ACDP February, 2021

AGENDA LINK
January Minutes Link

Black History Month


The Intersection Between Racial Equity and Public Health in the United States

Virtual Community Event · Volunteer organized for Presidential Inaugural Committee

About this event

Monday, February 8 7:30 – 9pm EST Guest Speaker Aima Ahonkhai Nottidg MD, MPH

We offer ongoing, community-wide meetings . The second Monday of each month, we have a speaker on a myriad of topics related to BLM, such as: Building A Racially Equitable and Legally just Society; Intersectionality of Racism and Anti-Semitism; The Intersection Between Racial Equity and Public Health in the US.

The second meeting is the 4th Monday of each month when we watch videos related to BLM and have small group discussion of what is presented, such as the Sounds Like Hate podcast from the Southern Poverty Law Center. Everyone is welcome to join our zoom meetings at 7:30pm(EST)by contacting Ellen Price-Maloy at erpricemaloy@msn.com.

Steve Van Pelt Inducted into The Order of the Long Leaf Pine!

Highest Award for State Service Granted by the Office of the Governor.

This is the highest award for state service granted by the Office of the Governor. Nominees must have 30 or more years of service in the state of NC. Steve was nominated by Elaine Berry, chair of the Alamance County Democratic Party; Dr. Cindy Moss; and former ABSS Superintendent Dr. Bill Harrison.

The Order of the Long Leaf Pine is awarded to individuals for their contributions to their communities, extra effort in their careers, and many years of service to their organizations. Steve has all those qualifications.

In November 2019, Steve Van Pelt served his last day on the Alamance County Board of Education, bringing to a close 51 years of service to public education in North Carolina.

In Berry’s nomination, she says: “Steve began his career in education as band director at East Rowan High in Rowan County in 1969. In 1977, he became band director at North Moore High until 1988, when he was named Moore County Teacher of the Year. Steve moved into school administration in 1988 in Alamance County where he would serve as assistant principal at Cummings High until 1997. For the next 5 years, he served as principal at Sellars-Gunn Education Center. Soon after his retirement in 2002, Steve became band director at Clover Garden Charter School where he would teach until 2007.

In addition to Steve’s 38-year career in public schools in Rowan, Moore, and Alamance, Steve has served as a member of the Alamance-Burlington School System’s Board of Education since 2004. During his 16 years on the Board, Steve has provided leadership, insight, and experience that has helped Alamance County schools move towards improved student achievement, equity among the schools, recruitment and retention of teachers, and needed school building maintenance and construction. In addition, he has mentored many young people who aspire to careers in politics and public service.

Besides being one of the state’s greatest advocates for public education, Steve is a wonderful family man and community leader. His wife, Mary Ann, is also a retired music teacher. Their three children–Chuck, Kathryn, and Jeffrey–all graduated from Southern High and still live in Alamance Founty with their families. An Eagle Scout himself, Steve has volunteered with the Boy Scouts since 1977. He has been an active member of Graham First United Methodist Church since 1988, having served on numerous committees, including the Administrative Council and Staff-Parish Committee. Currently Steve chairs the Alamance Juvenile Crime Prevention Committee on which he has served since 2004. Steve’s love for the arts is also reflected in his community involvement in that area, including the Alamance Chorale and the Arts Council of Alamance County.

Suffice it to say, Steve Van Pelt is a well-respected, much loved figure in the Alamance County education and arts communities in particular. Steve sets the bar high for us all not just by the longevity of his public service, though 51 years is quite remarkable, but by the quality of that service. It is for Steve’s exemplary service to public education in North Carolina that I nominate him to receive the Order of the Long Leaf Pine.”

ACDP NEWS January, 2021

Happy New Year!



Message from our Chair:

I hope that you enjoyed the holidays. I imagine that, like me, you look forward to 2021. I hope that you can join us for the first Alamance County Democratic Party Meeting of the new year on Thursday, January 7 at 7 pm.

Elaine Berry, Chair

ACDP 

2021 is going to be a busy year!

There is a lot of work to do.

– Municipale elections

– ACDP Officers Elections

– Organizing for the 2022 Elections

– Registering Voters

– and lots more! – Please Stay Involved and help Make Alamance a Better Place for EVERYONE!

For more information on how you can help contact our chair:  chair@alamancedemocraticparty.com


The NDTC is a hybrid PAC that aims to deepen the Democrats’ bench by providing free online and in-person classes to activists, campaign volunteers and staff, and candidates.
  • Free, flexible training for every Democrat Our training sessions are open to any Democrat looking to make a change in their community. No litmus test. No cost. We offer online and in-person options that fit your needs.
  • Get trained–any time, anywhere Our interactive trainings can be accessed online 24/7. Each course includes real examples, samples, and do-it-yourself templates that you can immediately put to use. Ready to start? Take whichever courses seem most relevant to your goals, and take them as many times as you need.
  • In-person training–we’ll come to you Work with our trainers in-person in your state. Our experts travel the country to provide broad spectrum training to Candidates, Campaign Staff, and Local Leaders. These sessions are collaborative, action-oriented, and local to you.

More information HERE


Non-Electoral Organizing for Your Local Democratic Party

Tuesday, January 12th from 1pm-2:30 pm ET

About the event: Join the National Democratic Training Committee on Tuesday, January 12th from 1pm-2:30 pm ET for a free virtual live training on “Non- Electoral Organizing for Your Local Democratic Party”. If you’re part of your local Democratic party’s leadership, precinct leader, or local leader, this training is just for you! We’re here to help.

You will learn the following in the training:

  • Understand why campaign-based organizing works
  • Identify ways to develop local campaigns
  • Understand how various layers of democratic infrastructure work together to plan and execute local campaigns

For more information and to register for this training: HERE


What is A Democratic Precinct Chair?

