Budget Advocacy FY25

OVER 25% participated in first ever budget Vote!

People’s Alliance members have fought in budget cycle after budget cycle to ensure our progressive values are reflected in our local budgets. This year, PA held a membership-wide vote to determine our priorities for budget advocacy.

People's Alliance piloted a new path to determine the budget advocacy priorities for FY25. The items on the ballot were submitted from our Action Teams, movement partners, and elected officials in March and April. The vote aimed to bring the perspectives of as many PA members as possible into our budget advocacy process, building on the work of our members, partner organizations, and elected officials. 

The People’s Alliance is made up of members who are committed to taking action for a more equitable and progressive Durham.

City FY25 Budget Priorities

Wage Increases for City Staff Following the Pay Study 

How much does it cost? Up to $28.5 million (see pages 132-152 in FY25 Council Budget Retreat Presentation)

This request is to honor the results of Durham's Classification and Compensation Study, which aims to ensure competitive salaries based on market conditions. The study’s results will affect the city’s FY24-25 budget and inform future pay scales with a clear trajectory and plan to achieve competitive wages and benefits for city workers.

Address Contaminants in City Parks

How much does it cost? $5,000,000

At least five Durham parks have dangerous levels of lead and other contaminants due to their previous use as waste incinerator sites. Resources are needed for further testing, community engagement and communication, and remediation at these and other sites that may be impacted. 

Durham’s Guaranteed Income Pilot Program

How much does it cost? $1,000,000

This request is to appropriate $1,000,000 to add to Durham’s Guaranteed Income pilot program. From February 2023 to February 2024, the pilot provided $600 per month to 109 formerly incarcerated Durham residents who saw improvements in quality of life and did not re-offend during the year. Justice involvement comes with many collateral consequences, and ongoing, direct cash payments can have the dual effect of stabilizing families and stimulating the local economy.

Staff Member to Leverage Federal Environmental Grant Opportunities 

How much does it cost? $80,000

This request adds staff capacity to identify and apply for the multiple new federal funding opportunities to address environmental justice and support consumers in reducing carbon consumption. These funds were made available at the federal level via the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act.



County FY25 Budget Priorities

The People's Alliance urges the Durham County Commission to fully fund the Durham Board of Education Budget Request for FY 2025. The People's Alliance Education Team specifically supports the following priorities which, if not included in this year's BOE request should be included for consideration in the next fiscal year: 

  1. Provide funding for fully and faithfully implementing restorative practices within Durham Public Schools.
  2. Provide an additional supplement for EC professionals and interpreters, with multilingual staff compensated for that skill.
  3. Raise pay for ESPs in line with the market rate and consistent with county pay scales for jobs with overlap. Undo the pay cuts experienced by classified staff when across-the-board 11% increases over FY23 compensation replaced the salaries promised in October. 
  4. Expand access to high-quality Pre-K.
  5. Implement Masters pay for DPS educators.
  6. Increase the local supplement to teacher pay.
  7. Offer an EC-specific summer program, consistent with ESY, with broader qualifying criteria.

The PA urges the Durham County Commission to work to reunite families faster by creating an accessible case management system for DSS so parents can track their progress and court dates and to fund two positions to support parents in DSS court--a lawyer and a parent peer partner in the Iowa model. These changes should be made as part of a broader transition to a holistic defense model.

Renewable Energy and Carbon Reduction Goals

How much does it cost? $2,500,000 - $4,500,000 per year through 2030

Durham County has set a goal to transition to 80% clean, renewable energy by 2030. This initiative is part of a broader effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote local job creation, and enhance air quality. The county plans to implement this through a combination of energy efficiency measures, renewable energy generation (like solar), and transitioning county operations and vehicles to renewable energy sources.

Durham Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP)

How much does it cost? Unknown

Provides assistance with rent and utility payments for families with household incomes that are at or below 80% of the county's Area Median Income. To qualify, applicants must also meet certain conditions, such as having qualified for unemployment benefits, experienced a reduction in income, or incurred significant costs. The program is currently paused, but plans to renew at some point. More information and applications are available at www.DurhamERAP.dconc.gov.

Cradle to Career Systemic Investment

How much does it cost? 

Durham Pre-K annual funding in FY23-24: $7.9 million

Durham Public School annual funding in FY23-24: $188 million

BULLS Initiative Job Training: unknown.

Equip Durham’s youth for careers that build a stronger community and local workforce through investment in the expansion of Pre-K, in Durham Public Schools, and in the BULLS Initiative Job Training program, which provides youth ages 14-25, who are interested in pursuing a career in Durham’s Life Sciences industry, with wraparound training, financial assistance, coaching, certifications, and postgraduate support.

Low-Income Homeowners Relief Program (LIHR)

How much does it cost? Unknown

The LIHR provides property tax assistance on eligible taxes for current homeowners through one of three property tax relief programs: the Elderly or Disabled Exclusion, Disabled Veteran's Exclusion, or the Circuit Breaker Program. Property owners qualifying for one of the three programs receive a defined deduction off the appraised value of their property. Increased property taxes can lead to the displacement of long-time residents and these programs can offer 'relief' to property owners. More information here.


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  • Ann Rebeck
    published this page in Blog 2024-05-07 15:31:10 -0400


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