PA is Searching for New Treasurer

PA is actively searching for a new Treasurer to join the board. If you're interested or know of a good candidate who is looking for a way to combine advocacy with financial management experience, please email us at with your recommendation.

Click the link to download the job description.

Updating PA's Vision & Mission Statement

Why are we proposing updates? The PA vision statement has served the organization well for many years. In 2017, the PA board reviewed the vision statement and decided that some revisions would allow it to more fully encompass all areas we focus on in our work today - including adding a more explicit commitment to dismantling structural racism and other forms of oppression. The board also believes that adding a mission statement, which PA does not currently have, could help clarify how we go about pursuing our vision.

What is the process for making for updates? The board has drafted a mission statement and updated vision statement. We are asking for PA members to provide feedback on this draft and help us refine it so that it reflects the values that should guide PA's work. Please use this form to sign-up to attend a gathering to provide feedback on the draft vision and mission statement. We will hold several sessions to gather PA member input and will make revisions to the vision and mission statement based on the feedback we receive (more opportunities for feedback will be added if there is interest). We'll update the membership on next steps over the coming months. Finalizing the vision and mission statement will be contingent on a full membership vote at a future membership meeting. Please email Magan Thigpen (PA Board, Co-President) with any questions or concerns:



Our Vision for Durham as a Model Progressive Community
We believe in a just, equitable and inclusive Durham where all people can live well. 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 strong public education

  • Votes, stays informed and advocates for how we want our elected officials to act

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

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

  • 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, 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 a variety of natural environments

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

  • Embraces the truth that there is enough for all


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

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

  • Advocating for just, equitable and inclusive policies and practices

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

1. 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



What we want our community to be like: A community can be more than a place where people live.  It can be a place where people live well.  We are committed to a community where all basic needs are met and each individual has the opportunity for a life of accomplishment, dignity and pride.

We envision our community, from local to global, as one which follows these principles:

Community Guarantee of Basic Needs. Our economy will provide full employment in safe workplace.  In our community there will be affordable housing, health care, public transportation, quality childcare and education for our children, nutritious food available at reasonable prices, and recreational and cultural opportunities open to all. The cost of providing for basic needs will be distributed fairly within the community.

Celebration of Diversity. Our community will be a place where the perspectives of diverse groups such as different races, economic classes, genders, religious perspectives, sexual orientation, ages, and abilities, are respected.  There will be an atmosphere of tolerance, good humor, and recognition of diverse cultural values.

Stewardship. Our economy will encourage local self-sufficiency through the use of renewable resources of both energy and goods.  We will maintain clean air, water and a variety of natural environments.

Local Decision-Making. Citizens will participate in democratic decision-making within our neighborhoods and community.  People affected by decisions will play a major role in those decisions.

Letter from PA Board: Support for Juvenile Justice Reinvestment Act

Dear Senator Berger and Representative Moore:  

We are writing in our capacity as members of the Board of the Durham People’s Alliance to strongly support the passage of House Bill 280, the Juvenile Justice Reinvestment Act during this session of the General Assembly.  

It is an embarrassment to many that North Carolina is the only state left in the nation to treat 16- and 17-year-olds as adults in the criminal justice system. Almost 97% of 16- and 17-year-olds convicted in North Carolina in 2014 as adults were found guilty of a misdemeanor or nonviolent felony. If H.B. 280 had been the law in 2014 these teenagers would have remained in the juvenile justice system as opposed to being prosecuted in the adult criminal justice system. As a result, they would not have incurred a criminal record.  

Instead, they would have had an opportunity to engage in the more extensive community resources provided in juvenile delinquency court. This would have enabled them to address any underlying issues that may have contributed to their criminal activity, thereby reducing the potential for recidivism. Research demonstrates that 16-17 year olds that have made contact with the adult criminal justice system as defendants are twice as likely to commit another crime as those who had their charges resolved in the juvenile justice system. 

Moreover, an astonishing 62% of young people in the criminal justice system are African-American. The disproportionate representation of African-American youth in our adult criminal courts makes treatment of 16 -17 year olds as adults especially pernicious. If we do not pass this bill and raise the age of juvenile jurisdiction, we will condemn many young African-Americans to a grim future. North Carolinians do not want this. We want all our kids to have the opportunity to become successful adults who contribute to society, their families and their own communities.  

The impact of being treated as a juvenile under the law instead of as an adult has enormous consequences for the future of our young people and our state economy. We must ask ourselves, how many of the kids convicted of a crime in adult criminal court could have succeeded if they had been given a second chance in juvenile court to learn from their mistakes in an age-appropriate, rehabilitative setting? Significant research has established that a young person's brain is not fully developed until the age of 25 years, and it is commonly accepted that youth are impulsive and don't always exercise the best judgment. Additionally, two-thirds of the young people in the criminal justice system have a disability. Access to necessary rehabilitative services will help our kids grow in a healthy, safe environment and give them the chance they need to be productive contributing members of our community.  

The People’s Alliance has a long history of supporting efforts aimed at increasing racial justice and racial and economic equity in our community and state. We see H.B. 280 as an important step in the fight for greater equity and opportunity for all of our youth and a strong statement by our General Assembly that North Carolina unequivocally cares about giving all of our young people, including our youth of color, the best and brightest future we can offer.    

We urge you to do all you can to pass H.B. 280. 



The People’s Alliance Board
Vernetta Alston, Eric Boven, John Davis, Alexana Garcia, Gann Herman, Dabney Hopkins, Ryan Smith, Sondra Stein, Sara Terry, Magan Thigpen, Tommie Watson, Michael Young


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