Working for Durham

Over the past decade, Jovonia has volunteered, served and advocated for equity, human rights, and dignity in the Durham community. She is never satisfied with the status quo. As an elected school board member, Jovonia recognized that systems impacting children and families have to be addressed simultaneously.  She is running to serve on the Durham County Commissions because of my deep sense of commitment and desire to impact positive change! As a county commissioner, Jovonia will prioritize affordable housing and sustainable workforce development, public safety and wellness, and public health. She will collaborate with compassion to meet the needs of people living in Durham today, as well as the people who will call Durham home in years to come. As Jovonia champions a more equitable, safe and progressive Durham for all, her leadership priorities include: 

  • Economic Growth and Workforce Development: Durham’s workers–including young people– should thrive and be able to work in the city they live in, and live in the city they work in. Jovonia will promote economic growth that prioritizes affordable housing and innovative business and workforce development.
  • Public safety and mental health: Together, we are championing for a county where families feel safe, understood, and surrounded by a community of care and support when engaging law enforcement and the justice system. Jovonia envisions a public safety system that employs mental health conscious interventions and multi-system prevention approaches. 
  • Public health: We envision a Durham where every resident has access to the public health information  resources access needed to, not only survive but, THRIVE.  Jovonia will continue to advocate for public health and education systems that prioritize whole person and community care.

Economic Growth & Workforce Development
Comprehensive and collaborative workforce development planning is key to a thriving community. With affordable housing and policies that support smart, innovative and healthy business and school growth, we can re-imagine and leverage public-private partnerships to ensure long term benefit for all of Durham’s residents. Additionally, by supporting a more seamless transition from education to employment and entrepreneurship, we foster more sustainable growth and prosperity of our community. Together, we can create opportunities for our youth, individuals living with disabilities, and so many others whose voices are missed and–frequently– forgotten.

Public Safety and Mental Health
Addressing fundamental human rights such as housing, education, food security, and workforce development will improve community safety and reduce crime. Community safety and reducing crime must be approached from multisystems preventions and interventions. As we push to think more expansively about public health and associated initiatives, we can learn valuable lessons from programs like HEART–the City of Durham’s Holistic Empathetic Assistance Response Team. Programs that bring health care workers to the community foster a culture of support that empowers and, frankly, saves lives. 

Prioritizing public safety and wellness from a both/and perspective is imperative, as is offering the support needed for community accountability and healing. Consistently leading through these channels will make Durham a greater place to live, work, raise children, and retire.