You want to keep NC Blue, show up to vote!

Vicky Boyer's post, "Keeping NC Blue" has many good points. While extolling the virtues of bringing new blood into elected office, I think she missed a couple of key points.

First, young people have the worst record of voting in NC than any other demographic. When young people show up in single digit percentages in many areas in the state, is there any wonder why your agenda is not being met? I am old enough to remember that as a young 19 year old in the Navy in 1971, I could not vote in this country. Old enough to die, but not old enough to vote. As a teenager, I protested not only for civil rights and against the war in Vietnam, I protested so anyone over the age of 18 could have the right to vote. And what does the current generation of young people do with that hard won right? Well who knows since the vast majority of young people can't even show up to vote. If your lack of concern in the last election wasn't a wake up call as to the dangers of letting the GOP have the entire store, then I do not think anything will.

Secondly, there have been many people who have run in this state in gerrymandered districts. Many like myself would have loved to have been at least mentioned as running. Even though I ran for the State Senate seat held by Bob Rucho, Mr Gerrymander himself, there was nary a peep out of this or any other blog covering NC politics. Even to this day, despite coming just short of earning 39% of ballots cast, even though I did this with about $3000 vs almost a million, despite all that, this and other blogs don't seem to realize that I and many others have put our asses on the line in the past in what has always been labeled as lost causes. It seems that only now, when one of the "elders" as you call us, writes an article stating that "Holy Crap, Democrats have a chance in 2016" do you now rise to the occasion and state the obvious, that all races should be contested. Do you have to wait until the odds may be in your favor before trying?

I hope this article by Thomas Mills and the blog post by Vickey Boyer serve as a wakeup call. There are people out there who are more then willing to put themselves on the line and run where others won't. You just need to get up and support them. Support them with money of course, but support them by volunteering or writing blog posts. Tweet and retweet! If they are not as savvy on the inter tubes then others, help them out by becoming their online advocate. Just help!

But most importantly, put your phone or tablet down for just a few minutes during the primaries and the general election and VOTE! It will do your body good. Then our state might return to Carolina Blue.



Very sorry, Jack

We try to cover as many races as we can, but it looks like we might have dropped the ball on this one.

Just a note: As you have probably already realized, this is a community-driven blog. Anybody can come here and write a diary, as long as they don't stray into the intolerably obnoxious category. If you (or anyone else) want to talk about Dem candidates running in any races, feel free to do so here.

No apology necessary

I would like thank you for the kind apology but my post was not intended to elicit a Sorry from anyone. And as you point out as this is a community-driven blog, I take responsibility for not having blown my own horn at the time. When I filed to run, I had just been released that morning from the Cardiac Care Unit at Presby Hospital following triple bypass surgery. Needless to say, I had a ton of stuff on my mind.

At this time I am considering running again for the Senate Seat held by Rucho. As my liberal friends have told me ever since I purchased my home in Charlotte, "Jack, you moved into the wrong area to win." But my life experiences tell me otherwise. I do not see this district as un-winnable. I see it as a district where there is a lot of discontent about Raleigh and just needs a little push.

So I am asking your readers if I should run? If so, I will need support. Not just monetarily but also in spreading the word and most especially in volunteering and filling an organization that can win.

Thanks again, and for all, on to 2015 and 2016, the years where the clouds that have turned our Carolina skies gray are replaced with bright sunshine and Carolina Blue!

Anti-youth voter suppression

First, young people have the worst record of voting in NC than any other demographic. When young people show up in single digit percentages in many areas in the state, is there any wonder why your agenda is not being met?

I think this is somewhat on youth, but also somewhat on those in power trying to keep them from voting by ending teenager pre-registration, not letting student IDs count for voting, and slashing things like early voting and same day registration which young people used at good rates.

I was at a voting rights conference in DC a while back and I believe it was a city council person from Takoma Park Maryland who said they let 16 year olds and up vote in local elections and they out voted all the other demographics.

We wait right until people start their college or work lives, often involving a move or being in new communities, to let them start voting. I think that has some challenges to being an informed voter. I would love to see more policies promoting youth voting rather than making it harder like the NCGA has been up to in recently years.

With big money in politics and gerrymandering ruling so much of what happens, I can understand a belief that says voting isn't worthwhile or doesn't change anything, even though I don't subscribe to that belief at all myself.

But I don't want to paint a narrative of disengaged youth. I've seen a lot of youth energy behind campaigns like black lives matter, fighting for immigration reform, and LGBT equality and making real steps forward.

Voter Suppression At All Levels Hurt Us All

Excellent points in your comment. And hidden in there are some ideas that we should implement.
1. I agree that many young people are not as versed in many of the aspects of candidates' stands on issues. Modern times has made it much harder to separate out the crap from the diamonds. Engagement in the political part of life is not at the top of curriculums in most schools. Possible solution: high school political clubs where elected officials regularly engage with youths. I know from my experience in high school (years ago, mind you) our federal, state, and local elected officials regularly met with us. For me meeting and talking with them lit a fire in me that, despite the efforts of others, has not been extinguished in almost 50 years now. The one obstacle in this is getting our elected officials to see how this benefits them and thus getting them to participate.

2. Many of us old codgers would love to be able to tell our stories of how we became engaged in the political process. I remember sitting and listening to my elders tell their life stories and how these little parts of their life, when taken as a whole, had flavored their political as well as their everyday lives. Possible solution: start a dialogue with our older friends and relatives. Ask them question about what they were doing at the same age and how they became the person they are today. Lessons about politics and life in general can be the seeds that germinate into a strong, politically minded person.

3. I think that as has happened throughout time, many older and younger people talk past each other. Slang and the vernacular of language changes with the times. This can be the Achilles heel of any candidate or polical leaders at all age levels. Possible solution: mentoring. If you are a candidate of our younger generation, seeking a mentor(s) from the older generation(s) can help overcome how to talk with and empathize with the concerns and wishes of the older generation. And if you are a candidate of the elder generations, seek out younger people as mentors. Dialogue vs monologue will open everyone's mind to new and innovative thinking.

I am so happy that my post has been taken in the spirit that it was intended. I hope that this conversation will continue because we need bold steps and ideas, no matter who is the messenger. Onward to victory in 2015 and 2016!

Speaking of youth voter

Speaking of youth voter suppression:

The campus of Appalachian State University, more specifically the Plemmons Student Union, will be without a one-stop voting location this fall.

The Watauga County Board of Elections voted 2-1 Tuesday evening against requests from the towns of Blowing Rock and Boone for satellite voting locations. Boone had requested for a one-stop location on campus.

This strikes me as another reminder why the 2016 gubernatorial election is so important. Not necessarily because of the veto power, but because it shapes how pro or anti-voting all 100 county boards of elections are, and will be for the 2020 census/redistricting year election.

She also said the board should have a compelling reason not to honor the requests of the towns.

“In regards to the placement at ASU’s campus and student union, I’d like to remind the board that we went down this road in the fall of 2014,” said Anderson. “We had a court order to establish early voting on ASU in recognition of discrimination of particular voters.”

Jack, Glad to hear from you.

Jack, sorry to take so long to reply! I had a big stack of meetings to attend and it took up my life for over a week.

If I had known you were running, I'd have publicized the hell out of it! Tell us, did you get any support from the NC Senate Dem Caucus? We are constantly told they are the folks responsible for helping elect Dems to the state senate. I'd be very interested in your response.

We need more like you, willing to take a chance. Do you plan to run again next year???