NC Progressives are searching for someone who isn’t afraid to tell the truth – introducing Rep. Rodney Moore.

Progressives, unaffiliated and independents are tired of the political bullshit.  They’re sick of thirty second sound bites and the fancy talk that leads nowhere.

Enter Rep. Rodney Moore – a Charlotte Democrat in the North Carolina House who doesn’t pull punches and gives straight up answers.  He doesn’t tell you what you want to hear – he tells it like it is.  Sometimes, it’s not pretty.  But, it’s always honest.

Check out his YouTube video here: Rodney Moore.

rodney-mooreI’ve had many conversations with Rep. Moore and I’ve always walked away impressed with his honesty.

If there is such a thing as a future for the Democratic Party in North Carolina, it will rest with leaders like him.

Moore is more concerned with doing what is right and less concerned with looking pretty on TV.

 

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#NCDP Uses Rolesvile High for SEC Meetings

  • Multiple incidents involving Rolesville High students and school resource officers surface;
  • NCDP uses Roleville High to hold SEC meetings;
  • As many of the candidates running for top NCDP offices admonish the incident the front-runner for Chair uses the incident to point out political differences between Democrats and Republicans.

A few days ago, two kids who attend Rolesville High School contacted me on Twitter and asked me to look into the documented abuse of resource officers at Rolesville High School.

In the videos, one female teenager was picked up and body slammed to the ground when she was trying to break up a fight between two other girls in an open area close to a break area.

According to N&O reports and from kids who know of the incident Officer Ruben De Los Santos lifting Jasmine Darwin into the air and dropping her to the floor before leading her away from a crowd of students at Rolesville High School.

Darwin suffered a concussion and was in and out of consciousness for a period of time after the altercation.

The officer has been placed on paid leave pending an SBI investigation.

The other video sent to me later showed a male teenager pepper sprayed after he was pulled off a school bus and taken to the ground and handcuffed.

Since I was contacted the first video has gone viral and has been on CNN, U.S. A. Today and many other mainstream media networks. #rolesvillehigh video and link to hashtag #rolesvillehigh

The NCDP Connection:

The North Carolina Democratic Party holds SEC meetings at Rolesville High. And, pays money for the use of the venue.

I posted a comment on Facebook and tagged many of the candidates running for Democratic top positions in an effort to their response to the tragic incident considering the NCDP pays the high school for holding meetings at that venue.

At issue is a debate over whether the party should continue to hold meeting at that location.

Veleria Levy – candidate for 1st Vice Chair has been tagged in several of the Facebook post circulating around about the SRO and the kids involved.

levy-oneSome of Levy’s comments include:

levy-one002

Another candidate for 1st Vice Chair, Grace Galloway had this to say in a Facebook post:

levy-one003levy-one004

Galloway has been one of the more vocal candidates admonishing the way the SRO abused is power.  Other’s have chimed in also.

AMarshall Adame, a candidate for Chair of the NCDP weighed in on the comments:

levy-one005levy-one006

Adame ran for NCDP chair in 2015 against Patsy Keever – then the front runner and establishment Dem endorsed by Jim Hunt.

But, right after this post, came the front runner candidate from NCDP Chair Wayne Goodwin.  He’s the former Commissioner of Insurance who lost his election to 5 time GOP candidate Mike Causey.

levy-one007Goodwin has been endorsed by the same politicos who supported and endorsed Patsy Keever in her 2015 election.  During her term, North Carolina Democrats lost the Council of State (including Goodwin’s seat) while the GOP maintained their super majorities in the NC House and Senate.  Other Democratic incumbents barely squeaked by such as Elaine Marshall (Secretary of State) who won by only 40,000 votes and NC State Auditor Beth Wood who won by only 2,500 votes.  Governor Roy Cooper won by approximately 10,000 votes after legal maneuvering of recounts.

The next Democratic SEC meeting will be February 11, 2017 –  the same day as the NC-NAACP’s history HKonJ event which was scheduled in advance of this SEC meeting.  The Democratic party will elect new officers who will run the party for the next two years as  two elections loom in North Carolina: the special election in 2017 (the NCGA has until March 15th to remap 28 districts) and the regular elections in 2018.  Perhaps more importantly to progressives in the sate – the next Chair and 1st Vice Chair of the NCDP will have automatic votes on the DNC to elect the next national Chair at the end of February in Atlanta.

