June Update from the Chair

Update from the Chair:

Greetings, Democrats!

All of the activities we had planned for the spring and early summer have been put on hold as we follow the guidelines set out by Governor Roy Cooper and others in state government who value our health and safety. Once we have testing available to go along with a vaccine, life will return to normal. For the latest information from the state regarding the COVID-19 virus, please visit the NC DHHS Website.

Several people have contacted me already about absentee ballots for November. The State Board of Elections has sent a memo to the Governor and General Assembly outlining some suggestions to assist with voting during a pandemic. You can access that memo here.

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LCDP Chair Statement on Commissioner Mitchem’s Violation of the Law

Not long ago if you had asked me about commenting publicly on an elected leader’s flagrant violation of a law or legal directive, I probably would have laughed.  Today Ken Lemon from WSOC contacted me to comment on Lincoln County Commission Chair Carroll Mitchem’s deliberate and public decision to violate the law, and I am not laughing.  It is an embarrassing situation – not for Mr. Mitchem, but for Lincoln County.  Only two sentences from my interview were aired in the middle of what was a fairly lengthy description of a local celebration of arrogance.  Let’s consider just a few points:

  • Didn’t Mr. Mitchem take an oath as a commissioner to uphold the constitutions of this country and our state?  If he can choose one law to violate, which law will be his next choice?  Are the other citizens of this county allowed to choose one law to break?  If not, why not?  What kind of social order will we have if all of us get to copy Mr. Mitchem’s behavior – even just one time?
  • Aside from the clearly legal side of this argument, where are the ethics that normally characterize public office holders?  What kind of example does this set for young people? Mr. Mitchem says he is a patriot.  Under what standards?  Isn’t there a political process in this country to change and reflect the will of the voters? Isn’t that what we ought to be teaching literally and by example? 

Finally, is this really what Lincoln County has become?  I stated in this interview that I did not believe that such behavior was a true reflection of this county.  But what the rest of the world sees is a community with an out of control commission chair who wants the legal system to revolve around his own personal needs and wants.  As a student and teacher of American history, I don’t think that’s what the founders had in mind.

Message from the Chair of the LCDP African American Caucus (AAC)

James Smith, chair of the African American Caucus, would like to share this statement:
“The last few months have been very difficult and frustrating, not just for our communities but for our nation. Due to the pandemic, we were thrust into a situation that has left many wondering how to pick up the pieces and move forward in what will now be our “new normal.” Sadly, now we face yet another challenging situation with the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd. Even in these very dark hours we must rise up to the killings and brutality of Blacks. We must rise up by continuing to protest peacefully, rise up by demonstrating peacefully, and rise up by registering any and all African Americans for this very critical upcoming election in November 2020. We must rise up and make sure that no matter where you live, city or state, that you have candidates in place who will work for the good of your communities. Trust… it is most definitely the time to rise up and let your voice be heard. Yes, we are in the midst of unprecedented times, but even in these trying times, let’s remember that we need to continue to prepare for Election 2020. The lives of the Black community may depend on it.”

NC Voter ID Law Temporarily Blocked for March 3 Primary Election

U.S. District Court Judge Loretta Biggs ruled in favor of voting rights, temporarily blocking the new voter ID law passed by a NC GOP majority in 2018. She cited, “North Carolina has a sordid history of racial discrimination and voter suppression stretching back to the time of slavery, through the era of Jim Crow, and, crucially, continuing up to the present day,” in her December 31, 2019 ruling.

Postcards sent out in December by the NC State Board of Elections (NCSBE) detailing acceptable photo identification are no longer in effect for the March 3 primary in our state. This is a temporary ruling that the Lincoln County Democratic Party hopes to become permanent. Requiring a photo identification has been a proven tactic of voter suppression, specifically in the south and North Carolina. 

The NCSBE now displays this announcement on their website: 

The decision will remain a temporary block on the voter ID law until further rulings.  Our local party urges all citizens to prepare proper photo identification in case the injunction is lifted for the November general election