Franklin Gomez Flores, a resident of Siler City, is seeking a seat on the Chatham County Board of Commissioners as the representative of District 5.
CCDP was successful in helping gather the required signatures to place Franklin on the November ballot.
Gomez is a registered Democrat but was unable to file for the primary due to legislation passed last year.
Born in Guatemala, Franklin fled the country’s violence, poverty, and lack of opportunity with his family and came to Siler City in 1999. He was five years old. He attended Chatham County schools and credits the English as a Second Language program with helping him learn English and thrive academically. Franklin excelled at soccer and track and field at Jordan Matthews High School and graduated with honors among the top 10 students in his class. With the support of the Scholars’ Latino Initiative, he entered UNC-Chapel Hill and graduated in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree and a major in biology. While a student at UNC, Franklin served as an intern for the Office of Undergraduate Retention Finish Line Project, an outreach program especially intended to engage and support minority male students. He also mentored Latinx high school students by conducting college prep workshops that included information about navigating the applications process, meeting admissions requirements, securing financial aid, and succeeding academically and socially. He also served as outreach chair for UNC’s Carolina Hispanic Association and interned for a summer with Gilded Realty Group in Mebane.
Currently employed as a heavy equipment operator at Sealing Agents Waterproofing, Franklin has a passion for service to others. He currently serves on the Chatham County Planning Board. As a member of the Board of Commissioners, Franklin will fight for Chatham County on these issues:
- Increasing affordable housing
- Promoting responsible growth by following Chatham’s Land Use Plan
- Advocating for equitable pay for equitable jobs
- Protecting immigrants’ rights
- Supporting quality education for all
- Seeking the diverse perspectives of Chatham’s citizens
- Providing responsible, collaborative leadership
Franklin Gomez has the support of all four Democratic County Commissioners.
"Franklin will be a terrific addition to the Chatham County Board of Commissioners as the first Hispanic to be elected in Chatham. His enthusiasm, background, and concerns for his Siler City neighbors will provide a new voice in our diverse county."
Diana Hales, Commissioner, District 3
"I am pleased to endorse Franklin Gomez for the District 5 seat on the Chatham County Board of Commissioners. As a first-generation Hispanic American who was educated here in Chatham and at UNC Chapel Hill, Franklin will bring a welcome perspective that will enhance the work of the board and contribute to the quality of life in his community and beyond."
Karen Howard, Commissioner, District 1
As Chatham County Democrats we have a lot to be proud of. Our county consistently leads North Carolina in turnout. Democrats win in Chatham. We are blessed with amazing volunteers.
Results in the 2018 and 2019 elections are encouraging as we prepare for 2020. A few of the highlights:
- We broke the Republican legislative supermajority … in both North Carolina chambers.
- We elected not only a Democratic Supreme Court Justice but also three Democrats to the NC Court of Appeals.
- Kentucky and Louisiana have elected Democratic Governors.
- Virginia elected a Democratic majority in both legislative chambers.
In 2020 we can complete the work of taking back control of our state legislature while retaining the Governor’s Mansion and a progressive majority on the NC Supreme Court. We can also secure North Carolina’s Electoral College votes for the Democratic candidate for President.
We can do all this – if we make sure that every one of our voters gets to the polls and votes.
Strong precincts are integral to achieving this goal for the 2020 election.
You can be part of winning in 2020. Attend your precinct meeting and learn about opportunities to work for victory.
You will also be able to submit resolutions for the Democratic party to vote on -- these can become part of the national party platform. Information on writing and submitting a resolution to your precinct is here.
All registered Democrats are urged to attend their precinct meetings. In addition to voting on resolutions you will:
- Learn about the work we are doing for this election cycle and opportunities to help,
- Get to know fellow Democrats,
- Learn about coming activities,
- Elect delegates to the County Convention,
The road to winning elections up and down the ballot starts with your precinct.
Need to find out which precinct you live in? Look it up on the NC Board of Elections website.
Resolution Guide (PDF).
