We enthusiastically and unequivocally endorse Alexandra Valladares for School Board At-Large.
Alexandra is exactly the kind of qualified, empathetic, experienced candidate that Durham needs. A Durham Public Schools graduate and now a DPS parent, she is an innovator in STEM education, with publications in environmental justice and health science education. She has spearheaded engagement opportunities with DPS students and families through STEM teaching and mentorship, bilingual storytelling, and offering culturally relevant pedagogical content She served as a PTA Latinx outreach coordinator building a coalition of historically underrepresented community members and organizers. Alexandra convened a Superintendent-Parent Forum Series for Latinx families, served on the Superintendent’s strategic planning committee, and collaborated with public school educators, community leaders and parents to conduct the needs assessment for the first Community School in DPS. She offered mental health resources and support to DPS parents by hosting meetings with medical providers and researchers speaking on ADHD and learning disabilities, as well as supporting work related to ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences). She has hosted talking circles in schools and community centers for families, and for members of the People's Alliance.
On Tuesday evening, January 14, members of the People’s Alliance PAC in Durham met to debate and decide which candidates running in 2020 would get the group’s endorsement. Approximately six hundred people attended the meeting, the largest in the PAC’s forty-five year history. During the check-in process before the meeting, candidates from all over North Carolina running for nearly every office on the ballot, from Lieutenant Governor to local school board, were present to work the crowd.
PA PAC is a political action committee that shares a common vision and membership with the progressive People’s Alliance in Durham. In recent years membership in the People’s Alliance has swelled and the PAC’s influence in elections has grown. Nearly every currently-serving official elected by Durham voters was endorsed by PA PAC. In the weeks before this year’s endorsement meeting, PAC committees solicited responses to questionnaires from candidates running in eleven state and local contests and interviewed more than forty candidates.
Endorsement decisions are made by the PAC membership at a meeting in advance of elections every year. At the meeting, PAC committees who have studied the candidates make recommendations, but ultimately the endorsement is decided by a vote of the members after rigorous debate. During Tuesday’s meeting, more than fifty people rose to speak just during the debate over county commissioner endorsements. The entire meeting ran late into the night, but members stayed until the last endorsement decision was made. Candidates value the PA PAC endorsement and work hard within transparent PAC rules to make sure their supporters in the organization get to the meeting. PAC members attend to persuade and be persuaded.
When Governor Roy Cooper learned he had won PA PAC’s endorsement for 2020, he wrote, "I’m honored to receive this endorsement from People’s Alliance PAC. Whether it means fighting for real pay increases for teachers and other educators, pushing for Medicaid expansion, building a true line of defense against climate change, or protecting our communities, I'm committed to fighting for the issues that matter to North Carolinians." PA PAC shares Governor Cooper’s commitment.
The PAC’s support of its candidates only begins with the endorsement. PA PAC campaigns for its candidates with organizing, events, mailings, social media, canvassing and poll work. This work is managed by a committee of PAC coordinators elected by the membership. Members give money to support the PAC campaign and volunteer for poll work and the many other tasks that are necessary to win elections.
On Tuesday, PA PAC members voted to endorse...
This year, your People's Alliance PAC was honored to have larger participation by candidates in its endorsement process than ever before. That candidates up and down the ballot want to be a part of the PA PAC's endorsement process speaks to the value of our endorsement locally and state-wide.
The PA PAC relies on volunteers to vet candidates and make thoughtful recommendations to the membership. For the 2020 election, we had four interview committees.
- The state interview committee interviewed 20 candidates, including candidates for US Senate down to State House. More statewide candidates than ever before sought our endorsement in 2020.
- The education committee interviewed all five of the candidates for the Durham Board of Education
- The law committee interviewed eight candidates for NC Court of Appeals and NC Supreme Court.
- The local interview committee interviewed nine candidates for Board of County Commissioners.
All told, 25 people volunteered to serve on interview committees and vetted over 40 candidates. Please join PA PAC in thanking everyone who took part in the process. It's been a heavy lift in a very short amount of time, and we appreciate the volunteers and the candidates who helped make this the largest endorsement process in PA PAC's history.
The People's Alliance PAC endorsement is valuable because voters trust the process, and we are able to publicize our endorsements by sending mailers to likely voters and placing paid pollworkers at high-turnout early voting and election day polls. Paying for mailers and for the time of our pollworkers is expensive and worth every penny; we ask that you support the continued influence of the PA PAC by making a donation today.
People's Alliance PAC 2020 Endorsement Meeting Scheduled for Tuesday, January 14
PA PAC members will meet at Shepard Magnet Middle School (2401 Dakota Street, Durham, NC 27707) on Tuesday, January 14 at 7pm to debate and endorse those candidates for local and statewide races, in preparation for the March 3, 2020 statewide primary, who share our progressive values.
RSVP to the Endorsement Meeting here.