Police motorcycles in front of the old Durham NC District 5 district office

LEGAL EASE

&  SAFETY FIRST

STRAIGHT TALK SUPPORT GROUP AND TRIANGLE EMPOWERMENT CENTER FUNDRAISER

The Straight Talk Support Group and the Triangle Empowerment Center will cohost a fundraiser, The Pouring, at The Pit (upstairs at 321 W Geer St) on Saturday, June 4, 6–9pm. Enjoy an evening of live jazz by Urban Silk, food, beverages, and conversation. The proceeds will be used to bring awareness to needs of those newly released from prison. (Many have health issues such as HIV, and many end up homeless.) Tickets are $25, $40 for couples; call 800-806-3558 or visit triempowerment.org for more info, purchase tickets, or to make a donation.

DURHAM CITY COUNCIL MEETINGS

City Council Regular Meetings and Work Sessions are listed below. You can choose to attend in person in City Council Chambers (101 City Hall Plaza) or via the City’s YouTube channel, Twitter account, Facebook page, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV (via the free Boxcast app), Spectrum channel 8, Google Fiber channel 8, Frontier channel 70, or AT&T U-verse channel 99 in Durham.

  • ​Monday, May 2, 4pm—Special Meeting (At-Large                                     Vacancy Interviews)

  • Monday, May 2, 7–10—Regular Meeting

  • Tuesday, May 3, 6pm—Special Meeting (Public                                      Comments on At-Large Vacancy Candidates)

  • Thursday, May 5, 1–5pm—Work Session

  • ​Monday, May 16, 7–10pm—Regular Meeting

  • Thursday, May 19, 1–5pm—Work Session

  • Monday, June 6, 7–10pm—Regular Meeting

  • Thursday, June 9, 1–5pm—Work Session.

DURHAM BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS MEETINGS

The Durham Board of County Commissioners’ virtual Work Sessions are held online via Zoom, wish you can watch via the County’s website, YouTube channel, or Spectrum channel 8.

  • Monday, May 2, 9am—Work Session

  • Monday, May 9, 7pm—Regular Session

  • Tuesday, May 17, 1pm—Budget Work Session

  • Monday, May 23, 7pm—Regular Session/Budget Work Session

  • Wednesday, May 25, 1pm—Budget Work Session

  • Thursday, June 2, 9am—Budget Work Session.

LEGAL AID OF NORTH CAROLINA

Legal Aid NC will host a free Criminal Record Expungement Webinar on Tuesday, May 3, 2:30–5:30pm. Learn how to legally remove previous offenses from your record so you can improve your chances of finding a job and seizing new opportunities. Watch the webinar on Legal Aid NC’s Facebook pageFree legal assistance is available at 866-219-5262.​

Legal Aid NC will host a free Social Security Disability Clinic on Thursday, May 5, 2:30–4pm. Learn about the application process and how to prove that you’re entitled to benefits. Attend the clinic on Legal Aid NC’s Facebook page. Free legal assistance is available at 866-219-5262.

Legal Aid NC will host a free Child Custody Clinic on Tuesday, May 10, 2:30–4pm. Learn all about child visitation rules/agreements. Watch the webinar on Legal Aid NC’s Facebook pageFree legal assistance is available at 866-219-5262.

Legal Aid NC will host a free Employee Rights Webinar on Thursday, May 12, 2:30–4pm. Learn all about employment “at will,” right to work, discrimination and retaliation in the workplace, and eligibility for unemployment benefits. Watch the webinar on Legal Aid NC’s Facebook pageFree legal assistance is available at 866-219-5262.

Legal Aid NC will host a free Simple Divorce Webinar on Thursday, May 19, 2:30–4pm. These are the basics; property division, spousal support, and alimony issues are best done with the aid of an attorney. Watch the webinar on Legal Aid NC’s Facebook pageFree legal assistance is available at 866-219-5262.

Legal Aid NC will host a free Medicaid Managed Care Clinic on Monday, May 23, 2:30–4pm. Learn all about this “prepaid health plan,” your rights, and where to get free help if you’re not getting the care that you need. Watch the webinar on Legal Aid NC’s Facebook pageFree legal assistance is available at 866-219-5262.

Legal Aid NC will host a free Tenant Rights Webinar on Thursday, May 26, 2:30–4pm. Learn about your rights and obligations as a residential tenant and how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting evictions (for example, the delay of pending court cases and the enforcement of evictions that have already been granted), how to contact Legal Aid for help, emergency rent assistance, and what to expect from the court process. Watch the webinar on Legal Aid NC’s Facebook pageFree legal assistance is available at 866-219-5262.