Offered twice: January 14th from 1pm-2:30 pm ET and January 14 from 8pm-9:30pm ET

About the event

Join the National Democratic Training Committee on Thursday, January 14th for a free virtual live training on “What is A Democratic Precinct”. If you’re part of your local Democratic party’s leadership, precinct leader, or local leader, this training is just for you! We’re here to help.

You will learn the following in the training:

  • Recognize Democratic precinct chair responsibilities
  • Discuss building relationships in your precinct
  • Understand tactics to maintain and engage Democratic precinct members after Election Day
To register: January 14th from 1pm-2:30 pm ET or
January 14 from 8pm-9:30pm ET

Mark your Calendars

2021 is here and we at the North Carolina Democratic Party, wanted to go ahead and give you dates for the meetings that will be held in 2021 – please see below:

2021 Winter SEC Meeting – Saturday, February 27th
2021 Precinct Organization Meetings – Saturday, March 6th – Saturday, March 20th
2021 County Convention Meeting – Saturday, April 10th
2021 (Makeup Date) County Convention Meting – Saturday, April 17th
2021 Congressional District Convention Meeting – Saturday, May 22nd
2021 Summer SEC Meeting – Saturday, August 7th


Change is Coming to Alamance.

Be Part of It!

Contact : chair@alamancedemocraticparty.com


ACDP NEWS December, 2020




ACDP December Update

We will not be having an ACDP meeting on December 3, but ACDP wishes that each of you has a wonderful holiday season. What better gift might we all receive than two more Democratic senators to help President Biden and VP Harris move America forward in 2021 and beyond? We can help Reverend Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff win the runoff elections and become Georgia’s new Senators, but we need to get to work right away because early in-person voting starts on December 14.
How can you help? Arsidez Leon of the NCDP LGBTQ Caucus has provided us with a comprehensive toolkit with a wide variety of opportunities to get involved.

If you would like to sign up for any of these volunteer efforts listed below please contact Elaine at chair@alamancedemocraticparty.com

DONATE

Funding the candidates directly as well as the amazing grassroots organizations who flipped the state blue for Biden is of the utmost importance. If you can give, please give. If you can’t, consider sharing these links on your social media accounts.

Donate to Warnock & Ossoff’s campaigns HERE

Donate to Warnock, Ossoff, and Stacey Abrams’ Fair Fight HERE

Win Both Seats – Donate HERE with one click to donate directly to 16 POC-led, grassroots organizations in Georgia. 

We have is an amazing list of 40 voting/election related organizations in Georgia. It includes their website, the link to donate, plus links to their social media accounts.

If you would like to sign up for any of these volunteer efforts please contact Elaine at chair@alamancedemocraticparty.com

REGISTER VOTERS

Did you know there are 23,000 young people in Georgia who were not old enough to vote in the November 3rd election but will be for the January 5th runoff? It’s true! We need to get those young people registered to vote! If you would like to sign up for any of these volunteer efforts please contact Elaine at chair@alamancedemocraticparty.com

I encourage you to donate to and/or volunteer with the following Georgia organizations who focus on voter registration:

The New Georgia Project

Black Voters Matter

Sign up with Warnock’s campaign 

Find an Ossoff volunteer event 

Fair Fight You can sign up to volunteer with Fair Fight  — they provide some training! (Choose between being a poll worker, line warmer, phone banker, or text banker.)

POST CARDING

Postcards to Voters’ GA campaign

Postcards to Swing States’ GA campaign

Vote Forward’s GA letter writing campaign.

Georgia Postcard Project TEXT OR PHONE BANKING Fair Fight text or phone banking 

Reclaim Our Vote text or phone banking 

Flip the West phone banking 

Warnock campaign phone bank 

Ossoff campaign phone bank 

Our next ACDP meeting will be on Thursday, January 7, at 7 pm. Please hold that date because it will be a meeting that you will not want to miss.

Best wishes for a wonderful holiday season,

Elaine Berry, Chair

ACDP 


Change is Coming to Alamance.

Be Part of It!

Contact : chair@alamancedemocraticparty.com


ACDP NEWS November 29, 2020


Five reasons NC progressives should remain bullish about their political future

By Rob Schofield – 11/24/2020

There’s been a great deal of introspection and handwringing by North Carolina progressives in recent weeks in the aftermath of the election. After having spent much of the summer and fall reveling in the notion that the state was poised to issue a strong, across-the-board repudiation of Trumpism on Nov. 3, the final results were, on many fronts, a disappointment.

While voters re-elected Gov. Roy Cooper by a healthy margin and added two Democratic women (Deborah Ross and Kathy Manning) to the state’s now slightly-less-gerrymandered congressional delegation, Republicans swept most of the other high-profile races – from the presidential race to the U.S. Senate to the Council of State to the judiciary to the General Assembly.

So what should progressives make of this outcome? Is the picture, as some analysts and politicos have opined, utterly bleak? Especially with legislative leaders Phil Berger and Tim Moore set to craft yet another collection of rigged electoral maps, is it time for progressives to move to right in hopes of winning over more Trump voters?

Here are five reasons progressives should keep calm and stay the course:

1.  The North Carolina vote was hardly a ringing endorsement of Trumpism. Despite his unique and visceral connection with his supporters, and having mounted a feverish campaign in which he and his surrogates were a constant physical presence in the state during the campaign’s closing weeks, Donald Trump – an incumbent president who was using every tool of the office at his disposal – won just 49.93% of the vote.

And while the GOP ultimately prevailed in numerous other statewide races, in virtually every instance, the margin was extremely narrow. Simply put, North Carolina’s status as a sharply divided 50-50 “purple” state has not changed. A few thousand votes could have changed everything.

Indeed, there’s a strong case to made that by forcing Trump to devote so much energy to holding the state, Biden supporters here helped keep Trump from spending the time in Georgia, Arizona and Pennsylvania that might have made the difference for him there.

