Arrive to the meeting a little early. Sign up with the clerk. Take a seat. Wait. And wait. And wait. Hours later, the governing board arrives at the agenda item of your interest. The presenter takes to the podium to introduce the topic to the board and the community. After some back and forth between board members and the presenter, the mayor finally announces the start of public comment and begins calling names off the list. Three minutes per person, loosely enforced (if at all). On controversial topics, this can go on for hours, all under the guise of public engagement.
On June 7 North Carolina has a statewide nonpartisan primary for Supreme Court justice, as well as congressional primaries. Orange County is now totally in the 4th District, where David Price has no primary. Democrats and Libertarians get just the court ballot, while Republicans (plus unaffiliated who want to vote in the GOP primary) also get the Congressional. Polls on June 7 are open the usual 6:30 am to 7:30 pm
Regular voter registration is already over, but at early voting same day registration and reporting of address changes is allowed
Sample ballots: http://www.orangecountync.gov/departments/board_of_elections/sample_ball...
There will just be two early voting sites, BoE office and Seymour Center, both May 26-27 and May 31-June 4: http://www.orangecountync.gov/departments/board_of_elections/2016Electio...
Tensions can run high in local issues, but lately the state of discourse has reached a sad low. When being the loudest person in the room and the most passionate advocate for your opinion becomes the objective at a public meeting, it’s a sign of a broken dialogue and a complete breakdown in civility.
Our state of uncivil discourse has been a long time coming. In Chapel Hill, the discussions around Ephesus-Fordham, Central West, Obey Creek, Charterwood, and other planning processes and developments foreshadowed where we are today, with outbursts, disruptions, and other tactics being used to derail conversations and suppress diverse viewpoints and opinions. Now, in Carrboro, discussions about the construction of a multi-use path from Winmore/the Landings on Homestead Road to Chapel Hill High School have seen a return to a lack of civility.
So I was in Ohio and of course HB2 came up. Back in NC the Sierra Club has just released a statement about HB2:
To: North Carolina Sierra Club Chapter Leaders
As you know, HB2 has been the leading news story in North Carolina for several weeks. This bill goes against the diversity, equity and inclusion principles of the Sierra Club. Our Chapter DEI Committee and Steering Committee have unanimously voted to take a position opposing HB2 as a way to affirm our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. Here is our statement:
"The Sierra Club is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion. North Carolina House Bill 2 clearly seeks to undermine these principles through discriminatory policies, including but not limited to denying equality for LGBT individuals; denying the right of individuals to pursue age, sex and racial discrimination cases in state courts; and reiterating legislative opposition to the ability of local governments to raise the minimum wage so as to help achieve economic equity. The North Carolina Chapter of the Sierra Club strongly opposes this bill and calls for its repeal."
Honored to be posting for the first time on Orange Politics. Here's an update as to where the IFC is at with regards to finalizing a location for FoodFirst.
Following the November 2015 Board of Alderman meeting, Inter-Faith Council (IFC) renewed its search for possible appropriate alternative sites for its FoodFirst project. Joining IFC's senior staff and board president in this process were representatives from the Carrboro business community, Gordon Merklein, Executive Director of real estate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Aaron Nelson, President, Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce. The group met on December 18, January 8 and February 5. The search considered a variety of factors such as topography, site restrictions, access to transportation, availability, space for programs, and room for growth. Of primary concern was how each site positively or negatively affected FoodFirst programming.
IFC analyzed ten sites besides 110 West Main. None of the ten sites was feasible for a variety of factors most notably, availability and site restraints.
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