Graig's blog

Effectively Engaging Young Voters - 2 Mutual Interviews with Leaders of the Bus Federation

Here are two brilliant guys. On the heels of my post about how the Spiritual Progressives are failing to get young people involved, I got two interviews with guys who are masters at that game.

Meet Jefferson Smith of the Oregon-based Bus Project and Matt Singer of Forward Montana. Check out The Bus Federation and Trick-Or-Vote for some of the great work they're doing.

Spiritual Progressives - Vlog Mutual Interviews with Rabbi Michael Lerner and Rev. Tony Campolo

Besides hearing Michelle Obama, the best part of my Monday was attending a meeting sponsored by the Network of Spiritual Progressives. They were presenting The Global Marshall Plan, a proposal for the G-8 nations to end poverty and war around the world within 20 years..

Sound far fetched? It sounds real good to me.

In fact, I thought they presented a compelling argument that this idea would be a compelling political platform. I think it's an idea that would resonate with lots of young people.

However, they're going to have a hard time engaging young people in their movement. Why? Watch the videos.

Jerry Meek vlog mutual-interview from the DNC

I wanted Jerry to be my first mutual-interview, but he was in high demand. Thankfully he made some time for me in the midst of the morning.

I love his final question to me. It's exactly the kind of moment I want to have in these mutual interviews. He asked me something that he didn't expect, but gave me the opportunity to talk about something that I'm really interested in.

Bob Etheridge vlog mutual-interview from the DNC

I also caught up with U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge after this morning's breakfast. He was really excited to talk about engaging young voters. I think his questions to me were pretty good.

Warning: I held the camera myself and it shows! You might want to just listen to the audio. I'll try not to do this again. I bet you won't find this cross-posted on Etheridge's website!

Pricey Harrison vlog mutual-interview from the DNC

After this morning's North Carolina Delegation breakfast, I caught up with NC Rep. Pricey Harrison. Pricey has been a great ally on two issues that are important to me: engaging young people and immigration. I started out by asking her about those issues.

This was the first vlog I taped. The audio quality is pretty poor because of the location. But it's going to be tough to find quiet spots this week!

Introducing My DNC Vlog

So, I'm off to Denver on Sunday. I'm an Obama delegate, representing NC's 4th Congressional district. For months, I've been trying to figure out a way to document my trip that will be fun for me an interesting to everyone back in the Great North State.

I've settled on a video blog idea. James and Betsy have agreed that BlueNC can be the home for the vlog. I'll be contributing to the team effort of BlueNCers who will all be reporting in from Denver during the week.

I'm trying out a new citizen journalism technique I've invented called a "mutual interview." To learn what it is, watch my first vlog post here:

Reversal: Community College Now OK for Undocumented Students

Attorney General Roy Cooper has reversed his stance on the right of undocumented students to attend our state's Community Colleges.

According to the N&O:

AG now says college OK for illegals

RALEIGH - The state Attorney General's Office says it's legal for the N.C. Community College System to admit illegal immigrants.

That advice, given to the colleges Thursday and made public today, represents a reversal for the office of Attorney General Roy Cooper, which advised the colleges in May to bar illegal immigrants from degree programs. The colleges took that advice and issued a new policy prohibiting illegal immigrants from enrolling, even at out-of-state tuition rates. Cooper's office said at the time that post-secondary education might qualify as a public benefit to which illegal immigrants are not entitled under federal law.

This is great news for the students that I work with. I'm very happy. And I think I owe our leadership in the General Assembly an apology of sorts...

District Conventions - Are You Running for a Delegate Spot?

On Saturday, May 17, each congressional district in North Carolina will hold its Democratic Party convention. Resolutions will be passed and delegates will be selected to go to Denver for the national convention. You can find out when your congressional district convention starts by visiting the NCDP web site for more information.

Who's going to which convention? Can we arrange some meet-ups?

Are you running for a spot as a delegate to the national convention? I'm running to be an Obama delegate from the 4th district. I'd love to share ideas on how to campaign for these highly coveted spots.

NC Community Colleges Close their Doors

North Carolina's Community Colleges have just announced that they are closing their doors to undocumented students.

The Adelante Education Coalition and 83 community organizations are calling for the state of North Carolina to continue allowing the undocumented immigrants to attend our state's public universities and community colleges. A press release from the Adelante Education Coalition about this issue is below.

We're looking for allies to help us with our advocacy efforts. You can learn more about the roles you can play at the Adelante website. My organization, Blue Ribbon Mentor-Advocate, is part of the Adelante Education Coalition. I will be going to the state capitol on May 27 to talk with legislators. Let me know if you'd like to join in.

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