PRECINCT Day/Time Location Contact Albright - unorganized No meeting If you are interested in helping to organize this precinct please contact Cheri DeRosia Bennett -unorganized No meeting If you are interested in helping to organize this precinct please contact Cheri DeRosia Bonlee - unorganized No Meeting If you are interested in helping to organize this precinct please contact Cheri DeRosia Bynum February 15, 2020, 7 to 9 PM Bynum Community Center, 886 Hamlet Chapel Rd, Pittsboro Karl Kachergis,
East Siler City March 14, 2020, 1 to 3 PM Earl B. Fitts Center
111 S. Third Ave, Siler City
Jesse Scotton, 919-548-0810, email@example.com East Williams February 15, 2020, 3 to 4 PM New Hope Baptist Church, 581 New Hope Church Rd, Apex Until 2/12/20 Mike Kalt, 919-362-8677, firstname.lastname@example.org after 12/12/20 Mike Bennett, 856-816-2338, email@example.com
March 14, 2020, 10 am to Noon Goldston Library, 9235 Pittsboro Goldston Rd, Goldston Tripp Tucker, 984-265-0665, firstname.lastname@example.org Hadley February 15, 2020, 1 to 3 PM Brown's Chapel United Methodist Church, 355 Chicken Bridge Rd, Pittsboro Mary Honeycutt, 919-542-2646, email@example.com Harpers Crossroads February 15, 2020, 9 AM 499 Ronald Scott Rd Bear Creek Becky Loflin, 919-837-5066, firstname.lastname@example.org Hickory Mountain February 15, 2020, 7 to 8:30 PM Celebrity Dairy, 144 Celebrity Dairy Way, Siler City Greg Stewart, 336-9535680, email@example.com Manns Chapel February 15, 2020, 1:30 to 5 PM Woods Charter School,
160 Woodland Grove Lane, Chapel Hill
Shelley Colbert, 919-869-7777 (H), 910-258-6818 (C), firstname.lastname@example.org New Hope February 15, 2020, 10 AM to Noon Holland Chapel Church, 360 Burgess Rd, Apex Sheila Thompson, 919-338-3388 North Williams February 15, 2020, 10:30 AM to Noon N. Chatham Elementary School, 3380 Lystra Rd, Chapel Hill Alan Buis, 818-653-8332, Alandb5100@gmail.com Oakland February 15, 2020, 9:30 AM to Noon Chatham County Council on Aging, 365 NC Hwy 87, Pittsboro Johnny Shaw, 919-542-7802, email@example.com Pittsboro February 15, 2020, 9:30 AM to Noon Chatham County Council on Aging, 365 NC Hwy 87, Pittsboro Beverly Bland, 919-616-1796, firstname.lastname@example.org
February 15, 2020, 11 AM to 2 PM Moncure School, 600 Moncure School Rd., Moncure, NC 27559 Tanessha Judd, 919-617-7856, Taneeshajudd@yahoo.com West Siler City March 14, 2020, 1 to 3 PM Earl B. Fitts Center
111 S. Third Ave, Siler City
Jan Nichols, 919-793-8224, Chair@ccdpnc.org West Williams February 15, 2020, 1 to 3 PM Auditorium, Galloway Ridge, 3000 Galloway Ridge, Pittsboro, NC 27312 Nancy Jacobs, 919-557-9421, email@example.com
Amendment “Income Tax Cap of 7%”
Ballot language: Constitutional amendment to reduce the income tax rate in North Carolina to a maximum allowable rate of seven percent (7%).
- An income tax cap will tie the hands of future generations.
- Lawmakers will have to raise other taxes to make up the difference.
- North Carolina won’t be able to fund schools and other priorities adequately.
- The wealthiest will continue to get the biggest tax breaks.
- The current tax rates are already lower than 7%: 5.25% (personal income tax)
and 2% (corporate tax rate)
Voters will be asked to vote on six amendments to the North Carolina Constitution in November. They are all unnecessary, unprecedented, and politically motivated. We need to nix all six. It’s unclear who will write the final ballot language, but the current language is “Constitutional amendment to reduce the income tax rate in North Carolina to a maximum allowable rate of seven percent (7%).”
