I am chair of my precinct here in Buncombe County, NC, and for all the organizing we have said we need to do, it’s not going well here in the 45th. I didn’t get a quorum for today’s precinct meeting, and all we needed was four people besides me.
First of all, the party announced meetings on Facebook rather than contacting precinct chairs directly to let us know what we need to do to get ready. I got my packet in the mail with no map of the precinct and no names of anyone who has attended precinct meetings in the past.
This is not the way to organize. I took on the job thinking there would be records of who has attended meetings in the past, or at least names of people who have been active. It is as though this precinct never existed for all the background I got.
Our meetings were supposed to be listed online, but they weren’t.
If we as a party can’t be more organized than this, how do we expect to get anywhere when election time comes around? I don’t know a lot of people who have the time to knock on doors asking if residents are Democrats and if they are interested in coming to a precinct meeting. There must be some background somewhere. Why aren’t precinct chairs offered that information?
So, where are the borders? It only took me a few minutes online to find a map, but I do not have time to go knocking on doors before next Saturday, which is the only time we have left to get a meeting together so we have a voice at the county, regional and state conventions in the coming year.
We need to be ready to roll by this time next year, not struggling to organize. Precincts are the most basic level of party organization and if we can’t get it together here, we are going to have another two years of right-wing dismantling of everything that made this state a decent place to live.
We have lost nearly half of our unemployment compensation; plus unemployed people now have just 12 weeks to find another job; fracking is likely to become a reality; we have rejected the Medicaid expansion and the $12 billion in federal money that comes with it; we likely will have a voter ID law in a few weeks; our social safety net is being shredded, our education system dismantled.
If we can’t get it together, we’re going to be the laughingstock of the nation. Mississippi is going to look progressive next to us.
So, here’s the deal: If you are a Democrat in Buncombe County, NC, and you vote at the Enka Middle School, you are in the 45th Precinct. We will meet at 10 a.m. next Saturday. I will call Monday to set it up at Enka Middle School. Please try to be there and bring a neighbor if you can.
Leslie Boyd, a former newspaper reporter, is president of the health care advocacy nonprofit, WNC Health Advocates, founded in memory of her son, who died in 2008 because he couldn't access health care. E-mail her at leslie at lettersfromtheleft dot com or follow her on Twitter @leftyletters1, visit Letters from the Left on Facebook. For more information about WNC Health Advocates or to read Boyd's health care blog, visit wncha.org.