Campaign flyer from Joe’s first Chapel Hill Town Council race, 1979

About Joe

My photo
Chapel Hill, N.C., United States
Joe Herzenberg was born June 25, 1941, to Morris & Marjorie Herzenberg. His father owned the town pharmacy in Franklin, N.J., where Joe grew up. After he graduated from Yale University in 1964, Joe went to Mississippi to register voters for Freedom Summer. He joined the faculty of historically black Tougaloo College, where he was appointed chair of the history department. Joe arrived in Chapel Hill in 1969 to enroll as a graduate student in history at the University of North Carolina, and, along with his partner Lightning Brown, soon immersed himself in local, state, and national politics. Although Joe’s first campaign for the Chapel Hill Town Council in 1979 was unsuccessful, he was appointed to the Council to fill a vacant seat and served until 1981. In 1987, he was elected to the Council, becoming the former Confederacy's first openly gay elected official. Joe died surrounded by friends on October 28, 2007. He was 66 years old.

Monday, November 4, 1991

Full races to spur Chapel Hill changes

The News & Observer, Nov. 4, 1991

CHAPEL HILL -- One thing is sure in Chapel Hill's crowded Town Council and mayoral races: Tuesday will bring a change in the town's political leadership.

Four council seats will be filled in Tuesday's election, sparking a close race between 12 candidates -- many of them political newcomers. The mayoral race between three candidates is equally tight.


In Chapel Hill, the crowded race is likely to sweep some new political perspectives into town government, especially since the town's three most senior elected officials are not seeking re-election.

"It is very important, when running a government, to know what happened the day before yesterday or the year before last," said Joseph A. Herzenberg, a Town Council member seeking re-election. "There are not a lot of people around here who have much of a collective memory of municipal government."

Vote Joe Herzenberg yard sign, 1991. Thanks to Mark Donahue and his talented co-workers at Replacements, Ltd. for restoring this yard sign to its original glory!

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