Local Governments to Consider New Protections for LGBTQ People in Orange County, NC
Local governments in Orange County, North Carolina, will consider adopting new safeguards against LGBTQ discrimination this January, following the expiration of a three-year state ban blocking those protections.
In a coordinated and concerted approach, the elected leaders of Orange County and the towns of Carrboro, Chapel Hill, and Hillsborough are taking action now that the ban has expired. Each jurisdiction will consider new anti-discrimination protections at the local level. The comprehensive protections will cover numerous categories, including sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression. The ordinances will address discrimination in core areas of life, including public spaces like restaurants and stores, as well as employment.
On Dec. 1, 2020, a key provision of House Bill 142 expired, restoring the authority of local governments in North Carolina to adopt ordinances protecting LGBTQ residents from discrimination. House Bill 142 was the North Carolina legislation that replaced the anti-LGBTQ House Bill 2 in 2017.
Get the full story at https://www.townofcarrboro.org/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=1557
Photo caption: Gay elected officials championing anti-discrimination ordinances to protect LGBTQ residents (L-R): Hillsborough Commissioner Matt Hughes, Chapel Hill Council Member Karen Stegman, Carrboro Council Member Damon Seils and Carrboro Mayor Lydia Lavelle.
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Residents Directed to Take Immediate COVID-19 Safety Actions
Gov. Roy Cooper has extended North Carolina’s modified stay at home order through at least Jan. 29, and the state health department has issued a secretarial directive for North Carolinians to take immediate actions to protect themselves and others from COVID-19 as much of the state is experiencing critical levels of community spread.
The modified stay at home order:
- Requires people to be at home 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
- Requires that many businesses and activities be closed or suspended 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
- Prohibits alcohol sales 9 p.m. to 7 a.m.
The secretarial directive from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is in effect until rescinded and directs North Carolinians to stay home except for essential activities and to avoid gathering, especially indoors, with people they do not live with.
The secretarial directive comes as the state reports 84 counties as red in the COVID-19 County Alert System, meaning most of the state has critical levels of viral spread. Twelve counties are designated orange for substantial community spread, and Orange County remains one of four counties in the yellow designation of significant levels of spread.
North Carolina also has experienced record high numbers on key metrics in recent weeks, including its highest number since the start of the pandemic of cases reported each day, the percent of tests that are positive, and people hospitalized with COVID-19.
North Carolinians are directed to:
- Only leave home for essential activities such as going to work or school, for health care purposes, to care for family members or to buy food.
- Avoid leaving home if you are over 65 or at high risk for developing serious illness. Use delivery services or alternative pick-up methods for food and retail.
- Avoid gathering with people who do not live with you.
- Wear a mask and keep distance from people when you leave home.
- Avoid any indoor public spaces where people are not wearing masks.
- Stay away from crowds. Avoid places where people may gather in large numbers.
Read more at http://townofcarrboro.org/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=1556
Orange County Moves Into Phase 1B of COVID Vaccine Effort
HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. -- North Carolina has moved into Phase 1b Group 1 of COVID vaccine distribution, meaning individuals 75 and older are now eligible to receive the COVID vaccine. There is no requirement to have certain qualifying chronic conditions.
If you are 75 or older, please follow the three-step process:
- Complete the Vaccine Interest Form (VIF) at https://redcap.link/OCHDvax Call 919-913-8088 if you don’t have access to a computer or would like help filling out the form. Foreign language interpreters will be available. We are anticipating very high call volume. Please be patient for a return call if you decide to leave a voicemail.
- Register for the vaccine. You will receive an email with a link to an online registration form to enter your data into the COVID-19 Vaccine Management System (CVMS). It will take several minutes to complete. It is only available in English, but county staff are available to help register in other languages besides English by calling 919-913-8088.
- Schedule your vaccine appointment. When an individual is eligible to receive a vaccine, you will receive another email from the Orange County Health Department to schedule an appointment.
“Due to limited availability of vaccine, Orange County may not be able to schedule appointments for everyone who is eligible right away,” said Orange County Health Director Quintana Stewart. “Please be patient as we work through this process.”
