Politics

Durham Native & Black Pioneer: Ben Ruffin

By Brigette Bagley

February 22, 2024

It is Black History Month, which means you have likely seen social media posts and news articles commemorating the most influential Black pioneers in American history. But have you heard of Ben Ruffin in these posts or articles?

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Tabb runs for school board

By Max Kurzman

Wendell Tabb taught theater at Hillside High School for almost four decades. He’s running for an uncontested open seat on the Durham Public Schools board.

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County Commissioners Pass SCAD 3-1, Durham County Residents Nervous for Future

By Morgan Brenner

December 14, 2023

After 4.5 hours of discussion, the Durham County Commissioners on Monday voted 3-1 to approve Simplifying Codes for more Affordable Development — a decision which follows months of advocacy from various Durham community members against the implementation of SCAD to rural areas outside of the city of Durham limits. On November 20, the Durham city […]

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Marshall Williams Jr.: Beyond the Ballot – A Visionary’s Impact on Durham’s Future

By Hannah Adams

December 12, 2023

By Hannah Adams Published Dec. 12 Despite not securing victory in the Durham mayoral primary, 35-year-old IT sales leader Marshall Williams Jr. remains dedicated to addressing key issues and emphasizes his commitment to collaborative solutions. With a track record including captaining a football team, ranking top nationally in pharmaceutical sales, and pioneering technology startups, Williams […]

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‘I’m just so happy that I get to make a difference’: The Story of Elijah King

By Audrey Kashatus

December 11, 2023

Elijah King was born and raised in Durham with his mom and little sister. By the time King turned 18-years-old, he had moved 11 different times.  King grew up witnessing things most kids his age couldn’t have imagined. He saw eviction, moving places under 24 hours, crashing at his grandparent’s house and even different pastor’s […]

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Post Election Reflection – Caroline Horne

By Caroline Horne

December 5, 2023

Coming into my assignment working for the Durham VOICE through my class at UNC, I was basically blind. I had never lived in Durham, known anyone from Durham or even read any news about Durham. To say I felt underqualified to fairly and competently cover stories regarding important and weighty topics was an understatement. The […]

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Despite her campaign suspension, Shelia Huggins’ family carries political legacy

By Caroline Daly

November 29, 2023

Caroline DalyNovember 29, 2023 For Shelia Huggins, a former candidate for Durham City Council, life has always revolved around elections and politics. Huggins’ mom, Ann, first introduced Shelia to the political world during her childhood, as she has been involved in public service for a long time. “I was already in it,” Shelia said. “So, […]

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Learning and growing from the Durham municipal elections

By Caroline Daly

November 22, 2023

Caroline Daly November 22, 2023 The election season for Durham mayor and city council were intense at times. I was not surprised by the outcome of the mayoral election because Leonardo Williams came out on top which was expected. However, my reporting focused more on the city council elections. Shelia Huggins was the candidate I […]

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How Khalilah Karim is making an impact on voters in person and online

By Holland Bodner

November 5, 2023

Holland Bodner November 5, 2023 General election day is a couple of days away in Durham and the race for city council has intensified. Khalilah Karim is continuing to push for advocacy and voter engagement through her platform, as well as social media. Karim is setting the stage as she proves to herself and Durham […]

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Durham City Council candidate Sheila Huggins ends campaign, cites voter turnout

By Caroline Daly

November 3, 2023

Caroline Daly November 2, 2023 On Wednesday, Oct. 18, Huggins held a press conference where she announced that she and her team made the decision to suspend her campaign for an at-large seat on the Durham City Council. Following the primary election on Oct. 10, Shelia Huggins was among the top six choices for Durham […]

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Leonardo Williams leads mayoral votes with a personal connection to Durham

By Emma Hall

November 2, 2023

Williams went to North Carolina Central University in Durham, N.C., and has worked as an educator and entrepreneur in Durham since. He also emphasized that as a Black man, he believes he can better connect to Durham issues than Woodard.

“A lot of Durham problems that we are experiencing right now, they are personal, lived experiences to me,” he said.

