Durham City Council Votes Against Liberty?
I say Yes. But I will admit it is a loaded question. The Durham City Council met today and selected Don Moffitt as the next City Council member. Former City Councilman Mike Woodard was elected to the NC State Senate in the November election forcing him to vacate his seat representing Ward 3 on the Durham City Council. The City Council solicited applications to fill the vacancy. Four applied including former Planning Commission Chairman Don Moffitt, former city and county staffer Anita Daniels, Edward Kwon, (all Democrats) and a Libertarian, Jason Melehani. Melehani was formerly a co-Director for the North Carolina for Gary Johnson campaign and serves now as the Chair for the Durham-Orange Libertarian Party. Outside of politics he is an MD/PhD student at UNC Chapel Hill.
Each applicant answered a series of questions including how they would address issues such as land use and development and crime abatement. They were also asked on why their contribution to the council would be unique and what books they have read recently. Each applicant was then interviewed by the remaining 5 city council members and Mayor Bell during a 50 minute interview.
Melehani’s platform focused primarily on doing everything within the power of the city council to create a business friendly environment without favoritism for any one business. Businesses seeking to move to Durham should not be favored at the cost of those already here. Instead, a regulatory and tax environment conducive to doing business should be created. Melehani also focused on ending the prohibition of marijuana and using harm reduction strategies rather than criminal justice when it comes to harder drugs as a way to minimize poverty and decrease crime.
When asked about the vote, Melehani stated, “Don [Moffitt] served 3 years on the Durham Planning Commission, that was his primary political experience – demonstrating how participating in these city and county boards and commissions can help.”
The 5 City Council members and Mayor voted against a solid Libertarian presence on their council when they voted against Melehani and therefore, in my opinion, they voted against Liberty itself!
Joint Durham/Orange Libertarian Party