Archive for the ‘Youth Vote’ Category


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


And the Work Begins!

June 7, 2010

And the work begins…!

Democracy Summer is no joke! But don’t get me wrong… it’s fun!

The first day of the internship was ridiculously crazy. We came in at 1pm since it was a phone banking day (which Alannah & were completely dreading!) and we got straight to work (or at least we tried to!). Alannah and I set down with Robert to figure out what was going to be our big event for the summer. After about an hour of brainstorming we came up with an idea that we absolutely love!

The goal is to unify the Charlotte college community to increase the youth voter turnout for the state elections this November. In order to achieve this, we have contacted Student Government Associations at Johnson C. Smith University, Davidson College, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Central Piedmont Community College, Queens University, and Johnson and Wales University. Since I’m the SGA President at JCSU, it’s definitely helped me with contacting the SGA boards.

So the next step that day… phone banking.

I don’t know what was wrong with the computers, but it took forever to pull up our phone list and get a system going. When we felt that we could FINALLY start, Robert accidently unplugged the computers. Imagine our faces! Then when it was time to make the first phone call, Alannah got hung up on! Right then and there we realized that phone banking was not going to be our favorite aspect of this internship!

The rest of the week flew by. Phone banking. One on ones. Planning. Emailing. Phone calls. Research. We’ve been busy, but Alannah and I are truly enjoying it.

My favorite part of the week? Realizing that I’m going in the right direction on this LONG journey to my dreams.

Well last week the work began… And now it continues.

Signing out and until next time!

Much love, peace, & happiness ❤



I wish I had a snazzy title

June 15, 2009

Week two of Democracy Summer entailed Young Democrat meetings, potato bread and trips to Fox Studio Charlotte. We began the week with a visit from our illustrious leader, Adam, for instruction on how to phone bank properly and schedule speaking engagements. With his guidance, America and I chatted our way to more than 25 commitments to contact legislators and an appointment to speak with the Senior Democrats, well, in July, but better late than never, right?

Wednesday began with a scenic tour through Charlotte, I got lost which I attribute to a wide variety of things, but most of the blame I give to Robert’s poor instruction giving. America, Robert and I attended the Homeless Helping Homeless meeting, an organization designed to mobilize the less fortunate into helping others, spinning a never ending circle of virtue. We listened to the rift between public libraries and the homeless population of Charlotte, and we were all reminded that the homeless, despite their predicament, are individuals struggling to make it in the same world we are. As I sat there and listened to their hardships, I remembered the importance of egalitarianism and the necessity to fight for it.

Thursday morning, America and I got to witness the naturalization of citizens at Homeland Security for the second time. However, this time, I got to speak! Ms. Levy, a rep for the LWV, allowed me the opportunity to speak about our organization and walk the new citizens through the voter registration form. I felt so privileged to share the day with the new citizens and welcome them to America.  Afterwards, I walked into the men’s room by mistake and thereby ended the poetic beauty of the day. Way to go Sarah!

Fast forward to Sunday evening: following phonebanking: the weekend edition, America and I ventured to a Young Democrats meeting to speak about Preregistration and VOE. Upon arrival we noticed a sign saying the meeting had been moved due to lack of air conditioning (wimps). So we jay-walked over to the Hilton and braced ourselves to speak. Two hours later, after budget talks, book club selections and America almost throwing up on House Rep. Nick Mackey, we stood up, in the middle of a restaurant (with other nonaffiliated patrons) and gave our talk. We managed to collect multiple post cards for VOE, and I learned why the YD’s had to meet in a restaurant: after 50 minutes of budget discussions gouging myself with a sharp fork for an escape route to the ER sounded like a plan.

I’ve learned a plethora of information this week alone, such as how many McDonald’s are on Independence Blvd, the Declaration of Independence was written on hemp, and our very own Robert Dawkins bares a striking resemblance to Carlton from Fresh Prince. This week I’ve noticed the mandatory introspection that comes with an internship such as this. Since beginning this internship I’ve done things I never thought I would do and been apart of things I never knew could exist. I’ve definitely been removed from my comfort zone and forced to confront whatever reaction I exhibited. I’m learning about myself, my abilities and my decision-making, for better or worse.

Sarah, Charlotte