On Friday, December 3, Governor Cooper appointed Dorthy Hairston Mitchell as District Court Judge in District 14 serving Durham County. Attorney Mitchell will fill the vacant seat formerly held by Judge Brian Wilks. The membership of the People's Alliance PAC met on September 1, 2021, and voted to endorse Attorney Hairston Mitchell for the vacant seat on the District Court. Attorney Hairston Mitchell is well qualified for this position. Please join the People's Alliance PAC in offering congratulations Attorney Hairston Mitchell on her appointment.
Read the Governor's press release regarding the appointment.
Javiera Caballero, Marion T. Johnson, Mark-Anthony Middleton, AJ Williams, and Dorothy Hairston Mitchell Endorsed!
On Wednesday evening, September 1, members of the People’s Alliance PAC in Durham met to debate and decide which candidates running for municipal office in 2021 would get the group’s endorsement. Over four hundred people attended the virtual meeting.
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 advance of this year’s endorsement meeting, the PAC solicited responses to questionnaires from candidates running for mayor and city council and those seeking the governor’s judicial appointment to the open District Court seat. PAC volunteers also interviewed the vast majority of the candidates and shared their recommendations at the endorsement meeting.
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 Wednesday’s meeting, hundreds of people rose virtually to speak during the debate over these endorsements. The meeting ran late into the night, with over 300 members staying until the very 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.
The People’s Alliance endorsements are as follows:
Councilmember Javiera Caballero is the first Latina member of Durham City Council, and we are proud to endorse her to be the first Latina mayor in the Southeast (outside FL). Since her appointment and subsequent election to her seat, she has centered collaboration with community and immigrant justice in her work. She is policy centric and detail oriented, making her every move rooted in racial equity and environmental justice while staying grounded in political reality. In a rapidly changing Durham, Javiera Caballero is the person we need as the next Mayor of Durham.
As a daughter of Nigerian immigrants, and as a fierce advocate for justice for our LGBT communities and for the participation of community in government, Marion T. Johnson is an essential voice in Durham. From her work opposing Amendment One to her chairing of Durham’s experiment in radical and inclusive democracy through Participatory Budgeting, Marion T. Johnson is a necessary leader for our time. We are extremely proud to endorse her for Durham City Council, Ward 1.
Councilmember Mark-Anthony Middleton has been a steadfast voice for community engagement throughout his time on City Council. His championing of Guaranteed Basic Income, his work with immigrant communities, and his willingness to listen to various perspectives and make connections with citizens on a grassroots level are so very necessary as we recover from COVID-19. The People’s Alliance believes that Mark-Anthony Middleton is the best candidate for Durham City Council, Ward 2.
AJ Williams’s extensive work with the Durham Black Mamas’ Bailout, Southerners on New Ground, Durham Beyond Policing, and the We Are the Ones Fund demonstrates a depth of rootedness in community organizing that few others can claim. His unique insights into alternative models of community safety at a time when our city struggles with violence are truly essential. As a fresh voice bringing new ideas, AJ Williams is truly a superb candidate for Durham City Council, Ward 3.
Attorney Dorothy Hairston Mitchell’s long and distinguished career in public service as well as private practice shows a deep and abiding commitment to the application of progressive principles in the judicial system. She is highly qualified and strongly committed to the application of law as true justice. Attorney Hairston Mitchell would be a true champion of those in most need if she is appointed to District Court Judge by Governor Roy Cooper.
These progressive candidates are the most qualified and best prepared to serve the people of Durham, North Carolina, and the nation. PA PAC is dedicated to helping them win.
The PAC’s support of its slate of 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 volunteer PAC coordinators elected by the membership. Members donate money to support the PAC campaign and volunteer for poll work and the many other tasks that are necessary to win elections.
PA PAC will prepare and distribute more information about the candidates as the elections draw nearer. Watch www.peoplesalliancepac.org for more information.
For more information about People’s Alliance and its vision, visit www.durhampa.org.
People's Alliance PAC will host a virtual endorsement meeting on September 1, 2021. Only current members of the People's Alliance may attend the meeting. Only current members of the People's Alliance who have been members for at least 60 days may vote at the meeting.
View the meeting agenda here.
To participate, your memberships must be current and you must be registered to attend the Zoom meeting by Friday, August 27, 2021 at 5 p.m.
The People's Alliance PAC will decide whether and whom to endorse in the following races:
- Durham City Council Ward 1
- Durham City Council Ward 2
- Durham City Council Ward 3
- Durham Mayor
The People's Alliance PAC will also select a candidate to recommend to Governor Cooper to fill the vacant District Court seat formerly held by The Honorable Brian C Wilks, who was recently appointed to Superior Court.
Questionnaire responses in all races will be made available on the People's Alliance PAC's website.
Candidates interested in PA PAC’s endorsement for the upcoming gubernatorial appointment to the
District Court Judge seat being vacated by Judge Brian C Wilks should contact PA PAC Coordinator Nana Asante-Smith right away. Nana may be reached at [email protected]
PA PAC will ask candidates interested in the PAC’s endorsement to provide PAC with a resume or a
biographical statement and responses to a questionnaire. It is also our intention set up candidate
interviews, but arrangements for interviews are not complete at this time. Information provided by
candidates will be published for the benefit of PA’s membership.
The endorsement for this appointment will be made by the PA membership at a meeting scheduled for
September 1, 2021. For more information about how endorsement decisions are made and who may attend the
endorsement meeting, please see the FAQ section on this website and the event 2021 Municipal and District Court Endorsement Meeting
PA PAC will communicate its endorsement message to Governor Cooper immediately following the