We have gotten several emails and reports that neighborhoods along Pathway and Homestead received flyers over the past two days that contain extremely misleading and incorrect information about candidates and issues in the election. In this post, we fact check these flyers and the group circulating them.
Who is sending the flyer?
One flyer says it’s sent by Better Carrboro. The other flyer, with the exact same copy, says it’s coming from Neighbors for Sustainable Development at FairOaks (sic). These are the same group and run by the same people. Better Carrboro is run by residents also closely affiliated with Friends of Bolin Creek and CHALT. Friends of Bolin Creek and CHALT share a PO Box, and an IP address.
What is Better Carrboro and what candidates have they supported?
Better Carrboro is a group that formed in early 2022 to oppose affordable housing along a town-owned parcel on Pathway Drive. They also oppose the extension of the greenway in Carrboro. They have backed conservative-leaning candidates for Carrboro Town Council who are all new Democrats: in the last election cycle, they advocated for Aja Kelleher, who was previously a Republican. (She lost to Eliazar Posada, who is running for reelection.) In this election cycle, they are advocating heavily for Stephanie Wade and April Mills, both of whom became Democrats in June before filing to run in July.
In 2022, Mills voted in the Republican primary. In 2020, she publicly backed Jo Jorgensen, the Libertarian presidential candidate who wanted to ditch Social Security, opposed mask mandates, and ran on a platform of wanting to dismantle the Department of Education. (Jorgensen received 0.77% of the vote in Orange County in 2020.) Mills changed her Facebook profile picture to support Jorgensen. Wade, too, voted for a Libertarian candidate in the 2012 primary.
In contrast, according to their North Carolina voting records, Posada, Fray, and Merrill have voted Democrat in each primary they’ve voted in.
I’ve heard that name Better Carrboro before.
This is the second Better Carrboro group to form in Carrboro. The first, formed the early 1980s, was created to oppose a series of progressives on Town Council, including Braxton Foushee and Mayor Robert Drakeford.
What’s wrong with this flyer?
The flyer circulating paints an incorrect and incomplete picture of candidates. For starters:
Fray, Merrill, and Posada bring decades of experience to the table and a vision for Carrboro that centers equity, the environment, affordability, and accessibility. Posada, a renter like 58 percent of Carrboro residents, has championed ensuring that every community in Carrboro can access material in their native languages. Fray co-led the Carrboro Connects Comprehensive Plan, which was built on a foundation of race and equity and climate action. They have a deep understanding of housing, stormwater issues, and planning processes. Merrill brings years of business experience leading Back Alley Bikes, a commitment to ensuring that kids and adults can bike and walk safely to school or work and our downtown areas and years chairing the Town of Chapel Hill transportation and Connectivity board.
– Fray, Merrill, and Posada have received endorsements from current and former elected officials, and every organizational endorsement.
Anderson-Thorpe-Battle Breakfast Club
Daily Tar Heel
IndyWeek (Carrboro, Chapel Hill, School Board all at same link)
Moms Demand Action GunSense Candidates
NextNC Action Fund
NC Chapter of the Sierra Club
Sunrise Durham (Carrboro, Chapel Hill)
Triangle Blog Blog (Carrboro, Chapel Hill, School Board)
– Affordable housing is a critical part of how we might approach the priorities our voters broadly agree on, and Mills and Wade are uniquely disengaged with local stakeholders trying to fill that gap.
Each year, the Affordable Housing Coalition, the consortium of all of the affordable housing organizations in both towns, sends every candidate running for elected office in Chapel Hill and Carrboro a list of questions related to housing.
Mills and Wade did not fill out the questionnaire.