Advocacy and progressivism in a blood-red NC

There's no way to put a positive spin on yesterday's outcome for state-level politics. I fear that what we saw coming out of the Legislature for the last two years was merely a foreshadowing of future events. And I'm sure there are many reading this who don't believe there's anything we can do about this until the next election.

Well, I'm here to tell you that you are wrong.

First and foremost, we must remain vigilant. Politics is important, but policy is what affects the lives of people. And the people who wield the least amount of clout are also the same people who will suffer the most when policy takes a wrong turn.

Those who are familiar with how legislation is written, who can read between the lines to detect potential dangers to this or that sub-group of our population, are needed now more than ever. You need to analyze it, blog about it, Tweet about it, and generally make yourself a nuisance to those who would try to implement bad policy. For those who feel this would be a waste of time, I say this: "The only safe place for a bad idea to prosper is obscurity." The revelation itself is valuable, regardless of how that new information changes (or doesn't change) the results.

Those of you who are advocates, you must continue to advocate. Battles are lost, but your opponent can only declare a real victory if you stop working for those you are trying to help. And if you do stop, your life may be less stressful, but your soul will suffer. Never forget, the right thing to do is the right thing to do.

I may come back later and add some more thoughts, but I would much rather hear (read, whatever) your thoughts on navigating the next few years.


Pray for god to drop a tornado

on The Roses Discount Legislative Building while the dishonorables are in session. That's my plan, except for the pray and the god part. Guess I'll have to settle for just hoping.

Legal challenges

While we may have lost the (Legislative) power to protect citizens from short-sighted and empathy-lacking Republicans, there are still judicial approaches that may pull some of teeth out of bad policies.

Granted, the lost opportunity of picking up a Supreme Court seat may cause many to question this. But every time that conservative court makes a decision that adversely affects regular folks, they show up on the voters' radar. And the stronger the legal challenge, the less likely justices will take a position that will be picked apart on the evenig news.

There are already a handful of organizations out there willing and able to mount such challenges, but there needs to be more. And there are attorneys out there who work for little (or nothing) to assist these orgs, but there needs to be more of them, as well. The people who desperately need these challenges to move forward can't afford a legal team of their own. They don't have an in-house counsel, or a firm on retainer, and they can't throw a fancy dinner party to ask for help. But they need it, nonetheless.

I think it would be a great idea if we could put together a group of progressive attorneys willing to donate x hours of time per month pro-bono. If you don't want to litigate (or otherwise directly engage), fine. There's more than enough research, writing and other prep that goes into a strong case that working behind the scenes would probably get you a healthy pat on the back.

If you're interested, shoot me a pm or an e-mail. Every good thing starts with a conversation.

Democracy NC rocks

They and a handful of other orgs have done so much for the people of our state. Which is reason enough for the NC GOP to try to tear them down.

What sort of world do we live in where we treat our heroes like villains and our villains like heroes? I'll tell you what kind of world it is: one that needs advocates and progressives more than ever.