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.


Plan now to gather with thousands -- perhaps tens of thousands -- of North Carolinians in support of a progressive agenda for the state. The second annual HKonJ -- Historic Thousands on Jones Street in Raleigh -- will be held Saturday, February 9 at Chavis Park, 505 Martin Luther King Blvd., Raleigh beginning at 11:30 a.m., with a march to the State Legislative Building planned for 12:30 p.m.

See the HKonJ site for more information, agenda, flyer, etc.

(Updated 2/7/08.)


Saturday, February 9, 2008 - 6:30am to 9:00am


Chavis Park, 505 Martin Luther King Blvd., Raleigh, NC

Human Relations Month Kick-Off Features Dance, Music and Discussion

Event celebrates human rights and relations, brings attention to pressing issues.

Join the County Human Relations Commission in celebrating Human Relations Month at a kick-off event from 2:30-5P on Sunday, January 27, at the Carrboro Century Center (100 N. Greensboro Street, Carrboro). The event will include a presentation on healthcare inequities by local advocates Shannon and Anthony Fleg and a performance by the Chuck Davis African-American Dance Ensemble. Refreshments will be served at this family event. For more information, contact James Spivey at the County Human Rights and Relations Department, (919) 960-3875.



Carrboro Century Center

Real homelessness requires real solutions

What do y'all think about the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership's new "Real Change from Spare Change" program? Folks have been talking for years about something like this to discourage "panhandling." The idea is to encourage folks to give money at approved kiosks instead of directly to individuals, and to use the money to help homeless people to get connected with the services they need.

Ever since living in Miami in the 80's when I got asked for money on every block, I personally decided to never give money to individuals in the street. It seems unfair to only help some (who randomly asked me) and not all who equally need help. I wish no-one ever had to ask for money, it's an unpleasant experience for all involved. I've also heard anecdotal stories about people being harassed for money downtown, which is clearly a problem, although I don't know how widespread it really is.

Bill of Rights Day & other good stuff

Our late friend Joe Herzenberg organized the Bill of Rights readings at the Franklin Street Post Office. Let's keep his work going with a reading on 12/15 and other events going on this month.

The following announcement comes from local activist Peggy Misch.

Local events in December:
UNC Constitutional Convention, 9AM -5PM, December 1. Attend session at 3:30 PM only, if you wish.

Reading of Orange County Human Relations Commission's proclamation for HUMAN RIGHTS WEEK, HUMAN RIGHTS DAY, and BILL OF RIGHTS DAY, 7:30pm, December 3, New Court House, 106 East Margaret Lane, Hillsborough (at County Commissioners' meeting). Call me (942-2535) to carpool.

Reading of Mayor Mark Chilton's Bill of Rights Day proclamation, 7:30PM, December 4, Carrboro Town Hall, 301 West Main Street.

Vigil to Honor Human Rights Week December 10-16: Noon, December 12, Peace and Justice Plaza (corner of Henderson and East Franklin Streets), Chapel Hill. Sponsored by Women's International League for Peace and Freedom-Triangle Branch. Information: 942-2919.

Senate race gets interesting

Today Chapel Hill's own Jim Neal who is running for U.S. Senate against Elizabeth Dole next year (if he wins the Democratic nomination, for which he has no competition yet) was a guest for an hour of live-blogging over on BlueNC this morning. A surprising question came up, but not as surprising as the answer:

I've heard you're gay...
omega_star on Sat, 10/20/2007 - 10:09am
I am indeed. No secret and no big deal to me-- I wouldn't be running if I didn't think otherwise.
JimNeal on Sat, 10/20/2007 - 10:18am



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