Durham County

City recognizes desegregation legacy, ballots cast, forums set

Morrisville Police Chief Patrice Andrews led the Pledge of Allegiance at the Sept. 18 Durham City Council meeting. Her father, Henry Vickers, and six other African-American students were the first to desegregate Durham schools in 1959.
Morrisville Police Chief Patrice Andrews led the Pledge of Allegiance at the Sept. 18 Durham City Council meeting. Her father, Henry Vickers, and six other African-American students were the first to desegregate Durham schools in 1959.

In September 1959, seven African-American students desegregated the Durham school system. To mark the 58th anniversary of that event, the daughter of one of those pioneering children led the Pledge of Allegiance at the Sept. 18 Durham City Council meeting. Morrisville Police Chief Patrice Andrews, daughter of Henry Vickers, led the pledge at the request of Durham City Council member Eddie Davis. Davis is a retired Durham educator.

Davis described Vickers as “a young man who did something very courageous in September 1959” along with Lucy Jones Flagler, Claudette Brame Bridgeford, Andree McKissick, Anita Brame Hill, Larry Scurlock and Joycelyn McKissick. Scurlock and Joycelyn McKissick have passed away. Davis said it is important to recognize the pioneering work of those students.

During the council meeting, Davis also recognized Mayor Pro Tem Cora Cole-McFadden as one of the second wave of African-American students to desegregate Durham schools.

Durham primary voting starts

Early voting in Durham’s nonpartisan municipal primary started on Sept. 21, with 449 people turning out to vote on the first day. Early voting continues through Oct. 7, and the primary is on Oct. 10. The top two vote-getters in each race – mayor and three council seats – move on to the general municipal election on Nov. 7.

Durham amends social media policy

Durham City Council passed its first social media policy for elected officials during its meeting on Sept. 18, and made revisions during its work session on Sept. 21. Council members who are most active on social media – Jillian Johnson and Charlie Reece – have recently started official Twitter accounts in addition to their personal Twitter accounts. Council is expected to vote on its updated social media policy at its Oct. 2 meeting.

Chapel Hill & Carrboro

Several election forums are scheduled for October with candidates for Chapel Hill Town Council, Carrboro Board of Aldermen, and mayors in both towns. Forums also are scheduled for Chapel Hill-Carrboro School Board candidates.

Early voting in this year’s municipal and school board elections starts Oct. 19 at the Board of Elections in Hillsborough. Three more sites – Carrboro Town Hall, Seymour Senior Center and Chapel of the Cross – will be added Oct. 23. The election is Tuesday, Nov. 7.

Scheduled public forums include:

▪ Thursday, Oct. 5, 7 p.m., Chapel Hill Thriving Communities Candidates Forum at the Varsity Theatre, 123 E. Franklin St. Hosted by the Carrboro Bicycle Coalition, the Bicycle Alliance of Chapel Hill, The UNC Roosevelt Institute and NEXT to explore issues related to livability, sustainability and equity.

▪ Thursday, Oct. 12, 7 p.m., Carrboro Thriving Communities Candidates Forum at Looking Glass Cafe, 601 W. Main St. in Carrboro. Hosted by the Carrboro Bicycle Coalition, the Bicycle Alliance of Chapel Hill, The UNC Roosevelt Institute and NEXT to explore issues related to livability, sustainability and equity.

▪ Monday, Oct. 16, 7 to 9 p.m., Chapel Hill-Carrboro school board forum in the Town Council chambers at Chapel Hill Town Hall, 405 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. 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 Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP.

Housing forum

The Chapel Hill Alliance for a Livable Town – CHALT – will hold a housing forum from 7 to 8:45 p.m. Monday, Oct. 2, in the council chamber at Chapel Hill Town Hall.

The public forum, “A Place to Call Home: Making Housing Available for all Income Levels,” will explore how to create and maintain housing for families with low and moderate incomes. The format will include presentations and time for questions and comments from attendees.

“There is a need to address affordable housing so that town staff, including police and fire department employees, teachers as well as UNC and hospital employees are able to live in the town to which they contribute so much,” the group said in a news release.

Speakers will include Town Council member Nancy Oates; Tim Jezisek, vice president for developer Grubb Properties; Hudson Vaughan, senior director of the Marian Cheek Jackson Center; and Mai Thi Nguyen, associate professor in UNC’s Department of City and Regional Planning.

Plan your transit

The Chapel Hill Transit agency is planning how it will address a growing need for local transportation over the next 10 years. The work is being done in partnership with Orange Public Transportation and GoTriangle and will set the stage for long-range plans in Chapel Hill and Carrboro.

To that end, Chapel Hill Transit officials are planning a series of meetings this week to find out what riders need, whether it’s more frequent or additional service, faster connections or better bus stops.

Scheduled meetings include:

▪ Monday, Sept. 25, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Carrboro Town Hall, 301 W. Main St. (served by the CW route)

▪ Tuesday, Sept. 26, from 6 to 8 p.m. in the second-floor training room at Chapel Hill Town Hall, 405 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. (served by the A, G, N, NS and T routes)

▪ Thursday, Sept. 28, from 8 to 9:30 a.m. in the Children’s Hospital Lobby at UNC Hospitals (served by most routes)

▪ Thursday, Sept. 28, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the outdoor plaza at the UNC Student Union (served by most routes)

Riders also can take a survey at chapelhillsurvey.com. Or email comments to chtransit@townofchapelhill.org; call 919-485-7433 and press 1 for customer service; or mail to 6900 Millhouse Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27516-8175, Attn: Public Input. Comments are due by 5 p.m. Oct. 6.

Send Political Chatter news and tips to dvaughan@heraldsun.com and tgrubb@heraldsun.com.

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