Janice Covington, another candidate for Chair of the NCDP said this:

I’ve posted this video on the secret Facebook group for SEC members.  It breaks my heart to see young people abused in this or any other manner.  I personally know what it’s like to be abused.  This should not happen to children.  I hope all the candidates speak out.  But, if they don’t – then I will.

Sadly, there is more to the story: other incidents have occurred at Rolesville including a child who was forced off a bus and subsequently pepper sprayed after he was taken down by school resource officers.

Veleria Levy replied as follows:

I know there has been quite a bit of concern and disgust over what has happened to the 2 students at Rolesville High School and the fact that our SEC Meeting is being held there. As the 2nd VC, I wanted to address this personally.

Our Deputy ED Doug Wilson looked into the possibility of being able to move the meeting if our Chair decided that is something she wanted to do, however that option is not available logistically. Also due to the time constraints of the upcoming DNC, it just can’t happen.

From what we have been shown, this is disgusting! However, as citizens of NC, we should allow the investigation to happen and make sure we stay on top of it.

I will say that this issue does further support my concern over police officers in schools and the legislation surrounding that. I will personally continue to work against this and try to help find a balance that works for all parents, students & teachers. We as members of the NCDP can work with legislators to support legislation to protect our children & our teachers while also making sure that all are safe.

Please continue to speak out independently to your concerns about this. The more constructive “noise” we make around this issue, the better. I do look forward to seeing everyone at the SEC Meeting on February 11th

Update:  right after this article was posted, Doug Wilson, the deputy director of the NCDP, called me and said a statement would be coming out this afternoon regarding the Roleville incident.

And, the NC ACLU posted the following statement on Twitter a few minutes ago:

levy-one009

Veleria Levy also posted this on her Facebook page soon after:

levy-one008

More Twitter updates:

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Rep. G. K. Butterfield Sworn In for 7th Term: Progressives See Hope in His Leadership

  • Rep. G. K. Butterfield sworn into 115th Congress;
  • Butterfield represents NC first congressional district;
  • Progressives eyeball him as a House leader who can champion their issues.

 

butterfield

Rep. GK Butterfield (D) NC-01

I am honored by the trust the citizens of the First District have placed in me to represent them in Congress for a seventh term.

 

“As the 115th Congress begins, I am eager to get back to work as a strong advocate for North Carolinians.  As Republican leadership begin talks of dismantling strides made to strengthen the health care and economic security of every American, I stand ready to protect the outgoing Administration’s legacy that put more Americans on a path forward.  Today, I renew my commitment to working with my colleagues in Congress to create jobs, help more hard-working Americans put food on the table and have access to affordable health care, and protect the rights of all citizens.  Constituents who need help with a federal agency or assistance receiving their benefits are urged to contact my office.

“I look forward to being a voice on pressing issues in North Carolina and I remain enthusiastic about working with North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper to advance responsible, progressive solutions to the challenges our state faces right now.

“I will continue to advocate for an America that works for us all and I plan to do everything I can to hold Republican leadership in Washington accountable every step of the way.”

Congressman G. K. Butterfield was first elected to Congress in a special election in 2004.  He represents North Carolina’s First Congressional District which includes 14 counties in the Triangle and eastern North Carolina.  Butterfield will maintain his existing office locations in Wilson and Durham which are dedicated to constituent services.

He is the immediate past Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus.  He currently holds leadership positions as Chief Deputy Whip of the House Democratic Caucus, Co-Chair of the Out-Of-Poverty Caucus, Co-Chair of the Pediatric Trauma Caucus, and Co-Chair of the State Medicaid Expansion Caucus.  He serves as a senior member of the influential House Committee on Energy and Commerce, including the Subcommittees on Health; Communications and Technology; and Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade.

Of particular interest, many progressive groups see Butterfield as a House leader with experience and the desire to stand up and fight for issues most progressives care about:

  • Living wages;
  • Affordable healthcare;
  • Affordable education;
  • Jobs.

