When David Horotwitz was invited by UNC College Republicans to speak at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill just two months after the murders of three Muslim youth in Chapel Hill, it caused alarm among the Muslim community and their allies at UNC and the greater Triangle area. Mr. Horowtiz has been documented as a prominent Islamophobic speaker in the USA by the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Center for American Progress. During his speech at UNC, Mr. Horotwitz characterized Arabs as racist, linked student organizations Muslim Students Association (MSA) and Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) to terrorism, and implied Palestinians should be attacked with nuclear weapons.
It is clear from recent police forums and from experiences shared by people of color in our communities that we have a serious problem with racial equity in policing in Orange County. The most recent example is a guest column by Stephanie Perry in Sunday’s Chapel Hill News (12/21/14). Perry serves with me on the board of Orange County Justice United. We heard other stories like this during the Carrboro community forum on policing in October.
I signed a new housing lease about a month ago in mid-October – a lease that won’t start until June of next year. This is how competitive student off-campus housing is in Chapel Hill, and the ever-high demand for student housing in Chapel Hill continues to negatively affect non-student renters.
Extensive mold and other serious maintenance issues, unannounced inspections, living with no water, play equipment removed, violence, disrepect by management, inability to use shared resources, children not allowed to play outside.....
Would you be surprised to know that these are just some of the complaints coming from our neighbors who live in affordable housing complexes throughout Orange County (Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and Hillsborough)?
In light of national struggles with policing methods, enforcement and militarization, both Chapel Hill and Carrboro police departments hosted sessions for community members to voice their potential concerns directly to Chapel Hill Police Chief Blue Oct. 4 and Carrboro Chief Horton Oct. 5. The two forums revealed underlying issues in each community, with Carrboro’s discussion especially distinct in the way it gravitated toward racial profiling issues.
This announcement about bike and ped safety was posted by the town of Chapel Hill this weekend. Unfortunately recently there was another cyclist fatality near MLK and Hillsborough. This occurred where I was hit by a car while biking to work a decade ago. One suggestion I had back then was to have the reminder sign about" sharing the road with cyclist" be moved from uphill going towards downtown to place it going downhill closer to the corner gas station. I was told several times this was going to happen but it was never done.
This coming Saturday (October 4) and next Monday (October 6), Chapel Hill Police and Carrboro Police respectively, along with representatives from their funding agencies, will be holding Public Forums, at which citizens will be invited to offer thoughts on the way they wish to be policed. I will be unable to attend the Carrboro Forum as I will be working. But I have written a letter to the organizers, a letter which is (amazingly) quite self-explanatory:
The Chapel Hill Town Council was to continue its discussion this evening about how to fund the extension of sewer service to the Historic Rogers Road Neighborhood, in its first meeting of the 2014-2015 session. However, town staff is again recommending a continuation of the public hearing.
In November 2013, the Chapel Hill Town Council voted 7-1 to sell 8.5 acres of town-owned land on Legion Road to Durham-based affordable housing developer, DHIC, Inc, for $100 (the property was valued at $2 million) for the development of 170 units of affordable housing. One of the steps in that development was the need for DHIC to apply for tax credits from the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency to assist with funding for the development.