In Ward 2, pastor and activist Mark-Anthony Middleton will face off against engineer John Rooks Jr., who scored something of a coup by snatching the People’s Alliance endorsement. The two candidates espouse similar goals: addressing inequity and affordable housing, for starters. But Rooks loses us when he starts talking about a moratorium on downtown development, as if that’s any sort of solution to the problems the city’s neighborhoods face.

Middleton, on the other hand, is experienced and practical, offering detailed proposals on city policing and the Ready Durham initiative, a public-private partnership designed to help the city’s unemployed find good jobs.

Middleton is the kind of forward-thinking leader the city council needs.