Progressives such as Susan Spence, who lives in the 1st congressional district and hosts a progressive email group primarily targeting NC’s progressive unaffiliated, says, “it’s very important to work with proven House and Senate leaders who understand our issues and concerns.”  She goes on to say, “I think his commitment to Hillary was more a product of his environment than it was a slap against Bernie.  But, we’re willing to work with him now if he’s willing to stand up and fight for what Bernie campaigned on.”

Spence is a mother of two teenage children.  She’s a healthcare professional working a full time job at a doctor’s office and she also works a part time job at a nearby hospital.  She says it takes that to make ends meet to pay her student loans.

“I was in nursing school but I had to quit.  I couldn’t do school and work at the same time. So, I had to make a decision: do I feed my kids or go to school.”

Spence decided to enroll and get her two year degree as a certified medical assistant.  “I could do that and continue to work–something I couldn’t do in nursing school.  Plus all my classes transferred over to the CMA.”

Three years ago, Spence was on food stamps and living in Section 8 housing.  Today, she’s able to stand on her own two feet, support her children and hold down a job that pays her a decent wage.

“Before I graduated, I was making $8.15 working as a cashier at the Circle K – now, I’m making $16 an hour.”

Herding cats

As Chief Deputy Whip of the House Democratic Caucus, Butterfield will have an opportunity and the burden of herding Democratic cats on issues especially sensitive to people like Ms. Spence: affordable healthcare, living wage, jobs, rural healthcare and education.  She’s not the only one.

“I followed Rep. Butterfield when he was the leader of the Congressional Black Caucus.  I didn’t know anything about him until them – other than he was from North Carolina.  I wished he had supported Bernie but I’m willing to support anyone who sees progressive issues as something meaningful and he’s willing to fight for us,” said  David Harris, a self-described Berniebot who lives in the Triad of North Carolina.

“One of the reasons Trump got elected was because he talked about jobs.  I don’t like Trump, but at least he talked about bringing jobs back to America and growing the economy,” Harris said.  “I’m sick of all the political spin.  It’s one side against the other and it shouldn’t be.  They’re elected because we put them there.  It’s time for elected officials to work for us and not the 1% and corporate America.”

Harris is a computer programmer who maintains databases for his company.  “If it wasn’t for Pell grants, I wouldn’t have been able to go to school.  I was one of four kids and my parents didn’t have the money to send me to a traditional school.”

Harris went to ECPI and he says it took him three years to finish his two year degree.  “I don’t think people understand that.  Nobody wants to live on welfare.  But, education isn’t an option for everybody.  I think it’s cheaper to send someone like me to school than it is to have to stay on food stamps and Medicaid for years and years.”

Harris and Spence are success stories.  Sadly, there are many others who fall through the cracks and never get media attention.  Most progressives will tell you the issues they talk about aren’t political to them – it’s a matter of common sense.   Neither one spent much time thinking about politics or candidates before Bernie Sanders came along and ran for president.  “Bernie talked about the things I care about.  And, I started paying attention,” Spence said.  “Now I’m looking around to see who got elected and is willing to carry the message forward.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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David Parker’s Vision of the #NCDP Back in 2009

david-parkerDavid Parker won his election for Chair.  Here was his vision for the #NCDP back when we had check-off money.   I  bring it up for consideration  because contrary to what some may say, he’s still one of the smartest guys in NC politics.

Vision for 2009 North Carolina Democratic Party

2008’s remarkable success in North Carolina was based on a well-funded, organized grassroots registration, get out the vote, and persuasion campaigning. Now, we need to meld the Obama campaign, new Progressive activists, the “established” Democratic Party, and Democratic leaning independents and Republicans into a North Carolina Democratic Party that will win elections in 2010 and beyond in Counties as diverse as Wake, Yadkin, Bertie, Cumberland, Durham and Jackson. To accomplish this, there are four areas of concentration for the North Carolina Democratic Party: Grassroots, Fundraising, Staff, and Logistics.

