What does the North Carolina Democratic Party stand for?
After being in power for a hundred years, the last two have felt like a whirlwind. Republicans are moving (backwards) on a number of different fronts and they are doing it quickly. After a hundred years of sitting on the bench they knew exactly what they wanted; Amendment One, Women’s Right To Know, Fracking, dismantle public education, etc. Even if what they stand for is hate, sexism and shortsightedness, they at least stand FOR something.
On the other hand, for the last two years Democrats have been pushed against a wall. All we can do is try to slow down the attacks to public education, women’s rights, the environment, ec. The biggest thing in the Governor’s budget? A temporary extension of a sales (read: regressive) tax hike...not exactly New Deal stuff.
What should I tell a voter who is undecided? If you vote for NC Dems, you’ll get school funding equal to 2010. We need to craft a real vision for the future of public education, how we can get better outcomes for our children. How we can train a workforce that can compete globally, with the skills required for the 21st century.
When we talk about taxes, let’s be bold and talk about real reform that will create a more fair state and allow us to invest in the things that help businesses grow. Let’s have a conversation about infrastructure and how we’re going to move people and goods in North Carolina, in a sustainable way, as our population continues to grow.
This isn’t just a problem for the state party, but it’s particularly acute here. Being in power for 100 years made us fat and lazy and we forgot how to govern properly. We use to understand how to persuade independents and inspire our base, but now we’re just observers in the King’s court.
It is more clear than ever that elections have consequences. We know that less investment doesn't lead to growth, it causes stagnation. We know that less regulation doesn't free up capital, it makes our whole society more risky and dangerous. We know that bigotry and sexism should never be enshrined in law. And we know that nothing ever trickles down, our society just becomes increasingly unequal.
We know what works and what doesn't, but being right isn't enough if we can't persuade and inspire. If we don't put forth a vision, a road map to get our state prosperous again, then we'll be relegated to 100 years of being the minority party.
This is why it's important to support young candidates with a fresh vision for NC. People who haven't been stuck in a broken system for decades and aren't afraid to offer bold ideas. It's becoming increasingly clear that the status quo isn't good enough anymore.
How to help
I'll save the platitudes about 'getting involved' and 'voting' for another, less experienced audience. Obviously for our democracy to be successful we need everyone to be a stakeholder.
Moving beyond that, there is a group of young progressives in NC working to bring about a new generation of progressive leadership in NC. You can check out their new website and there you can sign up for more information.
This weekend is also YDNC Day with events happening all across NC. I strongly encourage any young dems out there (or young at heart) to check out the event happening in your area. You can see all the events happening this weekend and sign up to get involved here.
Finally the Grassroots Farm Team is dedicated to helping young candidates with often their biggest hurdle, fundraising. We want to lower the barrier for entry and make it a little easier for young candidates to run and win in NC. You can support our work by donating securely through ActBlue