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Jurisdiction: Kinston

University: University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill

Hometown: Raleigh, NC

Sarah Arney is a Lead for North Carolina Fellow, working for the City of Kinston as a Community Development Planner. In her role she works with the Planning Director to answer zoning questions, support grant applications, and support long range planning efforts. She is also involved in several special projects including designing the city’s first citizen academy called Kinston 101, and lowering citizen flood insurance rates by documenting flood mitigation activities through the Community Rating System (CRS).Sarah graduated from UNC-CH with a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Public Policy. While at UNC she served for four years as an advocate, trainer, and employment specialist for the Community Empowerment Fund (CEF), a local nonprofit that pairs advocates with members of the community to work towards housing, employment, and financial independence goals.

On what she’s eager to learn: I also believe that local government, if not necessarily in the business of creating community, is in the business of creating spaces where community can thrive. There are lots of ways local government can make it easier or harder for interested citizens to know one another and participate in problem-solving in their community. I want to learn the specifics of what makes a government a good steward of community and how to implement those things in my community.

Recent Work Accomplishments:
Sarah is creating a Citizen Academy in Kinston to help underrepresented groups gain access to government services. Sarah recently presented bids for property and a conditional-use permit to the City Council. She has also worked with the School's Development Finance Initiative to collect data for an economic development project.