This amendment originated as Senate Bill 75 and proposes changing one word in the North Carolina Constitution: “The rate of tax on incomes shall not in any case exceed seven percent.” The current language is “ten percent.” Lowering the income tax rate would be possible without amending the Constitution, but supporters can claim that they are lowering the income tax rate, even though the personal income tax rate currently stands at 5.25%, and the corporate income tax rate is 2%.
The proposed amendment may appeal to some voters, but it will create problems for the people of North Carolina. Income taxes are the largest source of revenue for the state. They are necessary funds that we pay to support the common good, including public education, health and human services, economic development, public safety, transportation, agriculture, and the environment. While the economy is relatively healthy now, during a budget shortfall the only way to make up for lost revenues is to increase local taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, and user fees. These regressive taxes nickel and time North Carolinians, disproportionately impacting the poor and middle class.
Without the ability to align the income tax rate with where income is growing, other taxes such as sales and property taxes will increase to fund the needs of our state. This asks more from low- and middle-income North Carolinians. Already taxpayers with incomes below $60,000 (as a share of their income) pay nearly two times what millionaires pay in total state and local taxes. The cap would make this worse.
A cap on income tax rates also exposes North Carolina to financial risk in times of economic downturns. Following the recession of 2008, for example, North Carolina faced a $3.2 billion budget gap for fiscal year 2009. The budget gap for fiscal year 2010 grew by $1.5 billion to a total of $4.6 billion. At a time when North Carolina’s population is growing, more people and less money means a significant reduction in state services.
Recent tax cuts have also jeopardized the state’s fiscal future. Eric Figueroa, Senior Policy Analyst for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, has cautioned, “North Carolina since 2013 has enacted tax cuts that will cost $3.5 billion a year, or 15 percent of the state’s general fund budget, once they take full effect in 2019.” Capping the primary source of revenue for the state also puts at risk North Carolina’s coveted bond rating because it limits the state’s ability to react to negative economic developments.
According to the Budget and Tax Center of the NC Justice Center, “The final state budget, passed by the NC General Assembly after overturning Governor Cooper’s veto, continues to underinvest in areas of great public need and neglects to account for upcoming federal budget cuts. Instead, the new $23.9 billion budget that lawmakers enacted maintains the same rigid commitment to reducing public investments in the face of growing and changing needs.”
Richard Moore, NC State Treasurer from 2001-2009, has cautioned that lowering the income tax rate “would expose our state to financial risk, threatening the economic and physical wellbeing of North Carolinians across the state.”
We must protect the largest source of North Carolina’s revenue to ensure that the state can keep up with the needs of a growing population while retaining its fiscal flexibility in an uncertain economic world. Vote against the amendment to “Cap Income Taxes at 7%”!
Getting fiscal about policy proposals.
The New York Times Feb. 19, 2019
Whoever gets the Democratic nomination, she or he will run in part on proposals to increase government spending. And you know what that will mean: There will be demands that the candidate explain how all this will be paid for. Many of those demands will be made in bad faith, from people who never ask the same questions about tax cuts. But there are some real questions about the fiscal side of a progressive agenda.
Well, I have some thoughts about that, inspired in part by looking at Elizabeth Warren’s proposals on both the tax and spending side. By the way, I don’t know whether Warren will or even should get the nomination. But she’s a major intellectual figure, and is pushing her party toward serious policy discussion in a way that will have huge influence whatever her personal trajectory.
In particular, Warren’s latest proposal on child care – and the instant pushback from the usual suspects – has me thinking that we could use a rough typology of spending proposals, classified by how they might be paid for. Specifically, let me suggest that there are three broad categories of progressive expenditure: investment, benefits enhancement, and major system overhaul, which need to be thought about differently from a fiscal point of view.