Read more about the rollout plan for the COVID-19 vaccine at http://townofcarrboro.org/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=1554
COVID-19 Vaccine Information Update for Orange County
The Orange County Health Department has more than 4,200 people signed up for vaccination in Phase 1b Group 1 for individuals 75 and older since registration opened, Jan. 7, and appointment slots are being filled already for next week.
As of this morning (Friday, Jan. 8), the department has vaccinated 999 community members. Most of the vaccinations were administered to those eligible in Phase 1a, including health care workers and staff caring for and working directly with COVID-19 patients. Of the vaccinations, 654 were administered last week.
The county began vaccinations for Phase 1b Group 1 Thursday. There is no requirement to have qualifying chronic conditions to be eligible in this group for ages 75 and older.
For information about vaccine distribution in Orange County, please see resources listed above or visit orangecountync.gov/GetYourShot
The full update is available at http://townofcarrboro.org/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=1560
Town of Carrboro Awarded $900,000 for Emergency Housing Assistance
Mayor Lydia Lavelle announced today (Monday, Jan. 4) that the Town of Carrboro was awarded $900,000 in CDBG-CV funding for emergency housing assistance. This is the maximum grant amount awarded by the NC Department of Commerce.
The funds will allow the Town to continue to respond effectively to meet the critical needs of Carrboro families, preventing evictions and homelessness.
“The Town of Carrboro would like to thank Governor Cooper and the Rural Economic Development Division,” said Mayor Lavelle. “These much needed funds will help provide housing stability to Carrboro residents in 2021.”
Read more at http://townofcarrboro.org/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=1552
Carrboro Police Chief to Retire
After 27 years in law enforcement, Carrboro Police Chief Walter Horton has announced that he plans to retire effective Jan. 31, 2021.
“I want to thank Chief Horton for his service to Carrboro,” Town Manager David Andrews said. “In addition to his qualities of leadership and integrity, he has a unique understanding of our community which has served us well for many years.”
A native of Carrboro, Horton joined the department in 1993 as a member of the patrol division. Upon his appointment as police chief, he stated that “the assignment opened the doors of opportunity to work in community service, investigations, and administration, which culminated in my appointment as the town’s first African American Chief of Police. It has been a pleasure to serve the community where I grew up and called home.”
“My greatest accomplishment has been being true to this department and this community,” Horton said. “I’m thankful to all the officers and the staff of the department, as well as all my Town of Carrboro colleagues. I would not have been successful without them.”
Black Lives Matter Mural Unveiled in Carrboro
Artist Tyrone Small and his student artist team joyfully unveiled on Friday, Dec. 18, 2020, their completed Black Lives Matter mural on the side of the CommunityWorx building facing West Main at the intersection of Jones Ferry Road in Carrboro.
"The BLM mural done by myself and the students was a testament to what we can all do as a people if we can just put our differences aside and come together to create something beautiful and lasting forever," Mr. Small said.
The unveiling was an opportunity for the lead artist to thank his student team for a job well done. In spite of working on many cold and inclement weather December days, the team finished ahead of schedule. The Carrboro Town Council is planning to meet with the students in January 2021 to view the mural and express their appreciation.
“The Black Lives Matter mural highlights and advocates for values that are important to Carrboro," said Anita Jones-McNair, the Town of Carrboro Race and Equity Officer and Director of the Recreation, Parks and Cultural Resources Department. "It expresses our community’s acknowledgment of and opposition to systemic and institutional racism.”
Watch our video at https://youtu.be/r2_P47dj_jc -- and visit the mural at CommunityWorx, 125 W. Main St, Carrboro, NC 27510.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Webinar Event
Join the community from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 16, to celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in a webinar event with special guest speakers.
