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Creating a Better Durham

Plan for People

Durham’s greatest strength is its people. But for everyone to thrive, we need more housing that is permanently affordable, streets where people are safe and free from violence, jobs that provide stability, and quality public spaces to connect with one another.


With Nate on Council, Durham can (and will!) build a sustainable and just city. This starts with community planning, which sets bold but implementable goals, considers the uniqueness of each neighborhood, and puts the needs of Durham residents and small businesses over corporate real estate special interests. If we're going to achieve the big ideas that we need, we must do it working together.

Build a Walkable City

The status quo has doubled down on building Durham for more cars and traffic rather than people and places. It is time to overhaul our development regulations to ensure new development is pedestrian-oriented, mixed use, and incorporates public amenities like transit infrastructure, wide sidewalks, protected bike lanes, vibrant public parks and plazas, green building design, street trees, and affordable housing. 

Explore more about what people centered development means

Create and Maintain
Affordable Housing

We need to use every tool in the toolbox to fight the economic displacement upending Durham's communities. We must ensure that all people that currently live in Durham and want to stay here are not denied a home and community simply because they aren't wealthy and privileged. We must work with tenants and community partners to grow the citywide stock of permanent affordable housing and protect and support our existing affordable housing.

Read Nate's op-ed on creating and maintaining affordable housing.

People Powered Plans

Durham is the largest city in North Carolina without a small area planning program. On Council, Nate will fight for a system of community planning in Durham to better engage with residents and small businesses, improve the quality of new development, eliminate food deserts, create pocket parks, support small-scale entrepreneurship opportunities, build corner shops, create affordable housing, and plan better, more inclusive zoning.

Learn more about the benefits of small area planning.

Protect Our Environment

Nate knows how to use the power of government to address the major challenges facing our environment today: climate change, destruction of forests, out of control sprawl (just to name a few). Through Nate's work on Council, Durham can lead on the environment, creating a healthy, clean and beautiful place for all.

Act Boldly on Climate Change

Future generations will look back on the actions we take today and ask whether we did enough to set a course toward becoming a sustainable and carbon-neutral city. To tell them yes, we must develop a bold multijurisdictional climate action plan that involves cities and counties around the region. This Plan will address green energy, open space protection, resilient neighborhoods, interjurisdictional housing and transit goals, green jobs, sustainable foods, and more. We must deeply involve marginalized communities in all sustainability strategies. 

Read about Our Green New Deal for Durham.

Manage Growth & Save Forests

The battle over sustainability will be lost or won by how we manage our growth. Durham approves the demolition of nearly 500,000 trees and two square miles of forest and farmland every year for irresponsible and permanently car-centric sprawl development lacking housing variety, public parks, accessible jobs or services, or transportation options.


Nate will work to end unsustainable and unjust sprawl once and for all and reorient our growth to be more diverse, inclusive, green, and sustainable for future generations.

Learn more about Nate's plan for sustainable, sprawless growth

Expand Transportation Options

Cars are dangerous, expensive, climate killers. And yet, with the way Durham is designed, only four percent of us are able to get to work without one! Durham must boldly overhaul its street design requirements and procedures to create safe, convenient, and comfortable bus, bike, and pedestrian options.


On state-owned roads that the city doesn't control, we need to adopt local plans to require better street design and maintenance by the state. On Council, Nate will advocate for transit-oriented development, keeping local transit service free, and bring bus rapid transit (BRT) to connect Durhamites to the larger region.

Prioritize Good Government

Local government plays an outsized and underappreciated role in our day to day lives. Durham's local services lag behind our neighbors, and we can do better. Nate will advocate for a just distribution of city services, including creating neighborhood parks, safe communities, accountable government systems, and finding creative revenue solutions.

Plan and Expand our Parks

Parks, recreation, and cultural spaces are a fundamental responsibility of local government and important for Durham's quality of life. Currently, Durham trails peer cities in our number, quality, and accessibility of parks and greenways. The Parks and Recreation Master Plan is underway, and we must fund and implement the plan's recommendations to enhance and expand our parks and recreation options, especially for Durham's young people.


Currently, Durham only requires small amounts of private open space during development, usually creating isolated, unusable spaces. Nate will advocate for laws that ensure new developments create public greenways and parks, expanding public access to community spaces for all residents.

Create Safe Commmunities

Underlying our violent crime problems are federal and state governments choosing not to invest in housing, education, and fundamental social needs; a powerful gun lobby that sinks meaningful gun control legislation; and an unjust criminal justice system. But let's be clear: there are things we can and must do to keep people safe.


We must use evidence-based methods to make our communities safer, including paying competitive wages to our emergency service workers, invest in proven gang intervention programs, and the expansion of the HEART Program and the Community Safety Department. We also must support comprehensive long-term approaches to crime reduction, like prioritizing youth programs and internships in the budget, and investing in parks and recreation, affordable housing, job training, and progressive criminal justice reforms. On Council, Nate will maintaining dialogue and ensure accountability between the police department and community members.

People Power our Government

Government should put the needs of Durhamites and our rooted small businesses over corporate profits. Our campaign does not accept contributions from big real estate developers because of the unique authority of local elected officials over real estate regulations. Campaign contributions influence even the most moral candidates, and we believe it is an ethical imperative to refuse to take money from businesses that you regulate.


On Council, Nate will push for ethical, accountable government that measures success using metrics that represent the values of Durham residents. For example, we should measure progress on increasing the ability of residents to bike and take transit, increasing the percentage of homes within 5-minute walk to parks and greenways, and decreasing rates of residential displacement. 

Power of the Purse

How the city generates fair revenue is critical for service and program expansions and salary increases to retain workers and pay them a fair wage. The City must explore creative solutions to maintain and expand high quality infrastructure and services while promoting long term fiscal balance.

Nate will work to find creative revenue options on Council, such as ensuring new development covers its own costs, tax increment financing, and exploring payment-in-lieu of taxes for our City's largest university.

Fighting From the Bottom Up

The State of North Carolina is controlled by oligarchic powers that seek to dismantle our public education system, privative public services, enrich the already-wealthy, and erode human rights and bodily autonomy. 

On City Council, Nate will use his voice and every lever of power possible to fight for the LGBTQ+ community, safe and legal abortion, immigrants rights, and voting rights. We must do everything we can to fight against discrimination in all of its forms.

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