Chapel Hill Town Council member Allen Buansi announced he will not be seeking a second term on the council after his first term ends at the end of this year.
A graduate of East Chapel Hill High School and UNC School of Law, Buansi said he is still committed to the town of Chapel Hill. He said he will continue to reside in the town after his term ends and continue to work in the Greensboro City Attorney’s Office.
“The reason I’m not seeking reelection has more to do with the timing of things,” he said. “This particular fall is just gonna be particularly tough, especially on the heels of just welcoming twins.”
During his time on the Council, Buansi said he helped to create Chapel Hill’s Poet Laureate program, which aims to deepen the community’s relationship with the arts. He said he also helped establish the Reimagining Community Safety Task Force, which examines institutional racism in Chapel Hill.
Buansi said he is particularly proud of helping to establish the Criminal Justice Debt Program, which provides financial relief to those struggling with court fees and costs.
He said the program involved bringing together people who work with vulnerable populations, law enforcement and those in the court system.
“It was really a great opportunity to see how folks from different areas can work together to help the most vulnerable people,” Buansi said.
Council member Amy Ryan said she appreciated Buansi and Council member Karen Stegman’s leadership in creating the Criminal Justice Debt Program.
“Allen is strongly focused on justice and equity issues and brings that lens to bear on all his work on council,” Ryan said. “I learned a lot from him in our time working together."
Ryan also said she appreciates Buansi's commitment to ensuring that issues of justice and equity are central to town decision-making.
He previously served on a Town subcommittee to recognize, with a cemetery marker, the enslaved people who built UNC. Also while on the subcommittee, he extracted language from George Horton's works that was used in the campus marker.
The council will miss Buansi’s presence, Ryan said, but she is confident that he will continue to make a difference in the area after his term ends.
In the future, Buansi said he would be open to working with the Chapel Hill government.
“I really enjoyed being able to help move those things along and to be with them from the very start and to see them through,” he said. “So, if there are other possibilities that open up, I certainly would be open to them.”
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