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LGBTQ Community Thoughts After Durham’s Primary Elections

By Audrey Kashatus and Audrey Kashatus

October 31, 2023

As Durham gets closer to its municipal elections this year, one demographic has important topics on its mind when deciding between candidates.  The remaining two candidates for the mayor of Durham are Mike Woodard and Leonardo Williams. Sylvester Williams, who has previously opposed gay marriage and cited sexuality as a contributor to the high drug […]

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Candidates endorsed by DCABP move forward in the Durham primary elections 

By Eliza Benbow

October 17, 2023

After a tumultuous year for the Durham City Council, the Political Action Committee for the Durham Committee for the Affairs of Black People, or DCABP, sought to endorse candidates that they believed would take a holistic approach to the city’s growth. Cassandra Stokes, the political action committee chair for the DCABP, said they chose candidates […]

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Mike Woodard hopes to improve housing, economic development, city services in Durham

By Christina Polge

October 12, 2023

Published 3:02 pm on October 12, 2023 (N.C. Sen. Mike Woodard, D-Durham, shakes Council Member Monique Holsey-Hyman’s hand at Holsey-Hyman’s press conference after she got cleared from an extortion investigation.  (Photo taken by Jailyn Neville) N.C. Sen. Mike Woodard, (D-Durham), finished second in the primary for Durham mayor, making him a finalist for the seat. […]

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Durham primary election results show close race for City Council and mayor

By Emma Hall

The municipal primary election results are in. Only a month away from Election Day, Durham held primary elections on Oct. 10 to determine the candidates for mayor and City Council in the 2023 general election.  Every precinct in Durham voted in the primary elections. Out of the over 200,000 residents in Durham, 23,684 Durham residents […]

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City Council Member Hopeful Carl Rist Proposes “Change” for Durham

By Ava Dobson

October 9, 2023

“I’m 61 today!”       Donning a simple black t-shirt and khakis, city council member hopeful Carl Rist stands outside of Durham Main Library to greet potential voters.       It’s early voting week, and Rist is the only individual on the ballot present. Confetti and presents appear to be low on the tier list of importance- […]

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‘To whom much is given, much is required’ – the mindset of Mayor candidate DeDreana Freeman

By Noel Harris

October 6, 2023

By: Noel Harris October 6, 2023 As reporters and supporters gather at Durham City Hall, Councilwoman DeDreana Freeman stands about ten feet away with an unforgettable presence. Council member Monique Holsey-Hyman addresses being cleared of extortion allegations before turning her attention to Freeman. She says Freeman supported her during it all. She says Freeman risked […]

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Shelia Huggins aims to help Durham residents in bid for City Council

By Caroline Daly

By Caroline Daly, October 2nd Shelia Huggins is running for election for the Durham City Council in North Carolina. Huggins has lived in Durham for a little over 20 years with her husband and daughter. Over the past nine years, she has worked in three different Durham city departments and is involved with many organizations […]

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Durham City Council Candidate Khalilah Karim Values Community Above All

By Holland Bodner

October 2, 2023

City Council candidate Khalilah Karim By Holland Bodner, October 2nd 2023 As election season continues in Durham, one candidate is doing the work in hopes of securing a seat on the city council. Khalilah Karim amplifies the voice of the city by advocating for voters.  Karim started in her hometown of Decatur, Georgia and has […]

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‘Grassroots democracy in action’: A look at political action committees in Durham

By Eliza Benbow

Oct. 2, 2023 As candidates and voters prepare for the Oct. 10 elections in Durham, another participant in the city’s politics is raising its voice.  Durham’s political action committees (PACs) are instrumental in informing and encouraging voters to participate in this year’s general elections, where 12 candidates are running for three seats on the Durham […]

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J.J. Campbell is running on a people-focused platform for Durham City Council

By Carl Kenney

by Mazin Elnagheeb, Oct. 2 2023       J.J. Campbell at Sandy Creek Park on October 1, 2023 (Photo by Mazin Elnagheeb) J.J. Campbell, a man with an eclectic background including dolphin training, experience with nonprofits, and geophysics, is running for Durham City Council with a people-centric platform. Campbell said his eclectic background will aid him in […]

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Senator Mike Woodard Faces Endorsement Setback Over Voting Record

By Christina Polge

Published 11:58 am, October 2nd, 2023 (Mike Woodard greets Durham voters at a press conference. (Photo by Jailyn Neville)  North Carolina Senator Mike Woodard (D-Durham) did not receive endorsements from INDY Week or Durham People’s Alliance in his run for mayor due to questions about his recent voting history.  In its recently published list of […]

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City council candidate Bonita Green impacts a Durham community with her legacy garden

