Forum for Durham City Council Candidates Thursday

Thursday, October 8, 2015
Initiative on Poverty and Social Justice

The Initiative on Poverty and Social Justice will hold a forum for six Durham city council candidates on Thursday, Oct. 15.

The 7 p.m. event, to be held in the Nelson Music Room in the East Duke Building on East Campus, is free and open to the public. Off street parking is available.

The candidates -- Ricky Hart, Jillian Johnson, Charlie Reece, Steve Schewel, Michael Shiflett and Robert Stephens -- will share their platforms before the upcoming municipal election on Nov. 3. They will take questions from students and then from the general audience. Poverty, immigration, policing, employment and enhancing city infrastructure are among the themes likely to be discussed.

“The forum is a great opportunity for all students -- politically inclined or not -- to educate themselves about the major issues Durham is faced with,” said co-organizer Luke Raskopf, a Duke senior who is part of the university’s Initiative on Poverty and Social Justice.

Attendees are encouraged to live tweet the event using the hashtag #DukeVotes2015.

In an effort to get at least 1,000 students to vote in the upcoming election, the Cook Center is also co-sponsoring Duke Votes Durham Day on Friday, Oct. 23, during the city’s early voting period. A bus and several vehicles driven by Duke administrators will take students to polls to register to vote between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.

At 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 27, Duke faculty will hold a teach-in titled “They Don’t Want Us to Vote Because …” in Room 16 of the Westbrook Building in the Duke Divinity School. Organized by Scholars for N.C. Future, an organization co-founded by Duke history professor Nancy MacLean, the teach-in will be held at colleges and universities statewide over the next year.

The candidates’ forum is sponsored by the Initiative on Poverty and Social Justice, a joint project with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill that is part of Duke’s Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity. Other sponsors include the Duke Office of Civic Engagement, Human Rights Center at the Franklin Humanities Institute, POLIS: The Center for Politics, Leadership, Innovation and Service at the Sanford School of Public Policy, and the Forum for Scholars and Publics.

Student group co-sponsors include the Duke Political Science Union, Duke Political Union, Duke Political Review, Duke Democrats, Duke Republicans, and Duke Debate.