2. The pandemic ended up being a big disadvantage for Democrats. As I noted in a column a couple weeks back, Republicans were able to generate a much higher degree of last-minute campaign enthusiasm by throwing caution to the wind when it came to staging high energy, in-person, non-socially-distanced rallies – often headlined by Trump himself.

Democrats simply weren’t willing to take such a risk – a move that no doubt saved lives, but almost certainly cost them thousands of votes. With any luck, this unique situation will not be repeated in the future.

3. Cal Cunningham’s implosion was a big problem. North Carolina voters were clearly unenthusiastic about sending Sen. Thom Tillis back to Washington. Even in victory, he secured just 48.69% of the vote.

Ultimately, however, Cal Cunningham’s massive political pratfall served as just the last-minute lifesaver Tillis needed. And not only did the revelations about Cunningham’s maddening personal behavior help doom his own candidacy, they almost certainly played a role in dampening Democratic enthusiasm across the board. As with No. 2, this figures to be a unique situation.

4. Demographic trends remain positive. While it will continue to be gradual and uneven process, there is every reason to believe that North Carolina’s population will (like much of the rest of the nation) continue to trend more urban and diverse as the years go by – two factors that have helped turn Virginia, and more recently and famously Georgia, in a progressive direction.

And while such a turn is no guarantee of perpetual success for progressive candidates or policies, progressives are more likely to achieve success by working hard to capitalize on this trend (see, for example, Stacy Abrams’s voter turnout work in Georgia) than by devoting big resources to converting Trump’s stubborn but slowly ebbing base of supporters.

In 1988, California voted for a Republican presidential candidate for the fifth consecutive election. Earlier this month, Biden defeated Trump in the Golden State by 63.6% to 34.2%.

5. Most voters are with progressives on the issues. Look at the list. Americans want higher taxes on the rich. They understand the reality of the climate emergency and want immediate action. They oppose racial discrimination in the criminal justice system. They favor a the protections of the Affordable Care Act. They want to raise the minimum wage. They favor abortion rights. They believe in public schools. They want reasonable gun control laws.

In other words, while Donald Trump and his ilk have clearly demonstrated that appeals based on tribe – race, culture and religion – can convince Americans to vote against their own economic interest and, indeed, counter to their views on any number of issues, it’s hard to see how progressives combat such a phenomenon by abandoning what amount to wise and popular stances.

The bottom line: Transforming the politics and policies of an historically conservative state like North Carolina was always going to be a marathon. Just because the breaks went against them in one 50-50 election is no reason for progressives to abandon the race.



ACDP December Meeting

The meeting scheduled for December 3 has been canceled. Our next virtual meeting will be January 7th. Please contact Elaine at : chair@alamancedemocraticparty.com to register.


Volunteer for the Georgia Senate Runoff

Sign Up!

We have the opportunity to flip the Senate blue if we win both of Georgia’s Senate runoff races.

Sign up to volunteer with Georgia Democrats and help elect Reverend Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff and take back the Senate!



Burlington Times News

Give us your take on the news. Write a letter to the editor and email it to letters@thetimesnews.com.

All letters must be between 300-350 words. Letters containing foul language, falsehoods and hate speech will not be considered for publication.


From Dayson Pasión:

Alamance Burlington Equity Advisory Council

I told you I’m not waiting to get elected to do the work of creating a more equitable public education system for our students and families. Something that I talked about and proposed during the campaign is the formation of an equity advisory council that is community-led and would make recommendations to district leadership. So let’s get to work. It’s going to take all of us.

Use this link to sign up for more information: https://forms.gle/ufWJTj1xuXu5sdg96


Change is Coming to Alamance.

Be Part of It!

Contact : chair@alamancedemocraticparty.com


ACDP NEWS November 28, 2020


Push for Racial Justice in Alamance County Continues with Weekend March

Written BySarah Ovaska

Last UpdatedNovember 25, 2020 9:02 am EST

Originally PublishedNovember 24, 2020 1:50 pm EST SHARE TWEET LINKThe Rev. Greg Drumwright leads a 1,000-person march to the polls on Election Day in Graham, NC. (Photo by Alvin Jacobs Jr. for Cardinal & Pine)Push for justice.The Rev. Greg Drumwright leads a 1,000-person march to the polls on Election Day in Graham, NC. (Photo by Alvin Jacobs Jr. for Cardinal & Pine)

Weeks after peaceful marchers were pepper-sprayed on the way to the polls, Black Lives Matter supporters will be back in Alamance County this Sunday. 

Pepper-spray discharged by police on a group of peaceful marchers, including children and the elderly, as they headed to the polls.

Arrests outside a routine county commissioner’s meeting after Black residents arrived to speak.

Escalated criminal charges against a civil rights leader who has spoken out against police brutality.  

This isn’t a lookback at life in the South during the Civil Rights era, but the last month of events in Alamance County, a deeply divided county between Raleigh and Greensboro with a long history of racial discrimination.  

“There is so much fear but there is so much necessity,” said Faith Cook, a Graham resident and leader of Alamance County’s People for Change.  “Something has to be done.”

She and others will be out again calling for criminal justice reform this Sunday, at a 2 p.m. protest and march leaving from Children’s Chapel United Church of Christ, 334 E. Harden St. in Graham.  The hope is to keep attention on the conflict surrounding their calls for racial equity, criminal justice reform, and the dismantling of a Confederate monument on the county courthouse step, march organizers said.

Cook was among those hit with pepper spray at an Oct. 31 march to the polls in downtown Graham on the last day of North Carolina’s early voting. The reason given by law enforcement to shut down the rally was the presence of a small gas-powered generator that was being used to amplify speakers’ voices. Rally attendees have questioned, if that was truly the only issue, why law enforcement didn’t just ask that it be removed.

