Vote October 11 for Bill Bell, Eugene Brown, Diane Catotti, and Steve Schewel!

Be sure to vote  in the 2011 Primary! Early Voting begins September 22nd and closes on October 8th. Election Day is October 11th. Be sure to vote for all three council candidates.

Check out our attractive Primary Endorsement Card. We raised funds to print and distribute this to over 5,000 likely voting households for the Primary. We are still raising funds for our General Election card. If you'd like to contribute, please fill out our contribution card and mail it, along with check to PA-PAC, P.O. Box 3221, Durham, NC 27715.


Mayor Bill Bell has provided steady political leadership for the City of Durham, and has presided over a period of growth and economic revitalization. His approach is sensible and effective. Even in a period of economic downturn, Durham’s transformation while Bill has been mayor has been nothing short of remarkable.Few can match his record of public service. He should be re-elected for another term.

Diane Catotti is the anchor of the progressive viewpoint on Council. She will continue to work for affordable housing, thoughtful and balanced development, transit, and improvement of roads, parks, and other services. In her two terms on the council she has established herself as someone who does her homework and who is alwaysready for hard work. We are happy to endorse her re-election.

Steve Schewel is a committed, thoughtful, and practical progressive. He is an educator, a journalist, and a businessman. His Independent Weekly has long provided special insight into Durham affairs—always quick to cheer our successes and shine light on our difficulties. He is dedicated to community service and as an elected leader he will not shrink from tough decisions. As a member of the Durham School Board his patient and respectful style brought peace to a body paralyzed with infi ghting and got it working again. Count on Steve to work to improve neighborhoods at risk and to enhance programs and opportunities for Durham’s youth and those most in need. His run for council is a stroke of good fortune for the community.

Eugene Brown is an independent voice on Council and provides a significant viewpoint on issues of fiscal responsibility. He asks hard questions and makes sure important issues get aired. As the owner of a successful real estate business, he knows Durham and is a jealous guardian of the community’s welfare, special heritage, and reputation. Gene is an advocate for neighborhoods and growth when it makes sense. He deserves another term.

These three candidates will become part of a strong team that will help formulate progressive policies for Durham in these fiscally challenging times.



PA Chooses a Tested, Progressive Team for Durham

At a spirited endorsement meeting attended by over 80 members, the Durham People’s Alliance PAC has endorsed incumbent Mayor William V. “Bill” Bell for Mayor, and Steve Schewel, Diane Catotti, and Eugene Brown for City Council at-large.


We have endorsed Mayor Bell in every mayoral election in which he has run, beginning in 2001. He has provided steady political leadership for the city of Durham, and has presided over a period of growth and economic revitalization. Due to his competent leadership, we believe he deserves another term.


We endorse incumbent Council members Eugene Brown and Diane Catotti, as well as newcomer Steve Schewel for the at-large seats on the Council. We endorsed Diane and Gene in 2007, and also supported Diane in her first bid in 2003. She is a former President of the Durham People’s Alliance. Steve is the founder and majority owner of the Independent Weekly. He is a long-time member of PA, and has served admirably on the Durham School Board.


Steve Schewel has certainly done his homework, and is well-informed about city issues. His progressive viewpoint, his long history of involvement with the Durham community, his business experience with the Independent Weekly, and his involvement with the People’s Alliance make us confident that he will make a fine member of the Council.


Diane Catotti is the anchor of the progressive viewpoint on Council and provides a steady voice for these views. We have been very fortunate to have her serving on Council since 2003 and she certainly deserves another term. She will continue to work for affordable housing, transit, and addressing deferred maintenance on roads, parks, and other facilities.


Eugene Brown is an independent voice, and asks important questions about matters that come before Council, looking deeply into issues of fiscal responsibility.


These three candidates will become part of a strong team that will help formulate progressive policies for Durham in these fiscally challenging times.


