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Budget Talk Meetings
Politics Watch: City Budget Edition
We are fighting for an equitable and just Durham where everybody feels secure, safe, and cared for. In this fight, budgets have the most immediate impact in shaping people’s lives and determining who can access what.
But too many Durham residents feel left out of the city budget process, believing that being engaged in this process requires some sort of expertise that they don’t have.
In our rapidly growing city, we have many new housing developments, yet more people are housing insecure. More jobs are coming to the city, yet wages remain low for too many families. Additionally, because high food and gas prices are eating into the pockets of Durhamites, our vision of equity, justice, security, and care seem even less attainable.
Through the Boost the Budget campaign, we will:
- collectively learn about the city budget process
- organize towards a sustainable movement that brings about real change through consistent unified action in our local politics
- mobilize Durham to vote for a City Council that’s capable of offering unprecedented solutions in these unprecedented times.
Together, all races of working people can use the power of local government through budgets and elections to bring to Durham good paying jobs with benefits, more affordable housing, more safe places for our kids to play, and so much more.
Will you join us? RSVP to our first Budget Talk meeting to get involved in the decision making for how our hard earned public dollars should be distributed in the city budget.
Budget Talk Meetings
Conversations with community and City Councilmembers about the budgetRSVP for the next meeting!
Leading up to the June 5th public hearing on the budget, we will hold Budget Talk meetings monthly. In conversation with Durham community members and council members Jillian Johnson and Javiera Caballero, we continue to build power in the streets, in the halls of power, and towards the ballot box in November.
At the monthly Budget Talk meetings, you’ll meet like-minded Durham residents, build relationships around the issues we care about as a community, learn together about the budget, and how we can be involved in the budget decision making process. We will also talk to City councilmembers Jillian Johnson and Javiera Caballero about this year’s city budget.
By solidifying our unity across a diverse set of Durhamites who share an interest in making change, we practice taking concentrated and coordinated actions that harness the power of our collectivity and win change in the streets, halls of power, and at the ballot box.
RSVP for monthly budget talk meetings. On all three days, you can join us at 5pm for dinner and some fun!
Budget talk #1: Thursday March 30th, 6-8pm, People’s Solidarity Hub: an introduction to the strategic importance of local budgets, the Durham city budget process, and some of the items proposed in this year’s budget.
Budget talk #2: Thursday April 27th, 6-8pm, People’s Solidarity Hub: the relationship between budgets and elections
Budget talk #2: Thursday May 25th, 6-8pm, People’s Solidarity Hub: collectively preparation for showing up at the June 5th public hearing for the budget
City Budget Edition: Our Pockets, Our Politics
The city budget is a crucial way our communities can get the care, justice, and security Durhamites need to thrive regardless of job status, race, gender, or faith.
How much do you know about Durham’s budget process? Do you know which services are prioritized to receive more money (from the city taxes that we pay) and how? Do you know what our City Council members are discussing right now as they work on the next budget?
Too many of us, especially working communities, have been made to think that the budget is too complicated for us to understand or have an opinion about.
The Politics Watch: City Budget Edition is a monthly email we send out with a breakdown of the budget process, summary of what’s being discussed in city council meetings, what community members are saying about those issues, and our analysis on the politics of the budget. As we learn together about what the city budget can pay for, we will collectively apply that knowledge to determine what needs more money and how we can advocate for it.
Each month, we will be focusing on one issue:
To receive our monthly “Politics Watch: City Budget Edition” emails in your inbox:
Strengthening community bonds, collective learning, and realizing our people power
Our greatest potential lies in activating our closest relationships to take decisive and collective steps towards transformation. We grow our ability to change the circumstances in our community by utilizing people power and bringing together these networks of substantive intimate relationships for change making.
The Boost the Budget house parties are opportunities to do exactly that. With support from D4A organizers, Durham community members who joined our organization last year or earlier will plan a house party, invite their friends, neighbors, and loved ones to talk about what we can do together to affect positive change on the current and future city budget.
If you want to host a house party, contact our community organizer, Cedric Craig (he/him) at cedric[at]durhamforall.org
For the 2022 midterms Durham for All, in collaboration with the Carolina Federation, has endorsed Cheri Beasley for U.S. Senate and Nida Allam for US Congressional District 4. Additionally, Durham for All voted to re-endorse Satana Deberry for District Attorney.
Individually and collectively we believe they will carry on the work and vision that Durham for All and its partner organizations have for people in North Carolina to have more equity, inclusivity, and justice in all facets of their lives.