By the day’s end, 23 people were arrested, including the event’s leader, the Rev. Greg Drumwright, a Greensboro pastor who grew up in the county. Drumwright has used his Justice for the Next Generation group to bring attention to the plight Black Americans face when it comes to police brutality and racial inequity.  

Cook, too, was arrested that day after she stood in line to cast her vote and then headed to the jail to support other activists. There, she used her bullhorn to start singing “We are ready for change,” but was approached by sheriff’s deputies and arrested for disorderly conduct. She sees that as another sign of the lengths law enforcement in her area will go to suppress the rights of Black residents like herself.

“Each time something happens, it enrages us, but we still go out there to engage peacefully,” Cook said. “But nothing gets done, nothing gets changed.

More Arrests, Charges

Since then, three Black Lives Matter supporters werearrested after a county commissioner’s meeting was abruptly shut down. A group had arrived to speak during the public comment portion of the meeting about the use of force by the sheriff’s office during the Oct. 31 rally.

Then Drumwright had his misdemeanor arrest charges bumped up to a felony charge of assault on an officer by the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office last week.

“I am just the latest victim of unjust and unfounded charges that seeks to funnel Black bodies, Hispanic bodies and our white allies into the criminal justice system for doing nothing else but working against racism,” Drumwright said at a press conference last Sunday, according to ABC 11.  

Sheriff Terry Johnson, when reached by Cardinal & Pine this week, said he couldn’t comment at length on the decision, other than to say that reviewing body cam and video led to the enhanced charges. 

Johnson was accused of racially profiling Latino residents by federal justice department officials under the Obama administration, although he was ultimately found not culpable by a federal judge

He said he and his agency works to respect the rights of Black and Latino residents but added that many of those coming to the rallies in Graham and his county are from outside the area.

“We work with Black and brown communities every single day,” Johnson said. 

He also said his agency is going to continue upholding the state’s laws. 

“We are going to enforce all laws here in Alamance County, that’s all I can say,” Johnson said.

[Johnson attracted attention at the start of the pandemic when he declined to issue a citation against a local speedway owner when races were held there in defiance of the governor’s executive order banning large gatherings.]

Federal Courts Now Involved

Recent events in the days leading up to the election brought national attention once again to this county, with its mix of suburban and urban.

None of this attention is likely to go away anytime soon.

Two of the nation’s premier civil rights legal organizations —the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights— filed federal lawsuits on behalf of marchers against law enforcement, saying that the disruptions and arrests on Oct. 31 amounted to voter suppression and voter intimidation.

“There are a lot of people that were hurt,” said Elizabeth Haddix, a North Carolina-based attorney with the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights.

Her clients are also asking a judge to prohibit the use of pepper spray as a means of crowd control in Alamance County, in light of the protests and other community events that are likely to continue near the Confederate monument.

“They’ve been trying to talk with their elected leaders and the law enforcement agencies for a long time now,” Haddix said. “The conduct hasn’t changed.”



Volunteer for the Georgia Senate Runoff

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We have the opportunity to flip the Senate blue if we win both of Georgia’s Senate runoff races.

Sign up to volunteer with Georgia Democrats and help elect Reverend Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff and take back the Senate!



Burlington Times News

Give us your take on the news. Write a letter to the editor and email it to letters@thetimesnews.com.

All letters must be between 300-350 words. Letters containing foul language, falsehoods and hate speech will not be considered for publication.


From Dayson Pasión:

Alamance Burlington Equity Advisory Council

I told you I’m not waiting to get elected to do the work of creating a more equitable public education system for our students and families. Something that I talked about and proposed during the campaign is the formation of an equity advisory council that is community-led and would make recommendations to district leadership. So let’s get to work. It’s going to take all of us.

Use this link to sign up for more information: https://forms.gle/ufWJTj1xuXu5sdg96


Change is Coming to Alamance.

Be Part of It!

Contact : chair@alamancedemocraticparty.com


ACDP NEWS November 27, 2020




Clergy say Alamance sheriff agreed Graham Confederate monument should be moved

BY CARLI BROSSEAUNOVEMBER 25, 2020 12:06 PM, UPDATED 3 HOURS 58 MINUTES

March for criminal justice reform planned in Graham

In a recent closed-door meeting, Alamance County religious leaders say Sheriff Terry Johnson gave a straightforward disavowal of white supremacy and agreed that the Confederate monument in front of Graham’s historic courthouse should be moved.

“If this is true, why aren’t you saying this in public?” Rev. Randy Orwig remembers asking Johnson at the Nov. 5 meeting attended by more than a dozen clergy.

Getting the monument moved has been a major focus of Black Lives Matter protesters, who see the statue as a symbol of a racist social order in the present as well as the past.

2015 state law forbids moving publicly owned monuments in most circumstances. One of the exceptions used to justify previous monument removals is a threat to public safety.

In Alamance County, that’s the domain of the sheriff, who is widely viewed as the center of gravity in the county’s Republican power structure in addition to the monument’s most prominent defender.

His comments to clergy are a sign that within the small town of Graham, the seat of the conservative Alamance County, political calculations are shifting. The sheriff, once accused by the U.S. Department of Justice of some of the country’s worst racial profiling, is once again in the national spotlight and under siege by lawsuits alleging he has violated people’s fundamental rights. Well-worn tactics for keeping protesters away from Graham’s Court Square have been eroding under a steady stream of legal challenges.

Johnson has not responded to multiple requests for an interview from The News & Observer.

Most recently, he has been in an escalating back-and-forth with the Rev. Greg Drumwright, a Greensboro-based pastor who led the Oct. 31 march and other demonstrations against the monument and systemic racism throughout the summer and fall.

