I'm Frank Eaton, President of the Forsyth County Young Democrats. This is an organization that has a lot of energy coming out of the 2008 elections. Many of us are veterans of the Obama campaign or other races, and the lessons we've learned are fresh and our perspective on the community renewed by the experiences we've had with voters in the precincts of Winston-Salem.
But Forsyth county faces a quiet crisis as its elected leadership ages, and the numbers tell us that in this regard, we're falling behind other growing cities in North Carolina. Our elected representatives reflect who we are; and right now, Winston-Salem's City government reflects a community that is aging faster than Greensboro, Raleigh, Durham and Charlotte.
We have one of the best City Councils in the state, made up of educated, engaged, creative people; and while they represent an enviable and hard-won demographic balance in most ways, none of them are under fifty-three years old. In fact, the two youngest elected officials in Forsyth County, Dale Folwell and Robert Clark, are Republicans. But in the fastest growing metropolitan areas of our state, young Democrats take leading roles in city government.
I want to introduce you to one in particular: Charlotte Democrat Anthony Foxx. Foxx was elected to the City Council at the age of 34. Now in his second term, he's the front runner for the Democratic nomination for mayor. He's a popular candidate and a product of Charlotte's commitment to cultivating young leaders and placing them at the forefront of civic life. He also represents the city's legacy of growth and urban renewal which has made it the economic success that it is today.
In the years ahead, it will be essential for Winston-Salem to attract new businesses by advertising vigorous, modern thinking and to encourage entrepreneurship by presenting our community as the best place in North Carolina for young businesses and new lives to begin.
This chapter of the Young Democrats has pledged to devote 2009 to the arrival of a new class of leaders and the development of a generation that will undertake public service in an age of unequalled need. We are recruiting candidates who understand that they take on a legacy project for the life of our city: to guide each ward through the challenges of today to a common prosperity.
The input of all Democrats is essential to this mission and I end this message with a call to action: Name five democrats under forty who are, or could be, on track to take elected office. Think of men and women in your church, civic organizations and at work; think of the children or grandchildren of your peers who show brilliance and promise. Encourage them to consider public life...
Our 2009 municipal elections present us with a remarkable opportunity, one which won't come again until 2013. This year, we can put a face and name to Forsyth County's Democratic future. It starts now... with you... and the faith you place in the energy, strength and wisdom of a generation, rising. Thank you.