Grassroots. The DNC’s 50-state strategy put staff into the field in NC. The Obama campaign had dozens of formal and informal offices and hundreds of volunteers spread across the State. Counties must be held accountable. AAffiliate@ Party organizations are the party in a lot of counties. Only half of the precincts are organized. Half of those exist primarily on paper. Of the remaining one quarter of the total precincts, perhaps half function as intended. In some areas, precincts are outmoded – in others, they are critical to the success of the Party. There is much work to do.
01 Precinct organization. Pilot programs for new approaches to B precincts were terrific when people were focused on their neighborhood B although that approach works well in some areas, it needs serious tweaking in others. Look at flexibility in sub-urban and ex-urban areas with discretion.
02 Field Staff support. Support field staff (see Staff) with volunteer and County Headquarters support. Examine financial support of County HQ’s in critical areas. Spending money in the field is the top priority. Utilize tax check-off and other funds based on voter turnout, performance, or voter registration.
03 Healthy Affiliates. Renew emphasis on Democratic Women, Young Democrats, Teen Dems, Senior Democrats, Hispanic Democrats, African American Democrats, Democratic Men, etc. Encourage issue based group participation at every level of the Party.
04 Coordination with Fundraising. Cross reference contributors with grassroots organization e.g. precinct meetings. Build Party in 2009. Elect nominees and continue to build Party with grassroots in 2010.
05 Goal Setting. Establish understandable, coherent goals for each county and Congressional District and the State – may vary tremendously. Meeting goals will insure statewide success. Measuring success would be on-going: at the end of each election cycle, the individual local and auxiliary Party organization work toward its goals should be measured, re-alignment of goals considered, and planning started anew.
06 Candidate Recruitment. Coordinate grassroots candidate recruitment at local level with regional and statewide resources e.g. recruitment calls for Electeds.
07 Broaden NCDP Committee Activity. Increase effectiveness by making Committee appointments more open e.g. sign-up lists at January, 2009 SEC meeting and on-line (integrate into Party timeline)
08 Action Plan. Create Action Plan and timeline for grassroots goals. Measure, report and reward success locally, regionally and statewide. Continually assess performance vs. goals. Study, plan, and implement, Reassess study and realign goals continually.
Message. The driving force of any political Party is its message as enacted and carried out by its candidates. As the Party goes forward toward 2010, it must meld its various component parts into a persuasive voice, recognizing differences, but heading in the same direction.
01 Broaden the Democratic Coalition. Strengthen platform and resolutions with coordination with Democratic legislators. Form broad electoral coalitions to meld traditional, Dean, Obama groups with mutual respect but healthy discussion of issues important to Democrats. Diversify leadership and responsibilities both locally and statewide– integrate interdependent, “viral” network world of virtually instantaneous information sharing.
02 Platform and Resolutions Monitoring. Utilize policy committees to measure success of the Democratic Platform. Seek input from Governor’s, State House’ and Senate’s policy initiatives in constructing Platform.
03 Speakers Bureau. Recruit speakers in different regions to talk issues, training, persuasion, GOTV, etc.
04 Integrate Fundraising and Grassroots with Message. Track issue interests for targeted fundraising and grassroots activities.
05 Action Plan. Create Action Plan and timeline for Message goals. Measure, report and reward success locally, regionally and statewide. Measure, report and reward success locally, regionally and statewide. Continually assess performance vs. goals. Study, plan, and implement, Reassess study and realign goals continually.

Fundraising. The Obama campaign illustrated the power of small dollar money. The key is continuing personal contact through an active, engaged, trained grassroots supported by (not replaced by) and coordinated with an aggressive email effort. In North Carolina, the cooperative effort on Dollars for Democrats has shown good results. Our large contributors have been exceptionally generous, but the large contributors to specific campaigns have not been cultivated for general Party giving except during election years. NC Income tax check-off funds are the easiest method for doing small dollar ($3 per person) grassroots fundraising for the Democratic Party.

