Archive for the ‘Greenville’ Category

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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   

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Ana Eusse, Greenville

June 9, 2010


Ana Eusse, Greenville

Originally uploaded by democracync

Ana Eusse is a native of Englewood, New Jersey. After graduating from Dwight Morrow High School as Vice President of her class and with salutatorian awards, she enrolled in Montclair State University. While there, she decided to pursue an undergraduate degree in Sociology with a minor in Latin American Studies. As a member of the Latin American Student Organization, she was involved in community activities and events dedicated to exposing the beauties of Latino/Hispanic culture.

In May 2007, Ana was accepted into the Walt Disney World Company Student Internship, where she worked with top celebrities such as Mickey Mouse, Captain Hook, Ursula, and Simba. When one of her roommates introduced her to North Carolina, she decided to transfer to East Carolina University and become a member of the Pirate nation! In addition to attending school, she works at Barnes and Noble as a dedicated bookseller and volunteers with ALMAS, an organization dedicated to increasing bilingual skills amongst Latina women. Recently, she participated in T.R.I.P.S, a program that allowed a group of Pirate students to go to Delaplane, VA and plant over 300 trees to revitalize the ecosystem. Another important event for Ana is consistently volunteering on Dr.Martin Luther King Jr. Day. She considers him her role model. In her free time, Ana loves taking long drives into the rural areas of Eastern North Carolina and watching documentaries to expand her sociological imagination. Once she graduates from ECU, Ana has decided to join AmeriCorps and follow up with PeaceCorps.

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Greenville Checking In:

July 28, 2009

It’s been a while since I’ve last blogged, but we’ve been so busy down here in Greenville that I’ve barely had time!

The month of July seemed to seriously fly by and I cannot believe we’re already in our last week! We’ve done so much, including hosting Pitt County’s first-ever Democracy North Carolina Open House and having the wonderful Tracy Burton throw a terrific house party where Brittany and I gave our best presentation to date!

Both of us also had letters to the editor in the Greenville Daily Reflector:
http://www.reflector.com/opinion/demand-democracy-and-clean-elections-722183.html

We’ve also had some interesting experiences with the locals at the Pitt Community College Summer Splash event. The three of us went to PCC to register people to vote and ended up getting invited to be a part of the G-vegas magazine’s swimsuit calendar, which we were told is “tasteful enough for your grandmother to put on her wall.”

I’ll let you decided: Classy or Trashy?
http://www.g-vegasmagazine.com/

But, other than that we’ve been really busy around here with a lot of speaking engagements with the Lions Club of Ayden, Beaufort County NAACP and Beaufort County Democratic Women.

I cannot wait to see everyone and their final presentations of learning on Thursday! It’s been an amazing summer and I’m truly sad that everything has been said and done. Love you Dem NC and keep fighting the good fight for clean elections!

– Katy

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I’ll just meet you in the LOBBY (DAY)

June 23, 2009

Lobby Day (June 17)

It was our first meeting of the day with representative Timothy Spear and I was hoping I wasn’t about to be SPEARED. I was pretty nervous going into his office (hello: this guy is the big leagues!) because this was the first time I had ever done any sort of lobbying and the last thing I wanted was to make a fool of myself in front of a politician. But, fortunately for me, Tia was calm and collected (as always) and SPEAR- headed our campaign for HB-120, HB-1260, and SB-966. She is so poised when she speaks, I was put at ease almost instantly and speaking to a legislator became no different than speaking to an average Joe on the street. Spear, unfortunately, was hesitant to pledge support for our cause (a disappointing start for the day) but having one “no” under our belts made the rest of the day sail pretty smoothly. We met with several other legislators including Representatives Owens, Allen, Davis (Who was an absolute delight to meet and hear speak!), and Braxton.

The most interesting aspect to lobby day was uncovering why certain legislators voted as they did. It was the inevitable battle between “should I vote as a representative of my constituents/to get reelected?” or “should I vote for what I believe is legislatively right?” It was incredibly frustrating for me to realize how easily a politician can be persuaded to vote a particular way because influential backers that supported them do not support particular legislation. For the first time, I SAW and HEARD why our work at Democracy North Carolina is so important. Legislators should represent all the people, not just the ones with the most power.

Overall, though, Lobby Day was a really exciting experience and hopefully we’ll be able to head back up to Raleigh sometime soon and we’ll return to Greenville with less “maybes” and more “yeses!”

