Carrboro Town Council member Damon Seils is running for mayor of Carrboro, he announced on June 2, a week after Lydia Lavelle announced she will not seek reelection.
Seils has served on the council for eight years, during which he said he has built relationships with community members and leaders within Carrboro and across the greater region and state.
He said Lavelle set the bar high, and he hopes to build on Carrboro's progressive reputation and on the Town's role as a statewide leader on issues regarding the LGBTQ+ community, racial equity and other items of the progressive agenda that Lavelle secured.
“I want to build on that by making sure Carrboro is leading in that way, but on a broader conversation,” Seils said. “That means not only on racial equity and LGBTQ+ issues, but also on economic justice, setting the agenda for more progressive change.”
He said he is in a good position to lead important action points and issues the council has made on progress on because of his experience and familiarity with Carrboro.
He said his priorities include:
- Bringing Carrboro Connects ー the community-led comprehensive plan to guide decision-making in Carrboro over the next few decades on some of the Town’s biggest challenges ー to fruition and implementing its recommendations
- Important decision-making on issues of racial and economic justice in Carrboro and the greater region
- Improving local and regional transportation
Seils also said he plans to lead Carrboro in using federal aid to emerge from the pandemic by allocating resources equitably in order to assist those most impacted economically by COVID-19.
Tricia Mesigian, the owner of Orange County Social Club in Carrboro, said she trusts Seils’ leadership.
Mesigian said she supports Seils because he cares about the smaller tasks such as available parking, municipal trash pickups and communication between the Town and its residents, which are important to local business owners like herself.
“What I like about Damon is that he’s in it day-to-day, but he has a broader vision for the future of Carrboro,” Mesigian said.
James E. Williams Jr. has lived in Carrboro since 1990 and served as the chief public defender for Orange and Chatham counties. He said Seils is open, accessible and interested in helping the local community.
Williams said he has conversed with Seils on a number of issues of concern to the African American community in Carrboro, and that Seils always has engaged and educated himself on these issues.
Williams went to Seils, he said, to discuss concerns regarding policing issues in Orange County, and he was instrumental in encouraging local police to become more serious about bias-free policing.
“He’s someone who values inclusivity and diversity, and he wants to see a town that serves everybody well, and that’s important,” Williams said. “He’s a dedicated public servant.”
Williams also is a chairperson of the Orange County Community Remembrance Coalition, which aims to help the county deal more truthfully with its racial past.
Williams said Seils is serving on this coalition, which demonstrates Seils' willingness to engage in local efforts and recognize that history has impacts on present-day society.
“He’s willing to put in the work, and I share his values in the type of town that Carrboro can aspire to be,” Williams said. “He realizes that this is an ongoing effort.”
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