The 2009-10 Party Chair must be an active and persuasive voice in raising money in addition to the Check-Off funds which will not be enough to fund the activism needed to continue the success of 2008.
01 Obama fundraising lists – obtain lists immediately and coordinate with grassroots operation to get small contributors involved at precinct level
02 Fundraising targets. Raise $2MM (including check off moneys) in 2009 in a cost-efficient, efficacious way e.g. small dollar targets by precinct ($3, $5, $10, $25 and $100) and county (aggregate of precinct goals plus $250, $500, and $1,000 targets) and Congressional District (aggregate of County goals plus $2,500 and $4,000 targets) that is more small-donor based.
03 Aggressive Check-Off $$$ Campaign. Get Democrats to check off the $3 box on their state tax forms. Such an effort is a major step toward meaningful campaign finance reform.
04 Trustee program. Review and revise Trustee program to make it viable with a working Trustee Chair and Finance Chair and Committee – gather together Trustees and Finance Committee with fundraisers for financially successful 2008 campaigns to plan attack. Coordinate Electeds events with on-going grassroots efforts and County and CD targets. Establish appropriate recognition.
05 Event and Alternative Fundraising. Emphasize Spring and Fall statewide events (clarify the names). Examine and push credit card, Internet based contributions and procedures B tie into precinct and County targets with contributor lists being provided back to Grassroots organizers, precinct chairs, etc.
06 Action Plan. Create Action Plan and timeline for fundraising goals. Measure, report and reward success locally, regionally and statewide. Continually assess performance vs. goals. Study, plan, and implement, Reassess study and realign goals continually.
Staff and Logistics. Our North Carolina Democratic Party has been blessed to have many extraordinary people working on staff. Turnover, however, does occur – we will have major vacancies to fill immediately. Internal personnel review procedures and other Abest practices@ are needed for on-going improvement and maintenance of energy and quality among Party staff. Logistics are how a campaign works.

It requires funding and maintenance.
01 State Staff. Staff must primarily serve the Party in the Counties and the field in a friendly, courteous and efficient manner. Staff should have goals and reviews by a Personnel Committee on a regular basis. Establish Personnel Committee immediately to assess existing State Staff. Establish salary packages commensurate with work, experience and Personnel Committee reviews.
02 Field Staff. Plan for Field Staff strategy with input from Grassroots and Finance folk. Budget for 5-6 filed offices if funds available. Fund (with DNC help) Regional field staff to coordinate with Obama/DNC 50-State strategy. Money/resources should be dispersed a la Obama campaign. Establish appropriate salary packages; review at least annually.
03 Staff Reviews. See above. Integrate staff job descriptions, performance reviews, and pay rates through Personnel Committee. Study, assess, and implement work and performance.
04 List maintenance and sharing. Increase access by Counties to State Party resources e.g. lists in preparation for Precinct Meetings. Increase access of Affiliate organizations to State Party to expand participation. Utilize grassroots folk to continually update email and fax contacts – lists atrophy at a rate of at least one (1%) percent per month! Share lists!!
05 Relationships with Electeds. Maintain, support and utilize relationships with the Governor, State Senate, State House and Council of State folks without becoming/remaining an “Inside the Beltline” Party – a Party that has the support of the Governor and the Legislature can get a lot more done at the local level than one that does not.
06 Association of County Chairs. Authorize County Chairs to form an Association with its leadership on the State Executive Council B goal would be to train, finance, mentor, and organize at the County level B advise the State Chair on grassroots politics
07 Interface technology and grassroots activism. Share resources and lists freely e.g. for Precinct Meetings. Virtual SEC meetings and conventions via distance learning links at Comm. Colleges May be cheaper than big meetings – coordinate through regional directors.
08 Action Plan. Create Action Plan and timeline for grassroots goals. Measure, report and reward success locally, regionally and statewide. Continually assess performance vs. goals. Study, plan, and implement, Reassess study and realign goals continually.

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How to Kill a Revolution

dusty-speedyBy Dusty Speedy –

While there has been little doubt that the North Carolina Democratic Party has been built as an arm of a long standing Democratic Elite that has run this state for half a century; any illusion to the contrary has now been shattered.

If you aren’t a political wonk you could have missed or dismissed what appeared as simultaneous announcements in the State Capitol’s News & Observer headline:

NC Democratic Party chair to step down; Wayne Goodwin seeks the job

While somewhat informative, the article conveniently left out other (outspoken Progressive) candidates seeking the same job as Goodwin. Surely this was unintentional.

The current Chair, former NC Rep. Patsy Keever, has claimed victory with her only objective of getting Attorney General Roy Cooper elected as Governor. Disregard the fact that the Governor-elect faces an insurmountable battle against a re-elected Republican Supermajority that has passed legislation to severely limit his power, that Democrats have lost their majority positions on the Council of State (including Mr. Goodwin’s position as Insurance Commissioner), and have given up the state’s highly publicized US Senate race against Republican Sen. Richard Burr; then perhaps you too could fall into this delusion of triumph.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Commissioner Goodwin. As a young political operative managing a meager NC House campaign in the Triangle, the good Commissioner was kind enough to attend my fundraising event as a special guest to help drive attendance. He is an honorable man who I’m certain will take on the job (because he will win) with full vigor and with the best of intentions. Unfortunately, he will be yet another pawn of our long-entrenched establishment whose policies and actions have led to four consecutive electoral bloodbaths.

