NEXT is a group of engaged community leaders inspired by our community’s potential to be a sustainable, resilient, and equitable community leading our state and region into the future. The NEXT Chapel Hill-Carrboro Action Fund is registered as a 501(c)(4) focused on education and advocacy. We do not contribute to candidates or other campaign entities. Contributions are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes.
Our endorsements were based on the answers given at candidate forums, on our candidate questionnaires, and the voting records of incumbents running for re-election. The NEXT Chapel Hill-Carrboro Action Fund evaluated the candidates on their relevant experience, and depth of knowledge of critical issues facing our community. NEXT believes that growth should support affordable housing that is inclusive of both renting and homeownership, multi-modal transportation infrastructure, climate responses that reduce the carbon footprint of our towns, and a diverse and equitable community.
- NEXT struggled with this choice. While Mayor Hemminger has moved our community forward on some issues, such as adopting a Climate Action Plan and passing a Future Land Use Map, she has moved it backward in other ways, voting against a major transit-oriented development project (Aura) and pushing for the construction of a $39 million parking deck downtown that risks our town’s financial and climate future.
- But Mayor Hemminger works well with town staff, heeds the advice of experts, and can assemble a coalition of Council members on key issues. This is particularly important as we begin the process of rewriting Chapel Hill’s Land Use Management Ordinance (LUMO), which will shape our community’s future for decades to come.
We strongly endorse Berry for the following reasons:
- Has a wealth of diverse professional experience in housing, health care, economic development, and other areas.
- Long-time advocate for affordable housing with lived experience of housing insecurity.
- Has worked across many communities, from Transplanting Traditions to Carolina Friends to the Rotary Club.
We strongly endorse Miller-Foushee for the following reasons:
- Deeply grounded in equity issues
- Has served on the Community Policing Advisory Board and Re-Imagining Community Safety Task Force
- Actively involved in organizing for affordable housing
- A strong communicator on NEXT’s core values, including economic development, affordable housing, and transportation alternatives.
We strongly endorse Stegman for the following reasons:
- Excellent grasp of the broad issues facing the town and how the town operates.
- She taps into staff expertise, puts in the work, and communicates with the public well.
- Champions new ideas to advance justice like the Criminal Justice Debt Program.
We strongly endorse Seils for the following reasons:
- Many years of experience as an elected official
- Dedicated service to our towns and region (MPO, CHT).
- Strong, progressive advocate for issues that NEXT values.
- Regular Bus/bike commuter
- Leads on social justice issues including living wages, LGBTQ+ equality, and equity-informed policy-making
We strongly endorse Foushee for the following reasons:
- Very influential among her peers, in Carrboro and beyond
- Brings key context, history, and community connections including long-term leadership with the Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP.
- Thoughtful about the issues NEXT cares about, including climate justice, transit, and affordable housing.
We strongly endorse Nowell for the following reasons:
- Organized a strong campaign in support of affordable housing and support for low-resource communities (Weavers Grove, Aura, 1200 MLK)
- His values are aligned with those of NEXT, and emphasizes the need for affordable housing, transportation alternatives, and economic development.
- He has experience organizing for tenants rights, connecting with people who are often ignored by politicians
- He connects density, climate action and equity.
- He is focused on organizing from office, a strategy that will bring new voices into the political process.
Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education
While NEXT did not endorse in the race for Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education, we appreciated the answers of the three candidates who elected to answer our questionnaire. In particular, we liked George Griffin’s proposal for zero down payment mortgage programs for CHCCS teachers, Riza Jenkins’s suggestion that CHCCS partner with Chapel Hill Transit on providing bus service, and Mike Sharp’s support for a greenway that connects Seawell Elementary, Smith Middle, and Chapel Hill High School with area neighborhoods.