Durham City Council meetings
This month’s City Council Meetings will be held on Monday, February 3 and Tuesday, February 18, 7pm, at City Hall (101 City Hall Plz). The City Council Work Sessions will be held on Thursdays, February 13 and 27 at 12:30pm.
Legal/law career fair
North Carolina Central University’s School of Law will host the Public Interest and Law Firm Career Fair on Thursday, February 6, noon, at 640 Nelson St. Learn how to methodically build wealth. Click here for more info and to register.
Free Legal Aid NC workshops
Legal Aid NC will hold a Social Security Disability Clinic workshop at their Durham office (201 W Main St, Suite 400) on Thursday, February 6, 2:30–4:30pm. Learn about the application process and how to prove that you’re entitled to benefits. Click here to save your spot; this is a free workshop.
Legal Aid NC will hold a Child Custody and Visitation Clinic at their Durham office (201 W Main St, Suite 400) on Tuesday, February 11, 2:30–4:30pm. Learn all about child visitation rules/agreements and receive a packet of legal documents and instructional video, followed by a Q&A session. Click here to save your spot; this is a free workshop.
Legal Aid NC will hold an Employee Rights Clinic at their Durham office (201 W Main St, Suite 400) on Thursday, February 13, 2:30–5pm. Learn all about employment “at will,” right to work, discrimination and retaliation in the workplace, and eligibility for unemployment benefits. Everyone will receive a packet of educational materials and resources and can get their questions answered at the Q&A session at the end. Click here to save your spot; this is a free clinic.
Legal Aid NC will hold a How to File for a Simple Divorce workshop at their Durham office (201 W Main St, Suite 400) on Thursday, February 20, 2:30–5pm. Learn all about child visitation rules/agreements and receive a packet of legal documents and instructional video, followed by a Q&A session. Click here to save your spot; this is a free workshop.
Legal Aid NC will hold a Tenant Rights: My Landlord Won’t Make Repairs! workshop at their Durham office (201 W Main St, Suite 400) on Thursday, February 27, 2:30–5pm. Learn what to do when trying to request repairs, and find out if you qualify for additional help. Click here to save your spot; this is a free workshop.
Legal Aid NC will hold a Criminal Record Expungement Clinic at their Durham office (201 W Main St, Suite 400) on Tuesday, March 3, 2:30–5pm. Learn how to legally remove previous offenses from your record so you can improve your chances of finding a job and seizing new opportunities. Click here to save your spot; this is a free workshop.
Liberation Station getting out the vote
The Reclaiming Our Village: Get Out the Vote Rally, hosted by the Liberation Station, will be held on Sunday, February 9, 3–5pm, in Orange Grove Missionary Baptist Church (505 East End Ave). This special service and rally will hopefully inspire members of the black community to realize the importance of voting and getting involved in this time of political hostility. Rev Jay Augustine from St Joseph AME Church, will preach. Visit the Facebook event page for more info.
Early voting for the March 3, 2020 Primary Election starts Thursday, February 13 and ends on Saturday, February 29. If you think you might be out of town on Election Day or you prefer not to wait in line, you can vote early, as long as you’re a registered voter. Click here if you’d like to register and vote on the same day during this period. (To vote on Election Day, you need to register to vote by Friday, February 7.)
Here are the locations for early voting:
Early voting hours are:
Kids Voting Durham Candidate Guide
The online edition of the 2020 Kids Voting Durham Candidate Guide is out. Durham students, along with designer Joanna “Joni” Brandenburg, put together a guide to candidates running for office in the spring elections (Board of Education, County Commissioners, and Presidential Primary). Students are also encouraged to learn more about the election process and to become knowledgeable in local politics (and beyond). Click here to visit their website.
Restorative Justice Circle of Hope and Healing
The Restorative Justice Circle of Hope and Healing will meet on Wednesday, February 19, 10–11:30am, at Calvary United Methodist Church (304 E Trinity Ave). Explore restorative justice (RJ) values and work with RJ facilitators as they face challenges guiding people through rough times in their lives. Another session will be held on Thursday, February 20, 7–8:30pm. Write to email@example.com with any questions you might have.
Durham Police 3rd-quarter report
The Durham Police Department recently released its 2019 Third-Quarter Report. Read it below:
Get legal help
The North Carolina Bar Association offers its NC Lawyer Referral Service, which will refer you to an attorney who will give you one half hour consultation. This half hour of advice can involve any legal subject of your choice. Call 800-662-7660; the cost won’t cost more than $50.
Legal Aid of North Carolina (201 W Main St, Suite 400) offers free legal advice and representation (civil cases) for low-income residents. Call 919-688-6396 for more info and to set up an appointment.
Big grant for the Criminal Justice Resource Center
The US Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance for Improving Reentry for Adults with Co-occurring Substance Abuse and Mental Illness has awarded a $749,000 grant to Durham County’s Criminal Justice Resource Center (326 E Main St). A 3-year program will be set up to provide standardized screening and assessment, to work in partnership with local organizations to provide collaborative comprehensive case management, and to work with individuals both before and after release from prison to help guide them toward a successful life and away from crime, substance abuse, and despair. Click here to learn more about the CJRC and its programs and services.
Mobile Justice smartphone app
There’s a new smartphone app called Mobile Justice NC that you can use to monitor and record police actions. We have the right to film the police, but always have your safety in mind when doing so. If an officer says that you’re in the way and tells you to get back, that might not the time to stand your ground and to tell him or her that you’re acting within your rights. Learn how to use the zoom-in feature so you can step out of the way and continue filming.
If you’re an activist or member of the media, download this free app and get familiar with Mobile Justice NC’s four features now (as opposed to during the heat of a protest or police action):
Click here to watch a short but in-depth explainer on how the app works:
(O clique aquí para más information sobre el app Justícia Móvil en español.)
Durham Police Department Citizen’s Complaint Form
You can make a formal complaint online by filling out the blanks of this form and sending it in. Click here for instructions and to fill out the Durham Police Department Citizen’s Complaint Form.
Durham Police Department Commendation Form
You can also single out an officer who went out of his or her way to be helpful/come to your aid. Click here for instructions and to fill out the Durham Police Department Commendation Form.
Mike Meno, communications director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s North Carolina office, was a recent guest on TV Skywriter. Learn more about the ACLU work at www.acluofnc.org.
NC Lawyer Referral Service
The North Carolina Bar Association can help you find an attorney to represent you. Lawyer Referral Service (LRS) attorneys can’t charge more than $50 for initial consultation meetings of up to 30 minutes. None are able to take clients on a pro bono (free) basis. Visit ncfindalawyer.org or call 800-662-7660 (or 919-677-8574 if you’re out of state).
Crime victims and survivors often feel like they’re sitting on pins and needles while waiting to hear about upcoming trials and to get news on the status of perpetrators. NC SAVAN (North Carolina Statewide Automated Victim Assistance and Notification) is set up to keep them informed. A 24-hour, toll-free telephone number, 877-627-2826, is available for learning about an offender’s status and about victim-assistance resources. You can also call that number to register for the automated victim notification service. Once you’re registered, you can choose whether to get updates via automated telephone messages or emails; you can also download an app for your smart phone. Notifications can be delivered in English or Spanish, or you can have them translated into one of more than 100 available languages.
Click here to register for NC SAVAN or to search for offender information.
Durham Police Department info
Request to appear in front of the City Council (during a Work Session)
Click here for a link to the online form. They’ll give you 3 minutes to speak and make your presentation. Submit the form by Monday, 5pm, 10 calendar days before the meeting you plan to attend. If you want to make sure your form was received, call the Agenda Coordinator’s Office at 919-560-4222.