Deputies pepper-sprayed participants in a march to the polls Oct. 31 after spotting a gas can and generator that were not allowed to be on courthouse property under the terms of an event permit. A deputy confiscated the generator, leading to a melee in which a female officer ended up on the ground. Johnson announced in the local conservative newspaper last week that he was seeking a felony charge against Drumwright for that officer’s injury.

Also last week, Johnson’s deputies arrested five people following the abrupt end of a county Board of Commissioners meeting that several protesters had attended in the hopes of making public comments about the pepper-spray incident.

And his office distributed an audio clip from a community meeting held by social justice groups that, taken out of context, seemed to suggest that Drumwright was planning a riot. It’s clear in the full recording that Drumwright was explaining that another march was necessary because it’s a constructive way to channel anger without resorting to violence.

On Sunday, as workers hung Christmas lights among the surveillance cameras overlooking Court Square, Drumwright formally announced his next large public event, “Ready 4 Change Peaceful Protest for Criminal Justice Reform,” set for Nov. 29, the Sunday after Thanksgiving.

During the press conference, Drumwright called the county’s release of his recorded comments an “attempt to foment division,” but said he stood by his words. “We are at war,” he said, echoing the audio snippet that the sheriff’s office distributed. “This has been playing out this entire summer, but it’s not located in this summer alone.” The war, Drumwright said, is the long fight against racism, and it doesn’t rely on militia tactics, chemical weapons, guns or knives.

NO PLACE FOR PROTEST

Although the cloud of pepper spray on Oct. 31 marked the only widespread use of chemical weapons in Graham in recent memory, social justice organizers in the community are familiar with displays of force.

“He’s just got a long pattern of criminalizing any kind of First Amendment freedom of expression that’s critical of him or any of his policies,” said Andrew Willis Garcés, an organizer with Siembra NC, a group that advocates for the rights of Latino people.

A march last year to protest the sheriff’s detention of immigrants in the county jail was met by officers in riot gear and a sound cannon, the Times-News reported.

At the beginning of this summer, when protesters took to the streets across the country to protest the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died under the knee of a white Minneapolis police officer, demonstrations in Graham without official sanction were effectively banned. Sheriff’s patrol cars ringed the courthouse, and police officers were told to break up groups.

federal lawsuit filed by civil rights groups has since forced Graham and Alamance County to reconsider their constraints on protest activity. That people can now protest in Graham without getting pre-approval from the police department constitutes progress, said Barrett Brown, the president of the local chapter of the NAACP who was himself arrested this summer.

Nevertheless, the Sheriff’s Office continues to remind protesters of its power. Dozens of people have been arrested on misdemeanor charges such as resisting, delaying or obstructing a law enforcement officer, and the office showed off a BearCat armored vehicle during at least two marches this summer. Deputies repeatedly appear in desert camouflage riot gear, though law enforcement best practices discourage provocative displays of military equipment.

“Showing up in riot gear communicates that you’re ready to fight,” Arizona State University professor Edward Maguire is quoted as saying in a 2018 report from the Police Executive Research Forum.

In the same report, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Chief Samuel Dotson said, “you don’t defuse a situation by having a sniper on top of a BearCat.”

THE DE-ESCALATION DILEMMA

Many questions remain about what will happen during Drumwright’s march on Sunday.

Spokesmen for the city and county said Tuesday that they hadn’t heard anything from the pastor about his plans, however, the police chief has reached out to Drumwright asking for information.

Clergy at the Nov. 5 meeting with Johnson and the Graham police chief said they implored law enforcement leaders to focus more on de-escalation.

After the meeting, the Sheriff’s Office said on its Facebook page that it would:

  • Proactively communicate with event organizers about plans
  • Review procedures for balancing the safety of participants and officers
  • Listen to feedback from the community
  • Prioritize training on de-escalation, communication and other suggested subjects
  • Participate in the Alamance County Citizen’s Public Safety Review Board

While Johnson has been meeting with select political influencers to justify the use of pepper spray on Oct. 31, he has been avoiding most reporters’ questions.

He did not allow questions at a press conference held on Nov. 2. Reporters were instructed to submit questions by email, but those have gone unanswered.

His office also has not responded to public records requests to release the videos and other material shared during his presentations nor video of the meeting with clergy as religious leaders have requested.

Other elected officials have also been quiet despite the protests being the talk of the town.

Mayor Jerry Peterman declined an interview request from The News & Observer, citing ongoing lawsuits against the city. Steve Carter, who will soon be the only county commissioner with past experience on the board, did not respond.

Amy Scott Galey, the board chair who was recently elected to the state Legislature, issued a statement via text message.

“With Guilford and Alamance counties both classified as red (critical) in Governor Cooper’s COVID-19 alert system, and with families asked to forgo traditional Thanksgiving group celebrations, it is poor timing to organize group demonstrations,” she wrote.

“While I support the First Amendment right of groups to protest, organizers should be sensitive to the immediate, legitimate, and data proven risks, which are significant,” the statement continued. “With minority communities being especially impacted by COVID-19, one would hope that event organizers would be responsible in deciding to defer group activities until the spread of the virus is under control.”

Violations of the governor’s masking order have been commonplace in Alamance County throughout the summer and fall, and top county officials have been among those flouting public health recommendations.

Commissioner Tim Sutton and County Attorney Clyde Albright have repeatedly attended indoor meetings without wearing a mask.

Johnson made headlines earlier this summer for declaring that he would not enforce the mask mandate and for a COVID-19 outbreak in the jail that infected 99 people. Inmates said they did not receive a mask until after the outbreak in August.



Volunteer in Georgia for the Senate Runoff Elections!

Sign Up!

We have the opportunity to flip the Senate blue if we win both of Georgia’s Senate runoff races.

Sign up to volunteer with Georgia Democrats and help elect Reverend Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff and take back the Senate!



Burlington Times News

Give us your take on the news. Write a letter to the editor and email it to letters@thetimesnews.com.