If this past election taught us anything, it’s that the “Third Way” approach Democrats have adopted since President Bill Clinton toppled the Reagan machine is no longer a reliable way to attract voters. Try as they might to relive the glory days of the early 90’s, the ideological message of moderation that these corporate friendly Democrats are preaching is falling on deaf ears.

The people at the top of the corporate ladder control nearly 90% of our nation’s wealth. Everyday citizens are working longer hours for lower wages. Many people who have suffered from long-term unemployment have quit looking for full-time employment altogether, and instead are stringing together their wages from multiple part-time jobs just to get by. For them, there is no hope as they are told “those manufacturing jobs aren’t coming back”. Enter, Bernie Sanders.

Winning any state in the Old South was not just an improbability for Senator Sanders in his bid for the Democratic Nomination for President, it was downright impossible. President Clinton’s long-standing relationships as a successful Democratic Governor from Arkansas cemented that long before the election even began. That’s the thing with dynasties, they have deep roots.

In North Carolina, however, Bernie garnered a higher percentage of votes than in any of our regional counterparts. His message was one of hope to the disenfranchised that mirrored Donald Trump’s angry populism with his progressive optimism. This proved to be the real counter that Secretary Hillary Clinton could not believably convey to the electorate, ultimately costing her the Presidency.

But instead of embracing what is conceivably the only way to bring back the Old Dixiecrats who long for a return to the Democratic Party of Franklin Roosevelt, our State Party is clinging to a playbook that hasn’t been updated in nearly 30 years. It’s almost embarrassing that people can search my voter registration and see that “D” beside my name.

While this year is unlikely to be the year that Progressives overtake establishment candidates in the NCDP, that doesn’t mean all hope is lost. We must strive to create a powerful Progressive caucus within the Party that refuses to go along with what we know will be a losing strategy.  We must support candidates up and down the ballot that agree with our vision of creating a level playing field for everyone and promote full equality for all our citizens. And even though they will lose, we must support candidates for State Party Chair like Marshall Adame who have been undeterred by their longshot odds and stand up for the principles we know will lead this state (and nation) to greatness.

This must be the year that Progressives refuse to fall-in-line.

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Why does the #NCDemParty keep losing elections? Let me spell it out for you.

politicsOver the past month I’ve had many conversations with Democratic leaders and politicos.  Some of them are still clueless on why our Party keeps losing elections.

So, let me spell it out in simple terms.

Some history:

Over forty years ago, my dad took me to a tobacco warehouse.  I was a kid, but I still remember it like it was yesterday.  During the auction, Lt. Governor Jimmy Green (Okay, I admit Jimmy had some problems) came around shaking hands and basically doing what politicians do.  It’s kind of comical now thinking about it.  But, the takeaway is that Green was going around talking to farmers about the price of seed and fertilizer.

Remember that: the price of seed and fertilizer.

Now, fast forward to 2016; the politics has changed but the issues are still the same.  It’s the economy stupid.

It used to be that Democrats understood the working class and what it cost to run a household.  They knew the price of gas, how much a gallon of milk cost, what it took to buy a car, a truck and a home.  They knew what it took to feed a family and the stress involved.

Politicians would talk about those issues.  They would talk about jobs and they would go to where the voters were and ask questions; just like Jimmy Green did 40+ years ago.

Let me spell it out:

The majority of North Carolina voters are not talking about bathrooms, same sex marriage and all the other social justice issues: they’re talking about keeping their jobs.  They’re talking about how much it costs to raise their family and keep a roof over their heads.

To be honest, if you’ve got time to worry about where someone pees in a bathroom, you’ve got class privileges the rest of us can’t afford.  And, if you’re not speaking about the issues middle class voters are talking about, someone else will: the GOP.

I’m not minimizing social justice concerns.  I’m saying Democrats need to get their priorities in order.  If your house is burning down, you need to focus on putting the fire out and getting out alive; not arguing over the living room furniture.   You may argue over my analogy—but you get the point.