So, first off, investment – typically spending on infrastructure or research, but there may be some room at the margin for including spending on things like childhood development in the same category. The defining characteristic here is that it’s spending that will enhance society’s future productivity. How should we pay for that kind of outlay?
The answer is, we shouldn’t. Think of all the people who say that the government should be run like a business. Actually it shouldn’t, but the two kinds of institution do have this in common: if you can raise funds cheaply and apply them to high-return projects, you should go ahead and borrow. And Federal borrowing costs are very low – less than 1 percent, adjusted for inflation – while we are desperately in need of public investment, i.e., it has a high social return. So we should just do it, without looking for pay-fors.
Much of what seems to be in the Green New Deal falls into that category. To the extent that it’s a public investment program, demands that its supporters show how they’ll pay for it show more about the critics’ bad economics than about the GND’s logic.
My second category is a bit harder to define, but what I’m thinking of are initiatives that either expand an existing public program or use subsidies to create incentives for expanding some kind of socially desirable private activity – in each case involving sums that are significant but not huge, say a fraction of a percent of GDP.
The Affordable Care Act falls into that category. It expanded Medicaid while using a combination of regulation and subsidies to make private insurance more available to families above the new Medicaid line. Warren’s childcare proposal, which reportedly will come in at around 1/3 of a percent of GDP, also fits. So would a “Medicare for All” proposal that involves allowing people to buy in to government insurance, rather than offering that insurance free of charge.
It’s harder to justify borrowing for this kind of initiative than borrowing for investment. True, with interest rates low and demand weak it makes some sense to run persistent deficits, but there are surely enough investment needs to use up that allowance. So you want some kind of pay-for. But the sums are small enough that the revenue involved could be raised by fairly narrow-gauge taxes – in particular, taxes that hit only high-income Americans.
That is, in fact, how Obamacare was financed: the revenue component came almost entirely from taxes on high incomes (there were some small items like the tax on tanning parlors.) And Warren has in fact proposed additional taxes on the wealthy – her proposed tax on fortunes over $50 million would yield something like four times the cost of her child care proposal.
So benefit enhancement can, I’d argue, be paid for with taxes on high incomes and large fortunes. It doesn’t have to impose on the middle class.
Finally, my third category is major system overhaul, of which the archetype would be replacing employer-based private health insurance with a tax-financed public program – the purist version of Medicare for all. A really major expansion of Social Security might fall into that category too, although smaller enhancements might not.
Proposals in this category are literally an order of magnitude more expensive than benefit enhancements: private health insurance currently amounts to 6 percent of GDP. To implement these proposals, then, we’d need a lot more revenue, which would have to come from things like payroll taxes and/or a value-added tax that hit the middle class.
You can argue that most middle-class families would be better off in the end, that the extra benefits would more than compensate for the higher taxes. And you’d probably be right. But this would be a much heavier political lift. You don’t have to be a neoliberal tool to wonder whether major system overhaul should be part of the Democratic platform right now, even if it’s something many progressives aspire to.
My main point now, however, is that when people ridicule progressive proposals as silly and unaffordable, they’re basically revealing their own biases and ignorance. Investment can and should be debt-financed; benefit enhancements can be largely paid for with high-end taxes. Howard Schultz won’t like it, but that’s his problem.
By Mickayla McCann
Judge John Arrowood is running for election to the NC Court of Appeals this November to ensure that all North Carolinians receive equal treatment under the law.
Arrowood was appointed to the Court by Governor Roy Cooper in April 2017 to fill the vacancy created by Judge Doug McCullough’s resignation. Arrowood previously served on the Court from 2007 to 2008 after being appointed by Governor Mike Easley. Seeking to serve his first full term, Arrowood believes that he has what it takes to administer justice for all.
“I think it is absolutely critical that we have judges on the Court of Appeals who have experience and independence,” Arrowood said. “I believe that my 26 years of private practice, my five years on the Court of Appeals prior to that, and my work in public service while I was in private practice are experiences the court needs at this time.”
