Acts of exclusion
In the light of the vicious gunning down of 49 people in the gay club in Orlando – the ultimate act of exclusion – it is especially painful to learn that the General Assembly is again considering legislation that would make North Carolina even more unwelcoming than they have already made it with the unconstitutional Amendment One and HB 2.
This time, not being able to exclude refugees, it will try to confine them, restricting their freedom of movement and requiring discriminatory monitoring, creating in effect an invisible wall around them.
Many North Carolinians are eager help Syrian refugees – many of whom are Muslim families fleeing violence. These newcomers have already been vetted by officials from the Departments of Defense, State, Homeland Security, FBI and National Counterterrorism Center. They seek only to live in peace and freedom, to have a life better than the misery from which they came – just like the immigrant ancestors of virtually all of us.
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This Bill (HB 1086) would prevent them from resettling in new communities by allowing localities to plead lack of capacity even if individual groups like churches or private campuses and organizations are prepared to support their transition to stable living. The bill would also foment ill feelings against refugees, targeting them as scapegoats for fear and anger, all of which are breeding grounds for violence.
Let us hope that the shock of Orlando will bring the Republican sponsors of this bill to look to their consciences and the tenets of their spiritual life and stop this exclusion of “the Other.” Let other people of conscience and faith speak out to the need to not only welcome the Other, but to recognize we are all part of the human family.
The ArtsCenter and HB2
As a lawyer and as executive director of The ArtsCenter I feel strongly that the organization has an obligation and an opportunity.
That obligation is to defend the right of creative individuals to express themselves as guaranteed by the First Amendment. Rights under the First Amendment are not without limit but are essential to the creative process.
The opportunity is to stand up for individual rights and to speak out supporting those in our community that need us to amplify their voice and protect their freedoms. The ArtsCenter is coming forward to oppose HB2 and defend individual rights.
The Board of Directors of The ArtsCenter recently passed the following resolution:
“The ArtsCenter is committed to serving the needs of North Carolina’s vibrant and vital creative community by fairly providing access, instruction and resources to all its citizens. We oppose HB2 as an unnecessary, unjust and regressive piece of legislation that strips LGBTQ+ citizens of their legal protections and right to be treated with fairness and respect, while further disadvantaging marginalized communities. This law is damaging to the social and economic fabric of North Carolina and does not reflect the values of our organization, our community, or our state. The ArtsCenter urges a complete repeal of HB2. We are committed to supporting the right of all people to creatively and authentically express themselves without fear of discrimination and bigotry.”
The ArtsCenter is a hub for our community, and I hope we can be a gathering place for discussion around this issue and encourage others that feel strongly about this issue to partner with us. That is why the board and staff have taken this public stance – to stand up to this misguided legislation and to affirm our role in the region as a safe and welcoming space that accepts and enriches the lives of all members of our community, regardless of gender identity and sexual orientation. Join us in this opportunity to affirm individual rights.
Daniel Y. Mayer
Recently, I had the opportunity to discuss rentals with a developer working locally. What I heard is that the bar is being raised by new luxury apartment rents. Older complexes, to remain competitive, renovate their units and raise their rents. Those older units may be cheaper in comparison to high end apartments, but they become even more out of reach for people who work in our community.
In “Chapel Hill is for rent, for a reason,” (CHN, June 5) Mark Zimmerman states “let’s stop fighting the market and use it to achieve our strategic goals instead.” His resulting vision for Chapel Hill is very different from mine. His future is a town teeming with millenials, and he is happy that children won’t be part of our future – except, of course, for wealthier kids whose parents can afford a house.
He advocates for more apartments “to house the employees of the businesses we are trying to attract”, but when we use all of the “scarce developable land” for apartments, where will those businesses locate? Zimmerman’s assumption that “demand will continue to fuel (apartments) here” ignores the fact that 95 percent of the over 5,000 residential unit pipeline represents apartments. We just don’t need any more.
My strategic goal is to see Chapel Hill offering millenials options for the next phase of their life, when they are putting down roots. That Chapel Hill will welcome the children of our future and return to prioritizing the environment. Chapel Hill would also be fiscally sustainable because there will be opportunities for commercial ventures to put down their roots. Chapel Hill should profit from development, not the “market.”
Let’s invite residents across all if the spectrums, to join us in building on the success of Chapel Hill.
Thank you, donors
Thank you to the Carolina community for your outpouring of support and blood at the 28th annual Carolina Blood Drive. Because of your generosity, this year’s blood drive collected a goal-breaking 842 pints of lifesaving blood. These 842 pints helped UNC top 25,000 pints collected since 1988.
We could not have done this without you. We are so grateful for people like first-time donor Jason Athavale (and the youngest donor of the day at 16 years old), Provost Jim Dean, Sergeant James David of UNC’s Department of Public Safety, and the many UNC students, faculty and staff who gave blood. Your gift of blood means everything to those in need of blood donations like Robin Cyr, associate vice chancellor for research compliance, and Superior Court Judge Carl Fox.
“I have donated blood, but never thought I would need blood,” Fox told a crowd of blood donors at the Smith Center during the drive. “I am here to say thank you because the blood from people like you kept me alive.”
UNC has partnered with the Red Cross for more than 25 years on lifesaving blood drives. The impact that results from student and community participation for these blood drives is invaluable. And because each pint of blood can help save up to three lives, the impact of these donations is far greater.
Thank you, too, to the more than 75 volunteers who gave more than 300 volunteer hours and more than 200 Red Cross staff members who made the blood drive a smooth and positive experience for donors.
“Every day, the Red Cross needs about 800 donations to meet the needs of about 100 regional hospitals in the Carolinas region,” said Krystal Overmyer, Red Cross spokesperson. “The fact that UNC donors gave well over that amount is proof of the generous spirit of UNC community and its commitment to making a difference. The pints donated are especially appreciated during this challenging summer period, a time when we often struggle to collect enough blood to meet patient needs. We are extremely grateful for the entire UNC community for supporting our mission of helping save lives.”
2016 Carolina Blood Drive committee chair
On behalf of
Carolina Blood Drive committee and UNC Employee Forum
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