Archive for the ‘Democracy Summer 2010’ Category

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A Holy Union

June 16, 2010

Today marks the mid-third week for the Durham Team as we endeavor to make some political waves from the Triangle.  It is a great victory to have the opportunity to take the responsibilities from three separate positions (DemSum Intern, NCCU SGA Political Action Director and Debate Producer) and converge them into one.

Thus far, I’m beginning to adapt to the culture of DemNC, realizing that while VOE is the overall goal, there is and has always been careful attention paid to progressive victories in other arenas.  As we attend meetings at BluePrint NC and other progressive groups, Democracy NC is consistently hailed as the model “C3” for political grassroots progress.  Though, achievements with VOE are in the minority of praises.  This works excellent for the Durham Team, in that we shall continue to work with constituents to get a bill this session in Raleigh that expands Council of State VOE and (hopefully) local election VOE leverage, yet we can also focus on the ’10 Election Season, marrying the civic goals of DemNC with the political action steps at NC Central, in a holy union.

Now that we found the niche to put it all together, this union should last far beyond 9 weeks in the summer…even if the stipends don’t 😉

J. Alan Blackmon

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Here Comes the Choir

June 14, 2010

Yes, yes the choir is myself, Erica, and Robert. Every Monday we set our goals for the week so that each individual day we have goals that need to be met. On most days, we are so engrossed doing our own thing, usually right after our lunch break, that each of us hums a little tune. Erica hums “Little Bitty Pretty One” and I hum “In The Summertime” and Robert gets one or the other stuck in his head. This whole scenario makes Robert crazy because he just repeats the tune over and over at random intervals and following each tune is an unmistakeable “Ughhhhh!”

This second week has been extremely productive. We have heard back from all six colleges that we contacted and they are mostly on board! We are now in the process of putting together packets to send to each SGA to prepare them for our meeting in July. It is exciting to see something you thought up come into being. It makes me so proud! Erica and  I were also entrusted to attend the Homeland Security naturalization ceremony as representatives of League of Women Voters. After the ceremony, we answer any questions the new citizens might have about registering to vote, we help them fill out the form, and provide them with information on where it should be sent. We are now scheduled to attend every Wednesday at 12:30 until the end of our internship!

So after all of our complaining about phonebanking Erica and I called a TON of people this week. We finally have telephones that don’t drop calls and computers that open up call lists!! It’s amazing how much more productive that was for us. We also had the pleasure of meeting Commissioner Roberts and Jeff Doctor this week for breakfast. Actually we met with them and about twenty other people at the Original Pancake House. We invited Commissioner Roberts to speak at our July 24th event and we’re waiting to hear back on that. It was fun to be able to sit down with these important people in such a casual setting as breakfast because you get to know them a lot better.

Charlotte is booming with activity and Erica and I are always finding ourselves doing new things. I am so excited to see what this next week will bring to us!

Alannah– Charlotte

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Greenville: Week 1 Cont…

June 9, 2010

Last Friday, we were invited to Beaufort County’s NAACP Annual Banquet hosted by William Booth (Joyce’s father). Not only were we able to enjoy some delicious Southern food, but we had the opportunity to present information about Democracy NC! We also collected 19 postcards from people who support Voter Owned Elections. The banquet was our first hands on experience with how to inform people about Democracy NC and apply our public speaking skills to use. According to Shaunee, Joyce and I delivered a really good presentation which was great to hear because it was our first public speaking engagement.

Our second week is off to a wonderful start. Joyce and I went to the high schools in Pitt and Beaufort County and discussed ways to education 16 and 17 year-olds about the new early registration law. We were met with disappointing news when we were informed that Beaufort County did not have in-class summer sessions; students take online classes. However, we were promised a spot in the Fall Semester to discuss voter registration.

We had an interesting evening on Monday when we attended the Southern Christian Leadership Conference meeting in Greenville. We were hoping to engage the SCLC in a positive and informational discussion about Democracy North Carolina. Instead we walked into a heated discussion regarding the arrest of Councilwoman Kandie Smith. It has caused uproar amongst the minority community who are accusing the officer who arrested Kandie Smith of racial profiling and calling for the resignation of the police chief. This put Joyce, Shaunee and I in an interesting position, to say the least! However, we were thankful to have Shaunee deliver a powerful message to the crowd where she tied Dem NC’s overall message of good government to the current situation with Kandie Smith and the police chief. Our presentations and one-on-one meetings have definitely paved the road for us to continue our work and build relationships with community leaders who support our organization.

Ana
Greenville Team

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Greenville 1st Week

June 9, 2010

The first week of Dem NC for Pitt County was very interesting. We are very fortunate to have Shaunee as our field organizer. She is awesome at what she does. Tuesday started off with us finding our office and immediately starting to plan how to decorate. We brought in plants (affectionately named Clementine & Fern) , posters, office supplies and of course snacks. Our first day on the job also meant our first day of phone banking, which went pretty good. I had a couples of mistake one including Shaunee and I having a moment of confusion and I ended up hanging up on a voicemail. I called them back though. Throughout the week we had many one-on-ones with very interesting citizens. We met Ms. Pat Seibert in Washington on the waterfront. With a storm fast approaching we decided against good judgment to sit out by the water and meet.  And sure enough one by one then hundreds by hundreds by hundreds the raindrops came. We rushed to a nearby café where we were soaked some more until decided to go in and have lunch. Ms. Pat is a Dem NC Board Secretary and a committed activist in Washington NC. She fittingly was wearing a “Stop bitching and Start a Revolution” t-shirt, right away I knew we would all get along great. We spoke of her past in activism and organizing in Eastern NC. Ms. Seibert also gave us advice about Lobby Day and how to interact with our lovely legislators. She was a great person to meet and had much wisdom to share. Also last week we meet Mr. John Comer, a representative of People of Faith against the Death Penalty, he was advocating reducing the death penalty and eventually doing away with it all together. We had a “heated” conversation outside about the conditions and the way politics is affecting the minority citizens here. It wasn’t exactly “heated” it was just 98.9 degrees outside and we, excluding Shaunee, were literally melting under the sun. But overall it was a very good meeting and we made a promising contact. We also met Pastor Coles who is heavily involved in the Greenville community, his organization Church Outreach Network deals with homelessness and resolving issues plaguing Pitt County by  reaching citizens through the help of Christ.

Overall the first week was a great start to the summer. We are still just as busy this week and enjoying each other’s company along the way     

                            Go Dem NC Summer 2010! Greenville Team Rocks!

 

-Joyce

1/3 of Greenville Dem NC Summer 2010