Democracy North Carolina

Ready, set, organize!

In an effort to shed even more light on the great nonpartisan organizing work young folks are doing this summer, I wanted to share this video and blog link from some students working in Winston-Salem:

Democracy Summer opening act

Every summer Democracy North Carolina has talented young undergraduate student interns join the team to do nonpartisan organizing in regions all across the state. They will be documenting their experiences through weekly blogging. In their first week they met elected officials, attended meetings, spoke at events, and helped push Mega Moral Monday all over the region. Meet my team:

Hi! I’m Cassandra Perkins, “Cassy.” I’m a junior at UNC-Chapel Hill studying Political Science and Journalism. Having grown up in Bethesda, MD, working in Eastern NC will be a whole new adventure for me. I’m excited to learn about the current issues facing NC and work with the community to create change!

Hi! I’m Martina Evans. I am a senior at UNC-Chapel Hill studying Global Studies and Medical Anthropology. I was born in Greenville which is why I am filled with excitement about what the summer holds. I’m happy to be able to go back to the community I grew up in and make a change.

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.

Have NC's young voters given up?

It sure seems that way:

seniors over age 65 outnumbered young voters ages 18 to 25 in all but four counties with major universities – Orange, Watauga, Pitt and Durham. Young voters had the lowest participation rate of any age group, except in college counties like Jackson, Pasquotank, Scotland and Guilford and in several eastern counties where African Americans are the majority of voters, including Hertford, Northampton, Bertie and Edgecombe.

This goes a long way towards explaining why politicians who try to drag us back to the 1950's seem to keep getting elected. For those of you deeply involved in NCDP organizing, when's the last time you saw a 20 year-old at a precinct/county/whatever meeting? And when's the last time somebody at one of those meetings thought that missing young person was a problem?

Greenville city council passes the anti-Citizens United resolution!

You may remember reading about all the hard work the Democracy Summer internship teams did over the summer. In particular one project the Greenville team took on was to rally public support and meet with a majority of the City Council members to educate them about the anti-Citizens United resolution. Through their hard work over the summer, last night we won the milestone 10th city in North Carolina to pass this resolution, and the first east of 95!

NC GOP masters the art of pay-to-play politics

And the river of green is overflowing its banks:

But two years later, the reliance on big donors has gotten worse, and the new Republican leaders in the General Assembly have blocked all campaign reforms, including proposals to require better disclosure of their own fundraising and the millions in mystery money from outside North Carolina.

But where is the outrage? And where is the right's white knight who "led the charge" against public corruption, former State Auditor Les Merritt? Well, he parked his horse after Republicans took charge of the General Assembly, and now he's handling the money of one of those big pay-to-play donors:

Final week of Democracy Summer

This clip is from the final week's blog from our Triad Team:

Through my work with Democracy NC, I have seen my worth. I plan to continue to engage others students on my campus in our work—the work of democracy. This experience would have been nothing without the mentoring and love of Linda Sutton and the companionship of Tyshia Gray.

- Keren Salim
Triad Team

Penultimate week of Democracy Summer

Greenville Team: "(Nearly) Closing Thoughts"

It’s been a long, fun, productive summer, and I’m taking time to reflect on what I’ve learned, both about organizing and myself. We’re gearing up for a busy final week!

Fayetteville Team: "Raising Voter Turnout in Cumberland County"

My efforts to raise voter turnout all across the southeastern region have been dynamic, creative, and borderline exhaustive.

Charlotte Team: "Some Good Things Come to an End, but Greater Things Arise"

As we have reached the home stretch of our Democracy Summer experience, there lingers this sense of “sadness” amidst the enthusiasm and excitement of each day.

Not a bad week for Democracy

Looking for some good news? Check out this week's installment of the Democracy Summer intern team blogs. Here are a few clips to get you started!

Fayetteville Team:

Luckily, the week came to an end much like many difficult or challenging times during life. . . with a ray of hope. The people of North Carolina successfully fought off new Voter ID and other voter suppression measures! That’s a major victory – crucial for the general election in November. Every flyer handed out, every phone call made, every conversation with an elected official (well, with a few notable exceptions) all seams worthwhile. In the face of maddening opposition and disappointment, the people of North Carolina were also triumphant. I’m so happy just to have been a small part of that effort.

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