Four stories of organizing

I used to be an organizer. That was my profession. I'm not any more. Those jobs are largely centered in and around Raleigh, DC, and other major cities and I'm sticking to Winston-Salem. I'm still an activist though. In fact, just last week I led the charge with the help of some great people in officially organizing the LGBTQ Democrats of Forsyth County. It was actually a year in the making of conversations and relationship building. I thought that was important in 2019, 50 years after Stonewall, and ahead of the 2020 elections.

I've been doing some writing this weekend. I don't know if anyone would enjoy my stories of organizing. I'm sure bits and pieces of them have appeared on Blue NC before over the years in real time. Memories ebb and flow over time, and like all good stories they change a little with each retelling, but I thought there was some value in writing a few of these down as best I remembered them. Maybe stories have a place on a blog. Let me know what you think. Maybe I'll write out some more. I have a lot of them.

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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NC NEEDS CONSCIENCE IN CONGRESS, NOT TRUMP CULT FOLLOWERS: Today we have a president who seems unable to tell the truth to Congress, and who lies daily to the American people. Republicans in the North Carolina delegation sit quietly as Trump lies about his China tariffs, saying that China is sending billions of dollars to the United States. American importers and consumers know that is not true. We pay those billions. This is not about politics. This is about whether the leaders of our congressional delegation have moral values that require support for the truth and expect the president to comply. If the leaders of North Carolina’s congressional delegation are so mesmerized by Donald Trump that they will not speak to the truth of what the president says, they don’t need to be taking up space in our Capitol.
https://www.wral.com/editorial-n-c-needs-conscience-in-congress-not-trump-cult-followers/18392301/

Trump's tax giveaway for the wealthy is squeezing poor college students

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Whether it's a flaw or a feature, it needs to be fixed asap:

A little-noticed provision in President Trump’s sprawling new tax law is treating middle- and low-income college students as if they are trust-fund babies, taxing sizable financial aid packages at a rate first established 33 years ago to prevent wealthy parents from funneling money to their children to lower their tax burdens.

Students with large financial aid packages are finding their nontuition assistance for items such as room and board taxed by as much as 37 percent, even if their family income tax rates are much lower.

Do the math. A poor kid receiving $11,000 a year for room and board is coughing up $4,000 of that in taxes. If that's "winning" I'd hate to see what happens when we start losing. This should not have come as such a surprise to lawmakers, because they've already been raked over the coals for over-taxing survivor benefits for Gold Star families:

Saturday News: With friends like that...

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DESPITE HIS HORRIBLE RECORD, GROUP CLAIMS TILLIS IS LGBTQ-FRIENDLY: As speaker of the N.C. House, Thom Tillis helped place a ban on same-sex marriages in the state constitution and then defended the amendment in court. As a U.S. senator, Tillis has consistently received low marks for his voting records on gay rights from the nation’s largest gay and lesbian civil rights organization. But in an invitation for a fundraiser this week in D.C., Tillis was touted as “a pro-LGBTQ Republican” by the conservative gay rights group hosting the event. American Unity Fund, which wants to make the conservative case for gay Americans, hosted the fundraiser to benefit Tillis and five other Republican congressional incumbents, including Sens. Cory Gardner of Colorado and Susan Collins of Maine. “On all the votes that have mattered since he has been in the U.S. Senate, he has not voted with the LGBTQ community,” said Ames Simmons, policy director at Equality NC.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article230492919.html

I don't care

I don't care if you want to stay home and make babies.
I don't care if you want to breastfeed.
I don't care whether you marry a man or a woman, no matter who you are.
I don't care if you're a stay-at-home husband.
I don't care how many guns you have, as long as they're not machine guns.
I don't care if you have an abortion.
I don't care if you go to church.
I don't care if you home school your children.
I don't care if you decide to end your own life.
I do care if you fail to protect children.
I do care if you don't pay your taxes.
I do care if you try to control my body.
I do care if you exploit your public office for personal gain.

Asshole of the Week: Tom Fetzer

When misogyny is so ingrained you don't even realize it:

“Let me just cut to the chase young ladies, there are only two things in this world you should borrow money for. Your continuing education and a house. Pay cash for everything else because it’s a depreciating asset and you will end up owing more than it is worth. And that is the road to ruin. Those are the parents clapping. Young men, I will add one thing to the list for which you may borrow money. A diamond ring. Because it will appreciate, and so will she.”

Young ladies? Wait, before I talk about that: Once those "young men" bestow a diamond ring on the finger of their prospective soul-mate, that rock is gone. Whether it "appreciates" or not (not, of course), it's hers, dude. Okay, back to the...Young ladies? They're not fricking debutantes being feted (not really sure what that means), they're Anthropologists, Marine Biologists, Chemists, Psychologists, and a whole slew of other professional occupations. This is one of the most important days of their lives, and the last thing they need is some navel-gazing sexist oxygen thief trying to hijack them back to the 1950's. Also, the next time someone from Raleigh picks on someone from Charlotte over Pat McCrory, just start calling them Fetzer. "Hey, Fetzer, is that a clip-on tie?" Or something along those lines. Okay, I'm going to let a woman talk now:

Friday News: Feeling the Bern?

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SANDERS SWINGS SOUTH FOR THE WEEKEND, ASHEVILLE AND CHARLOTTE INCLUDED: Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is making his first public appearances in North Carolina for his 2020 presidential bid as part of a long weekend traveling through the South. Sanders' campaign says the Vermont senator will hold outdoor rallies at midday Friday in Asheville and late in the afternoon in Charlotte. The Asheville event will be held at the Salvage Station venue and the Charlotte event will be on the Central Piedmont Community College campus. Sanders' campaign says he'll talk about the need to restore voting rights, reform K-12 education, eliminate poverty and address environmental racism. Sanders' weekend tour also will take him to South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama.
https://www.wral.com/sanders-makes-2-north-carolina-stops-during-southern-swing/18392900/

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