Endorsements Roundup 2015

It looks like all of the organizational endorsements are in, and early voting is now underway. The spreadsheet below provides a summary of this year's endorsements.

Now it's time for the most important endorsements: yours!

As always, this is a special-rules post. The rules: Only write who you're voting for (and why, if you like). You may also list the people you would vote for if you lived in their jurisdictions. Do not refer in any way to any candidate you are not supporting. If you don't follow the rules, your comment will be removed. You're free to critique the candidates through comments on other posts or by posting your own blog entry. In fact, you're warmly invited to do so!

The early voting period in Orange County will continue through October 31. Election Day is November 3.



The two candidates that really stand out are Margaret Samuels and Rani Dasi. It does not take long for anyone to observe their knowledge and passion when it comes to K12 education (and pre-K too!).

For the other two seats, I am going with the incumbents, David Saussy and Annetta Streater. The new board will need the experience and knowledge of both of them. Both have served honorably, understand the strategic vision our community has established along with the long range plan to achieve that vision, and have demonstrated a good working knowledge of the role of the board (as distinct from the role of the administration or others).

If I had a fifth vote, I would go with Joal Broun. She did well as a Alderperson in Carrboro.

Thanks to all the candidates for running for election and being willing to serve.

I am not a close observer of the school board races but I met Margaet Samuels once and was truely impressed with her. I think the INDY made a serious error in not endorsing her. Rani Dasi also seems great. I have not met her in person but have heard great things. 

Thanks for the extremely useful chart! I have printed it (of course giving credit to OP) and plan on handing it out to my neighbors. MTP


There’s a good reason the Sierra Club endorsed Mark Kleinschmidt for Mayor, along with Donna Bell, Michael Parker, Lee Storrow & Jim Ward for Chapel Hill Town Council.  If you believe having the option to live, work, and enjoy life within walking distance is a better choice than building more sprawling subdivisions and suburban strip malls, this slate is your choice. If you’d like to be able to bike downtown and to UNC, as you’ll be able to do soon thanks to the Bolin Creek Trail extension, these candidates are on your side.  If you believe light rail is the right choice for moving UNC’s 49,000+ employees and students on and off campus every day, this slate has wholeheartedly endorsed the train.  If you want leaders with a proven track record of getting goals done, from creating permanent affordable housing (as we’re doing with our partnership with DHIC), creating much-needed office space so commercial tax-paying businesses won’t leave Chapel Hill when they grow (as we’re doing with Carolina Square and Glen Lennox), to finally making good on our long unfulfilled promises to the Rogers Road community, these candidates turn promises into progress. Finally, Mark Kleinschmidt, Donna Bell, Michael Parker, Lee Storrow and Jim Ward are our best choices for reflecting the variety of people and perspectives that comprise the heart and spirit of the Chapel Hill community and of keeping Chapel Hill a place that’s not just for folks who can afford to live here, but is welcoming to anyone who shares our core values. Go vote Tuesday, November 3rd!

Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt and Councilmembers Donna Bell, Lee Storrow, and Jim Ward have demonstrated their commitment to creating affordable housing in Chapel Hill. When they voted for Obey Creek, they did so only after ensuring 15 percent of all for-sale units will be made affordable for low- to moderate-income households, as the inclusionary zoning ordinance requires.

But Kleinschmidt, Bell, Storrow, and Ward did not stop there. Obey Creek’s rental units will include housing for the neediest among us thanks to an important provision requiring housing vouchers, including vouchers for veterans, to be accepted. Many apartments elsewhere in Chapel Hill have unfortunately stopped accepting these vouchers.
Kleinschmidt, Bell, and Storrow also voted for the Ephesus-Fordham area plan, which includes 140 affordable units. The Ephesus-Fordham area plan also includes incentives for building affordable housing – the town’s first use of incentives.

Kleinschmidt, Bell, and Ward also voted for the Graduate, a downtown apartment building that will provide 15 percent of its rental units as affordable housing. These units will be the town’s very first affordable rental units in downtown.

