Jerry Meek: Man of the People, Man of Ideas

I got back into Raleigh Sunday just in time to catch Jerry Meek giving a talk at the Quail Ridge Bookstore on Wade Avenue. The speech by Meek, which focused on the book "Don't Think of an Elephant" by George Lakoff, attracted many locals, a few candidates for the General Assembly, and a sitting General Assembly member, Grier Martin. The speech focused on ways to frame the debate and successfully convert moderates and conservatives to the position of the Democratic Party. But to me the event highlighted Jerry Meek more than the book.

The event shows both that Meek, who graduated with a bachelor's degree in economics and political science and Law School from Duke, is a serious thinker of politics able to articulate his thoughts coherently and a person willing and even excited to go out amongst us common Democrats. Meek gave his talk and then received questions from the audience members, most of whom Jerry addressed by name. The speech included many astute tips on how to frame the debate with Republicans; my favorite was his tip that when addressing hunters concerned with gun control you should reply that Democrats are not going to take guns from hunters but 20 more years of Republican environmental policy will render the gun useless.

But again, the most interesting part of the event was Meek's willingness to connect with the average Democrat; this is a pattern that continues from other actions by Meek including canvassing himself and the creation of the North Carolina Democratic Party's blog. Meek's leadership and ability to connect with the party should place the Democrats in a good position to win in November.


Pictures from the event

If anyone has pictures of the event, I will put them in the post.

Gun framing.

I always say two things.
1. No Democrat in North Carolina wants to take away your hunting rifle - that's just stupid.

2. There are as many Democrats in this world that think it is okay to take away your hunting rifle as there are Republicans that think its okay to blow up abortion clinics and murder doctors.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

Thank you for this!

I'm a big Meek fan, so was hoping this would go well. I hope our local party will start mirroring the state other words...out with the old blood and in with the new :)

I have very little time on the computer today so it was great to log on and find this piece. Good to have you back.

Click on the hat to see all Citizen Journalist files

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

I like Meeks more and more

Thanks for this article Targator, we all missed you!

PS, did you go to Napels?

Florida's west coast WAS less populated

than it's east coast. I understand that the west coast is quickly catching up. How are they handling this? Do most towns, as far as you can tell, have plans or just let the developers "have at it"?

Counties are required to do a comprehensive plan

Every ten years, each county is required to do a comprehensive plan to guide development. How much this is followed varies by county but does help make the officials sit down to do some planning.

As far as developers and sprawl, the state is in the pocket of the developers, but the cities do a pretty good job of encourage in fill and other development within the existing city. Also, most cities in Florida are aided by having a boundary (eg the ocean or the everglades) on at least one side; the boundary helps in creating density.

One area that Florida falls well behind North Carolina is the type of subdivisions being created. The multi-use development model, as used around here in Southern Village and Meadowmont is virtually unheard of down there, so you end up with lines of the typical 1980's/90's subdivisions, tons of 1/4 or 1/2 acre lots lined back to back. Needless to say, this takes up much more land per person than something like Meadowmont, which includes townhomes and apartments in their development plan.

As far as cities on the West Coast, Sarasota is doing good with their downtown but has seen a lot of sprawl eastwards, or away from the coast and downtown; they are doing the right things now, but they only took planning seriously after there was some considerable damage done. Also, I really like Tampa and Saint Petersburg; they have a lot of good development going on downtown and some good residential areas that remind me of my neighborhood by NC State.

FL examples

Florida does have some examples of mixed use in the NW panhandle which are mainly expensive resort towns.

Seaside is the model for many New Urbanist developments including Meadowmont and Southern Village and was the town used for "The Truman Show".

Rosemary Beach is another by the same designers.

Watercolor is more recent

They are the exception.