All letters must be between 300-350 words. Letters containing foul language, falsehoods and hate speech will not be considered for publication.


From Dayson Pasión:

Alamance Burlington Equity Advisory Council

I told you I’m not waiting to get elected to do the work of creating a more equitable public education system for our students and families. Something that I talked about and proposed during the campaign is the formation of an equity advisory council that is community-led and would make recommendations to district leadership. So let’s get to work. It’s going to take all of us.

Use this link to sign up for more information: https://forms.gle/ufWJTj1xuXu5sdg96


Change is Coming to Alamance.

Be Part of It!

Contact : chair@alamancedemocraticparty.com


ACDP NEWS November 26, 2020

Alamance County Democratic Party

Wishes you a happy and safe Thanksgiving



Commentary: Staying Home Is What the Spirit of Thanksgiving Is About in 2020

Written ByKim Mackey

Originally PublishedNovember 20, 2020 10:44 am EST SHARE TWEET LINKSpend this Thanksgiving at home.Spend this Thanksgiving at home.

NC teacher Kim Mackey talks about why Thanksgiving’s historical start means we all need to have smaller celebrations during this pandemic. 

As a high school social studies teacher I am always looking for lessons from history to offer perspective for the present. 2020 has not gone according to anyone’s plans, but the same was true for passengers on the Mayflower four hundred years ago.  

If the Wamponoag people approached the Pilgrims’ dilemma with the same “I’ll be fine—I got mine” attitude we see among some of our neighbors today, there would be no Thanksgiving. 

As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, there are some teachable moments as well from the Pilgrims’ initial year-long struggle that can inform our current pandemic plight.

Stormy seas knocked the Mayflower’s course farther north than intended. Instead of continuing south to their original destination, cabin fever guided their decision to stay on the wrong course—an unfortunate sentiment mirrored by too many today.  That decision likely cost half of the passengers their lives. We’re facing our own weariness staying the course right now when it comes to COVID-19, where we are seeing the highest amount of community spread yet in the country and state. 

This past week we’ve received promising results of two COVID-19 vaccines. But just as the seasick Pilgrims didn’t jump out of the boat and swim to shore upon hearing the cry, “Land ho!” it’s important that we continue to sail prudently to ensure a safer landing with our fellow passengers. That means wearing masks, washing hands, and socially distancing when shared spaces cannot be avoided. The pandemic’s end may be in sight, but we’re not yet there and must all continue to do our part in minimizing community spread in the meantime.

Before disembarking, the Pilgrims decided it would be best to establish what is now known as the Mayflower Compact to guide their collaboration as they set off to overcome whatever unexpected challenges were ahead. It is a historical equivalent of a back-of-the envelope constitution. It reads in part:

“We… solemnly and mutually, in the presence of God, and one another; covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic; for our better ordering, and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions, and offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the colony; unto which we promise all due submission and obedience.”

The early governing philosophy of our country was not “Don’t tread on me,” it was the recognition that we must “combine ourselves together…for the general good of the colony.

Doing What’s Best for the Community

Our land’s earliest inhabitants were also guided by duty to community.  Had it not been for Samoset and the Wampanoags extending a “brother’s keeper” approach to unexpected neighbors, 10 million Americans today who descend from Mayflower ancestors would not be here. If not for the Wamponoag there would be no Samuel Sturtevant (my great x10 grandfather) arriving in Plymouth around 1640—there would be no me.

For over fifty years my family’s Thanksgiving tradition has been to go bowling together, but out of respect for a necessary Thanksgiving Compact, we are not making the out-of-state trip to visit with family we’ve not seen in over a year. We’ll not venture out to a local alley, either. Instead of helping my children pick out a bright orange ball at a bowling alley that weighs as much as they did when they were born, we’ll strap on a Wii remote to bowl in the virtual world we’ve come to spend more time in than we ever anticipated. Not because it’s our first choice, but because it’s the responsible choice. 

With the support of their Native American neighbors, Pilgrims planted new seeds and adjusted to a new environment. In a few days we will celebrate the bounty of their teamwork. 

Once, like was pledged in the Mayflower Compact, we all improve on “combining ourselves together” (figuratively in this case) “for better ordering and preservation” by taking this virus seriously, we will be closer to a new version of our own generation’s Thanksgiving story.




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From Dayson Pasión:

Alamance Burlington Equity Advisory Council

I told you I’m not waiting to get elected to do the work of creating a more equitable public education system for our students and families. Something that I talked about and proposed during the campaign is the formation of an equity advisory council that is community-led and would make recommendations to district leadership. So let’s get to work. It’s going to take all of us.

Use this link to sign up for more information: https://forms.gle/ufWJTj1xuXu5sdg96


Change is Coming to Alamance.

Be Part of It!

Contact : chair@alamancedemocraticparty.com


ACDP NEWS November 25, 2020



Commentary: Staying Home Is What the Spirit of Thanksgiving Is About in 2020

Written ByKim Mackey

Originally PublishedNovember 20, 2020 10:44 am EST SHARE TWEET LINKSpend this Thanksgiving at home.Spend this Thanksgiving at home.

NC teacher Kim Mackey talks about why Thanksgiving’s historical start means we all need to have smaller celebrations during this pandemic. 

As a high school social studies teacher I am always looking for lessons from history to offer perspective for the present. 2020 has not gone according to anyone’s plans, but the same was true for passengers on the Mayflower four hundred years ago.  

If the Wamponoag people approached the Pilgrims’ dilemma with the same “I’ll be fine—I got mine” attitude we see among some of our neighbors today, there would be no Thanksgiving. 

As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, there are some teachable moments as well from the Pilgrims’ initial year-long struggle that can inform our current pandemic plight.

