Saturday, September 30, 2023

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Graham, NC 27253
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First members of racial equity advisory committee appointed by Mebane city council


Mebane’s city council has appointed the first six out of seven potential members of a racial equity advisory committee.   The city had decided to establish such a committee to “research, identify, and address racial disparities in all areas of local government,” according to a description of the committee’s purpose included on the application.

Mayor Ed Hooks had asked each of the five council members to submit ten top choices for the seven available slots from among 47 applicants who applied for the positions.

Appointed were six of the seven members, those with at least three initial “votes,” or expressed preferences, from among the five council members.

Appointed to four-year terms (and the number of votes they had received from the councilmen in parenthesis) were: Travis Albritton (4); Dr. Schenita Randolph (4); Keisha Bluford (3); and Tomeka Ward-Satterfield (3).  Appointed to two-year terms were Stuart Smith (3) and Tommy Jones (3).  Jones had been the initiator for the city to establish such a committee.

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Five of the six appointed thus far (all except Stuart) are black.

[Story continues below chart of applicants and council preferences.]

Hooks asked that council members submit their top three preferences among the remaining candidates who had received at least two votes by June 2.  Those contenders are: Avante Brown, Carolyn Burns, Charles Strickland, Courtney Doi, Cintia Fernandez, Destiny Reid, and Daniel Velasquez .

It will be up to the members themselves to select their chairman, under the guidelines the council established, and they may have an initial meeting before the seventh member is selected, council members agreed.

Council members intend to vote for the seventh member at their June 7 city council meeting.

Among those receiving no votes were Omega Wilson, the head of the West End Revitalization Association, who has been a long-time critic of the council, and Shelby Dent, who was a runner-up for a seat on the city council in 2019.

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