PA PAC Congratulates Jessica Carda-Auten on Her Appointment to School Board

The People's Alliance PAC congratulates Jessica Carda-Auten on her appointment the the Durham Public Schools Board of Education. At a meeting held on March 16, 2023, the six remaining members of the DPS Board of Education voted to appoint Jessica Carda-Auten to the Board of Education to fill the remainder of Matt Sears' term. Sears resigned from the Board upon taking a job at the DPS Foundation.

Carda-Auten's appointment came after the membership of the PA PAC had met on Thursday, March 9, to debate the candidates' qualifications. At that meeting of the membership, a majority voted not to make an endorsement in the appointment process. 


PA PAC Membership Makes "No Endorsement" in School Board Appointment


Agenda: Mar. 9, 2023 Endorsement Meeting

Get to Know the Candidates for School Board

In advance of the People's Alliance PAC endorsement meeting, which will take place on March 9, 2023 at 6:30 p.m., the PA PAC has made the candidates' statements to PA PAC available. Each candidates' name is a link to the candidate;s resume. Candidates provided resumes to the current members of the School Board and the link goes to the Board of Education website. We encourage members who will attend the endorsement meeting to review these documents in advance of the meeting.

To attend the endorsement meeting, you much be both (1) a current member of the People's Alliance and (2) registered for the meeting by March 7 at noon.

Jessica Carda-Auten

Public education is at the foundation of a healthy democratic society. By providing a high quality education to ALL children, regardless or race, background, or zip code we are giving them the tools to follow their dreams, engage in meaningful work, and be well-informed citizens. Through public education, we also have the opportunity to provide children with the tools to recognize their shared humanity and to respect and celebrate their differences. in doing this, we build their capacity to empathize with one another and be in community with each other. I want to work toward this vision on the DPS Board of Education.

In this role, I commit to investing in our students and schools, valuing our educators, and committing to equity-based policies that affirm the dignity and potential of every child. As such, I plan to prioritize:

  • Ensuring that every school has strong leadership,
  • Providing educators with the time, support, compensation, and benefits they need to
  • excel,
  • Expanding social and emotional learning and restorative justice efforts,
  • Increasing the number of counselors, social workers, and nurses in schools,
  • Expanding the Community Schools model to more schools, and
  • Providing all four-year olds in the district with high quality, culturally responsive Pre-K.

Apryle Lawson Daye

no statement provided to PA PAC

Jessica Friedlander
Service and social justice have been driving forces in my life from a young age, fostering my desire to seek out volunteer opportunities as well as my career as a public school teacher. Throughout my teaching career I sought professional development experiences and conversations that challenged me and helped me grow my understanding of students both as people and as learners. I believe that good affordable housing, quality education, nutritious food, and safety are all human rights, and every person is deserving of respect. These values shaped the content I taught, the experiences I curated, the classroom culture I worked to build, and the things I advocated for. I believe my core beliefs align with the goals and values of the People’s Alliance. 

Importantly, I explicitly recognize my place of privilege as a white middle class straight woman, and work to find ways to use my privilege to elevate the voices and experiences of those who may not have a platform. I believe that listening, learning, and acknowledging are central to being an effective and supportive ally. I would work to represent all voices and advocate for efforts that further supporting equitable experiences for students and families in DPS. 

Kevin Primus
I offer a few highlights from my professional experience that I hope will demonstrate a resonance with People’s Alliance values. 

  • The son of a member of the American Federation of Teachers, I arrived in Durham in 1991 with experience as a student school board member and great appreciation for organized labor. 
  • As an educator I have taught, coached, and mentored multiple Muslim, gay, lesbian, and transgender students, maintaining relationships with many beyond graduation.
  • I have participated in REI’s racial equity training and been trained as an equity-oriented leader as a former member of the Riverside High SIT Team, where I actively advocated for the recruitment of bi-lingual counselors and supported our principal in her efforts to develop a grow-our-own program to encourage under-represented groups to pursue careers in education.
  • As a nominating committee co-chair, I have worked with ECWA’s executive director to improve gender and ethnic diversity of board and staff, informed by an ongoing dialogue with my mentor and brother Guy Primus in his efforts to expand board diversity through The Board Challenge.
  • As a consultant, I continue to work with Dr. Richard White the Mayo Clinic’s HOPE2 project to improve mental health outcomes for Florida’s Hispanic communities.


ANNOUNCED: 2023 School Board Appointment Endorsement Meeting

Durham County School Board member Matt Sears announced his resignation from the Board. The remaining members of the Board will appoint someone to fill the seat left vacant by Mr. Sears' resignation.

The People's Alliance PAC will host a virtual endorsement meeting on Thursday, March 9 beginning at 6:30 pm.

To attend you must:

(1) be a current member of People's Alliance*, and

(2) register to attend the endorsement meeting by noon on March 7.

People's Alliance PAC members will consider the question of whether to recommend someone to the remaining members of the School Board to fill Mr. Sears' vacant seat, and if so, who. 

In order to attend the virtual endorsement meeting, a person must be a current member* of the People's Alliance AND have registered for the meeting by Tuesday, March 7, 2023. There is no guarantee that someone who pays dues or registers after noon on March 7 will receive the Zoom link to attend the meeting.

In order to vote at the endorsement meeting, a person must have been a member for at least 60 days prior to the meeting. January 8, 2023 is the last day a new member could have joined to be eligible to vote at this meeting. Members who joined the People's Alliance for the first time after that date as well as longer-time members may speak at the meeting. 

Need to pay your 2023 dues? Join or renew here.

Want to attend the meeting? Register for the endorsement meeting here.

People's Alliance PAC takes endorsements very seriously.  We seek applicants’ statements about their qualifications and conduct applicant interviews. We make our own independent examination of each applicant’s background and record of public service. This information is reported to the members of the People’s Alliance who deliberate together and vote to determine which candidates, if any, will receive the PAC’s endorsement. At our endorsement meetings, all members stand on an equal footing and debate continues until every member who wishes to be heard has been given the opportunity to speak. The People's Alliance PAC then uses its resources to promote the appointment of the applicant we endorse.  Because of the thoroughness of our inquiry and the integrity of our process, the endorsement of the People’s Alliance PAC is sought after by applicants and is respected by the governor. VISIT OUR FAQ PAGE to learn more about the endorsement meeting process.



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