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.

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