Letter to Durham Residents

Dear Durham,

As an Episcopalian Christian, I believe in keeping God first in everything I do, believing that all things will fall into place. I am a progressive liberal. I am a mother. I am a wife. I am a black woman. I am an organizer. I am a community advocate. I am a democrat who believes in the ideals of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X in the context of this day and time. Although there is more work ahead to ensure equality and equity for all, my lived experience and lessons learned from past generations call me to lead for future generations.

I am running for re-election to bring equitable resources, equality and economic justice for all. My focus on progress and improvement may come across as anger, but it is a manifestation of my passion to make our community a better place for our children. I believe in the Native American Proverb: “We don’t inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow this earth from our children.” I believe, ‘We the People’ have the power to preserve this earth, shape our country, and empower our communities through our government and our politics. We can create sustainable communities that harness the ingenuity and creativity of the people of Durham and share it with communities across North Carolina and the world. My goal is to continue to be one of our community representatives who cultivates change and harnesses our collective power to advance the role of our government in assuring each of us our civil rights, civil liberties, and environmental safety.

I was born in Trenton, New Jersey, and raised in the Bronx, New York, before returning to Montclair, New Jersey for high school. Being the oldest of six children in a single-parent household, I took an active role in raising my siblings. This was especially the case with my baby sister, who has severe developmental and physical disabilities.

As a person who understands the benefits of government subsidies and social programs that provided temporary, and sometimes long-term, assistance for food, health insurance, housing, unemployment, education, and affirmative action, I also understand how systemic and institutional inequities divide our community. I am committed to creating opportunities for economic advancement. I am committed to seeing the people of this community strengthened with the alleviation of the consequence of social injustice.

Over the last thirteen years, I have lived in a working-class community in East Durham. Working to strengthen my community has been a top priority. I know that we can do a better job of taking care of those who are most impacted, especially children, residents with disabilities, and seniors that lack access to resources due to low or no material wealth.

I am running to represent:

  • Underrepresented or unrepresented voices

  • Families with young children

  • Families that face the side effects of long term unemployment

  • Small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs

  • Organizations and practitioners serving the needs of the community

  • Adults, children, and seniors with disabilities

  • Marriage EQUALITY

  • Non-drivers who are dependent on public transportation

  • Parents of Murdered Children

  • Undocumented Immigrants

  • First-generation homeowners

  • First-generation college students and graduates

I have always felt the need to lead by example. My experiences led me to step forward in 2017 to serve as a resident of our community and perform my civic duty. I will continue to lead by being the change we want to see in Durham. I will challenge people to dream, hope, and do the work to build up our children and improve our community. I will continue the fight to provide the residents of this city with the consideration, compassion, respect, and support they deserve.

I am committed to serving my community as a connector to preserve and protect the opportunities that were afforded to me, understanding that most of the systems and institutions that are in place undermine our communities’ progress. As such, I will continue to challenge the business as usual approach.

As a lifelong public servant, I seek opportunities to contribute to the legacy of a long line of matriarchs in my family. I am the great-granddaughter of Carrie Elizabeth Smith, and I seek to serve the people of this community. I am asking for your vote.

Yours in service,

DeDreana Freeman

EXPERIENCE

City Council Committee Appointments

  • Carolina Theater

  • Triangle J Center of the Region Enterprise

  • Durham Open Space & Trails Commission

  • Environmental Affairs Board

  • Joint City/County Committee

  • Jordan Lake One Water Alliance

  • Mayor's Committee for Persons with Disabilities

  • Northeast Central Durham Subcommittee (Chair)

  • Workforce Development Board

Elected/Appointed Positions:

  • Democratic National Convention Delegate 2020

  • N.C. Democratic Party State Executive Committee (SEC) 2016-present

  • N.C. Democratic Party, Convention Delegate 2014-present

  • National League of Cities (NLC) Transportation & Infrastructure, Federal Advocacy, Racial Equity Committees

  • National League of Cities Race, Equity and Leadership (REAL) Council

  • North Carolina League of Cities - Women In Municipal Government, President

Other Community Involvement:

  • North Carolina Director, Our Black Party (2021-present)

  • Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina, Racial Justice and Reconciliation Committee, Co-Chair (2016

  • Episcopalians United Against Racism, Co-Founder/Core Team Leader (

  • Organizing Against Racism (OAR) Durham, Coordinating Committee/Organizer

  • Inter-Neighborhood Council of Durham

    • Subcommittees included: Transportation, Zoning and Traffic (2009-2017); President (2015-2017)

  • Partnership Effort for the Advancement of Children’s Health (PEACH), Steering Committee/Consultant/Volunteer/Trainer (2010-2013)

  • Liberia Medicals, Inc. (LMI), Executive Board Member

  • Bless Durham/Christian Community Development Association (CCDA), Alternative Housing Chair

  • Affordable Housing and Transit Coalition

  • City of Durham-Community Capital Improvement Plan Committee

  • Northeast Central Durham Leadership Council (2014-2017); Chair (2015-2017)

  • Junior League of Durham and Orange Counties-Issues to Impact, Community Partnerships

Previous Elected/Appointed Positions:

  • Durham Democratic Party Precinct 17, Chair (2012-2018)

  • Durham Democratic Party, 3rd Vice Chair (2014-2015)

  • Durham City & County Planning Commission (2013-2017)

  • County of Durham Transportation Advisory Board (ACCESS), Chair (2013-2017)

  • Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) North Carolina Division of Public Health (NCPH), Healthy Homes Task Force

  • Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) North Carolina Division of Public Health (NCPH), Lead Poison Prevention Task Force

  • North Carolina Division of Public Health (NCPH), Durham County Health Department – Healthy Families Durham - Obesity & Chronic Illness (OCI)

  • City of Durham’s Office of Economic & Workforce Development - Streetscape Advisory Steering Committee

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Paid for by the Committee to Elect DeDreana Freeman