Jake Gellar-Goad's blog

Democracy Summer 2013

We're hiring! With the General Assembly being distracted from jobs by breast bills, attempts to fire oversight personnel, and attacks on voting rights and education, those might not be words you hear too often in NC these days. But Democracy North Carolina is hiring undergraduate student summer interns, who are interested in non-partisan organizing, to join the team for the summer.

Interns earn a $2,500 stipend, while they build relationships and receive training that will help them start a career in social and political change. Now in its 14th year, Democracy Summer is ideal for college students interested in working in social and economic justice, community-based advocacy, research, politics, law, nonprofits, or public service.

HKonJ photo blog

The Historic Thousands on Jones Street annual march and rally for civil rights, social & economic justice, voting rights, and progressive causes of all stripes happened today in our state capital to urge legislators, the media and the public to pay attention to these important issues near the start of this legislative session. Here is a window into that event as seen through the lens of my camera phone.

Ever wondered what an organizer does?

You’re not alone. Growing up, none of the adults in my life were organizers. In college, no one majors in “organizing.” I sometimes still struggle myself to explain to relatives at Thanksgiving or friends over coffee what I do for a living as “Eastern NC Organizer.” And yet organizing is an incredibly important part of building grassroots power in our democracy. My hope is that through contributions to this blog I can share glimpses into the world of organizing and the issues facing Democracy North Carolina and our state. I’ll start by sharing about my past few days on the job!

Though I've been blogging on Blue NC for years, this was my first go at blogging on the job. I hope you'll click over to see the rest, give it a read, and leave a comment if you like what you see!

Therefore be it resolved

Have you heard about those White House petitions, where if you get 25,000 signatures, they have to respond? Well you should sign this one calling on the President to address clean elections and Citizens United in his State of the Union next month. North Carolina knows all to well what effects big money in our politics have especially at the state level. Surely we can put these petitions to better use than other recent noteworthy petitions like seceding from the union or building death stars!

Marriage equality begins in Maryland

It has taken lawmakers and leaders some time to catch up with the polls that have been showing for the past few years that a majority of Americans support full marriage equality, but with all the recent states joining in it seems like it's finally starting to happen. With the Supreme Court potentially striking down DOMA and returning marriage equality to California in June of this year we're getting ever closer to the tipping point of having a majority of the country's population in areas that recognize the freedom to marry.


'Lawfully married': Maryland ushers in 2013 with its first same-sex nuptials

BALTIMORE -- Seven gay couples in Maryland rang in the New Year with wedding bells early Tuesday, the first wave of nuptials since voters in the state backed the legalization of same-sex marriage.

How Amendment One might die in 2013

After historic victories in the 2012 elections in which marriage equality won and discrimination lost in 4 states and the first openly gay candidate was elected to the US Senate, the US Supreme Court now poised to weigh in on the issue. The Marriage News Watch video below looks at the history of marriage-related rulings by SCOTUS.

They could decide as early as next week whether or not to take up cases challenging DOMA and challenging marriage discrimination. If they opt not to, then marriage equality could resume in California in short order. That, combined with the recent election results, could move a significant percentage of the country's population into areas with marriage equality.

The race I'll be sweating tomorrow

I'll be sweating this race because I've seen a lot of polls all within the margin in this essentially tied race. I was reading a poll today that lists 8% of North Carolinians as having already voted and as still undecided on the Lt. Governor race. Usually we think of voter drop off happening at the nonpartisan races, but even this is a race where it can happen. Make sure your friends know you're voting for Coleman. If you need a reason why, then please check out and share this Q-Notes article.

But it is Linda Coleman, former state House member and former director of the Office of State Personnel, who might find herself the lone Democratic officer among a sea of Republican lawmakers. Coleman could also become the highest-ranking LGBT-friendly elected official in Raleigh.

Election Day activity in Elizabeth City

I wanted to share this event with my friends at Blue NC because I feel like our coastal friends in north eastern NC don't always get a lot of attention in the blogosphere or in statewide news in general. But it's a nice area, not too far from the beach, full of good folks, and has one of North Carolina's 16 public universities with Elizabeth City State University. I've been there a few times, and first saw it during a NAACP poverty tour. And this Tuesday it will be host to a multi-organization get out the vote event.

Marriage on the ballot on both coasts and places in between

Several states have marriage on the ballot, several of these races are close, and it may be our first victory with marriage at the ballot box (not that civil rights should be voted on). The President has come out on the side of equality in each of these states, and Romney is supporting a federal marriage discrimination amendment. It's hard to imagine a starker difference.


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