Editor's note: This article is part of a series of mayoral and city council candidate profiles. Check back for more throughout the week.
Durham mayoral hopeful Charlitta Burruss is an evangelist, neighborhood leader and advocate for community and law enforcement collaboration.
Burruss spoke at a public hearing over Durham’s proposed 2022 budget, which called for reallocating some positions from Durham Police Department to alternative unarmed emergency responders. Here, she expressed concern about the safety of her east Durham neighborhood.
“We need the police. It’s dangerous out here,” she said at the meeting.
Burruss has also been vocal about the community working together with law enforcement to solve homicides in Durham as 84% of shooting incidents in the first half of this year have remained unsolved.
Burruss coordinated with DPD to organize a community event where police officers spent time with families in Edgemont Elms in order to build trust and transparency between residents and officers.
At the event, Burruss told CBS17 that “relationships make a difference. And you don’t have to be scared, we just have to come together.”
The city of Durham recognized Burruss in November 2018, when she received the Neighbor Spotlight Award for her “efforts to improve her community.”
To improve Durham’s low-income neighborhoods, Burruss advocated for “more affordable after school activities and programs for people without transportation” and “proactive ways to bring people into work, especially for people who are homeless, were incarcerated or are disabled.”
Burruss served as a member of residential council in her previous neighborhood, Calvert Place. She is currently residential council vice president in her current neighborhood, Edgemont Elms.
Burruss works as an overseer and preacher at Exalted Word of God Kingdom Ministries. The nonprofit faith-based group hosts charity events across Durham, such as collecting and distributing donations of food, clothing and other necessities to residents in need.
Burruss previously ran for Durham City Council in 2019 and received 2.6% of the vote in the primary. She did not advance to the general election.
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Burruss received her associate's degree in human services from South Piedmont Community College and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in social work from Gardner-Webb University. She is registered to vote as a Democrat.
Burruss did not respond to multiple interview requests from The Chronicle.
Anisha Reddy is a Trinity sophomore and an associate news editor of The Chronicle's 117th volume.