We have also endorsed the tax referenda which will be on the November ballot. One of these is a half-cent local sales tax that will be dedicated to improvements in local and regional transit options, including both bus and rail. The other is an additional quarter-cent for education that will expand pre-kindergarten funding, provide over $8 million/year to Durham Public Schools to make up for funding shortfalls from the loss of state and federal funds, and provide scholarships at Durham Technical Community College for all Durham high school graduates who need assistance.


In the Rougemont council contest, we endorsed Linward Hedgspeth, Lee Holden, Linda Huff, Edgar Johnson, and Patricia Russell. This is a diverse team of active community members who care about the rural character of Rougemont and northern Durham County.

2011 Candidate Questionnaires

PA-PAC volunteers formulated our 2011 questionnaire based on feedback and questions from our members. All candidates received our questionnaire along with an invitation to participate in our interviews, held on August 20th. Those with hyperlinks below returned questionnaires to PA.


Mayor - City of Durham

William V. "Bill" Bell

Ralph McKinney, Jr.

Sylvester Williams

Joe Bowser


City Council (at large) - 3 Seats

Steve Schewel

Diane Catotti

Victoria Peterson

Eugene Brown

Alice Bailey (withdrew)

Solomon Burnette

John Tarantino

Donald Hughes


Rougemont Town Council (at large) - 5 Seats

Jason Howe

Wallace O'Briant

Layton Oakley

Patricia Russell

Denise Smith

D. Artemas "Lee" Holden

Danielle Kowalczuk

Linda Huff

Edgar Johnson

Linward Hedgspeth

PA-PAC Election News

Filing has begun for the Durham City Council 2011 election and will come to a close August 12th. So far, Mayor Bill Bell is running unopposed. There are three council members whose seats are up in 2011 – Diane Catotti, Eugene Brown, and Farad Ali. Both Catotti and Brown are seeking seek re-election, while Ali is not. As of this date, Steve Schewel, a former school board member, Victoria Peterson, and Alice Bailey have also filed. (Check Filings Here!)


We will hold interviews with the candidates on August 20th, followed by our Endorsement Meeting on August 22nd at 6:30 pm at St. Luke’s Church (Hillandale & I-85). A PA-Chapter information session on the transit and education tax referenda will be held at the beginning of the meeting. During the PAC portion of the meeting, our members will decide, by open vote, PA’s stance on the ballot referenda and who our endorsed candidates will be. Please join us and make this process even more democratic by adding your insight, questions, concerns, and most importantly – your vote.


All PA members are eligible to participate. Only members who joined prior to June 22 of this year and whose dues are current may vote, however. You may renew your membership at the meeting and be eligible to vote. Candidates may not be present when their contest is under discussion.

(Updated 8/8/11)

Help DPA with the 2010 Run-Off Election


PA, our endorsed candidates, and Durham voters need your help on June 22nd!

Please volunteer for one (or more!) quick, two hour shifts. Tell your boss you'll be an hour late for work, take a long lunch, or skip out an hour early - volunteering your time will help decide the election! You can sign up at your polling place, or even better at one of the priority polling locations.

Click on the link below now to sign up. If you prefer to email PA staff member, she can sign you up privately so your name and email won't be on this public link. (She will download the names daily onto a separate spreadsheet).

Link to Spreadsheet:

OR email: [email protected]

Print extra PA Endorsement Voting Hand-out Cards for the run-off election (PDF format) to share with other voters (of course, make certain to remain beyond the polling place buffer zone!)


Vote Now!
One-Stop Early Voting started April 15th!

Click here for the full schedule (PDF format). Oh, and don't forget take along our sample ballot. Make sure your vote counts - be sure to vote in all contests!

PA-PAC Receives Returned Questionnaires From Candidates

Candidate Questionnaires Returned!

In preparation for our upcoming Endorsement Meeting (March 30th 7pm at 404 Alexander Ave), we encourage our members to read through candidates responses to People’s Alliance questionnaires that were sent out earlier in the month. We want to thank all the candidates who took the time and gave thoughtful answers to our tough questions!

Read more here...

Elaine Marshall, candidate for US Senate, touts her PA endorsement on her website.

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