Mark Kleinschmidt, Donna Bell, Lee Storrow, and Jim Ward have continually demonstrated their commitment to creating affordable housing in Chapel Hill. My fourth council vote goes to Michael Parker who has great experience and knowledge around town planning and economic development.  He will be an excellent addition to the CHTC.

In the School Board races I'm voting for Rani Dasi, Margaret Samuels, Joal Hall Broun, & Annetta Streater - for their committment to racial equity. Rani and Margaret have recently attended our Undoing Racism workshop through the Racial Equity Institute and will be attending a day long training on working with LGBTQ youth.




Remember, everyone, this is a special-rules post. As we describe in the introduction, only write who you're voting for (and why, if you like). You may also list the people you would vote for if you lived in their jurisdictions. Do not refer in any way to any candidate you are not supporting. If you don't follow the rules, your comment will be removed.

Since I pointed out gross inaccuracies in the endorsements by Allison de Marco, my reply was deleted. The war on truth and accuracy prosecuted by OP continues.

Nice try, Don. Your comment was deleted because it did not adhere to the special rules of this post, which are clearly described in the introduction. If you would like to create a separate post to describe what you perceive as inaccuracies, you are welcome to do so. Then we'll see if it stands up to scrutiny.

How many times does someone have to explain the rules here?  Its explained in the instructions, and then again in a special post just for you!  This is exactly what happens every time people spin tales of corrupt officials--  its a figment of imagination born out of an advanced persecution complex.  


My children have grown up in a politically aware home.  We follow local, state, and national politics closely, support candidates with our time and money, and host election night parties.  From time-to-time my children ask me questions such as “Does it really matter who the mayor/sheriff/judge is?” I have done my best to explain how the decisions and actions of the leaders we choose have direct and noteworthy impacts on our lives.  While the quality of my explanations may be open to question, their own experience and observations have begun to allow them to see this for themselves. They know a number of people whose lives have been dramatically improved by the Affordable Care Act, they have seen the damage caused by the corrosive actions of the republican majority in the NCGA, and they have begun to see how local government can impact things like the quality of their education.  It’s been gratifying to watch their growing awareness on the political front and I have often told them how pleased I am and have been to have thoughtful and dedicated local leaders here in Chapel Hill and Orange County. 

Serving as Chapel Hill’s mayor is a complex task.  There are a myriad of disparate items to manage: taxes, spending priorities, residential and commercial development, town employees, police and fire departments, sanitation and so on along with vigorous community disagreements on how best to address these areas.  What makes Chapel Hill distinct from most towns, at least in my view, are the high expectations which stem from the aspirations of the community as well as the unique relationship we have with UNC.  An effective mayor must be able to balance all of these issues while maintaining  a sustained focus on long-term goals.

Since 2009 Mark Kleinschmidt has done an outstanding job in navigating the complex job of being our mayor.  During the 2009 mayoral race, the issues on the table were taxes, empty store fronts, affordable housing, and concerns about a lack of overall community vision and the length of the development approval process.  During Mark’s tenure, tax increases have been minimal, business have opened all over town, collaboration with the UNC on providing space for  start-ups has increased and the Chapel Hill 2020 process brought thousands of people together to discuss and debate town priorities for the future.  Mark has also been an effective advocate for the town in regional issues such as transit.

Mark has also helped to ensure a continued focus on affordability and affordable housing.  Some aspects of this complex issue, such as maintaining free busing, are well within the control of town government while others are more unwieldly. I think we all would like to see more affordable houses and apartments within the town limits, but is important to remember that governmental influence on this process is indirect.  Thus, influencing this process requires creativity, negotiation, a thorough understanding of the statues and ordinances involved and dogged persistence.  Mark has clearly demonstrated these characteristics and we are making noteworthy progress in this important arena.

Please join me in re-electing Mark Kleinschmidt for Mayor.


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