Durham For All is building a new majority 10,000 people strong—a multiracial, cross-class progressive movement led by people of color and working-class people. Through grassroots organizing, leadership development, and political education, we fight for a Durham where everyone can thrive politically, economically, and socially. We take action together at the ballot box and in the streets to win back our government and put it to work—for all of us.
“Most issue-based organizing lacks a path to political power. Most electoral campaigns end after election day. Our goal is to harness the two, building a powerful movement that can both elect officials and hold them accountable.”
— Sendolo Diaminah, 2018 Campaign Manager of Decriminalize Durham
What is the new majority? Durham’s new majority will be a multiracial, cross-class progressive movement led by people of color and working-class people.
Why 10,000 people strong? 10,000 is the number of people a progressive Durham needs to elect local officials we can co-govern with as we organize for our collective vision of a Durham for all and we take on challenges beyond Durham. With 10,000 people, we can create a new, powerful majority in Durham. 10,000 people gives us a mandate for change.
What are we up against and how do we win?
Across the country, corporations and right-wing politicians have rigged the political system, and we’ve had enough. This rigged system only works when the majority of people aren’t taking action together. When democratic participation is small and people are divided, the wealthy and powerful win. To be successful, our movement needs to be massive and fight for all of us.
When this new majority unites at the ballot box and in the streets, we will defeat the politics of division and greed. Together, we will address our biggest problems — the need for affordable homes, quality education, good jobs, and real safety. Together, we will elect people that will use our tax dollars to meet each person’s basic needs and fight for a Durham where everyone can thrive. Together, we will demand that our local, state, and federal representatives serve all of our interests, not just the interests of the wealthy and powerful.
Our movement is guided by our deepest beliefs and a vision of the future we are building together.
Homes for all
Everyone has the right to live in a safe and affordable home. Right now in Durham, decent homes are a privilege of the wealthy rather than a right for all. We know that the rents are too high and that landlords have too much power over our lives. We know that many people — especially Black and Brown people, low-income people, and disabled people are being forced out of their homes and their neighborhoods. This makes it hard to build community and a stable life. We demand policies that support permanent affordable housing as well as food, clean energy, clean water, and internet that everyone can afford.
Education for all
Everyone has the right to a high-quality public education that fully develops their potential. This includes poor children, children of color, immigrant and refugee children, and children with disabilities. However, the reality is that our public schools are segregated and deeply unequal. Education has become more focused on test scores than supporting our children’s growth. Our schools don’t have the resources they need, and it is our kids who suffer. We oppose cutting the arts, physical education, recess, and services for children with special needs. We demand well-funded public schools that educate whole people from preschool to college/trade school and help children develop into happy, healthy and thriving adults.
Economy for all
Everyone has the right to the resources they need to sustain themselves and their families and to live on a healthy planet. Big corporations make a lot of money in Durham, but many keep workers in poverty-wage jobs, harm the environment, and don’t pay their fair share of taxes. Our elders, disabled people, and people with criminal records are often left out of the economy. We need more access to safe, green, living-wage jobs with good benefits for our community to thrive. We want policies that spread wealth more equally by raising wages, creating job opportunities, and keeping money in our community. We want the right to organize unions and fight together for dignity and safety at work.
Sanctuary for all
Everyone deserves to feel safe and secure in their bodies, homes, and communities. Too many people in Durham live in fear of violence at the hands of law enforcement. Too many live in fear of laws and politicians who promote hate and discrimination. Too many live in fear of violence in their homes or neighborhoods. We want an end to police violence, surveillance of Muslims, ICE raids, and policies that harm women and LGBTQ people. We call for policies that promote real community safety by divesting from criminalization and mass incarceration and investing in jobs, housing, healthcare, education, and community-based justice solutions outside of the police & prison system.
Democracy for all
Durham belongs to all who live here: Native, refugee and migrant, Black, Brown, Latino/a, Muslim, white, and Jewish, documented and undocumented, and LGBTQ. We need all these voices at the table to create a Durham for All. Right-wing politicians in North Carolina have used voter suppression to limit whose voice counts, turned hate into law, and made policies that benefit only the wealthy. We must end this attack on the people of North Carolina, and Durham must be a leader in a revolution for real democracy in our state.
In 2019, our 20 core member leaders and our activist base of over 150 volunteers were in deep conversation with more than 2,500 people of color in Durham.
We invited those folks, along with our members, to 5 virtual People’s Platform meetings. Together, we’ve developed a list of the policies and values we use to set our agenda every year and to make decisions about candidate endorsements during elections seasons:
Homes For All
- Issue a moratorium on evictions for the duration of the COVID crisis
- Expand tax relief for long-time homeowners in neighborhoods facing gentrification
- Fight state preemption of housing equity tools.
Justice For All
- Divest from police and invest in community based-alternatives
- Eliminate cash bail
- End law enforcement cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Education For All
- Provide full and equitable funding for all public schools
- Address race-based inequities at the school level
- Remove School Resource Officer and redistribute funding to hire nurses, counselors, and other crucial staff
Healthcare For All
- Enact Medicare For All
- Ensure guaranteed paid sick leave
- Decriminalize drug possession.
Economy For All
- Raise the minimum wage above $15
- Enact Medicaid expansion and end the overdose crisis
- Repeal North Carolina’s preemption laws to expand the powers of municipalities to pass progressive economic policies.
We Vote Together
Every local election, we march to the polls to make voting a community practice that shows our power. Join us!Join an upcoming event!
