John Rooks Jr.
A thirty-year resident of Durham, John Rooks has long been one of the most vocal and progressive advocates for the city and in particular, it's youth. He currently serves on the boards of several community organizations, most notably Love Over Hate N.C. and R.E.A.L Kids United, reinforcing his mantra that truly sustainable change must begin with the youth of our cities and suburbs.<br><br>In 2007, Urban Nation radio called him "one of the last truly progressive voices in America." <br><br>In 2012, the managing director of PAAC-USA publicly commended him for his dedication to that non-profit's mission of protecting youth from the horrors of neglect and abuse. He also began large-scale donation drives in Durham County with the mission of gathering and distributing much-needed clothing, school, and medical supplies to the under-served schoolchildren in several city districts.<br><br>In 2016, he was honored with the "Grit Award" in appreciation of his efforts in helping to bridge the gap between the community and members of various law enforcement agencies, as cited in the Durham Herald.<br><br>As a husband of over twenty years, and the father of three children, all educated in the Durham County school system, John Rooks Jr. knows from personal experience the challenges that need to be overcome to provide public school youth with the educational opportunities they deserve. <br><br>When asked recently by a journalist what he considers to be the most important assets to any politician seeking office, he replied, "God, Family, Community. Without God, family is not possible, and without family, there can be no community, so that's the order I would rank them in." He has stayed true to those words, by attending various churches in the community, including Victorious Praise Fellowship and The Summit Church, by remaining dedicated to his wife, two sons, and daughter, and to his occupation in Information Technology, and by tirelessly working in Durham to help improve conditions for it's residents and business owners.