Arrowood was the first member of his family to obtain a college degree, showing considerable determination to continue his education after his parents passed away when he was just 15. He obtained his law degree from UNC-Chapel Hill School of Law, and began his career as a research assistant and staff attorney on the Court of Appeals. He then devoted 26 years to employment and commercial litigation at the private practice of James, McElroy, and Diehl in Charlotte. Prior to his first appointment to the Court, he also served as a Special Superior Court Judge. Over the course of his career, Arrowood has authored over 180 opinions, concurrences, and dissents.
“I have a unique experience for the court and a proven record of independence, fairness, and treating everyone equally under the law,” Arrowood said.
While Arrowood’s stellar performance as a trial and appellate judge has earned him an AV rating in Martindale Hubble, Arrowood is also extensively involved in his community. He is a member of the North Carolina Banking Commission, the North Carolina Rules Review Commission, the North Carolina Art’s Council, and the board of directors of the North Carolina Railroad Company. He is also an active member of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, where he serves as the Chancellor for the Parish, the Chair of Outreach Grants’ Commission, and the Delegate to the Diocesan Convention.
As a judge, Arrowood thinks the recent legislation that Republicans have pushed to reduce the Court from 15 judges to 12 would hinder the Court’s ability to handle cases in a timely manner. “I think it’s critical that we maintain a court of 15, rather than what the legislature is trying to reduce, so that the litigants are able to have efficient and fast resolutions of their cases,” Arrowood said.
Above all, Arrowood states that he is committed to rendering decisions fairly and without favoritism to any party.
“I do not have any agenda to pursue or any platform to advance other than to dispense equal justice under the law,” Arrowood told Indy Week. “I pledge to perform my responsibilities with integrity and to the best of my ability.”
For more visit Http://keepjudgarrowood.org
by Mickayla McCann
Allegra Collins is striving to promote justice for all by running for the NC Court of Appeals.
“I believe a good judge is articulate, thorough, thoughtful, and skilled at communicating in writing,” Collins said. “I have taught legal research and writing and practiced appellate law for many years now. I love appellate law and the North Carolina appellate process. My training, background, and experience have really led me to believe that I can serve effectively as a judge for everyone in North Carolina.”
Along with her passion for equity, the Raleigh-based attorney brings extensive judicial experience. After graduating from Campbell Law School, Collins served as a law clerk on the NC Court of Appeals for the Honorable Linda Stevens. She later founded Allegra Collins Law, which focuses exclusively on appellate litigation. Currently she practices regularly before the NC Court of Appeals and the NC Supreme Court. She is also a Clinical Assistant Professor at Campbell Law School, where she teaches Judicial Writing, Legal Research and Writing, and Remedies.
Though Collins is known for her role as the Vice Chairperson of the North Carolina Bar Association’s Appellate Practice Section, she also holds many leadership positions within her community. As a mother of two, she has served as a member of Wake County Public School System’s Parent Advisory Council as well as the PTA president at her son’s school.
By engaging in her community and dedicating her career to appellate law, Collins is poised to be a competitive candidate in this year’s election. She states that her mission is to maintain the independence of the judiciary while judging accurately, fairly, and impartially.
“I will work very hard as a judge to hear each case on its own facts, research thoroughly to apply the law accurately, and put forth reasoned decisions in a timely fashion,” Collins said.
Collins believes that preventing injustice is integral to the position of any Court of Appeals judge. “Injustice is a breakdown in the process or procedure of the justice system, which results in an inaccurate and unfair outcome,” she said. “To prevent it, I will scrupulously apply the appropriate process and procedure to ensure that there is no inaccurate or unfair outcome.”
Collins seeks to fill the seat of the Republican judge, Rick Elmore, who has chosen not to run for a third eight-year term.
“I think my training and in-depth expertise in appellate law and in legal research and writing will make me an effective judge,” Collins said. “I believe that voters can count on me to be fair and impartial.”
To stay up to date on Allegra Collins’ campaign, check out her website.
