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.

Interview from the John Locke Foundation: A Libertarian Perspective on Syringe Decriminalization

Discussion of changes at Abbey Court

I just received this notice posted to the Solidaridad Abbey Court group on Face book from Carrboro Mayor Mark Chilton:

I will be at the OWASA Community Room at 6pm tonight to talk with residents of Abbey Court (now Collins Crossing) about issues that have arisen with the new management company. All Abbey Court residents and stakeholders are welcome! 

Date: 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012 - 6:00pm

Location: 

OWASA Community Room, 400 Jones Ferry Road, Carrboro

Voices of Action Event at Chapel Hill Public Library

A free and public event exploring civic engagement and social justice issues is scheduled for 3 p.m. Sunday, May 20, at the Chapel Hill Public Library's Program Space in University Mall across from Alfredo's Pizza. Please share the EVENT FLIER.

"Voices of Action: Translating Words into a Movement" is organized by the Chapel Hill Public Library and the Town of Chapel Hill Justice in Action Committee. The public is invited to attend and participate in an interactive workshop and discussion to consider questions such as "What makes you want to act?" "How do you engage?" and "How can your voice be powerful?" The purpose of this event is to encourage creative expression of opinion and support participants as they recognize the power of words and find their individual voices.

The event will be facilitated by the Sacrificial Poets (http://sacrificialpoets.com), North Carolina's premier youth poetry organization. You don't have to be a poet or even write poetry to attend. If you appreciate spoken word, want to learn more, or you just have something to say about social justice, LGBT rights, Occupy, racism, fracking, environmentalism, immigration reform, or a host of other issues, this program is for you.

"We are excited to be involved because librarians are advocates of intellectual freedom," said Maggie Hite, head of circulation services. "And our library is a trusted, safe space for civic engagement."

Many residents are more comfortable expressing divergent ideas at libraries because they are neutral places that advance knowledge through freedom of expression and critical inquiry, Hite said. The Chapel Hill Public Library supports the idea that civic reflection builds community connections.

Formed by the Town Council, the role of the Justice in Action Committee is to give voice to issues and concerns regarding race and power in Chapel Hill and the surrounding community; and to educate the Chapel Hill community through workshops and seminars on issues of racism, diversity and inclusiveness. The committee meets at 6 p.m. on the first Thursday of most months at Chapel Hill Town Hall. For more information, contact samathryn@gmail.com. For more information about Sunday's program, see www.chapelhillpubliclibrary.org or contact mhite@townofchapelhill.org.

Date: 

Sunday, May 20, 2012 -
3:00pm to 5:00pm

Location: 

Chapel Hill Public Library's Program Space, University Mall

Orange County Asks, What Amendment?

In the statewide vote, Amendment One passed easily with 61% of the vote. However, Orange County overwhelmingly rejected the amendment by a vote of 79% to 21%. (Our neighbors in Durham County likewise voted 70% to 30% against the amendment.) Some precincts in Carrboro and Chapel Hill voted against the amendment almost unanimously. The map below shows the Orange County precinct-level results of the referendum.

From Counters to Camps: Social Justice Activism in a Changing World (panel & public discussion)

A free and public discussion on civic engagement, civil disobedience, and political protest is scheduled for 3 p.m. Sunday, April 29, at Hargraves Center, 216 N. Roberson St.

"From Counters to Camps: Social Justice Activism in a Changing World" is organized by the Town of Chapel Hill Justice in Action Committee and the Chapel Hill Public Library. The public is encouraged to attend and participate in a question and answer period following a panel presentation. The discussion will be videotaped for future airing on Chapel Hill Gov TV-18, the government access channel on Time Warner Cable. 

The panel will be moderated by former Council member Sally Greene, and includes the following presenters: Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt; Rev. Robert Campbell, president of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP; Al McSurely, civil rights lawyer and activist; Maya Handa, Chapel Hill High School senior (with her AP government and civics education teacher, Jen Ballew); Steve Peterson, member of Occupy Chapel Hill; and Jeremy Collins, UNC-Chapel Hill law student and president of the Black Law Students Association.

Date: 

Sunday, April 29, 2012 - 3:00pm

Location: 

Hargraves Center (216 N. Roberson St.)

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