Chapel Hill Town Council member Allen Buansi announced on Sept. 27 that he intends to run for the N.C. House seat that will be left vacant by N.C. Rep. Verla Insko, D-Orange, in 2022.
Insko, the longest-serving House Democrat currently in the chamber, said last month that she will retire in December 2022.
Buansi has served on the Chapel Hill Town Council since 2017, and his term will end later this year. He will not be running for reelection to the Town Council.
“I feel like I’m well equipped to take my service to the state House and to serve our districts in a really effective way because of that experience,” Buansi said.
Buansi said his childhood was defined by the time he spent reading about Charles Houston, Shirley Chisholm and Thurgood Marshall — three influential figures in the Civil Rights Movement.
“They operated in a time when things were very bleak, especially for people of color in America,” Buansi said. “They saw fit to work towards a vision of a society, of a country that was equal, equitable and offered opportunities for everyone.”
As an adult, Buansi has taken an active role in advocating for racial equity in Chapel Hill. From 2015 to 2017, Buansi served on the Executive Board of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro branch of the NAACP, and he has also worked as an attorney-fellow with the UNC Center for Civil Rights.
During his time on the Town Council, Buansi — alongside council member Karen Stegman and Mayor Pro Tempore Michael Parker — worked to implement Chapel Hill’s Criminal Justice Debt Program, an initiative that helps low-income individuals struggling to pay court costs.