February 2009

Chapel Hill gets a historic marker for the first freedom ride

[1947 freedom riders]Did you know that the first civil rights "freedom ride" took place in 1947, fourteen years before the 1961 riders captured the nation's attention by exposing the brutality of Jim Crow in the South? The Journey of Reconciliation was organized by the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), which was born at the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR), and was led by FOR staff members Bayard Rustin and George Houser.

The interracial group of nine men on the Journey of Reconciliation set out from Washington, D.C. on April 9th, 1947. They met some resistance from passengers and drivers on buses in Virginia and North Carolina. But when they attempted to sit at the front of a bus in Chapel Hill on April 12th, the driver refused, and removed some of the riders by force. They were then attacked by angry cab drivers at the Chapel Hill bus station, and arrested by local police. Their subsequent time serving on a chain gang led Rustin to write about the experience. His serialized journal led to major reforms in the North Carolina prison system.

North Carrboro Precinct Meeting

I hope folks living in North Carrboro precinct will attend tonights meeting in the Springvalley Mailhouse at the corner of Springvalley Rd & Pathway Drive.We will meet at 7:30-8:45pm (the President speaks at 9pm and oh yes, UNC tip off).

We want to consider a mortgage foreclosure moratorium resolution.

Do you know about Orange County Campaign for Change(OC3) and the YES WE CANS Food Drive? Come find out.

Elect precinct leadership.

Hope to see you. Bring a chair or cushion to sit on.


OP video collection

Short videos by Ruby Sinreich (and maybe others) about recent happenings on OrangePolitics and around the county.

The most recent videos are shown in reverse chronological order (newest to oldest). To see related blog entries, check out the OPTV archive. Some videos are on Ustream and some are on blip.tv.

Live Video streaming by Ustream

Check Yes to Elect Democrats!

Do you want to help ensure Democrats win in 2010?

What if one step was so simple it only required you to place a check mark on a form you already have to fill out?

This year, when you file your taxes, be sure to check off the Democratic Party under NC Political Parties Financing Fund.

Doing so won't cost you one extra penny on your tax return or reduce your refund, and you'll be helping to guarantee that Democrats across the state have the necessary funding to compete in 2010.

It's that simple.

Additionally, you can also support public financing of campaigns by supporting the Public Campaign Fund.

This Fund pays for a useful Voter Guide sent to all homes and helps candidates in NC's top courts who accept spending limits and refuse big campaign donations.

Niether of the options affects your tax bill or refund in any way.


Mayor's Task Force on Mental Health

I am interested in comments from anyone who attended the "listening sessions" this week sponsored by the Mayor Foy's Mental Health Task Force. The sessions were on Tues. and Weds. evening. I got to the Tues. session too late to get a sense of where the Task Force is heading.

I think many people are aware of the problems facing the public mental health system in Orange County and elsewhere. I am interested in what the Task Force intends to accomplish. I hope someone who attended will comment.

Orange County Organizing Committee meeting

From an OP comment:

The next county-wide general meeting of the OCOC will be March 9th. The meeting will start at 6:30 pm with meetings of the 6 interest groups (living wage, affordable housing, immigrant families, healthcare, education, and the environment) and at 8:00 pm there will be a general meeting when the interest groups report back and other business is discussed. We will end promptly at 9 pm.

Molly De Marco



Monday, March 9, 2009 - 2:30pm


Binkley Baptist Church, 1712 Willow Drive, Chapel Hill

Carolina North Public Education Session

This is organized by the Town of Chapel Hill for residents to better understand and participate in the planning process for CN. I can't find an agenda online, but check http://www.townofchapelhill.org/index.asp?NID=1817  or http://www.townofchapelhill.org/carolinanorth


Wednesday, March 4, 2009 - 10:00am to 2:00pm



12th Annual Community Dinner

Advance tickets only! According to their web site:

The Community Dinner is a community building event, crossing economic, racial, religious and ethnic barriers and presenting a wealth of wonderful, culturally diverse food and entertainment. A large number of the tickets for the dinner are distributed to people who might not otherwise be able to afford to attend. You can feed a family of four with a $22 donation.

The Community Dinner is not a fundraising event, but rather an awareness raising event, designed to bring people from all walks of life together for an afternoon of great food and entertainment.


Sunday, March 1, 2009 - 8:00am


McDougle School Cafetorium, 900 Old Fayetteville Rd., Carrboro

"Quality for Pedestrians: Pitfalls in Policy Making"

Rob Methorst to present "Quality for Pedestrians: Pitfalls in Policy Making"

CHAPEL HILL – Rob Methorst, a senior advisor with the Dutch Ministry of Transport, will present a lecture titled "Quality for Pedestrians: Pitfalls in Policy Making " on Friday, March 20 at 1:00 pm in the Tate-Turner-Kuralt auditorium on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The free, public lecture is being cosponsored by the UNC Highway Safety Research Center, the UNC Injury Prevention Research Center, the Carolina Transportation Program and the Department of City and Regional Planning.

Methorst will discuss his international perspective on the ingredients needed for successful policy making to improve conditions for pedestrians.


Friday, March 20, 2009 - 9:00am


UNC Tate-Turner-Kuralt auditorium

When does talk about Roger's Road turn into neighborhood improvements?

There were two articles in the CHH today on the services and improvements that the historic Rogers Road neighborhood has long been lacking.


For the Historic Rogers Road neighborhood it appears that the neighborhood's role as the garbage receptacle for Orange County may be coming to an end.  However vigilance is still required because it ain't quite over yet.

The long sought after services and neighborhood improvements are not anywhere in sight.  Over the decades there has been no lack of talk, task forces, official pronouncements of support, planning committees, lists etc...  Almost nothing concrete has ever come of all this. 

The neighborhood is split into multiple jurisdictions complicating any chance of real progress and  offering ready made excuses to all the jurisdictions for failure to act.  As with most other things it also boils down to money and with the current economic environment it gets even more difficult.



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