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Meet NC’s Mayors — Steve Schewel of Durham

Courtesy of UNC Libraries

Work-arounds are his specialty. In the Bull City, ID cards are available to undocumented residents, and a chunk of property tax revenues recycle back into affordable housing initiatives. But Steve Schewel’s use of establishment power to bend establishment norms took some practice. 

Credit Steve Schewel for Durham
Before entering politics, Schewel was arrested for participating in successful direct-action protests against the Durham Freeway.

Before becoming Durham’s mayor, he was an emboldened student leader at Duke University, an activist arrested multiple times for direct-action protest and the founder of “Indy Week,” the Triangle’s alternative weekly newspaper. Now heading North Carolina’s fourth largest city, he must answer to critics reminiscent of his former selves. Host Frank Stasio asks Mayor Schewel how his relationship with authority and activism has changed now that protesters stand against public health measures. 

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