Amendment: “Voter ID”
Ballot language: Constitutional amendment to require voters to provide photo identification before voting in person.
- The bill contains no implementation language so as to create as little controversy as possible until the amendment is voted on. The General Assembly is already scheduled to reconvene to pass a bill that includes all the details. You have to pass the amendment to find out what’s in it.
- This is a do-over of previous voter ID initiative that were ruled unconstitutional. The 2013 voter ID law, which included specific forms of acceptable ID, was struck down because the legislature excluded many of the alternative photo IDs used by African Americans. The courts held that the law had targeted African-American voters with “almost surgical precision.”
- Voter fraud in not a problem. The audit of the 2016 election in North Carolina by the State Board of Elections found that out of 4,769,640 votes cast, it appears that one fraudulent vote would have been prevented with a voter ID.
- An estimated 218,000 registered voters in North Carolina lack photo ID, enough to swing a Presidential election.
Voters will be asked to vote on six amendments to the North Carolina Constitution in November. They are all unnecessary, unprecedented, and politically motivated. We need to nix all six. It’s unclear who will write the final ballot language, but the current language is “Constitutional amendment to require voters to provide photo identification before voting in person.”
This amendment originated as House Bill 1092, and it’s short: “Voters offering to vote in person shall present photographic identification before voting. The General Assembly shall enact general laws governing the requirements of such photographic identification, which may include exceptions.” People who support requiring a photo ID to vote argue that it prevents fraud. In fact, the amendment presents a solution to a problem that rarely exists, and it creates new restrictions on your right to vote. The amendment also leaves many questions unanswered about what kind of ID will be necessary, whether only “in person” voting requires such IDs, and what impact such a requirement will have on older people, young people, and people of color. This amendment is not about preventing voter fraud; it’s about giving the General Assembly a blank check to determine who gets to vote and who doesn’t.
The voter ID amendment is essentially a do-over of previous voter ID initiatives that have been shown to be unconstitutional. By leaving the details out of House Bill 1092—they will be worked out later—the hope is that the amendment will create less controversy than the 2013 voter ID law, which a federal court found targeted African American voters with “almost surgical precision.” The 2013 law required specific forms of photo ID—a North Carolina driver’s license, a state-issued ID card, a military ID, or a U.S. passport—but these types of ID created difficulties for older people who no longer drive, those who rely on mass transportation, young people with only a student ID, and other groups.
The intention of Republicans is to create a voter ID that will withstand judicial scrutiny this time, which is likely if the amendment is passed. But as developments in technology make more common other forms of identification--facial recognition, biometrics--photo IDs will quickly become outdated. Gerry Cohen, former special counsel to the NC General Assembly, recently quipped that requiring photo IDs will be like “mandating buggy whips in all motor vehicles.”
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, only seven states have strict voter ID requirements, and even fewer write such requirements into their state constitution. Once it’s written into the NC Constitution, it will be difficult to undo.
How common is voter fraud? It’s almost nonexistent. The most recent study of the 2016 election by the North Carolina State Board of Elections found that only two people, out of 4,769,640 voters, pretended to be someone they were not. One woman signed an absentee ballot for her deceased husband, and another cast a ballot for Trump because her deceased mother asked her to. Only one vote would probably have been avoided with a voter ID. The report also found no evidence of ballot stuffing or equipment tampering.
U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield said in a statement, “This latest proposal by Republicans in the North Carolina General Assembly isn’t about protecting our elections. It is about suppressing the vote. Their continued and thinly veiled efforts to make it harder and less likely that some North Carolinians will vote are shameful.”
We should be encouraging more people to vote, not making it harder. Vote against the “Voter ID” amendment!
Amendment Marsy’s Law (Victim's Rights)
Ballot language: Constitutional amendment to strengthen protections for victims of crime; to establish certain absolute basic rights for victims; and to ensure the enforcement of these rights.
- We already have strong victim’s rights legislation.
- This would be an underfunded/unfunded mandate.