CITY OF DURHAM

Click on the calendar to see all of the City of Durham committee, subcommittee, commission, board, and other meetings for the month of May.

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DURHAM COUNTY

Click on the calendar to see all of the Durham County committee, commission, advisory council, and other meetings for the month of May.

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HOUSING HELPLINE
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Legal Aid NC, in partnership with the NC HOPE program, has set up a new statewide Housing Helpline. Call 877-201-6426 to get help with:

 

  • evictions

  • landlord refusing rental assistance (like NC HOPE, etc)

  • repairs and maintenance

  • mobile home evictions

  • other landlord-tenant issues

  • public and subsidized-housing lease terminations

  • housing vouchers (including Section 8).

This service is available Mondays through Thursdays, 8:30am–4pm.

STRAIGHT TALK SUPPORT GROUP

The Straight Talk Support Group is for families of someone who has been recently sentenced, incarcerated, or on parole or probation. Talk about challenges and triumphs with those who share similar journeys and experiences with no judgment. Anyone with an interest in criminal justice, including college students, is welcome. These virtual meetings will be held on Tuesday, May 10 and 24 and June 7, 7–8pm; call or text 919-251-6071 for more info and to get the Zoom link.

DURHAM PAC MEETINGS

602 E Main St, emergency 911, nonemergency 919-560-4600, Crimestoppers 919-560-1300, website:

The PAC (Partners Against Crime) meetings, where you can share information on what’s happening in your community, learn about City and County programs, services, and events, have continued online during the pandemic with virtual meetings on Zoom. (Click here and type in your address if you’re not sure which police district you live in.)


Here’s the PAC meeting schedule:

  • PAC 1—3rd Saturday (May 21, June 18), 9:30am; click here to join at meeting time

  • PAC 2—2nd Monday (May 9, June 13), 6pm; click here to register for the next meeting

  • PAC 3—2nd Saturday (May 14, June 11), 10am; click here to join at meeting time

  • PAC 4—2nd Saturday (May 14, June 11), 10am; click here to join at meeting time

  • PAC 5—2nd Thursday (May 12, June 9), 6pm; click here to join at meeting time.


Keeping up with what’s happening in your community is easier if you subscribe to your local PAC’s listserv. Send an request via email by writing to:


Contact info for each PAC for sharing information and asking questions:

MORE FROM LEGAL AID NC

Legal Aid NC announces the NC Homeowner Assistance Fund for those who have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. If you’re having trouble paying your mortgage payments and other expenses (such as homeowner Insurance, flood-insurance premiums, homeowners association (HOA) fees, unpaid property taxes, and/or utility payments), can apply for help by calling the Helpline at 866-219-5262 or by visiting the website at nchaf.gov.

Legal Aid NC offers free help to low-income residents in all 100 counties in North Carolina. Here are some of their programs:

  • Legal Aid Helpline—help with civil (noncriminal) legal problems; call 866-219-5262 weekdays 8:30am–4:30pm and 5:30–8:30pm on Mondays and Thursdays; or apply online.

  • Senior Legal Helpline—help for those age 60+; call 877-579-7562 weekdays 9am–4pm; or apply online.

  • NC Navigator Helpline—get help enrolling in affordable health insurance on the Health Insurance Marketplace (HealthCare.gov); call 855-733-3711 weekdays 9am–5pm; or apply online.

  • Fair Housing Helpline—get help dealing with housing discrimination; call 855-797-3247 weekdays 9am–5pm; or apply online.

  • Battered Immigrant Helpline—immigrants who are victims of domestic violence can get help; call 866-204-7612 on Tuesdays 3:30–7:30pm and Thursdays 9am–1pm; or apply online.

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 say 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): 

  1. Record—Once you start recording, the audio/video files are automatically emailed to ACLU North Carolina—this makes it impossible to delete what you have filmed from your phone.

  2. Witness—You have the option of alerting nearby Mobile Justice NC app users so that situations can be captured from more than one point of view.

  3. Report—You can add details like descriptions, badge numbers, etc, and this data will be transmitted directly to ACLU North Carolina.

  4. Know Your Rights—Get an overview of your rights as a resident of North Carolina when stopped by law enforcement officers.​


​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).

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DURHAM POLICE DEPARTMENT FORMS

You can also single out an officer who went out of his or her way to be helpful/come to your aid. Click on the badge below for instructions and to fill out the Durham Police Department Commendation Form.

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You can make a formal complaint online by filling out the blanks of this form and sending it in. Click on the badge below for instructions and to fill out the Durham Police Department Citizen’s Complaint Form.

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NC SAVAN

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.