NEXT is a group of engaged community leaders inspired by our community’s potential to be a sustainable, resilient, and equitable community leading our state and region into the future.

Based on the answers given at multiple candidate forums and on candidate questionnaires, the NEXT Chapel Hill-Carrboro Action Fund evaluated the candidates on their relevant experience, depth of knowledge of issues beyond the superficial, and understanding that growth should support multi-modal transportation infrastructure, affordable housing that is inclusive of both renting and homeownership, a vision for a diverse community that grows in an equitable way, and a climate action plan which promotes resiliency and reduces the carbon footprint of our towns.

These are our endorsements in the 2019 municipal elections.

Carrboro Board of Aldermen

Damon Seils

We strongly endorse Seils for the following reasons:

  • A long-term warrior for public transit (current chair for the DCHC MPO) and bike/ped issues
  • Champion for affordable housing and efforts to end homelessness ( liaison to the Orange County Partnership to End Homelessness)
  • Consistency between his stated values and what he does as an alderman
  • A visible supporter of racial equity through support for the town’s membership in the Government Alliance for Race and Equity (GARE)

Sammy Slade

We strongly endorse Slade for the following reasons:

  • Consistent and deep commitment to climate justice and sustainability
  • Liaison to Carrboro’s Climate Task Force that developed the climate action plan/voice for Carrboro having a climate budget
  • Commitment to a local living economy, building resilience for local businesses (sustainability + living wage)
  • Visible supporter of racial equity

We excitedly support Damon Seils and Sammy Slade for re-election to the Carrboro Board of Aldermen. We are also encouraged by Susan Romaine’s community involvement and clear interest in learning more about the issues that affect Carrboro. We are concerned about her opinions around transportation (parking, electric vehicles), but we hope to see her continue to evolve on these issues.

Carrboro Mayor

Lydia Lavelle

Though running unopposed, we strongly endorse Lavelle for the following reasons:

  • Strong supporter of a regional transportation system
  • Strong advocate to make sure Carrboro is a national leader on progressive issues
  • Originated the July 4th Frederick Douglass Reading and Carrboro Pride Week

Chapel Hill Town Council

Sue Hunter

We strongly endorse Hunter for the following reasons:

  • Takes a broad view of the efforts to address climate change with urgency
  • Has been a board member of NEXT
  • An outspoken supporter of a regional transit plan
  • Good working knowledge of town  efforts around affordable housing and supports the leveraging of town resources to enable more affordable housing
  • Champion for hearing all voices and promoting equity

Michael Parker

We strongly endorse Parker for the following reasons:

  • Has been an advocate for downtown Chapel Hill (and lives there!)
  • Regional and local transit advocate
  • Has a broader vision for affordable housing opportunities
  • Has been a champion of both bringing more diverse employment opportunities to Chapel Hill and for expanding Durham Tech opportunities like their Fire Academy
  • By far the most effective of the council members seeking re-election

Tai Huynh

We strongly endorse Huynh for the following reasons:  

  • Clear vision for a community with less car dependency, promoting multi-modal plans
  • Existing authentic engagement with historically marginalized communities (Rogers Road, Northside)
  • Is a social entrepreneur, working through LaUNCh Chapel Hill, and understands the challenges faced by the start-ups in our community
  • Embodies vibrant energy for progressive change

Chapel Hill Mayor

Pam Hemminger

We endorse Hemminger for the following reasons: 

  • We believe that she is the best choice in this election cycle.
  • We are encouraged by the fact that she is supportive of the NS Bus Rapid Transit project, the Climate Action Plan, and the re-development of 2200 Homestead Road for affordable housing and we look forward to seeing her make rapid progress on these issues.

The NEXT Chapel Hill-Carrboro Action Fund is a 501(c)(4) focused on education and advocacy. The NEXT Action Fund does not contribute to candidates or other campaign entities. Contributions to the NEXT Action Fund are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes.