Civil Liberties

Perhaps because of the large number of outspoken and thoughtful people in our community, we have often found ourselves at ground zero in battles over civil liberties. In the 1980's Chapel Hill elected the first openly-gay elected official in the state, but Carrboro bested that by electing North Carolina’s first out mayor a decade later.

More recently, Chapel Hill grappled with free speech issues in the wake of 9/11, approved and then dismantled red light cameras in 2003-4, and was challenged by fundamentalists over support for gay marriage in 2005.

Fighting Hate in Chapel Hill on October 25th and Beyond

It looks like a growing number of people are using today's confederate flag rally in Chapel Hill as a way to fight hate.

For every confederate flag seen at Silent Sam today they will donate to the Southern Poverty Law Center or a similar non-profit.. That is, they will use the rally as a way to drive donations to organizations established to fight hate and foster togetherness. The idea is to let the rallyers know that wherever they gather to support a symbol of oppression, they will be directly helping to fund organizations that fight oppression.

How does one participate? Simple: Ii you are at the rally, use the hashtag ‪#‎ChapelHillAgainstHate‬ to post your count of flags. If you want to help with a donation, make a donation to SPLC or a similar organization then post about it on social media using the hashtag #‎ChapelHillAgainstHate. Watch the hashtag this afternoon to get an idea of flag counts and see who is playing.

The more people who post with the hashtag, the better chance there is of getting the word out, of getting the attention of the press, of the rallyers, of people wanting to fight hate.

Maintain and Expand Access to Early Voting in Orange County

I've been a strong advocate for early voting locations and hours in Orange County that provide adequate access for all Orange County residents in my time as a student and council member in Chapel Hill. I'm sharing below my open letter to the Board of Elections as they make decisions this week about early voting locations for this fall. Interested in making your voice heard about early voting? They'll be meeting tomorrow (July 21st) at the Board of Elections in Hillsborough at noon to determine early voting hours and locations for this fall. 

Dear Orange County Board of Elections,

 

As you consider potential early voting locations and hours for the 2015 election, I wanted to offer some thoughts and recommendations. As always, thank you for your thoughtful approach to and deliberative process in setting an early voting calendar.

 

Know Your Rights: Youth and Policing Forum

An event announcement from Orange/Chatham public defender James Williams:

  • Do you know how to respond to police during a traffic stop?
  • Did you know regardless of your citizenship status, you have constitutional rights?
  • Do you know you are not required to consent to a search of yourself?

Panel Discussion Moderated by Dr. Rodney Coleman

While everyone is welcome, it is being planned primarily by and on behalf of young people. It is really important to encourage our youth, particularly mid-teens to mid-twenties to attend. Representatives from the bench, bar, law enforcement, and community will be among the panelists. Refreshments will be provided.

Date: 

Saturday, February 28, 2015 -
4:00pm to 6:00pm

Location: 

Hargraves Community Center, 216 N. Roberson Street, Chapel Hill

Town Hall Series Starts Next Week

Starting next week, I'll be hosting a series of four Town Hall events that each focus on a different issue in our community: downtown Chapel Hill, social and environmental justice, economic development and working together in Orange County. 

I want these events to be an opportunity for residents to engage and take an active role in shaping the future of our town. All you need to bring is an open mind and ideas for how we can build a more vibrant, livable community. Here's the schedule:

Issue: Downtown Chapel Hill
When: Wednesday, Feb. 25th at 5:30 p.m.
Where: DSI Comedy, 62 W Franklin St, Chapel Hill, NC 27514

Click here to see full event details and RSVP for the downtown Chapel Hill Town Hall.

Issue: Social and Environmental Justice
When: Saturday, Feb. 28th at 1 p.m.
Where: Rogers Road Community Center, 101 Edgar Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27516

2015 Human Relations Forum: Voting Rights to Equal Rights, The Continuing Struggle

2015 marks the 95th Anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which gave women the right to vote.  Women’s Equality has been a long hard struggle against entrenched cultural, social and religious dogmas, and the 19th Amendment was a major achievement in that long story of liberation.

Though great progress has been made by and on behalf of women’s equality since then, there are still major barriers to true equity and gross affronts to the basic human rights that plague many women today.

The 2015 Human Relations Forum will celebrate the anniversary of the right to vote and will focus on the remaining barriers and some specific areas that require immediate action and attention, including economic inequities and sex trafficking.

Date: 

Sunday, January 25, 2015 -
2:30pm to 6:00pm

Location: 

Carrboro Century Center

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