Stormy seas knocked the Mayflower’s course farther north than intended. Instead of continuing south to their original destination, cabin fever guided their decision to stay on the wrong course—an unfortunate sentiment mirrored by too many today.  That decision likely cost half of the passengers their lives. We’re facing our own weariness staying the course right now when it comes to COVID-19, where we are seeing the highest amount of community spread yet in the country and state. 

This past week we’ve received promising results of two COVID-19 vaccines. But just as the seasick Pilgrims didn’t jump out of the boat and swim to shore upon hearing the cry, “Land ho!” it’s important that we continue to sail prudently to ensure a safer landing with our fellow passengers. That means wearing masks, washing hands, and socially distancing when shared spaces cannot be avoided. The pandemic’s end may be in sight, but we’re not yet there and must all continue to do our part in minimizing community spread in the meantime.

Before disembarking, the Pilgrims decided it would be best to establish what is now known as the Mayflower Compact to guide their collaboration as they set off to overcome whatever unexpected challenges were ahead. It is a historical equivalent of a back-of-the envelope constitution. It reads in part:

“We… solemnly and mutually, in the presence of God, and one another; covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic; for our better ordering, and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions, and offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the colony; unto which we promise all due submission and obedience.”

The early governing philosophy of our country was not “Don’t tread on me,” it was the recognition that we must “combine ourselves together…for the general good of the colony.

Doing What’s Best for the Community

Our land’s earliest inhabitants were also guided by duty to community.  Had it not been for Samoset and the Wampanoags extending a “brother’s keeper” approach to unexpected neighbors, 10 million Americans today who descend from Mayflower ancestors would not be here. If not for the Wamponoag there would be no Samuel Sturtevant (my great x10 grandfather) arriving in Plymouth around 1640—there would be no me.

For over fifty years my family’s Thanksgiving tradition has been to go bowling together, but out of respect for a necessary Thanksgiving Compact, we are not making the out-of-state trip to visit with family we’ve not seen in over a year. We’ll not venture out to a local alley, either. Instead of helping my children pick out a bright orange ball at a bowling alley that weighs as much as they did when they were born, we’ll strap on a Wii remote to bowl in the virtual world we’ve come to spend more time in than we ever anticipated. Not because it’s our first choice, but because it’s the responsible choice. 

With the support of their Native American neighbors, Pilgrims planted new seeds and adjusted to a new environment. In a few days we will celebrate the bounty of their teamwork. 

Once, like was pledged in the Mayflower Compact, we all improve on “combining ourselves together” (figuratively in this case) “for better ordering and preservation” by taking this virus seriously, we will be closer to a new version of our own generation’s Thanksgiving story.




Volunteer in Georgia for the Senate Runoff Elections!

Sign Up!

We have the opportunity to flip the Senate blue if we win both of Georgia’s Senate runoff races.

Sign up to volunteer with Georgia Democrats and help elect Reverend Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff and take back the Senate!



Burlington Times News

Give us your take on the news. Write a letter to the editor and email it to letters@thetimesnews.com.

All letters must be between 300-350 words. Letters containing foul language, falsehoods and hate speech will not be considered for publication.


From Dayson Pasión:

Alamance Burlington Equity Advisory Council

I told you I’m not waiting to get elected to do the work of creating a more equitable public education system for our students and families. Something that I talked about and proposed during the campaign is the formation of an equity advisory council that is community-led and would make recommendations to district leadership. So let’s get to work. It’s going to take all of us.

Use this link to sign up for more information: https://forms.gle/ufWJTj1xuXu5sdg96


Change is Coming to Alamance.

Be Part of It!

Contact : chair@alamancedemocraticparty.com


ACDP NEWS November 24, 2020





A Push Emerges for the First Native American Interior Secretary

Representative Deb Haaland, Democrat of New Mexico, at the Capitol in January 2019.
Representative Deb Haaland, Democrat of New Mexico, at the Capitol in January 2019.Credit…Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call, via Getty Images
Coral Davenport

By Coral Davenport

  • Nov. 20, 2020

WASHINGTON — A coalition of Democrats, Native Americans and liberal activists is urging President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. to nominate one of Congress’s first Native American women to head the Interior Department, putting an American Indian in control of vast swaths of the continent and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

The nomination of Representative Deb Haaland, Democrat of New Mexico, as Interior secretary would have undeniable symbolic power. If confirmed, a Native American for the first time would oversee 500 million acres of public lands, including national parks, oil and gas drilling sites, and endangered species habitat, and control the federal agencies most responsible for the well-being of the nation’s 1.9 million Indigenous people.

Ms Haaland and Sharice Davids of Kansas made history in 2018 as the first two Native American women elected to Congress, and Ms. Haaland would do so again as the first Native American cabinet secretary. But her lack of policy experience worries some Biden advisers, who have suggested another Native American candidate: Michael L. Connor, a deputy Interior secretary in the Obama administration, whose experience is unquestioned, even if he lacks the star power of Ms. Haaland.

Ms. Haaland is a citizen of the Laguna Pueblo, and Mr. Connor is from the Taos Pueblo, sovereign nations near Albuquerque and Taos that are among the country’s 574 federally recognized tribes.

For either candidate, a nomination would hold enormous power for Native Americans. The Interior Department has for much of the nation’s history governed federal lands and often dislodged and abused Native Americans. In 1972, about 500 Native American activists took over the department’s headquarters in Washington, protesting living standards and broken treaties.

The next Interior Secretary also will be entrusted to restore environmental protections to the millions of acres of public lands that the Trump administration has opened up to drilling, mining, logging and construction.

Historians and Native American leaders said that appointing a Native American to head the Interior Department would be a profound moment in American history.

