Upward South's blog

Upward South Endorsements

Thanks to everyone who made our Fall Reception a success! It was great to see so many young people coming together for a common cause. At the event, we announced the first four endorsements of 2013 and were fortunate enough to be joined by two of our endorsed candidates. Congratulations to Andy Ball, Jennifer Ferrell, Montravias King and James Taylor on being our first endorsed candidates of 2013! Read more below about why they were chosen.

Introducing Upward South

There is a conversation happening in our home of North Carolina and throughout the South. While the nation seems to be progressing through policy, thought, and public opinion, the South has stalled. From extremist politicians to backward priorities, the South has its share of challenges over the next year, decade, generation.

We have joined the dialogue. We are echoing the voices across the region looking for solutions, not stonewalling. We are standing with the next generation, searching for leadership, not the status quo. Our commitment rests in forward priorities, fresh faces, and the dawn of a new kind of public service.

Today, we are excited to announce Upward South, a political action committee dedicated to identifying, recruiting, and supporting the next generation of forward-thinking leaders.

2012 Grassroots Farm Team PAC endorsements

After a successful primary season that saw all three of our endorsed candidates successful, the Grassroots Farm Team PAC is back with a fresh round of endorsements, highlighting great young candidates from across North Carolina.

First we want to congratulate D. Cole Phelps on his primary win for Washington County Commissioner. He doesn't face a general election opponent and we're excited about seeing Commissioner Phelps next year!

In addition to continuing to support Drew Reisinger and Bill Luton, who were both endorsed in the spring and face Republican opposition in November, the Farm Team has chosen to endorse Phil Feagan, Jenifer Bubenik and Danielle Adams.

A party without a message

What does the North Carolina Democratic Party stand for?

After being in power for a hundred years, the last two have felt like a whirlwind. Republicans are moving (backwards) on a number of different fronts and they are doing it quickly. After a hundred years of sitting on the bench they knew exactly what they wanted; Amendment One, Women’s Right To Know, Fracking, dismantle public education, etc. Even if what they stand for is hate, sexism and shortsightedness, they at least stand FOR something.

On the other hand, for the last two years Democrats have been pushed against a wall. All we can do is try to slow down the attacks to public education, women’s rights, the environment, ec. The biggest thing in the Governor’s budget? A temporary extension of a sales (read: regressive) tax hike...not exactly New Deal stuff.

Your chance to be part of the 1 percent

Tomorrow you can be part of a select group of people and have your vote ‘count’ more than it ever has before. On Tuesday North Carolina will conduct a 2nd primary to determine runoff winners for various offices. When a similar election was held in 2008, turnout was an abysmal 1.8%

While Republicans have several contested runoffs, including a few for Council of State, Democrats have only one statewide runoff – Labor Commissioner. As one of the only two Republicans on the Council of State, Cherie Berry has consistently been an embarrassment to North Carolina and the workers who rely on her department. We need to send the “Elevator Queen” home for good this year and we have two compelling candidates.

John Brooks has an enormous amount of experience, having served as Commissioner of Labor for 16 years. The experience and knowledge he would bring to the office would be a vast improvement over Commissioner Berry.

From The East Carolinian: Recent Pirate alumnus vies for political office

Wanted to share a story written by a great YD, Tucker Middleton, about another great YD, D. Cole Phelps.

Phelps’ hard work and commitment paid off. In an 894-vote primary for the Democratic nomination for Washington County Commissioner, Phelps received 558 votes, equating to 62.42 percent, to challenger Mike Martin’s 336 votes, 37.58 percent. Phelps still has to win on the November general election ballot, but he’s confident in his chances — he has no Republican challenger, and therefore he will be the only candidate on the ballot for commissioner.

[Lee] Storrow said the Farm Team quickly recognized Phelps’ energy and enthusiasm as a young candidate and were “excited about Cole’s election because he has strong connections to the Washington County community.”

A silver lining - GFT primary election information

First off, congratulations to all the candidates, staff and volunteers who poured their hearts into these primary elections. Democracy is about choice and we need more people to run for office and more folks engaged in the political process.

Seeing the constitutional amendment pass was disappointing for all of us in the progressive community, ultimately it was a bridge too far. That said, President Obama’s statement today is a step in the right direction and, in time, we will prove Thom Tillis right.

Also want to take a moment and talk about how young candidates running last night fared.

We are proud to say that all three Farm Team endorsed candidates won (or were unopposed) last night, so congratulations to D. Cole Phelps, Drew Reisinger and Bill Luton!

People are voting - Farm Team round up

Early vote is well underway and we just wanted to give a brief update of what’s been going on and let you know about some of the great young candidates out there.

Obama-Fallon-UNC
If you missed it, check out President Obama's appearance on Jimmy Fallon's show, filmed on UNC's campus! He gave a policy speech on student loans and the mounting debt that the Republicans want to make worse.

Grassroots Farm Team endorses D. Cole Phelps

The Grassroots Farm Team is thrilled to announce our final endorsement before the May 8th primary, D. Cole Phelps for Washington County Commissioners. Many of you know Cole, who is a vice-chair in the 1st Congressional District Democratic Party and is finishing up law school at NC Central University. He's jumped into this campaign headfirst and his small army of volunteers have already knocked on every door in the district - and are going to do it again before the primary!

We're excited to see Cole bring his experiences and perspective back to Washington County to address some of the serious challenges the county faces.

Ilya Sheyman and why we need to start small

I’m sure many of you followed the Democratic primary election in Illinois 10th congressional district where, last week, newcomer and progressive darling Ilya Sheyman lost to the establishment favorite, Brad Schneider. Sheyman, who had heavy support from MoveOn.org and other progressive groups, chose to run for U.S. Congress at the earliest age he could, 25. Despite a massive volunteer edge, more money and optimistic polling, Sheyman lost and left the progressive community wondering, “What happened?”

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