By Morgan Brenner

Bonita Green, community advocate and director of the Merrick-Moore Community Development Corporation, is running for City Council At-Large this fall with one significant campaign objective in mind: to promote meaningful and sustainable grassroots change. After moving back to Durham from Florida in 2012, Green noticed not only how much her community had changed, but how […]

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Gauging Durham’s election pulse

By Carl Kenney

November 4, 2020

By Nway Dee DCI Intern The Durham VOICE This year’s in-person voting, as part of Election 2020, began October 15 for North Carolina residents.  People started rushing to polling locations during the first week and many of those voting are also urging others to vote early or as soon as possible.  Voting is vital and […]

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Community rallies to staff voting sites in Durham

By Palace Jones

October 30, 2020

The dire prospect of a shortage among Durham’s election poll workers, for fears of contracting and spreading Covid-19, could have resulted in even longer lines than we’re seeing in early voting. Fortunately, more than enough residents of Durham rose to perform a treasured civic duty by signing up to help voters enjoy a smooth and […]

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Durham restaurant hosts Warren campaign event for locals

By A.J. O'Leary

February 27, 2020

Most people come to Zweli’s for the only Zimbabwean food in town, but some come to talk politics. On Friday, Feb. 21, Zweli’s, located in Durham, hosted an Elizabeth Warren presidential campaign event as part of its Dinner Table Talks speaker series. Leonardo Williams, who runs the restaurant with his wife, Zweli, said events like […]

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Coffee, Cupcakes and Counts: the three C’s Durham Tech is using to get students to the polls

By Korie Dean

February 13, 2020

Early voting for primary elections starts Thursday, Feb. 13, in Durham, and thanks to two students, Durham Technical Community College students will be able to engage in the political process in an exciting way. The school’s Center for College and Community Service hosted “Coffee, Cupcakes and Counts” Thursday from 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. at the school’s […]

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Annual MLK Day Unity March and Rally sheds light and brings hope to Durham

By Anthony DeHart, Sophia Wilhelm, Landon Bost and Brandon Callender

January 30, 2020

Monday morning, Jan. 20, about 250 marchers gathered in front of the NC Mutual Life building for Durham’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Unity March and Rally. The group gathered for a short opening, then marched to First Presbyterian Church on East Main Street where speakers addressed the crowd from the pulpit. Every year, […]

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NARAL NC petitions for a pro-choice voice in the presidential debate

By Aaliyah Bowden

November 17, 2019

Abortion, women’s reproductive rights, and gender equality will be on the ballot in the 2020 presidential election.  With that in mind, NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina, located in Durham, has joined 10 other participating organizations in launching a petition to make affordable reproductive health care an important topic on the debate stage. “The petition is asking […]

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Filmmakers highlight emotional struggles faced by immigrants

By Samantha Perry

March 27, 2019

When Grace Beeler began teaching English as a second language, she was shocked by the stories refugees had to share. “If everyday Americans could hear the stories that I hear at work they would have a lot more compassion for refugees,” Beeler said. “They would understand why they need to come here, why we should […]

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Amendments drive Durham early voters to the polls

By Jennifer Maxwell

November 5, 2018

  North Carolina voters concluded an 18-day early voting period on Saturday, Nov. 3, for the 2018 midterm election with a record number of ballots cast, according to the North Carolina State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement. One reason for the surge in this year’s early voter turnout can be attributed to the nearly […]

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A day with one of Durham’s Syrian refugee families

By Ramishah Maruf

April 11, 2018

Sixth-grader Sedra Khatib cried on her first day at Lakewood Elementary School in Durham last year. “[The school] didn’t have a bus to go to home. And they asked me, and I didn’t understand,” Sedra said.  “They called my dad and they call him and he said he will come. They had to use [Google […]

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Durham’s battle with Confederate statues

By Ramishah Maruf

February 28, 2018

After protesters toppled a Durham Confederate statue in August, the city began the process to form a commission to find out exactly what to do with both the base of the statue and the remaining Confederate symbols. The committee, led by Wendy Jacobs, Durham County Board of Commissioners chair, and Mayor Steve Schewel, has two […]

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Human Relations Commission calls for prison reform

