Durham County

Local election races heating up — and so is the battle against climate change


It’s a month until the Durham municipal primary, so the next few weeks are filled with candidate forums:

▪ Wed., Sept. 13 at 6:30 p.m.: Durham People’s Mayoral and City Council Forum sponsored by the Domestic Workers Alliance-Durham Chapter, Durham for All, Raise Up and other groups. Hayti Heritage Center, 804 Old Fayetteville St.

▪ Thurs., Sept. 14 at 6:30 p.m.: Inter-Neighborhood Council of Durham Mayoral Candidates Forum. Council Chambers, 101 City Hall Plaza. Televised on DTV8.

▪ Mon., Sept. 18 at 11:30 a.m.: “Ask Candidates for Mayor about Affordable Housing” sponsored by Coalition for Affordable Housing & Transit. Starts at 11:30 a.m. with a brown bag lunch, followed by questions from the coalition at noon and then audience questions. First Presbyterian Church, 305 E. Main St.

▪ Mon., Sept. 25 at 6:45 p.m.: Durham for Organizing Action Mayoral Candidates Forum. Durham County Library-East Regional, 211 Lick Creek Lane.

▪ Wed., Sept. 27 at 7 p.m.: Mayor Up Forum on Affordable Housing, sponsored by Clarion Content and Heather Cook. Ponysaurus, 19 Hood St.

Chapel Hill-Carrboro elections

Chapel Hill and Carrboro races also are heating up, although the Nov. 7 election is still two months away. Candidate forums are scheduled:

▪ Monday, Sept. 11, at 7 p.m. Meet and greet with Chapel Hill Town Council candidates begins at 6:45 p.m. at Chapel Hill Town Hall, 405 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Community question-and-answer event sponsored by the Chapel Hill Alliance for a Livable Town.

▪ Monday, Oct. 2, at 7 p.m. in the Carrboro Town Hall main meeting room, 301 W. Main St. Carrboro mayor and Board of Aldermen forum sponsored by the Orange Unit of the League of Women Voters of Orange, Durham and Chatham Counties; the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools PTA Council; and the UNC Graduate and Professional Student Federation.

Going green

What would you say if your community pledged to be fossil fuel-free — at home, work and on the road — in the next 30 years?

That’s the goal the Orange County Board of Commissioners set this week in resolving to build a green, 100 percent renewable energy economy by 2050.

Resident Bill Ward advised aggressive action to meet 80 percent of that goal by 2030. Others noted the time is now for specific steps.

“As our federal government (is) falling down on the job, it is really up to states and locals to pick up the pieces and move ahead with the policies that are going to help us save the planet, save civilization,” EPA analyst Kathy Kaufman said.

“You’re talking about the same thing that happened with the buggy whips in the 1900s,” Orange County Commissioner Earl McKee said, in expressing concern for displaced workers. “I support the resolution because I think it’s an admirable goal. I just think at some point and time that issue has to be addressed.”

“There are way more technology jobs and clean technology jobs now than in fossil fuels,” resident Kim Piracci responded. “The people that will be losing their jobs in fossil fuels, I don’t know if the individuals will be able to transition, but energy companies are offering to train fossil fuel employees into clean technology jobs as we speak.”