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Why I'm Running for Town Council

Chapel Hill is a very special place and my wife and I consider ourselves incredibly fortunate to be living here.  And while there are many things that I hope to accomplish if I am fortunate enough to be elected, there is one overarching reason why I have chosen to run: I want our Town to be as special for the next generation of Chapel Hillians – folks like my daughter Stephanie and her husband Samuel – as it is for those of us who live here today.

Healing After #ChapelHillShooting

Until Yusor Abu-Salha, her husband Deah Barakat and her sister Razan Abu-Salha, three young people who practice the Muslim faith, were shot to death on February 10, 2015 in Chapel Hill, many of us likely had not thought much about Islamophobia or that our community, one of the most liberal in the state, might harbor such sentiments. But we are not immune, as a search for the hashtag #NotsafeUNC will bare out. For example, at the time of these murders, I was teaching a course at UNC that happened to have two Muslim students enrolled.

Building the "Chapel Hill" Brand

This commentary, written by me and fellow OP editor Molly De Marco, originally appeared in the Chapel Hill News on July 26, 2015.

Chapel Hill has a branding problem. There, we said it – and we said it because it’s time for us to have a frank and honest discussion about just exactly what Chapel Hill is and who we are as Chapel Hillians.

What We're Reading: July 24

This week, we're reading:

Candidacy Announcement

I am pleased to announce my candidacy for re-election to the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education. For the past 8 years, I have had the honor and privilege of serving the children of this district. I value all children and I’m excited about tackling current issues facing the district. I bring a thoughtful voice to the boardroom, one that ensures that all families are considered when decisions are made.

Planning Tomorrow's Urban Neighborhoods Today

Last week, you might have read a Gizmodo article about how millennials will live in cities unlike anything we've ever seen before. If you haven't read it yet, I highly encourage you to, because, unlike so many articles in the media today, this one does an excellent job of capturing the nuances of why we are seeing certain behavioral patterns among millennials when it comes to where we live.

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This Week in Orange Politics

2020 collage

The Independent Weekly has a new reporter on the Orange County beat, Billy Ball. He has some enormous shoes to fill since Chapel Hill native Joe Schwartz left the paper and the country.  Ball is doing pretty well so far and asking good questions. I can't help but notice a few gaps in his knowledge of local issues, but that can be rectified with time.

In this week's article "City or Town?" Ball takes a look at Chapel Hill 2020 in advance of the draft comprehensive plan coming before the Town Council for inevitable approval on Monday. Although he doesn't ask the questions I'm most interested in now, such as how will the Town answer the many outstanding questions and gaps in the plan, I do appreciate him pointing out that "Some of its harshest criticism has come from within the committees that molded Chapel Hill 2020."

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