Your letters, Oct. 30

October 29, 2013 

We need Ryan

We are writing in wholehearted support of Amy Ryan for Town Council.

Her vision for preserving what we love about our town is shared by most of us who live here. While Chapel Hill must grow to keep up with neighboring towns and the needs of the people who live here, such growth should not be at the expense of our infrastructure with density, density, density while despoiling our residential neighborhoods. The college town community atmosphere of Chapel Hill is being lost. We are losing our uniqueness, and the reason visitors love to come here.

The importance of providing affordable housing for a broad range of residents is not being adequately considered. Our workforce cannot afford to live in the town where they work. Also, in part because of increased construction, both the quality and quantity of the natural environment have been diminished. These are Amy’s concerns as well.

Amy has spent the last 10 years serving on various local boards and commissions. She has consistently been approachable by our citizens and has been interested and open to our input. We need Amy Ryan, and more like her, to represent us on our Town Council!

Pat Lowry

Arthur and Debbie Finn

Chapel Hill

Harrison proven

Once in a great while, there actually is an easy solution to a difficult problem! When faced with the choice of whom to vote for in the forthcoming Town Council election, a simple and smart choice will be found in checking the box for known and proven council member, Ed Harrison.

Over the years, through changing council priorities, Ed, thankfully, has remained steadfast to his principles: environmental protection, questioning assumptions, and, most importantly, accessibility to his constituency. So often, he identifies the questions that need to be asked and never shirks from doing so.

Ed Harrison’s depth of knowledge and long varied experience in Chapel Hill make him an invaluable asset to those of us who care deeply for Chapel Hill.

Please join me in voting for Ed Harrison for Council so that your values can continue to be represented.

Del Snow

Chapel Hill

Harrison works hard

I am writing in support of Ed Harrison for Chapel Hill Town Council. I have worked with Ed on the council for eight years and he certainly served well before that. His experience is absolutely necessary for the town at this time while development pressures and changes are imminent. He truly is the “transportation wonk” and I have always looked to him to draw from his experience when we tackle planning or proposed development. I cannot imagine the Town Council without Ed and look forward to his hard work for citizens for four more years.

Laurin Easthom

Chapel Hill

Cianciolo, problem solver

In Maya Angelou’s words, “If you get, give. If you learn, teach.” These simple words describe George Cianciolo, a candidate for the Chapel Hill Town Council.

Since 1999, George has given his time and talent to many town initiatives and nonprofit organizations. In the process, George helped residents learn more about Chapel Hill’s strengths and weaknesses and the challenges our town and county governments face. His passion for civic engagement is remarkable; his ability to work inclusively with diverse groups is proven; his desire to problem-solve for the common good is a core value. George has won many prestigious awards for his volunteer service yet he remains humble and accessible.

This year, voters will choose council members from an unusually strong field of candidates. For an experienced and effective leader, please choose George Cianciolo.

Melissa Cain

Chapel Hill

10 reasons for Palmer

Ten reasons why I am voting for Maria Teresa Palmer for Chapel Hill Town Council:

She’s one of the best advocates for justice I’ve met.

She works day and night to improve the lives of working people.

She’s grasped the pivotal nature of the challenging the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow as the key to building a just society.

When Gov. James Hunt appointed her as the first Latina on the State Board of Education, she championed the rights of the state’s poor kids on every issue for eight years.

At the same time, she and Mike raised their own three kids in Chapel Hill.

She wrote a beautiful thesis for her UNC-CH doctorate about a group of young Latinas struggling to make sense of Chapel Hill High School routines.

Maria and my late wife, Ashley, founded the successful Spanish-Immersion pre-school, Mi Escuelita , and helped institutionalize this educational innovation as the dual-language program at Carrboro Elementary.

Dr. Palmer has been an elementary school principal, the multi-cultural director at A&T, a columnist at Chapel Hill News, and a chaplain at Memorial Hospital.

She pastored a Latino church, and preached at the Washington Cathedral.

She was the only Latina to go to jail with the Rev. Dr. William Barber and 15 other state leaders in the first Moral Monday protest, which sparked the most exciting progressive movement in the south since Dr. King was murdered.

These are a few of the reasons I’m voting for Maria T. Palmer for Chapel Hill Town Council.

Al McSurely

Chapel Hill

Palmer a dynamo

I’m not going to vote for Maria Palmer for Chapel Hill Town Council. I can’t, because I live in Carrboro. But I urge Chapel Hill voters to get her working for you on the Town Council.

She’s a dynamo of civic energy. As a member of the State Board of Education and an educator at N.C. A&T, as a founder of Iglesia Unida de Cristo and of Mi Escuelita pre-school, as a voice on local school committees and on the Chapel Hill 2020 comprehensive plan committee, Maria has been involved in our community for years. Her record shows that she’s unrelenting in the pursuit of fairness, confident in expressing her views to whoever needs to hear them and dedicated in advocating for the rights and well-being of all local residents.

On the Town Council she’ll continue to be a positive force for all of us.

Merle Thorpe


Palmer is tireless

It is with great enthusiasm that we endorse Maria Palmer for election to Chapel Hill Town Council. We have witnessed her tireless dedication to bettering this community for 15 years, specifically in terms of educational equity.

In 1998, we first had the fortune of working with Maria as she founded and built a Spanish immersion pre-school serving a broad socio-demographic group. Both of our children learned Spanish in a rich environment that continues to serve them well. Today, Mi Escuelita Spanish Immersion Preschool remains a nonprofit five-star licensed preschool and childcare program which has readied hundreds of children and their families for a “future of tolerance and citizenship.”

Since then, we have also watched Maria advocate to successfully bring bi-lingual programs to the CHCCCS system, earn her Ed.D. at UNC-CH, serve as an elementary school principal, director of a university multicultural center, and pastor in hospital, church, and public-sector settings. She has volunteered for countless nonprofit organizations and causes during this time as well.

Maria solicits input from all folk, no matter socio-economic, educational, age or ethnic status believing that each individual has a voice and a responsibility to create positive change in the community. Simultaneously, she reaches across nonprofit institutions and businesses to further understand issues, and build partnerships to realize solutions.

Maria Palmer continually looks forward and creates solutions to meet the needs of the community. She will be a vibrant change agent to move Chapel Hill forward.

Caroline Sherman and James Jollis

Chapel Hill

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