Let's start with reactions to our endorsements in last week, particularly for Chapel Hill Town Council.
"I only agree with two of the CHTC endorsements," writes Gerry Cohen. "But I keep seeing all over social media a bogus reason to not vote for Hongbin Gu [whom the INDY endorsed]. It goes 'she voted in a Republican primary.' Here are the facts: she is registered as unaffiliated (if you want to vote against her because she's not a Democrat, that's your right.) In the March 2016 primary, where she had a choice of primaries, she chose to vote in the Democratic primary. In the June 2016 special primary for Congress, there was only a GOP primary, as David Price was unopposed for the nomination. So Gu had a choice—vote in the GOP primary or stay at home (remember, unaffiliated voters can choose a primary). She chose to vote. I am disappointed that Allen Buansi was given such short shrift and essentially ignored."
"Allen Buansi is the very epitome of inclusiveness and commitment to civil rights, environmental justice, and affordability," writes commenter Fair-minded. "He deserves more than an honorable mention from the INDY. In our opinion, he deserves a full endorsement. He certainly has ours!"
In response to our story that Durham Mayor Bill Bell had endorsed Farad Ali over Steve Schewel to be his successor, Schewel supporter Linda Belans writes: "Mayor Bell seems to be endorsing Ali primarily to keep Steve Schewel on the city council because we need his deep experience there. Yes, Steve does have enormous leadership experience that should put him in the mayor's seat: 1) His relentless and successful pursuit of affordable housing, one of the most important issues facing our beloved Durham as major industries locate to Durham and outside developers build luxury condos here. As of this week, Steve influenced the council to support affordable housing on the city-owned Jackson Street site just south of the Durham Station in the heart of downtown. 2) Steve's unabashed championing of justice and protection for immigrants and the LGBTQ community. 3) Steve's active commitment to policing that is free of discrimination. 4) His mission to beautify Durham in an equitable manner from tree canopies to bike trails and sidewalk repair. 5) His ability to understand complex budgets.
"These are just a few examples why Steve Schewel should be mayor. He can get these things accomplished because he is a proven progressive leader who knows how to manifest a strong vision during this fragile time in Durham's development. To allay Mayor Bell's concerns about losing experienced city council members, Steve's first order of business as mayor would be to lead the council to appoint Ali to fill his vacated seat."
"We are lucky to have had such a primary field of bright, excellent, visionary candidates for mayor of Durham, and to have seen our city select these two remaining bright, excellent, visionary candidates for the position," writes commenter Sam M-B. "Part of Mayor Bell's statement here is a bit confusing: Is he saying something to the effect that it's too important to keep Schewel on the city council, so we should not elect him mayor?"
Finally, in last week's paper, music editor Allison Hussey wrote a piece questioning the wisdom of naming a Southern rock concert starring Charlie Daniels the "Carolina Uprising," given the current state of affairs.
"Really? Get a life," writes David Keever. "It is a music show. What [Daniels] does and feels on Twitter are his business; unfollow him if you don't like it. I don't agree with any of the expressed opinions he writes about, but love the man and his music. Get over it, for goodness sake. It was a great show, for that matter!"
"This is the most assinine [sic] column I have yet to read," comments Renepaul. Delavarre. "Charlie Daniels is a highly accomplished musician as are many southern mans [sic] like Skynyrd. These guys take pride in their home territory (the South), which to them, has nothing to do with slavery, but everything to so do: hospitality, respect for elders, religion, family values, generosity, helping neighbors in needs, grits, barbecue, cowboys hats, boots, and a folksy, down-home manner of speaking; all qualities the elitist liberals from the North do not have."