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 12, 2001

More Voters Head To Polls This Year

The Daily Tar Heel, Nov. 12, 2001

Twenty-six percent of Orange County's 77,224 registered voters participated in this year's election, a 10 percent increase since 1999, the last municipal election year.


Joe Herzenberg, a former member of the Chapel Hill Town Council, said he is "an addicted voter" and that he couldn't recall ever missing an election.

"(Voting) is what our country's all about," Herzenberg said.

But Herzenberg said that in many years of participating in local elections, he has been frustrated by a lack of student votes. He said that if every resident of Teague Residence Hall voted for one candidate, that candidate would probably win.