“The Department of Interior was the driving force of modern day genocide against the Native American peoples,” said Elizabeth Kronk Warner, dean and professor of law at the University of Utah, and a citizen of the Sault Ste. Marie tribe of Chippewa Indians. “We would be moving from the shadows of perpetuated genocide to a chair at the table, from being classified as a group of people that the federal government was trying to destroy to having a president say, ‘I see you and value you to the point that I will raise you to the highest level of decision-making in the country.’”

A spokesman for the Biden transition team, Sean Savett, said that no personnel decisions regarding the Interior Department have been made. But Mr. Biden’s campaign promises included detailed proposals to improve equality for Native Americans, including a promise that “Biden will ensure tribes have a seat at the table at the highest levels of the federal government.”

Tribal and environmental activists are pushing him to follow through.

The Lakota People’s Law Action Center has launched a petition, supported by more than 120 tribal leaders, in support of Ms. Haaland.

“Like no year prior, 2020 has shown us what happens when we fail to see the importance of putting proper leaders in position to safeguard society,” the petition reads.

Michal L. Connor, a former deputy secretary at the Interior Department, during an appearance before the Senate in 2012.
Michal L. Connor, a former deputy secretary at the Interior Department, during an appearance before the Senate in 2012.Credit…Jay Mallin/ZUMA Press, via Alamy

A separate petition launched by liberal activists and signed by at least 25,000 people also calls on Mr. Biden to name a Native American Interior secretary.

Actor and environmental advocate Mark Ruffalo posted a video on Twitter with tribal leaders speaking in support of Ms. Haaland.

“It’s time for the first ever Native American to serve in the president’s cabinet to uphold tribal sovereignty and to protect our public lands as secretary of Interior,” said Brandon Yellowbird-Stevens, vice chairman of the Oneida nation, in the video.

Representative Raúl Grijalva, the Arizona Democrat who chairs the committee that oversees the Interior Department, sent a letter to Mr. Biden signed by at least 50 colleagues urging the nomination of Ms. Haaland, who has served on Mr. Grijalva’s Natural Resources Committee since her arrival in Congress last year.

“The Department of Interior was essentially set up not to take care of Indigenous people — it was set up to tear them down and disenfranchise them,” Mr. Grijalva said in an interview. “To come full circle, historically, and to put an Indigenous person in front of Interior who can do the job — you don’t often get that kind of opportunity to make history.”

Mr. Grijalva pushed back at the suggestion that Ms. Haaland was unqualified for the job.

“She’s not window dressing,” he said. “She’s competent. She’s a pro, both politically and in terms of policy, and as a member of the Resources Committee and chair of the Public Lands subcommittee she has had to endure the Trump administration’s abuse of the Interior Department.”CLIMATE FWD: What on earth is going on? Get the latest news about climate change, plus tips on how you can help.Sign Up

Ms. Haaland has made clear that she wants the job.

“It would be an honor to move the Biden-Harris climate agenda forward, help repair the government to government relationship with Tribes that the Trump Administration has ruined, and serve as the first Native American cabinet secretary in our nation’s history,” she said in a statement.

Ms. Haaland campaigned in 2018 against the Trump administration’s hard-line immigration policies and promoted Indigenous sovereignty as a “35th-generation New Mexican.” She argues that many of the issues affecting native communities — such as low-wage jobs and violence against women — afflict other groups as well.

In 2015, she became the head of the state Democratic Party and helped to flip the New Mexico state house to Democratic control.

A child of military veterans, she attended 13 public schools before graduating from high school, then started a salsa company and worked as a cake decorator before putting herself through college and law school using both food stamps and student loans.

But some people advising Mr. Biden are concerned about management at one of the federal government’s most sprawling agencies, which oversees conservation and oil and gas drilling on public lands and off the nation’s coastline; a vast network of dams and reservoirs across the West; the Fish and Wildlife Service, a major federal science agency; the U.S. Geological Survey; and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Bureau of Indian Education and the Bureau of Trust Funds Administration, which manages the financial assets of American Indians held in trust.

They also worry that the confirmation of Ms. Haaland to a cabinet post would temporarily diminish Democrats’ already narrow majority in the House — until a special election could be held in her Democratic district.

Those people back the appointment of Mr. Connor.

In an emailed statement, Mr. Connor wrote, “It would be an honor to serve in the Biden-Harris Administration and carry out the important work necessary to address the country’s most pressing challenges.”

Mr. Connor worked in the agency throughout the Clinton administration, including four years as director of the Secretary’s Indian Water Rights Office, managing negotiations between tribes and the federal government on water issues. He later worked for former Senator Jeff Bingaman, Democrat of New Mexico, on land, water, energy and Native American issues before returning to Interior during the Obama administration, where he became the first Native American to hold the No. 2 post.

“It’s more about who has the qualifications than who is the public face,” said Sianna Lieb, a progressive activist who co-launched the petition urging Mr. Biden to name a Native American as Interior secretary. “Having been in the Interior Department is a good start — the qualifications are knowing how to run the department.”


Volunteer in Georgia for the Senate Runoff Elections!

Sign Up!

We have the opportunity to flip the Senate blue if we win both of Georgia’s Senate runoff races.

Sign up to volunteer with Georgia Democrats and help elect Reverend Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff and take back the Senate!



Burlington Times News

Give us your take on the news. Write a letter to the editor and email it to letters@thetimesnews.com.

All letters must be between 300-350 words. Letters containing foul language, falsehoods and hate speech will not be considered for publication.


From Dayson Pasión:

Alamance Burlington Equity Advisory Council

I told you I’m not waiting to get elected to do the work of creating a more equitable public education system for our students and families. Something that I talked about and proposed during the campaign is the formation of an equity advisory council that is community-led and would make recommendations to district leadership. So let’s get to work. It’s going to take all of us.

Use this link to sign up for more information: https://forms.gle/ufWJTj1xuXu5sdg96


Change is Coming to Alamance.

Be Part of It!

Contact : chair@alamancedemocraticparty.com