Contact us at:

Mark Hellman, President
The People’s Alliance Fund
1101 Wells Street
Durham, North Carolina 27707

[email protected]

Board of Directors

Mark Hellman, President, 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 People's Alliance Economic Justice Action Team, he led the successful effort in 2014 to repeal Durham's regressive trash pickup fee.  As a volunteer with You Can Vote, a former Fund project, he has registered new voters in high schools, shopping center parking lots, and wherever else they can be found. 

David Straley, Treasurer, has lived in nearby Chapel Hill and now Durham almost since birth, except for intermissions at Carleton College and in Italy, Boston, France, and rural Vermont.  A semi-retired computer programmer at Duke University and sometime activist in the Sierra Club, David joined People's Alliance in 1982 and served as treasurer of the People's Alliance Political Action Committee (PA-PAC) as it grew in size and influence from 1988 to 2022.

Bettina Umstead, Secretary.  Bettina is a change agent who advocates for a more just and equitable community for all. She brings more than 10 years of experience devoted to non-profit organization-building and college access programming. Bettina’s professional and community-building efforts have focused on public education. As such, she has served on the Durham Public Schools Board of Education since 2016 and is the current chair of the board. Prior to her professional experience, Bettina graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in Middle Grades Education with a focus on Language Arts & Social Studies. She supports the People of Color Caucus of Organizing Against Racism as well as providing racial equity training for educators.


Sendolo Diaminah is the Co-Director of the Carolina Federation, where s/he works building governing power for working people and communities of color in North Carolina.  S/he is a strategist with over 15 years of experience in community and electoral organizing, as well as experience winning and holding elected office.  Before founding the Carolina Federation, Sendolo worked as training director at Black Organizing for Leadership & Dignity (BOLD), where s/he developed somatically-based leadership curriculum for organizers and executive directors.

Treat Harvey spent 25 years as a nonprofit fundraiser in Durham.  She has worked in education and the arts, helping raise funds and increase awareness of issues at Student U, Triangle Community Foundation, Carolina Theatre of Durham, the Emily Krzyzewski Center, International Youth Foundation (Baltimore, MD), Duke University, Durham Arts Council, and Smith College (Northampton, MA).  She left her job in hotel sales and marketing in New York to move to the Triangle in 1995, immediately fell in love with Durham and its progressive politics and says she will never leave.