street meetings and even done outreach to about 12 blocks to meet our neighbors.  We distributed flower bulbs to those families for beautification and led the effort for a neighborhood cleanup.

What are some concerns that you still have in your neighborhood?

We don’t have enough amenities nearby.  We have to go far to visit a grocery store or have entertainment. There are no movie theaters in the area and my children usually go all the way to South Point. In addition, there are lots of traffic concerns.  Cars speed up and down the street and there is poor visibility at many intersections.  I have concerns about affordability as well.  There is a house on the block being advertised for $1700 and I am concerned that housing is becoming too expensive.  And substandard housing is still an issue and we have to make sure the city still monitors complaints about conditions.  Finally, also connected to affordability, why can’t we make foreclosed properties available for low income residents as opposed to only being accessible to large developers.  It is too difficult to buy property affordably. 

What advice would you give to other community members?

-         Attend PAC meetings

-         Go to City Council meetings and get involved in City and County Politics.  There is a lot of information we don’t know about.

-          Get connected to the Community Engagement Division in the City of Durham to partner on Neighborhood Projects.

-          In general, there are a million things going on.  Get involved!!!

Do you have any upcoming opportunities for other people to get involved?

-          PAC1 meetings are 3rd Saturdays at 9:30 AM at Holton.

-          Communities in Partnership hosts a potluck every 3rd Tuesday at 6:30 PM at Holton.

-          The NECD Leadership Council meets the 1st and 3rd Thursdays at 4:30 PM at the John O Daniel Exchange.

-          Keep eyes peeled for opportunities to help build the park during Albright Workdays.

-          Keep Durham Beautiful is hosting a Geer Cemetery Cleanup on September 22nd at 1 PM.

-          Reach out to Habitat for Humanity. There are so many opportunities to volunteer.  

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