Brittany, Tia, and I were joined by Ryan Downey of Greenville and Marvin Arrington of Nash County during the day. Ryan, with his endless supply of history and information about Raleigh and the North Carolina legislature, and Marvin, with his enlightening insight and immense popularity with the legislators, were both great additions to our trio! Thanks guys 🙂

That’s all for now!

– Katy Koesy

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RINGING in a new week…

June 16, 2009

Week 2:

Week 2 for the Greenville team kept both Brittany and I in CHECK as we completed three days of some intense phoneBANKing. Brittany is a pro on the phone though, she was able to get through almost 70 callers a day while my slow self barely completed 50 calls.  We both decided it was because I leave super long and informative messages on people’s answering machines: I’m sure many have missed the start of their favorite tv show waiting and praying for my message to end. But, we pushed through the three days of “Hello, My name is…” and managed to get through our C-list of callers (Kathy Griffith would be proud) and we’ll start on the coveted B-list on our next phone bank.

The rest of the week was spent preparing for our house party we are planning to hold in late July here in Greenville (we’ll be like the PINK ladies as we “get this party started”), contacting Eastern North Carolina’s congressmen and women for meetings on June 17 (We LOBBIED hard for about 5 scheduled meetings we already have for that day), and trying to plan some speaking engagements for the rest of the month.

But the big event of the week was our presentation about Voter-owned elections and the Public Municipal Campaign bill at the Greenville Town Council Meeting on Thursday June 11. Brittany and I spoke during the public comment section of the meeting where residents are allowed three minutes to address the council about any issue they choose so long as it is not related to the public hearing issues discussed at the town council meeting.

Brittany, Tia and I arrived to the meeting early and pumped and ready to address the council only to find that the public comment meeting was AFTER the public hearing session, so we ended up waiting for about an hour and a half of the council arguing about the extent to which they should follow code enforcement just for our three minute spiel. And all that while those nerves and excitement were stirring in the pit of my stomach.

[INSERT RANDOM TANGENT]

This is SUCH a “pay-it-forward moment” that I have to interject during our week to tell it. So, our first week, after work, Tia, Brittany, and I went to a starbucks on 10th street here in Greenville. Every week the starbucks has a contest where they have a quote from a movie and if you guess what movie the quote came from, you get a free tall drink. By the time we saw the quote, all three of us had already gotten a drink but Tia and I were curious about where the quote came from, so we looked it up on her blackberry. When we found the answer, I went to the barista and asked for a “delay of drink” so I could come back later and get a drink because I knew the movie of the quote.

Unfortunately, she said she had to make the drink then. Well, I thought, I just had a coffee and I don’t want another, so whatever. But, at that moment a man was getting ready to order and I thought, “this is my pay-it-forward moment: I’ll let him get a drink for free and I’ll feel so much like Haley Joel Osmond that maybe I’ll see dead people when I finally meet Bruce Willis.”

So, I asked the man if he wanted a free drink and told him about the movie quote and the free drink, etc. Now, this man was nicely dressed in his collared shirt and tie, holding his computer-bag briefcase, and was clearly some sort of professional grabbing a cup-of-joe after work and he insisted on paying me for the drink that he got for free. I was so surprised by that but I immediately refused to have him pay me for doing nothing at all and I went back to Tia and Brittany. haha, both the girls told me later they thought he thought I was homeless because they saw him trying to give me money!!

As the man was leaving, the barista called me back over and handed me a gift card she told me the man with the briefcase had left me.  The whole event left me in awe because it really was an example of two people doing something really nice for each other, which is a breath of fresh air in a world of anger.

ANYWAY, to come full circle if you will, the irony is that as Brittany and I were walking into the town council chamber, no other than the briefcase man himself walked in, sat down in front of us, and pulled out his laptop. I was freaking out: “ohmygod, that’s my pay-it-foward pal,” “do you think he recognizes me??”

Sadly, he didn’t. But, I recognized him and it just reminded me again that there is a little goodness left in this cynical world.

[END RANDOM TANGENT]

But, it was worth the wait when Brittany and I finally got to have our “3 minutes of fame.” We confidently, boldly, and successfully told the town council about the legislation we are pushing, expanding voter-owned elecitons, and garnering support for a fairer and cleaner democracy. PLUS: we were on TV. Beat that other teams!

Well, it was definitely an exciting week (again!) and I will keep you all updated! Thanks for reading!

–  Katy Koesy