Cheri Beasley and Nida Allam share a commitment to fighting for the interests of all North Carolinians. Especially people of color and working people who have been systematically left out and left behind. If they win, Nida would be the first Muslim elected from a Southern state and Cheri would be North Carolina’s first Black Senator.
We endorse their platforms because:
- Both candidates are committed to raising the minimum wage to at least $15 per hour and providing more protections and rights for employees.
- They will work to further the fight for a person’s reproductive freedom by supporting the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would codify Roe v. Wade into federal law.
- North Carolina has over 13% of its population uninsured (one of the highest in the country). Cheri and Nida will work hard to expand access to quality, affordable healthcare to the millions in this country who are uninsured or underinsured.
- They are committed to investing in children and their futures. They would push for higher teacher pay and more funding for schools in the poorest neighborhoods as a way to invest in North Carolina’s public schools which are the heart of our communities.
- They both understand the existential threats of the climate crisis and threats to this country’s democracy and will work towards solutions that can begin to save our planet and our democracy.
District Attorney Satana Deberry also shares our vision of equity, inclusion, and justice for all. In 2018, Durham for All endorsed her and joined a coalition of organizations to help power her to victory.
Here’s a few of initiatives DA Satana Deberry has taken towards ending mass incarceration, advancing justice, and advancing equity in the past four years:
- In 2019, her office implemented a pretrial release policy that discourages money bail and pretrial detention in non-violent cases.
- District Attorney Deberry has led the effort to dismiss, or have alternatives to incarceration for, low-level charges in cases involving substance use, poverty, homelessness, or involving individuals with little to no prior criminal history.
- The DA’s office has worked with the Criminal Justice Resource Center (CJRC) to utilize diversion tools and programs (e.g., restorative justice, cognitive behavioral therapy, and addiction treatment) that can address root causes of certain offenses. There are a total of 27 people with lower-level felony cases that are going or have gone through this diversion program.
- Since 2020 the District Attorney’s office has certified over 500 temporary visas (sometimes up to 4 years) that provide benefits and protections for immigrants.
- In the midst of Durham County’s rise in gun violence, her office is working hard to stem the impacts on our communities.
If re-elected, DA Deberry will continue to change the conditions that disproportionately increase Black and Brown communities’ interactions with the criminal justice system. She will reallocate resources from punitive tools and processes to preventative measures and care-focused solutions that address the root causes of violence.
Through Durham for All’s Swing the State 2022 we will be working with partner organizations to go all out for the bold and exciting candidates we have endorsed or re-endorsed. In the next few months, we will be talking with thousands of Durhamites about the issues they care most about and the importance of voting for candidates like the ones we are supporting.
Join us for a phonebank shift as we talk to Durham voters about these bold candidates.
U.S. House & U.S. Senate
For federal- and state-level races, Durham For All joins the endorsement process of our statewide partner, the Carolina Federation (CF). Durham For All is a local affiliate of CF, a statewide grassroots political organization that brings local people together across race and the rural-urban divide to build political and electoral power in our communities across North Carolina.
In December of 2021, CF held an online endorsement process for all active members of CF chapters and affiliate organizations, like D4A. Through that process, D4A and CF members voted to endorse Nida Allam in U.S. House for NC’s 4th Congressional District, and Cheri Beasley for U.S. Senate in North Carolina.
Durham District Attorney
This year marks that first time that somebody D4A endorsed in the past is running for re-election. In 2018, D4A endorsed Satana Deberry for Durham District Attorney, and she won! D4A implemented a re-endorsement process, in which D4A staff made a recommendation to D4A members to re-endorse DA Deberry, and active members voted via e-ballot.
We repeated the voting set-up from last year, in which we had three voting bodies: 1) general members, 2) member leaders, and 3) staff and board. Votes were tallied from each of the three bodies to determine Durham For All’s decision to re-endorse or not.
Our weighted voting model gives each voting body ⅓ of the total vote in any local race we make an endorsement. Each of these bodies determines their candidate in a race through a majority vote, and each body’s candidate will signify 1 vote for that candidate. Durham For All will endorse the candidate who receives 2 out of 3 votes from the voting bodies. If a 3-way tie occurs, rank-choice voting within each body will attempt to break the tie or no endorsement will be made.
Why Weighted Votes for Local Elections?
As our membership-based organization grows, we want all members to be able to make decisions in the organization so that they can experience greater ownership in the work, beyond paying member dues and volunteering. The weighted voting model makes this possible while also giving those who have higher levels of responsibility and commitment to the organization—such as member leaders, staff, and board—greater voting power in the endorsement process.
Each election cycle is a crucial opportunity to realize our vision of a North Carolina for all. Join us in our electoral organizing in 2022.RSVP to our next community meeting