Chapel Hill City Council Member Allen Buansi announces campaign for NC House
Chapel Hill City Council member Allen Buansi announced on September 27 that he intended to run for the NC House seat which will be vacated by NC Rep. Verla Insko, D-Orange, in 2022.
Insko, the oldest House Democrat currently in the House, said last month that she would retire in December 2022.
âI feel like I am well equipped to bring my service to state house and to serve our districts in a truly effective way through this experience,â said Buansi.
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.
âThey operated at a time when things were very dark, especially for people of color in America,â Buansi said. “They saw fit to work towards a vision of a society, a country that is equal, fair and offering opportunities to all.”
As an adult, Buansi played an active role in advocating for racial equity at Chapel Hill. From 2015 to 2017, Buansi served on the board of directors of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro branch of the NAACP, and he also worked as a lawyer at the Center for Civil Rights at UNC.
During his tenure on City Council, Buansi – alongside Councilor Karen Stegman and Pro Tempore Mayor Michael Parker – worked on the implementation of the Chapel Hill Criminal Justice Debt Program, an initiative that helps people low-income earners who are struggling to afford court costs.
“We have a crisis when it comes to court fees and excessive costs, and this has the effect of pushing many low-income and working-class people into debt that they cannot pay,” he said. said Buansi. “It just isn’t fair, it just isn’t fair.”
Buansi also worked with the city council to pass a resolution aimed at improving racial equity and public safety. The resolution put in place a strangulation ban following the murder of George Floyd and ended regulatory traffic checks by the Chapel Hill Police Department.
âHe has truly been a strong advocate for people who have generally been marginalized and under-represented in our community,â Parker said. âHe really met the present moment and showed leadership when leadership was important. “
The Buansi platform
Buansi’s campaign for the NC House focuses on three core ideas: affordability, accessibility and inclusiveness.
“I am committed to a vision of our state, of our community, that is affordable, accessible and inclusive for all – a society that actively works to fight climate change and make things better for our children and our children’s children. Said Buansi.
In order to achieve these goals, Buansi said he had several plans that he would implement if elected. Among them was a plan to devolve more power to local authorities.
âAffordable housing is definitely an area where we can extend our statutory framework to free our local governments to provide more and more housing for our people,â Buansi said.
He said that climate and environmental issues can also be dealt with in this way.
âWe have worsening storms with each passing year,â Buansi said. “We need to be able to get our local governments to do what they can to create standards and regulations to protect people.”
Buansi said he remains committed to tackling injustice and inequality in Orange County. Its campaign promises to empower neglected communities and fight all forms of discrimination, according to its website.
For UNC students like Stefano Dongowski, this focus on racial equity is necessary at all levels of governance.
âTo make a meaningful change, you need a perspective you never knew,â Dongowski said. âI think diversity is a key issue in any policy. “
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