Greensboro City Council BriefsBy Yasmine Regester, Peacemaker Staff Writer / January 5, 2023
In the first city council meeting of the year, Greensboro City Council voted against an expansion of downtown Greensboro’s Social District in an eight to one vote. At-large council member Hugh Holston voted yes. The item was postponed from the November 15, 2022, meeting.
The measure was to include Center City Park and the Tanger Center for Performing Arts in the downtown social district, which Holston championed as a good idea.
“Residents can visit the parks, have a drink, and continue to visit businesses to encourage economic development. If not tonight, I would love to see Center City Park as part of the social district,” he said.
Zack Matheny, District 3 council member and former president of Downtown Greensboro Inc., said that there was no reason to expand the social district to include Center City Park or the Tanger Center of Performing Arts because there is no retail near those areas.
“The intent was built upon the fabric of North Carolina retail markets. In this case, if it’s not broken, don’t break it. As we continue to grow retail and drinking establishments, we can reconsider things,” he said.
He also added that although the park is not included in the social district, organizations and businesses can request special event permits from the city that allow alcohol in City Center Park.
The council approved a new social district along State Street last month, although there was opposition from a surgery clinic on the street.
At the beginning of the meeting, council presented a resolution honoring the late Joyce Martin-Dixon for her longtime contributions and philanthropy in the community. She was a 1952 James B. Dudley High School graduate, and a 1956 Bennett College for Women graduate.
She spearheaded several initiatives over the years that included an organ, tissue, and bone marrow donation awareness program; assisted with the building of several schools in South Africa; and honored everyday people through such programs and initiatives as: Unsung Heroes; Shirts of Color; Blue Collar Professions; and Mama, it’s Okay to Stay Home and Raise Your Children, to name a few.
Dixon gave back generously over the years to her alma mater, Bennett College such as funds to professionally decorate parlors in five residential halls and one academic hall, and she coordinated the placement of a fitness center and a beauty shop on the college campus. Dr. Dixon donated the largest alumna bestowment, $1 million, in the history of Bennett College for the Martin Dixon Intergenerational Center, a childhood education center, which was built on the same site where her father had operated a barber shop in the 1940s on Gorrell Street.