For the last decade, I have worked tirelessly as a student leader, organizer, and resident to do my part in creating a Durham where all people can thrive regardless of race, socio-economic background, and gender. I am running for City Council to bring another responsive voice to city leadership. As a candidate, I believe in transparency, accountability, and community involvement. Together, we can make Durham a better place for everyone.
During elections, community groups and organizations host candidate forums or candidate meet & greet events. They also send out questionnaires for candidate responses. Shanetta had the opportunity to participate in a town hall sponsored by the Politics and Culture Club of Carolina Arbors, The Leesville Road Coalition, and The InterNeighborhood Council of Durham. Candidates were given two minutes to introduce themselves and one minute to respond to each question. The town hall ended with one minute summary remarks. Click below to see the recording.
Shanetta Burris is a North Carolina native. She was born in Gastonia, NC, and moved to the Triangle as a teenager attending Cedar Ridge High School in Hillsborough, North Carolina. She has a deep affinity for family and community and is passionate about creating a fair system for all people. Shanetta is a double graduate of North Carolina Central University, where she earned a Bachelor's Degree and earned a Master of Public Administration. Embodying the spirit of service and scholarship, she is a proud member of the Alpha Zeta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
I believe that Durham can be a city where everyone has the opportunity to succeed. As a City Council member, I will work to create policies that promote equity, justice, and economic growth for all residents.
Accountability & Respect
Prioritize the golden rule–treat others as you wish to be treated. As your next City Council member, I will treat all residents who come before council with the respect they deserve. We all care about Durham, and our concerns should be heard and taken seriously–not dismissed.
Prioritize creating a variety of housing options for low and middle income individuals and families, as well as first generation college students. Housing prices in Durham have reached unattainable levels for both low and middle income individuals and families, resulting in people being pushed out of the city.
Prioritize smart development that sustains our natural environment. Our choices have the power to disrupt the natural ecosystem, as we see with climate change. When making decisions and directing staff, we must think about the future and mitigate hazards to protect wildlife and our natural environment. We not only must be good stewards of the environment, but also be good neighbors to surrounding cities.
Prioritize planning to account for basic infrastructure needs as the city grows. Durham continues to grow with new people moving into the city and county land being annexed into city limits. Our infrastructure needs are increasing. There must be a plan in place to ensure that city residents' municipal needs are not compromised by Council decisions on land annexations.
Prioritize the basic needs of people and address root causes of crime to ensure all residents have a decent quality of life. As we hear more and more stories about gun violence and young people bringing weapons to school, we must be open and honest to understand why this is happening and find solutions. That means understanding there are different reasons why these events are occurring, which means reaching into our collective toolboxes to implement a variety of solutions.
Shanetta has experience in the areas of electoral politics and issue organizing. She has worked as Associate Organizer with Durham CAN, Organizing Director with America Votes, and Senior State Organizing Manager with the Black Voters Matter Fund. She currently serves as a Program Manager with Lillian’s List.
President of the Durham Congregations, Associations, and Neighborhoods (CAN) Chapter at North Carolina Central University (NCCU) (2015 - 2023)
Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People, First Vice Chair (January 2021 - March 2022)
Durham African American Caucus, First Vice President (January 2022 - Present)
Precinct 51 Precinct Committee, First Vice Chair (February 2023 - Present)
Other Relevant Experience
Director of the NCCU Department of Public Administration’s Non-Profit Incubator
NCCU Assistant Professor Search Committee
NCCU Civic Engagement Work Group, Inaugural Member