So, what now?

If you’re a Democrat, start championing the right causes the mass of the voters are talking about.

One example: bring back the tax-free back-to-school weekend (or at least try).

Of all the people I talk with—that is a major issue.  Many in North Carolina are going to other states just to buy back-to-school clothes; computers and all the other things kids need year to year.

You may not be able to make a significant change with a GOP super majority, but at least you can be on the right side of the issues voters are talking about.

When voters understand you know the price of a gallon of milk, they’ll start to pay attention to you.

Here’s your clue:

Stop letting the LGBT (Equality NC & HRC) lead you by the nose.  Focus on the middle class, making $40,000-60,000 a year with a mortgage, 2.5 kids and two car payments.

Talk about making their taxes lower.  Talk about improving their lives and standard of living.  Talk about bringing new jobs into rural communities.

Stop talking about glass ceiling and the “gay agenda.”  Otherwise, you’ll be right here in 2020-2022 wondering why you still can’t win a damn election.

http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Mike-Walden-Economic-Outlook-July-2016.pdf

When you break down the economic data – it’s not hard to see trends and gaps.  Not all of NC is feeling the economic benefit of Obama’s job growth.  Secondly, the GOP in NC has fallen short in some areas.  These are areas Dems can pick up.

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The Democratic 2020 Watch

bernie-return-of-the-jedi

Unofficially, the next presidential campaigns start in just two years.

So, let’s take a look at the Democratic Star Wars lineup.

Bernie Sanders –still the number one contender and viewed by some as the heavyweight champion of the world.  He’ll be 79.   He hasn’t ruled out a 2020 run.  In Star Wars terms, he’s Yoda.

Elizabeth Warren—age isn’t a factor, but some progressives in the Democratic Party have not forgiven her because she never gave Bernie a full-throated endorsement during the primary.  And, the “never-Hill” individuals don’t like that she endorsed and campaigned for HRC in the general.

Still she’s a powerful figure and the force may be strong with this one.   Probably, if she was a Star Wars character, she’d be Princes Leia.

Keith Ellison—currently running for DNC Chair and a powerful master Jedi.  He’s a progressive and has been endorsed for Chair by both Bernie and Elizabeth Warren.  If he wins his fight for DNC Chair—he’ll have name recognition and would be a top contender coming into 2020.  He’s kind of like Luke Skywalker.

Howard Dean—the centrist choice.    Also running for DNC Chair and has the backing of the establishment Democrats.  He’s the creator of the 50 state strategy that was highly successful when it was used.  He’s favored among many grassroots activists.  Maybe an Obi-Wan Kenobi on a good day.

Cory Booker—former mayor of Newark, New Jersey.  He’s a powerful speaker and he commands a room.  He doesn’t quite have the name recognition as some, but that could change quickly.  He would be Finn or maybe Chewbacca.  A cross between Admiral Ackbar and Finn.

Julian Castro—from San Antonio, Texas.  He gave the keynote in Charlotte, NC at the Democratic Convention.  He’s the Secretary of HUD and well-liked by Obama. Okay, I’m sick of the Star Wars narration, pick your own.

Michelle Obama—also well-liked by President Obama.  But, don’t hold your breath on her running for a political office.

Martin O’Malley—got as far as Iowa during the primary.  He’s widely expected to run as some saw 2016 as testing the waters.

Al Franken—yes, you read it right.  The Senator from Minnesota was an actor and writer on SNL.  He started his career at Second City.   Considered left of establishment, he could very easily be a champion on social justice issues in the coming years.  It might him put in touch with the center and left of center enough to make him decide to throw his hat into the ring.  Definitely a Chewbacca or maybe a Han Solo.

Hillary…Clinton?  Don’t rule it out.  She still thinks she is a viable and attractive candidate to lead the Democratic Party into the future.  Some Dems, although it’s unclear how many, would see vindication in her running again.  Still, others are tired of the Clinton dynasty and want new blood, younger blood and less established blood in the race.

The unknown—there are several candidates I didn’t mention.  Some are conserva-Dems, some moderate and a few progressives.  But, there are at least 4 to 5 other candidates who might seek the holy ring.

 

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