People's Alliance PAC Endorses Pierce Freelon for City Council

In a meeting held on August 30, 2020, members of the People's Alliance voted to endorse Pierce Freelon to fill the vacant Ward 3 City Council seat. Members found Pierce's creativity, civic engagement, and commitment to racial and social equity to be aligned with the values of the People's Alliance. The letter written by the PA PAC to the Mayor and City Council members advising them of the endorsement appears below. The City Council is expected to announce which applicant for the position it will appoint on August 31, 2020.


August 30, 2020

Durham City Council
Steve Schewel, Mayor
101 City Hall Plaza
Durham, NC 27701

By Email Only: [email protected]

Dear Mr. Mayor and Councilmembers,

On behalf of the People’s Alliance Political Action Committee, I urge you to appoint Pierce Freelon to the vacant Ward 3 Seat on Durham City Council.  At a recent, well-attended meeting, our members considered the candidates for the vacant seat and voted to give Pierce their whole-hearted endorsement. 

Pierce’s commitment to the political life of Durham has become increasingly evident in recent years. His colleagues speak highly of his service as vice chair of the Human Relations Commission, and we agree that he has been a strong leader in that role. With a political philosophy rooted in social and racial justice, Pierce will add to the City Council’s ongoing efforts to consider race and equity in the distribution of resources.

His passion for confronting issues including gentrification, unemployment among Black youth, and racial inequities in law enforcement are concerns that the People’s Alliance membership shares. The policies Pierce articulates in his application for the position make clear that he has given thought to the power of the City Council, and the limits on that power. We believe Pierce sees our city’s needs and the authority he will have as a member of the City Council and will hold true to his ideals—ideals People’s Alliance shares--as he does so.

Pierce has a long track record of engaging youth, particularly Black youth. Pierce’s connection with the young people of Durham is something we hope will enhance the Council’s ability to reach the people who will inherit the consequences of policy choices made now.  We believe he will find ways to incorporate their vision and ideas into the policy-making process.

Pierce’s creativity combined with his dedication to progressive policy make him an exciting addition to the City Council. As a life-long Durhamite with deep community connections, he has context for the issues facing our community now. He has worked to earn the endorsement of the People’s Alliance, demonstrating a strong understanding of policy, process, and city government. Creative, well informed, progressive, and devoted to making Durham a city that fosters the potential of all of its residents, we are proud to endorse Pierce Freelon, and we ask that you appoint him to the Ward 3 seat.

Sincerely yours,

Rochelle Sparko

People’s Alliance PAC


August 30 Endorsement Meeting Agenda




Virtual Endorsement Meeting                                                                                                                                                August 30, 2020


A  G  E  N  D  A


  1. Welcome and Introductions                           .

               Bienvenida y Presentaciones


2. Rules of Procedure and Debate                      

               Las reglas del procedimiento y de debate


3. Eligibility, Disclosure, and Confidentiality

               Elegibilidad, Transparencia y Confidencialidad  


4. Reports and Recommendations

               Informes y Recomendaciones


5. Selection Procedures for Each Contest

               Procedimiento de selección para cada elección (Véase Hoja de Procedimientos)


6. Recognition by the Chair, All Remarks Directed to the Chair, Questions vs. Debate, and special procedures for virtual meetings

               Reconocimiento del presidente de la reunión, todo comentario va dirigido al presidente de la reunión,  preguntas versus el debate, y procedimientos especiales para reunión virtual


III.           Durham City Council Ward 3 Seat for Appointment


  1. Selection Procedure C (click here for more info from our FAQ)

2. Debate

Anita Daniels-Kenney

                                                                                          Pierce Freelon

                                                                                          Shelia Huggins

                                                                                          Sarah Sinning

                                                                                          Leonardo Williams


  1. Announcements



  1. Adjourn


People's Alliance PAC Endorses Millicent Rogers for School Board

Headshot of Millicent Rogers


At a meeting on August 17, members of the People's Alliance PAC endorsed Millicent Rogers as their choice to fill the vacant seat of the Durham School Board. The People's Alliance members found Rogers, who has a long been associated with Durham Public Schools as a student, parent and advocate, to be the most aligned with the People's Alliance's mission and vision. The letter the People's Alliance PAC sent to the Durham School Board in support of Rogers' application for the position appears below.


The Durham Public Schools Board of Education
Bettina Umstead, Chair
511 Cleveland Street
PO Box 30002
Durham, North Carolina  27702                                                                                                           August 19, 2020

Dear Chair Umstead and Members of the Board,

               On behalf of the People’s Alliance Political Action Committee, I urge you to appoint Millicent Rogers to the vacant Consolidated District B seat of the Board of Education.  At a recent, well-attended meeting , our members considered the candidates for the vacant seat and voted to give Millicent their whole-hearted endorsement. 

               Millicent’s record of advocacy for Durham schools and Durham school children is unsurpassed.  We believe that it matters that she is from Durham, attended Durham schools herself, and is now a DPS parent.  She knows Durham and she knows Durham’s schools and kids.  She understands that we have just one chance to get education right from the beginning for every child.  It is this experience and understanding that drives her desire to advocate and to serve.  PA members are impressed by her years of leadership in PTA and other organizations.  Millicent’s leadership of Rebound, Alternatives for Youth is especially pertinent.  Millicent knows how destructive mismanaged school discipline can be. Through Rebound she advocates for alternative approaches for students in trouble.

               We are especially grateful to her for her membership on and now effective leadership of the People’s Alliance Education Team.  In that capacity she has been an outspoken and tireless advocate for better school funding from Washington, Raleigh, and our own county government.  She is aware of abiding inequities in our community and in our schools.  She strives to confront these and correct them by working across the stakeholder spectrum to build understanding and cooperation for better outcomes for everyone.

               Millicent believes in teachers.  She wishes to improve their working conditions.  She wants to empower them with better resources, greater flexibility, and increased opportunities for leadership.  She wants to improve communication between teachers and parents.  Millicent knows that a good teacher is the greatest gift the system can give students and their families.  We agree with her.

               Who serves the community in positions of leadership is of the greatest importance.  Millicent Rogers is a Durham progressive and proven education leader.  She has earned the community’s trust.  Please appoint her to the Consolidated District B seat.



                                                                                                                        Nana Asante-Smith,
                                                                                                                        for PA PAC

People's Alliance PAC Announces Endorsement Meeting for City Council Vacancy

Attend our virtual endorsement meeting at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, August 30. At this meeting we will decide whom to endorse for appointment to the vacant seat on the Durham City Council (Ward 3) As with all PAC endorsement meetings, only paid-up members of the People’s Alliance may attend. Rules for who may vote at the meeting are found on the PAC webpage under “FAQ.”

Members must register on-line to receive an invitation to the meeting.


The registration deadline is 11:59 p.m., August 28.

Registrants who are current members will receive a Zoom link to participate in the meeting on Sunday morning, August 30.

Applicants for the vacant Ward 3 City Council seat:

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