During our conversation with three of the mayoral candidates (see page 38) we probed a little bit about what policy differences exist among them that voters might consider before making their decision.
I got the sense that policies, important as they are, are less important to these three candidates than what each of them continually referred to as “Durham values.”
The phrase they refer to can be boiled down to the progressive strain that has run through Durham for as long as most people can remember. It manifests itself in Pierce Freelon’s insistence that “it’s important to plant seeds now [to solve the housing situation] so we will be sustainable over the long run – we don’t want
the people who are here now to be pushed out.” It’s evident in the possible tax relief the city should provide low-income homeowners so they can remain in their homes, as Steve Schewel suggests. Or in the investment groups Farad Ali proposes to help relieve the same housing issues.
In this instance, each candidates’ goal is to protect and assist specific homeowners that may be tempted to sell to speculators – OK, flippers – and they each proposed different, but not conflicting, proposals.
“Well, I think that everybody’s got different good ideas,” Steve said, and Farad and Pierce agreed.
If you take the time to read the Q&A, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the collegial nature of the candidates. They genuinely respect one another and that, too, is a Durham value.
“There’s a constant attacking that we see everywhere, and that’s not helpful to the kind of society we want to build,” Steve said. “I think there is this Trump effect, that what happened in the national election was shocking, and what’s happening in our state legislature is a harsh reality. We need to project our progressive values.”
One of the candidates we spoke to is almost certainly going to be the next mayor of Durham, but all three promised that their work for the city – for Durham’s values – won’t end the day after November 7, regardless of the outcome.
And this commitment to civic duty is just one of the things that’s made our city great, long before it was cool to newcomers. “It doesn’t surprise me,” Pierce said, “not in Durham.”
I completely agree. – Dan Shannon, President, Durham Magazine
Click below to flip through our October/November 2017 issue and let us know what you think by dropping a line to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To get to a specific section, click on the articles below.
38 Running for Mayor
Three candidates share their thoughts in a wide-ranging conversation
66 Autumn’s Abundance
Spice up your fall calendar with these family-friendly events
DEPARTMENTS AND COLUMNS
What we’ve heard around town …
28 Go. See. Do.
Autumn’s hottest events
34 In Their Words
Dr. David S. Pisetsky compares Durham to the Big Apple
60 Deal Estate
How far does your dollar go in the current housing market?