We take action together
To defeat the far right, we all need to be in. Deepen your leadership and organize across race & class as we win political power.Sign up for updates!
Our Staff and Board
Kaji Reyes | he/him
Kaji works collectively with our staff and board to manage the well-being of Durham For All (D4A) through organizational and leadership development, fundraising, and long-term visioning. Kaji is fiercely committed to relationships with those around him. He strives to be nurtured and nudged by his people and to be in struggle to find a path towards our collective liberation.
At heart, Kaji is a QTPOC (Queer Trans Person of Color) desert rat from Tucson, Arizona. He found his way to Durham by way of the economic crisis of 2008. Kaji has ten years of experience across a gamut of community organizing issues and knows the critical role electoral organizing plays in building grassroots political power that lasts. His previous role was as the Leadership Development Director for PowerUp NC, where he developed training curriculum and organized field plans for directors and organizers across the state. He has been a member of D4A since its founding in 2016.
Whitney Maxey | she/her
Whitney (she/her) leads and supervises the design, implementation, and learning for our campaigns, organizing model, and base-building approach. She believes in the power and potential of communities of color and their allies to create systemic change by harnessing the power of elections.
Her experience in social justice organizations began in Florida and spans over more than a decade working in issue areas from anti-gentrification to immigration rights. Whitney enjoys the outdoors and a good book.
Shanise Hamilton | she/her
Shanise recruits, trains, and manages member leaders and volunteers for D4A’s campaign organizing and voter engagement work. This includes running phone banks, text banks, canvassing, and Get-Out-The-Vote (GOTV) events, as well as developing members to build the political power of people of color and poor & working-class people. Shanise kicked off her organizing with D4A during our 2018 Decriminalize Durham campaign and is committed to the strategy of electing progressives into office who are aligned with our vision and values. She is dedicated to raising the voices and lived experiences of those most affected by systems of oppression.
Shanise is a native of Durham, North Carolina, and she deeply thanks this community for equipping her with the tools to thrive even when the cards were stacked against her. She comes from a background in media and was graced with the opportunity to share her story of finding power on Good Morning America with Robin Roberts. After teaching media to children in New York, Shanise returned home to build power with her community through D4A. Shanise is a lover of music and all things Black, and she is the proud mother of Shah Alexander.
Ociele Hawkins | she/her
Ociele recruits, trains, and manages member leaders and volunteers for D4A’s campaign organizing and voter engagement work. This includes running phone banks, text banks, canvassing, and Get-Out-The-Vote (GOTV) events, as well as developing members to build the political power of people of color and poor & working-class people. Because Ociele has experienced the far right’s strategic use of poverty and racism to prevent us from building a powerful multiracial, cross-class movement, she is committed to D4A’s plan of bringing all of us together to fight for what we deserve—to live dignified lives.
Ociele is a Black non-binary butch queen from South Philadelphia. She has organized high school students around education justice, led intensive electoral canvassing operations, and fought against gentrification for affordable housing in her childhood neighborhood. She loves the art of interviewing, basketball, and movies that make her cry.
Interim Deputy Director
Anthony J. Maglione | he/him
Anthony is one of the 2016 founding members of D4A and has helped develop the organizational systems, structures, and support for our staff and members to deepen our leadership and impact. He currently manages campaign organizing, communications, operations, and finances. Anthony is grateful for how D4A is an invitation to deepen in personal transformation and leadership while building a political home and community that fights for all of us.
Anthony has over a decade of experience in local social justice work, including student-worker campus organizing, census and redistricting mobilization, care management within community health centers, youth instruction and leadership development, and electoral organizing. He loves: cooking meals his Puerto Rican abuela and southern Italian nonna taught him, being a trickster, and receiving daily reminders from kiddos and nature about the many delights of life.
Data & Digital Organizer
Nahid Soltanzadeh | they/them
Nahid manages our data systems and leads our digital organizing efforts to better integrate our data-driven electoral work with our relational organizing work both online and offline. Their obsession with stories and narratives as powerful forces for dismantling oppressive systems fuels their passion for digital organizing, cultural campaigning, and healing justice.
Nahid is a queer nonbinary immigrant from Tehran, Iran. After moving around the east coast for a while, they found a political home in Durham For All as a member leader soon after they moved to Durham. A Kairos Fellowship alum, Nahid has worked as a digital organizer at the intersections of tech justice, militarism, policing and surveillance, systemic Islamophobia, and prison industrial complex. Before arriving at digital organizing, they have been a teacher, an online facilitator, an educational consultant, a babysitter, a caregiver, and a poet.
Operations & Finance Manager
Jae Slaughter | she/her
Jae manages our operational and financial systems to keep our organization running smoothly. Having witnessed from near and far the impact of alienation and chronic trauma on our capacity to be organized, she is deeply grateful to work with D4A. Jae is inspired by the use of storytelling, daydreaming, empathetic relationship building, and grassroots mobilization in the fight for tangible change.
Since moving to Durham to be closer to family (she has three amazing younger siblings and two caring parents), Jae has been in a place of deep learning and reflection. Her past experiences in electoral politics, youth and student organizing, and arts-based facilitation practices have exposed her to a wide array of radical tools for personal and collective healing. Outside of work, Jae likes to watch cartoons, journal vigorously, practice Youtube dance choreography, and skate in circles on her recently thrifted rollerblades.
Mel Norton, Co-Chair (she/her)
Justine Oller, Co-Chair (she/her)
David Roswell, Treasurer (he/him)
Carolina Alzuru (she/her)
Dove Kent (she/her)
Why gender pronouns? Read more here.