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Shelia Huggins

Shelia Huggins


Durham, NC

Running For

City Council


"Vote for Shelia - Experience, Leadership, Innovation for a Better Durham"



I believe we need more than just living wages, not just good jobs but career-developing jobs, and quality future-oriented job training programs that provide a pathway to building generational wealth. Along with supporting our educational partners, we have to focus on our local economy, because without it our residents can't buy food, can't pay for housing, and can't supply their families with other basic needs like health care and transportation. I fully support our local business owners, who are working hard to contribute to our local economy, and I plan to work closely with our job training partners so that our residents are prepared for the future. When we provide a pathway to jobs, we also provide a pathway to housing. I've created a plan called The 60th. It's a process that we can use to better connect jobs to housing for our residents.


Now more than ever, we must govern in a manner that takes into account the impact of our decisions on the environment and our residents. One action that we can immediately take is to include an environmental impact statement to every appropriate agenda item that council votes on. With this action, council and our residents will know when we’re moving in the right direction, when we’re maintaining the status quo, and where we have opportunities for further study and change. This one piece of information can be helpful not just for our future as a community but for the livelihood of our community now.

Compassionate Governance

For too long, many of our priorities have been treated as if they are polar opposites. For instance, I know that we also know that we can support our first responders in a manner that is respectful to the work that they do and yet holds them accountable for also treating residents with respect. For me, it's important that we have leadership that focuses more on building bridges rather than building walls.

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Candidate info

About me

Shelia Huggins is an attorney with almost nine years of direct municipal government experience and a strong commitment to her community. With a background in law and a Master of Public Administration degree, she has the knowledge and skills necessary to analyze the challenges facing the city and make informed decisions. Shelia's experience as a real estate manager and assistant director for community engagement has given her a comprehensive understanding of city operations and the ability to respond to residents' concerns. Her past work on complex issues such as environmental contamination and construction project management demonstrates her dedication to finding solutions and improving service delivery. Shelia's passion for genealogy research and tracing her family's history reflects her curiosity and desire to understand our past and shape the future. As a member of the City Council, Shelia will listen to all voices, challenge traditional assumptions, and set high expectations for herself and the community. With a team-based approach, she is committed to serving all of Durham's residents and building a better future for the city.
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Why I'm Running

As a dedicated attorney with nearly nine years of direct municipal government experience, a passion for community service, and a strong educational background, I am committed to serving the residents of our city as a member of the City Council. Through my diverse roles in the city, such as real estate manager, assistant director for community engagement, and senior administration manager, I have gained invaluable hands-on experience in budgeting, strategic planning, resident engagement, and staff training. I have a deep understanding of the challenges our city faces as it continues to grow and strive to deliver quality services with limited resources. In addition to my municipal experience, my background as a business law attorney and former environmental chemist gives me a unique perspective on environmental issues and a commitment to supporting small businesses. I am dedicated to listening to all voices, challenging traditional assumptions, and setting high expectations for myself and our community partners to help build a brighter future for Durham.
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Current Occupation

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Past Experience

I possess 1) almost nine years of direct municipal government experience; 2) a history of service, leadership, and commitment to my community; and 3) an educational background that includes a law degree and a Master of Public Administration degree. During my tenure with the city, I was the real estate manager in the General Services Department, assistant director for community engagement in Neighborhood Improvement Services, and senior administration manager in the Office of Economic and Workforce Development. As a result, I gained significant hands-on experience directing the city’s budget process at the departmental level, managing the strategic planning process, responding to residents’ concerns, and providing training opportunities for staff. I understand the challenges that the city faces as it grows and tries to provide quality and efficient services with limited resources, especially during this time of growth. My knowledge of city operations provides me with the ability to comprehensively analyze the challenges that council members are asked to consider. During my employment with the City of Durham, I worked on complex issues relating to environmental contamination, construction project management, transportation, and real estate. In 2012, I presented at the Transforming Local Governments Conference in Kansas, Missouri, where I spoke about the Northeast Central Durham Livability Initiative and how we worked with residents to improve service delivery through community engagement. I completed the city’s Management Academy and the Culture of Service Certification Program and worked with our community engagement team on projects such as Play Streets, National Night Out, and the Humphrey Street Beautification Project. In addition to my City of Durham employment, my professional experience as a business law attorney and former environmental chemist provides a unique opportunity for the residents of Durham to have someone with a well-established understanding of environmental issues and a commitment to helping small businesses. While in law school, I took classes in land use, property law, and real estate finance. My independent research project centered on the history of African-American land ownership and the business loan practices of the Farmer’s Home Administration that led to the agency being called “the last plantation.” I’m a former real estate broker, and I’ve served on the NCCU School of Business Board of Visitors and the Alamance Community College Small Business Center Board of Advisors. This knowledge and experience will be informative as we work on housing and development issues. During my City of Durham employment, I was recognized as a Culture of Service Champion, received S.T.A.R. awards for leadership and teamwork, and completed the City’s Management Academy. But my experience, strengths, and ideas are nothing without a team-based approach to implementation. As a member of the City Council, I will be committed to serving all of Durham’s residents. I understand the challenges our City Council members will be tasked with resolving, and I will draw on my experiences and desire to help us build the Durham of the future. I pledge to listen to all voices, to challenge traditional assumptions used during decision-making processes, and to set high expectations for myself and our community partners.
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Fun Fact

My undergraduate degree is in the sciences, with a minor in genetics. In my downtime, I love doing genealogy research and tracing my family's history. I've also had several of my family members' 23 and Me tests completed. It's been eye-opening to learn about our history from a biological and genealogical perspective.
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