Durham City Councilwoman Jillian Johnson says her refusal to say the Pledge of Allegiance at Durham City Council meetings isn’t a protest of racial injustice but a longstanding practice.
“I’m not religious. And so I don’t want to say a pledge that references a God,” Johnson said. “I am not a nationalist. I don’t have a strong sense of national identity, and so I don’t really think I am compelled to recite a pledge that is a nationalistic statement.”
Johnson was elected to the City Council in November. She received the second-highest number of votes among the six candidates vying for three at-large council seats. She took her seat in December.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and other athletes have been in the headlines recently for kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial injustice in the U.S.
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Johnson stands for the pledge, like everyone else, but says she has not said the Pledge of Allegiance for as long as she can remember.
“I am not taking a particular stand,” she said. “I just don’t say it.”
Phil Jeffreys, who spent much of his single four-year term on the Wake County Board of Commissioners as a lonely voice against government and school spending, died last weekend after a long illness. He was 78.
Jeffreys, a Wake native who worked 30 years for the U.S. Postal Service, said he decided to run for commissioner in 2002 because he was “infuriated” about tax hikes and the board’s indecision on other issues. In his years on the board, he was frequently on the losing end of a 6-1 vote.
Jeffreys, a Republican, lost re-election to Democrat Lindy Brown in 2006. He ran again in 2010 but lost in a three-way race.
▪ Meet the Wake Libertarian candidates for General Assembly at the Wake Libertarian Party meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5, at the Lynwood Brewing Co., 1053 E. Whitaker Mill Road in Raleigh.
▪ Thursday’s 7 p.m. Eastern Wake school board candidate forum for Districts 1, 2, 4 has been moved to Knightdale Town Hall, 950 Steeple Square Court in Knightdale. For information and to register, visit: wakeupwakecounty.org.
Compiled by Virginia Bridges and Richard Stradling
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