Roots

"In Lt. Governor's Race, Besse Relies on Roots" by Layla Farmer for the Winston Salem Chronicle (our excellent Weekly).

“Being a Legal Aid lawyer at one time, he understands the plight of low wealth individuals, which is important in the Lieutenant Governor position, because of educational issues, because of environmental issues,” Terry stated.

Besse studied law at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and spent a decade as an attorney for Legal Aid. A child of the segregated South, Besse said the ugliness of racial bias he witnessed as a child made him
want to dedicate his life to helping others.

“I had the opportunity to see the kind of inequality with which the young, black students were being treated, by the school, too often by the teachers in their classrooms,” he commented. “That turned into something that I knew I needed to work on on a long term basis.”

Besse’s platform is centered around the principles he has fought for since his youth – quality education, better healthcare and a clean environment. He says all of those issues have been concerns for him for as long as he can remember.

Comments

Really excellent biographical information...

about Dan in this story, including some stuff that I hadn't heard:

As a youngster, Besse says he gained a love and respect for the outdoors while accompanying his father on camping trips and participating in Boy Scout activities.

“The exposure that I got to the outdoors and the mountains and real forests and living streams, that was a revelation,” he commented. “You’d see times when those were threatened. It was hard not to be outraged about that.”

Besse says he learned the value of having adequate healthcare at an early age as well.

“I was sick a lot as a kid, especially as a young child,” he explained. “Later, I would reflect back and say, ‘Well, I was in the hospital a lot; my parents were not rich – how did they pay for that?’ and it was because they had health insurance through their jobs. If they hadn’t, I might not still be around.”

And further...

Like his mother and father – who served as a public school principal and an Employment Securities worker, respectively – Besse says he wants his life to be about service.

“They really taught me the value of education and the importance of using it to give back to the community. They didn’t go into … high-finance kind of careers, they went into public service,” Besse said.

Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines is one of Besse’s biggest supporters.

“Dan Besse is one of the hardest working public servants I’ve ever known,” commented Joines. “He thoroughly analyzes issues, is a great negotiator, and I believe is sensitive to critical issues facing the state of North Carolina.”

I HATE to quote so freely from an article but when I read this one this morning, it really hit me as accomplishing something that I try to accomplish when I talk to people about Dan (and that has been at the heart of all of the LG talk this week): that a good candidates' record is laced throughout by every decision he's made in his professional and personal life...and look at who we've got here, North Carolina!

Comparisons like the one I'm about to make are usually reckless and heavy-handed, indelicate and dull but I'll say it because it's something I can't stop thinking:

Dan Besse is my Paul Wellstone.

Dan Besse is my Paul Wellstone.

Wow. That's pretty high praise. Makes one stop and think, that's for sure.