By Wayne Goodwin
Over the course of 4 weeks (July-Aug 2007) I trekked hither and yon across the Tar Heel State as part of my chairing eleven regional town hall meetings.
Under the aegis of Chairman of the Platform and Resolutions Committee for the North Carolina Democratic Party, I reviewed 190 resolutions submitted from Democrats with town hall attendees.
From a minimum of six to a maximum of 60+ attendees each, folks considered and deliberated and prioritized the proposed resolutions. These folks - some of the most diehard of Democratic activists mind you, and all willing to show up for 2+ hours each on a weeknight - contributed insightful comments to the process. For a non-Statewide election year the numbers pleased me. As a comparative barometer, attendance ranged from six to 125 in 2006.
So what was on the minds of Democrats in the Asheville, Charlotte, Durham, Fayetteville, Greenville, New Bern, Raleigh (twice), Wilmington, Windsor, and Winston-Salem regions this year?
►They are opposed to our current continued warring presence in Iraq.
►They love and fully support our military troops and their families.
►They yearn for America to regain its respect and position in the world.
►They believe the State must be a dedicated leader in firmly urging conservation, use of renewable non-fossil fuel sources, and developing a strategy shaped by the unquestionable process of global climate change.
►They demand campaign finance reforms and efforts that result in vastly-improved ethics in government.
►They declare that special interests and legislators should not strip away the rights of consumers by divesting the Commissioner of Insurance of his dual authority to maintain low insurance premiums and a viable insurance market in North Carolina.
►They believe that the Electoral College is antiquated and undemocratic in an age of 24-7 news and more-educated voters.
►They demand universal health care coverage.
►They assert that Congress and the People must seek impeachment charges against Vice President Cheney and President Bush (in that order) for their actions of the last six years, and that if impeachment proceedings are not appropriate now then the bar will be raised so high – or low, depending upon how you look at it – that the function of impeachment will have been rendered moot for generations to come. (Bluntly, if lying about consensual extramarital sexual relations is actionable, then why not lying about the cause of war – and consequential military deaths in Iraq - and subverting privacy rights of every American civilian and politicizing the U.S. Department of Justice?)
►They demand the repeal of the Patriot Act or significant revisions thereof.
►They believe in a living wage, and the right to collective bargaining by public employees.
These are a smattering of the issues tackled by authors of these resolutions, mostly adopted by county and district Democratic conventions this year. The ones referenced, above, were most prevalent.
If you would like to have an advance personal copy of the complete Resolutions compilation that will be considered at next Saturday’s meeting of the State Executive Committee meeting, then please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, post an entry on my WAYNE’S WORLD blog (www.eighthdistrictdemsnc.blogspot.com), or call me at (910) 997-9790. The document will be posted also on the website of the NC Democratic Party this week. I plan on posting it myself at WAYNE’S WORLD by mid-week.
That document is the work product of the last meeting in Raleigh before the full P&R committee. During the 5+ hours that evening our committee - and those persons with us by phone - slogged through the process of determining which resolutions to recommend for adoption and which ones were duplicates, moot, in conflict with our Party Plan of Organization, etc. The investment of time of these persons proved vital.
We should also express our appreciation for the many other folks who participated in or assisted in the process. In addition to the town meeting attendees, these dedicated Democrats include Jerry Meek, Caroline Valand, Sallie Leslie, Jerimee Richir, Kerra Bolton, all members of the P&R Committee, the county chairs who hosted each town hall meeting, and everyone who invested their time, talents and energy into drafting resolutions over the last six months. Special recognition goes out to Richard O’Brien of Randolph County who attended many of the regional town hall meetings across North Carolina this year and in the two previous years. Last, but certainly not least, I thank my family for granting me the time to work on this process again.
Personally, for someone passionate about what we stand for as Democrats, I found the 2,000 miles added to my car’s odometer and the cerebral connections with fellow partisans spanning North Carolina well worth the effort.
After all, resolutions allow us Democrats to express ourselves on the issues of the day - whether they concern our nation, our state or our own local community. Resolutions are ways to educate and inspire. But more importantly, they are also calls to action.
Let us now persuade our fellow citizens to answer these calls to action. Remember, the 2008 election and our future is in our hands. Onward and upward!
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CROSS-POSTED: WAYNE’S WORLD blog, www.eighthdistrictdemsnc.blogspot.com