Earlier this evening, Joe Herzenberg passed away at UNC Hospitals. Joe had been in failing health for some time.
This is a very sad moment for those of us who worked closely with Joe through his Chapel Hill political career in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. Sadder still for those who remained close to him until the end.
For newcomers who did not know Joe, there was a time when he was the standout progressive leader on the Chapel Hill Town Council, a strong neighborhood advocate and civil libertarian. He was highly popular, the top vote-getter in 1991, and considered by many at the time to be a likely mayoral candidate.
As wikipedia summarizes it, "Herzenberg was narrowly defeated in a 1979 bid for the Chapel Hill Town Council, but was later appointed to the town council when council-member Gerry Cohen stepped down following a failed bid for mayor. Herzenberg lost his reelection bid in 1981, but he returned to the council in 1987 and was reelected with overwhelming support in 1991."
Yard signs are popping up, there are forums every week, elected officials are suddenly acting a lot nicer to us... what else is new y'all?
Maybe this is why local politics has so many personality problems:
Have you ever noticed how hard it is to forget your most embarrassing and most painful memories?
It's not just your imagination -- UNC psychology professor Keith Payne says those memories really do seem to be harder to forget.
- WCHL 1360 - UNC study finds bad memories do last
Actually, I am starting to forget some of those crazy things the Indy said about me in 1999, so maybe there's hope yet. ;-)
I learned on Tuesday that our community lost a great warrior for justice and equality. Ever since I met her nearly 20 years ago, Lisa Garmon was a festive rabble-rouser and a tireless worker for what's right. She died of cancer on Tuesday.
I worked with Lisa on environmental issues, on making local media, on organizing peace and justice protests, on keeping Internationalist Books afloat, and on countless other causes. I remember her amazing energy and dependability. She was great for things like coming through with a last-minute food donation for your fundraising event. She was there for you.
Lisa was mostly a face-to-face grassroots organizer, so there's not much of an online legacy to show her work. One great testament to her is the early archives of HA!, a feirce feminist 'zine that she founded in the mid-90's. I remember working on the first issue only to hear that the printer had refused to publish it because it included penis graphics! Never mind all those female body parts, right?
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