The panel discussion titled "He Had a Dream. Are We Living It?" will feature the following speakers:
- Kendall Lytle – Youth Advisory Board and NAACPYC Member
- Niya Fearrington – Howard University - Political Science
- Tai T. Huynh – Chapel Hill Town Council
- Lt. Will Quick – Carrboro Police Department
- Adam Davis – NC School of Science and Math, Leader of Republican Club
- Ryan Kelo – NC School of Science and Math, Leader of Socialist Club
Since we are unable to celebrate in person this year, the youth groups planning this event will have an online discussion with a brief question-and-answer period at the end.
Register in advance for this webinar: https://townofcarrboro.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_prhGSD38TWaE1NrOiJT9pQ
Town Council Update
Meeting agendas and updates are issued from the Town Clerk’s Office. To receive these by email or text, sign up for Carrboro Town News at www.townofcarrboro.org/signup
Civic involvement is a valued tradition in our community. Reach the Town Council with your ideas, views and questions at email@example.com
The Town Council will meet virtually at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 12, to consider the following agenda at https://bit.ly/3biuBoV
To view, livestream at https://carrboro.legistar.com/ or youtube.com/CarrboroNC or Cable TV 18 (in Carrboro). To speak at the meeting email firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Town Council
The Town Council is the legislative and policy-making body for Carrboro, consisting of seven elected members: Mayor Lydia Lavelle, Mayor Pro Tempore Barbara Foushee, Council Member Jacquelyn Gist, Council Member Randee Haven-O’Donnell, Council Member Susan Romaine, Council Member Damon Seils, and Council Member Sammy Slade. More information is available at http://townofcarrboro.org/248/Town-Council
Carrboro Waives Fees for Park Pavilions
Responding to community needs for social distancing and outdoor gathering spaces, the Town of Carrboro is waiving fees through Jan. 31 for pavilion rentals at public parks.
Pavilions are located at the following parks:
- Carrboro Town Commons, 301 W. Main St.
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park, 1200 Hillsborough Road
- Wilson Park, 110 Wilson St.
- Baldwin Park, 346 Broad St.
- Henry Anderson III Community Park, 302 N Carolina Hwy 54 W
For more information about Carrboro parks and their amenities, visit http://www.townofcarrboro.org/342/Parks
When people choose to gather in person with people who are NOT members of their household, it is important to Wear a mask, Wait six feet and Wash your hands. Please check guidelines for the current outdoor gathering limits and continue to follow guidance from the NC Department of Health and Human Services available at https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/information/individuals-families-communities/community-events
Park pavilions may be reserved by contacting Wendell C. Rodgers, Town of Carrboro Parks Facilities Administrator, at email@example.com or 919-918-7371.
Carrboro Installs Neighborhood Message Centers
Message Center In an effort to reach people who do not access information via computers or the internet, the Town of Carrboro is piloting a Neighborhood Message Center system.
The first message center was put up on Christmas Eve at the Rocky Brook Mobile Home Park, a community of about 40 homes where Greensboro Street dips to its lowest point near Morgan Creek.
The outdoor kiosks are intended to display flyers and notices conveying information about free testing sites and schedules for COVID-19, food distribution events, housing assistance, and opportunities to improve quality of life for families. In the future, vaccination distribution information will be posted. Residents may also use the centers to share information with each other.
Read more at http://townofcarrboro.org/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=1550
Carrboro Seeks Volunteers to Serve Community
Consider applying for a Town of Carrboro Advisory Board! All advisory boards currently have openings.
We need your voice at the table! All meetings will be virtual until further notice due to COVID-19. Please especially consider volunteering if you represent any of the following underrepresented groups: Black/African-American, Hispanic/Latinx, Native Americans, Asian-Pacific Americans, and Subcontinent Asian Americans, Senior Residents, Ages 20-34, Differently abled, LGBTQ+ and families of incomes of $50,000 or less.
Christmas Tree and Wreath Collection
Carrboro Public Works crews will collect Christmas trees and wreaths as part of the regular yard waste collection schedule.
Please remove all decorations from the tree or wreath, including tinsel and any nails from the stand. Trees and wreaths should be placed at the curbside with other yard waste.
Learn more about yard waste collections at https://townofcarrboro.org/2230/Yard-Waste-Loose-Leaf-Collection