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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 neighborhood.   Photo_7-25-17.jpg

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. 

Deondra Rose. Deondra is an Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Political Science at Duke University.  Her research focuses on the feedback effects of landmark social policies on the American political landscape.  Her first book, Citizens by Degree (Oxford University Press, 2018), examines the development of major U.S. higher education policies--including the National Defense Education Act of 1958 and their impact on the gender dynamics of American citizenship. A summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Georgia, Deondra received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Government from Cornell University, with a specialization in American Politics and public policy.




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. 


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.