Creating a Durham Tax Relief Program--Let's Do It Right!

Call to Action:

Advocate to City Council for a tax relief program that addresses the burden of rising property taxes on low-income households. Contact council members ( and ask that they not approve the Community Development Department proposal (details below) on August 7 and ask them to bring this issue back to a work session later in August for a full comparison of the alternative approaches.  You can also attend the City Council meeting on August 7 at 7:00 p.m. to speak out on this issue. Click read more for background and details. 

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Proposed language for updating PA's vision & mission statement

People's Alliance will hold a Progressive Issues Forum (PIF) & Membership Meeting on August 8th from 6:30-8pm at The Episcopal Center at Duke, 505 Alexander Ave. During the membership meeting, we will vote on the revised PA Vision & Mission statement.

In May we announced that PA is updating our vision statement and adding a mission statement to ensure that these fully communicate to the community why PA exists and what we do and serve us internally to prioritize and guide our work. Over the past several months members have provided feedback on these documents at in-person feedback sessions.
During this meeting, members will vote on adopting the new vision & mission statement language - see proposed language below. Since we have been gathering member feedback on this over the past few months, we do not plan to take edits during this meeting. If the language is not approved, we can vote to either gather additional feedback and refine the statements further or keep our current vision statement
Draft People's Alliance vision & mission statement - up for membership vote on Aug. 8

OUR VISION for a Model Progressive Community

We believe in a just, equitable and inclusive community where all people can thrive. This will be possible when everyone:

  • Works to dismantle structural racism and other forms of oppression, including sexism, Islamophobia, xenophobia and homophobia;

  • Supports and advocates for the rights of LGBTQ people;

  • Benefits from  effective public education;

  • Votes, stays informed and advocates for the policies we want our elected officials to implement;

  • Can support themselves and their families on full-time employment with living wages;

  • Advocates for workers’ rights to organize for their collective interests;

  • Supports economic justice with a fair, progressive tax system and thriving local businesses;

  • Lives in quality and affordable housing and are not displaced from their neighborhoods as a result of gentrification;

  • Has access to quality and affordable healthcare, childcare, transportation, nutritious food and other basic needs that we all require to lead full lives;

  • Embraces those who come here as immigrants or refugees as full members of our community;

  • Can breathe clean air, drink clean water and enjoy our natural environment;

  • Lives free from fear of all forms of violence, including state-sanctioned violence; and

  • Embraces the truth that there are enough resources in our community for all people to prosper.


How we work toward our vision 

We work to advance this vision for Durham as a model progressive community by:

  • Building a multi-racial, multi-class coalition;

  • Working in solidarity with other progressive groups;

  • Engaging with Durham’s elected officials and holding them accountable 365 days a year;

  • Developing and advocating for just, equitable and inclusive policies, practices and budgets;

  • Developing progressive leaders; and

  • Educating and building the capacity of Durhamites to be progressive activists who:

1. Vote and show up for direct action

2. Advocate for progressive elected officials, policies & practices

3. Promote change within their spheres of influence

4. Educate others on causes aligned to our vision


Letter to Board of County Commissioners

Stemming from a discussion during the May Education Team meeting, the following letter was sent to the Board of County Commissioners regarding the proposed Board of Education budget.

Members of the Board of County Commissioners-

We are writing on behalf of the People's Alliance Education Team today to offer our support for the Board of Education proposal to provide 10.9m of additional dollars to fund the Durham Public Schools for the upcoming 2017-18 budget year.  We are asking you today to stand with the BOE, and our community, to fully fund this request.  

As we all know too well, our public schools are drastically underfunded at the state level, and the recent actions of the General Assembly fail to improve funding for public education.  We recognize that local governments are left in an untenable position. But the fact remains that this is where we are, and that you, our County Commissioners, will make the final decision on funding for our schools in Durham in a way that allows for either continued support, or that further depletes a system that is already significantly strained.

We are aware that fully supporting the Board of Education's funding proposal requires homeowners to shoulder a tax increase on top of what is already slated in order to support the 2016 bond vote.  While we share the frustration that we have to find this money locally at all, and stand with you in placing the blame squarely on the lack of state support, we also know that the citizens of Durham have consistently indicated that education is a service they are willing to increase taxes to support.  Please listen to our citizens now.  

As the People's Alliance Education Team, we can commit to you that we will continue to work to lobby the state for the funding that our schools and our children deserve along with other public education advocates.  We will also continue to work with the Durham Board of Education to increase budget transparency and to utilize funding in a way that is both most efficient and funnels money to the places that best serve our children.  

Funding the budget as the BOE has requested is critical if we want to support our youngest and most vulnerable citizens. We look forward to hearing the voices of the community with you on June 12th, and continuing to work alongside your board to support our public schools.



Molly Parks and Amanda Maris
Co-chairs of the People's Alliance Education Team



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