By Zayrha Rodriguez

February 14, 2018

The North Carolina Human Relations Commission has the mission to end racial discrimination in Durham, according to their website and Diane Standaert, chair of the commission. Two members of the HRC presented their recommendations to reform the Durham County Detention Facility at ReCity, 112 Broadway St. The presentation was part of “Locked in Solidarity”—a weeklong, […]

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Durham mayor addresses the city with big plans

By Lamel Batts

February 13, 2018

  Newly-elected Mayor Steve Schewel outlined his plans for Durham at his first annual State of the City Address on Monday. He emphasized projects related to the environmental health of the city and improving livability in Durham. Around 85 people attended the event which was also broadcast on Durham’s public access channel and can now […]

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Unity March and Rally unites Durham in MLK’s legacy

By Katie Rice, Ramishah Maruf and Tenley Garrett

January 31, 2018

It is below freezing, but Antwon Styles grips his daughters’ hands, joining hundreds of marchers in downtown Durham for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Unity March and Rally on Saturday, Jan. 15. Audrina, Antwon’s fourth-grader, holds a sign that reads “For the Children” adorned with hearts and smiley faces. Durham holds a history rooted […]

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Durham elects first Latina to City Council

By Marissa O'Neill and Bryce Lapping

Javiera Caballero sat in the Durham City Hall Council Chambers, waiting. The next day, she would celebrate her 40th birthday, but a larger accomplishment awaited. After a 5-1 vote among the council, Caballero took her oath of office on Jan. 16, becoming just the second sitting LatinX-identified public official in all of North Carolina. The […]

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First Calvary Baptist hosts 26th annual MLK Day Lock-In

By Cole Villena

Two weeks after New Year’s, hundreds of West End residents came together once again to celebrate a cherished American holiday. Posters of Martin Luther King Jr. replaced brightly-colored 2018 banners. Coffee, not champagne, was the drink of choice for adults at the Community Family Life and Recreation Center at Lyon Park at 1309 Halley Street. […]

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Rep. Black launches campaign for election

By Davis McKinney

November 26, 2017

With all the well-dressed attendees and live band, one could be forgiven for mistaking Rep. MaryAnn Black’s fundraising event at the Hayti Community Center for a jazz club last Thursday night. Black has represented District 29 in Durham County since February of this year, after Governor Roy Cooper appointed her to the seat. Despite her […]

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Durham nutrition programs stand to lose with proposed tax plan

By Sarah Cline

November 23, 2017

Durham food security may take a blow due to policy changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. Community members, policymakers, and experts met last Thursday in Durham to discuss the federal policy changes and outcomes. The meeting, entitled, “Can SNAP End Hunger? A forum on food justice,” was held at Westminster Presbyterian Church […]

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Voter Guide for Durham Mayoral Election

By Beth Clifford and Sarah Cline

November 6, 2017

Durham’s election for its new mayor is happening on Nov. 7. This is your final chance to get out and vote, and here is The VOICE’s guide for when you head to the polls. No endorsement is made on this guide.   Farad Ali Overview Farad Ali is a leader in community business and the […]

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Days before election, Ali and Schewel meet in one final forum

By Davis McKinney

Maybe game seven of the World Series drew the crowd away, or maybe Durham residents are just simply experiencing election fatigue. Either way, attendance was lower than expected last Wednesday for the final forum discussion of the mayoral race. With less than a week to Election Day, candidates Farad Ali and Steve Schewel participated in […]

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Steve Schewel’s road to success in Durham

By Julian Keeler

November 5, 2017

Durham resident Steve Schewel is a popular figure in the Triangle area. You may see his face on signs posted all over the city saying, “Vote for Steve Schewel.” He is a candidate in the 2017 Durham Mayoral Election. Schewel has always been keen on helping people and a big advocate for equality and justice. […]

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Who is Farad Ali?

By Julian Keeler

Farad Ali has become a well-known figure in the Durham community because of his professional work, service, and commitment. Now, after nearly 30 years of involvement in the city, Ali has his sights on being the city’s next mayor. Ali, along with his supporters, believe with his leadership and experience, Durham could shift in a […]

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Inside Outside Alliance demands change at Durham County Correctional Facility

By Sarah Cline

October 18, 2017

The conditions at the Durham County Correctional Facility need to change, according to the Inside Outside Alliance. And they’re doing everything in their power to make it happen. As part of ongoing protests for prison reforms at the correctional facility, protesters gathered outside of the jail last Friday to voice their grievances with the treatment […]

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