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Mark Hellman, President
The People’s Alliance Fund
1101 Wells Street
Durham, North Carolina 27707
Board of Directors
Mark Hellman, President. Mark is a retired state employee who moved to North Carolina from Chicago in 1974 after earning degrees at Valparaiso University and the University of Michigan. He has been active in People's Alliance since its founding in 1976, performing a number of roles in the general membership organization, the Political Action Committee, and the Fund. As a member of the Economic Inequality Action Team, he led the successful effort in 2014 to repeal Durham's regressive trash pickup fee. As a volunteer with You Can Vote, he has registered new voters in high schools, shopping center parking lots, and his ne
ighborhood. Mark makes deliveries for Meals on Wheels of Durham several times a month.
Jennifer McGovern, Treasurer. Jennifer is a tutor of students from the elementary grades through high school and a long-time community activist in Durham. Jennifer was the People’s Alliance staff person from 1989 to 1997. She has degrees from Duke University and North Carolina Central University. Upon becoming certified to teach, Jennifer began tutoring at-risk students in the Fast Track Project at Duke and taught reading to struggling GED students in the Durham Public Schools. She was a founding board member of the Achievement Academy of Durham and works part-time on the staff of the Resource Center for Women and Ministry in the South.
Mandy Carter, a native of Schenectady, New York, is a longtime Durham resident and even longer-time advocate fo
r justice, having begun her career as an organizer on the West Coast in 1969. She is one of the co-founders and a former executive director of Southerners on New Ground (SONG), which combines work against homophobia with other civil rights efforts in the South. Mandy is also a co-founder of the National Black Justice Coalition, which does the same across the country. She was a member of the Democratic National Committee from 1996 to 2000 and has led voter mobilization efforts in North Carolina, Florida, and other Southern states. Mandy has her own consulting business, working with civil rights organizations across the country.
Diane Catotti served 12 years on the Durham City Council (2003-15). During her time on the Council, she championed a number of progressive issues and took a leading role in advocating for affordable housing and public transit, sustainable development, tax fairness, and LGBTQ rights. Diane served on the Joint City/County Planning Committee and the Durham-Chapel Hill-Carrboro Metropolitan Planning Organization and the Boards of Directors of Downtown Durham Inc. and Durham Central Park, among others. She has been a member of People's Alliance since 1993 and was president of the organization in the late 1990s. Diane has degrees in economics, political science, and public health from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and is fluent in Spanish. She works professionally on global healthcare policy and program management.
Eddie Davis, a native of Elizabeth City, North Carolina, has lived in Durham for thirty-five years. He is a retired public school teacher. Eddie currently serves on the Durham City Council, having won election in 2013. He was a voting member of the North Carolina Board of Education from 1993 to 2001, the first active teacher appointed to such a position. Eddie has also served on the Executive Committee of the National Education Association (1996-2001) and as president of the North Carolina Association of Educators (2004-08). In 1989 he guided a group of students at Durham's Hillside High School in successfully lobbying the General Assembly to finally ratify the 24th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which outlawed the use of poll taxes when it was added in 1964. He earned a BA in English at Elizabeth City State University and has done post-graduate study at North Carolina Wesleyan College and North Carolina Central University.
Rebecca Reyes retired recently as coordinator for Latino Health Services at Duke University Hospital, where she worked for over 25 years helping the hospital better serve North Carolina's growing latino population. A native of Texas, Rebecca initially moved to the state to serve as a campus minister at the University ofNorth Carolina-Chapel Hill. During over three decades as a resident of Durham, she has served on numerous boards and commissions. She also is currently parish associate at the Church of Reconciliation in Chapel Hill and chairs a denomination-wide committee for the Presbyterian Church (USA). Rebecca holds a BS degree in biology from Texas A & M University-Corpus Christi and masters degrees from Austin Theological Presbyterian Seminary and UNC-Chapel Hill. Earlier this year, the seminary recognized her with its Distinguished Alumni Award.
John Schelp led the Old West Durham Neighborhood Association as president for many years and is still a participating member and avid local historian. He has been active in environmental justice battles in East Durham and along the NC 147 corridor and has also been behind every successful fight to prevent billboard companies from erecting electronic billboards in Durham. John has been a Peace Corps volunteer and has served as president of the North Carolina Peace Corps Association, as vice-president of the Durham NAACP, and as an elections observer for Jimmy Carter in Liberia. He is currently chair of the Parent Council at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro.
Kate Fellman is the Program Director of The People's Alliance Fund. She previously served as the staff person for the Fund's sister membership organization, People's Alliance. Kate has been invigorated by engaging Durham in progressive issues and bringing a new and diverse generation of activists into the Fund's projects and activities. She formed the Durham Votes Coalition that created the You Can Vote project and has worked as both staff and volunteer in a number of other issue areas. Kate has a passion for civic engagement and making voting an integral part of people’s lives to help empower underrepresented communities. She is an active public school advocate and is currently serving as PTA President of her son’s middle school, a Durham Public School serving a diverse and high-needs population representing over 30 countries. During college in her native Minnesota she was an intern for the late U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone.