Category Archives: news

thank u, NEXT (2021 Version)

I’m grateful to the NEXT Chapel Hill-Carrboro Action Fund for their endorsement of my mayoral campaign. They highlighted my years of experience representing Carrboro at the local and regional levels on transportation planning issues and my advocacy for a more inclusive North Carolina, among our many shared values. Read the complete endorsements for both Carrboro and Chapel Hill.

Endorsement From the LGBTQ Victory Fund

Big news to share! The LGBTQ Victory Fund—the only national organization dedicated to electing LGBTQ people to public office—has endorsed my campaign for mayor of Carrboro.

Graphic with a headshot of Damon Seils and the statement "LGBTQ Victory Fund endorses Damon Seils (he/him/his) for mayor of Carrboro!"

From the press release:

“Damon Seils has been a leader in advancing equality in Carrboro and across North Carolina for many years,” said Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund.

Damon is immensely qualified to serve as mayor, and LGBTQ Victory Fund is proud to endorse him.” LGBTQ people remain severely underrepresented in government nationwide—holding just 0.18 percent of elected positions despite representing at least 4.5 percent of the US population, according to Gallup. Seils has been a consistent champion for LGBTQ people during his time on the Carrboro Town Council and in his broader work in the community. Damon has served on the Duke LGBT Task Force, which works closely with students, employees, alumni/ae, and administrators to promote equality and inclusion for gender and sexual minority communities on campus and in the health system. He received the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Award from Duke’s Office for Institutional Equity in 2006, and he received the Outstanding Staff Award from the Center for LGBT Life (now the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity) in 2008. He has been a consistent volunteer with the NC AIDS Action Network and received their Advocate of the Year Award in 2017.

Victory Fund will promote Seils’ endorsement among its hundreds of thousands of supporters nationwide. More information about Victory Fund can be found at victoryfund.org.

Endorsement From Equality NC

Sincerest thanks to the Equality NC Action Fun. This endorsement carries special meaning for me as one of North Carolina’s small number of LGBTQ elected officials. It affirms many years of work to advance equality in Carrboro and across the state, and it reminds us how much work remains. ?️‍⚧️?️‍?

Fall 2021 Office Hours

Open office hours for early fall are here. Join me (and maybe a special guest) to talk about Carrboro issues.

As always, these dates and times may change. Check this page for updates, or follow me on Twitter or Facebook. And feel free to contact me anytime.

Updated November 18, 2021.

Jillian’s Picks

Durham City Council Member Jillian Johnson is probably the most dedicated, most vital progressive elected official working in North Carolina local government today. Working with her has been a highlight of my time on the Carrboro Town Council, and I’m so appreciative of her support and inspiration.

From Jillian’s statement: “And finally, Damon Seils is more than ready to be Carrboro’s next mayor. In his 8 years of experience on Town Council, Damon has championed improving transit, affordable housing, and equitable engagement. He’s the right person to take up the gavel.”

Read the full statement.

Photo of Jillian Johnson and Damon Seils standing together outside Craftboro Brewing Depot and holding a sign that says "Damon Seils for Mayor of Carrboro."

It’s Official: I’m Running for Mayor

Headshot of Damon Seils with logo reading Damon Seils for Mayor of Carrboro
Photo credit: Trevor Holman Photography

Friends and neighbors,

This morning I announced on WCHL that I am running for mayor of Carrboro. Our current mayor, Lydia Lavelle, said last week she will not seek re-election this year.

During eight years on the Town Council, I have built productive relationships with community members and leaders like you both in Carrboro and across the region. These relationships will be a strong foundation for stepping into a new leadership role for the people of Carrboro. I hope you’ll join me.

The next two years will bring defining moments for Carrboro. We will hire a new town manager, implement the Carrboro Connects comprehensive plan, and take lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure we are providing services to meet community needs and allocating our resources equitably. As I said during my re-election campaign two years ago, I will continue to press for better local and regional transit, better infrastructure to support a growing and diverse community, and decision making that holds racial equity and social justice in the foreground.

We need sustained community engagement, experienced leadership, and vision to translate these priorities into reality—and I’m ready to lead those efforts as mayor.

I hope you’ll consider making a contribution to support my campaign. Your early contribution will help me with initial expenses and give me the resources I need to share my message with more people in the community. See damonseils.org/donate for more information.

Feel free to contact me if you have questions about the campaign or ideas about the future of our amazing town.

With pride and enthusiasm for Carrboro,

Damon

A Resolution Commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution

I was glad to partner with Council Member Barbara Foushee on this resolution, which the Town Council approved unanimously this week. We had the privilege of working on the resolution with Dr. Freddie Parker, a historian at North Carolina Central University.

WHEREAS, the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides that “the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude”; and 

WHEREAS, the amendment was ratified on February 3, 1870, the last of the three Reconstruction Amendments that were adopted after the Civil War to abolish slavery, extend due process and the equal protection of the laws, and affirm the right to vote; and 

WHEREAS, Black North Carolinians who owned property had been allowed to vote under the state’s 1776 constitution, but were stripped of the right to vote by the 1835 constitution; and 

WHEREAS, Black people sought the franchise immediately after slavery ended, continuing an ongoing struggle that began during the Colonial period; and 

WHEREAS, the Fifteenth Amendment was a radical achievement for its time, and after it hundreds of thousands of formerly enslaved people began to vote, an estimated 2000 Black men were elected to local and state office during Reconstruction, and Black men were elected to serve in the US House of Representatives for the first time on October 19, 1870; and 

WHEREAS, the amendment also represented a political compromise, a watered-down version of proposals that would have ended poll taxes, literacy tests, and other restrictions that were used across the South to prevent Black people from voting for another hundred years; and 

WHEREAS, the fight to protect voting rights, expand voter access, and ensure fair elections is not over, as seen in recent attempts by the North Carolina General Assembly to suppress voting rights, such as voter ID measures, sham investigations of voter fraud, racially motivated gerrymandering, and other efforts designed to prevent Black people from voting; and 

WHEREAS, the year 2020 is the 150th anniversary of the ratification and adoption of the Fifteenth Amendment and is also an election year of momentous importance; and 

WHEREAS, voting in every election and learning and sharing the history of the struggle for voting rights are important tools in effecting change at the federal, state, and local levels; 

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the Town Council of the Town of Carrboro, North Carolina, encourages all residents to vote and to support and engage in efforts to protect voting rights and ensure fair elections, such as the local and statewide work of Democracy NC, You Can Vote, and Activate! IFC.

This the 23rd day of June, 2020.