30 Nov 2012
Resident Council Elections in the Mac
By Sendolo Diaminah
Almost two years ago People’s Durham began organizing in McDougald Terrace (“the Mac”), Durham’s largest and oldest public housing project. Over this time we have organized against unfair evictions, helped paint apartments, mobilized voters, and thrown an election-day party with more than a hundred residents. Most important of all, we have built strong relationships with leaders.
This winter our organizing is taking a major step forward. Four of our members are running together as a slate for officer positions on the Mac’s resident council. This is big news because the resident council officers are the official representative of residents with the Durham Housing Authority (DHA). Federal public housing regulations require DHA to recognize, fund, and work with the resident council.
The leadership of resident council is particularly important right now because DHA will soon begin a planning process for the demolition and re-development of the Mac and the surrounding community. The planning is funded through a federal Choice Neighborhood Initiative (CNI) grant, which requires resident and community participation. Of course, what that representation means and is able to fight for depends on how informed and organized the residents are.
Over the next few months People’s Durham will be supporting our members in developing their platform and vision and carrying out an election campaign like the Mac has never seen before. Keep an eye on our website for updates on this work and be sure to check out the next newsletter for statements from the candidates themselves!
Our Members, Our Candidates!
Theresa Wilson, President
Fanny Burnett, Vice-President
Venus Murray, Treasurer
Tina Overby, Assistant Treasurer