ORANGE COUNTY – Local leaders in Orange County have been outspoken about their support for North Carolina NAACP’s Moral Monday protests, rallying against recent legislation coming out of the state General Assembly.

Orange County Commissioner Bernadette Pelissier has been in attendance of several protests. She says what’s going on inside the state legislature makes it important for community leaders to break their silence.

“I think it sends a message to the public that they really care about what happens to the citizens not just of our town or our county, but through out the state,”  Pelissier said.

Carrboro Mayor Mark Chilton was the first arrested at last week’s demonstration. Carrboro Aldermen Damon Seils, Michelle Johnson, Sammy Slade, and Chapel Hill Town Council member Donna Bell would follow.

A Facebook page with more than 700 members was created to mobilize local residents to make the trek to Raleigh to participate in the protests. Chilton has been a visible presence on social media site.

Chapel Hill Carrboro City School Board of Education members Mia Burroughs and James Barrett have also joined the effort. Both were at the protest Monday.

“Orange County certainly has an amazing progressive tradition going back to the protests again the speaker’s ban several decades ago so I’m not surprised. We are leaders in this kind of thing,” Burroughs said.

Orange County Commissioners Penny Rich and Mark Dorosin have also attended the demonstrations, as well as Senator Ellie Kinnaird, who represents Orange and Chatham Counties.

Local leaders have said they will continue to support the protests as long as the movement continues, or until the state government begins to listen.