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

About Joe

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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.

Saturday, May 2, 1998

Jacobs has all the tools for commissioner

Chapel Hill Herald, May 2, 1998

Just writing to encourage support for Barry Jacobs for Orange County Commissioner in the Democratic primary on Tuesday (the polls are open from 6:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m.)

Barry has a distinguished record of public service, including terms on the Orange County Planning Board and the Orange Water and Sewer Authority board, both of which he chaired. He has progressive positions on various issues, including the environment, civil rights for all, social service, affordable housing and public schools. He is open to new ideas. He works well with elected officials in Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Hillsborough. And, perhaps most importantly, Barry will listen to the voices of all citizens and help provide civil leadership for our county. We can do better.

I urge your vote for Barry Jacobs for county commissioner on Tuesday.

Joe Herzenberg
Chapel Hill