- The law is too broad and risks unintended consequences, possibly compromising a victim’s right to privacy and the accused’s right to a speedy trial.
- It makes fundamental changes to the criminal justice system by eliminating the current distinction between adult and juvenile offences.
- Victim’s advocates in states that have voted on Marsy’s Law opposed it, as does the NC ACLU.
Voters will be asked to vote on six amendments to the North Carolina Constitution in November. They are all unnecessary, unprecedented, and politically motivated. We need to nix all six. It’s unclear who will write the final ballot language but the current language is “Constitutional amendment to strengthen protections for victims of crime; to establish certain absolute basic rights for victims; and to ensure the enforcement of these rights.”
The amendment originated as House Bill 551 and is part of a national effort, sponsored by Marsy’s Law for All, to enact similar amendments in other states. Marsy’s Law takes its name from Marcella “Marsy” Nicholas, a California college student who was murdered by her ex-boyfriend in 1983. Marsy’s Law for All is the national organization founded by Henry Nicholas, Marsy’s brother and the co-founder of Broadcom Corp., who has spent some $27 million to pass similar constitutional amendments to increase the rights of victims. His ultimate goal: a victims amendment to the U.S. Constitution. “The whole idea that someone who has a lot of money can come into a state and heavily influence what our laws are is concerning,” said Peg Dorer, director of the NC Conference of District Attorneys.
Regardless of its origins, this amendment is unnecessary and would lead to numerous unintended consequences. Victim’s rights are already protected in the North Carolina Constitution, Article 1, Section 37, which details the rights of crime victims “as prescribed by law.” House Bill 551 removes “as prescribed by law,” so it is unclear how these rights would be afforded to victims and how the amendment might impact the rights of defendants and the operations of the courts. Some have suggested that that the amendment removes the flexibility and discretion of the legislature and the courts in criminal proceedings, creating significant delays and interfering with the rights of defendants to a speedy trial and effective legal counsel.
House Bill 551 also revises the current North Carolina Constitution to include victims of both crime and “delinquent acts.” The effect is to erase the current distinction between adult and juvenile offenses. The North Carolina Branch of the ACLU opposes the amendment, in part, because “we fear this will result in more pressure on the judicial system to pursue punitive outcomes in juvenile cases and undermine the current system’s focus on rehabilitation.”
Other critics, including Democratic Rep. Marcia Morey, a former prosecutor and District Court judge, believes the money being spent to pass Marsy’s Laws could be better spent helping victims get to court, make up for lost wages, and get needed counseling. Victim’s rights advocates in states that have also voted on Marsy’s Law oppose it because adequate funding for systems and services and better enforcement of existing victims’ rights laws can more effectively serve survivors.
Our legal system manages rights between individuals through statute, not by means of the North Carolina Constitution. Mark Rabil, a Wake Forest University law professor and director of the school’s Innocence and Justice Clinic, is concerned that “Nobody’s really thinking about the change that [the amendment] fundamentally makes to the criminal justice system in the United States.” That system is based on two parties: the government and the accused, the prosecution and the defense. By essentially making victims a third party, the state runs the risk of complicating the process even more and possibly tilting the system against defendants. “I believe we have the best system of justice in the world,” Rabil added. “If we make victims a party, it’s going to turn into a three-ring circus.”
Barry Pollack, president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers agrees: “It really turns the presumption of innocence upside down by designating someone as a victim . . . before it’s been established that the defendant has committed any crime.” Most Marsy’s Laws, he said, “give rights to ‘victims’ before there has been any conclusion about whether the accused has committed a crime.”
A completely different worry recently emerged recently on the BlueNC blog, run by former Democratic gubernatorial candidate James Protzman. If the amendment passes, Protzman warns, “Victim’s rights will be extended to any class of people the legislature wants, including fetuses. This amendment will pave the way for making abortion illegal under North Carolina’s constitution.”
Former Supreme Court Chief Justice Burley Mitchell also opposes the amendment. “The constitution . . . is supposed to set broad general policies and aspirations,” Mitchell said. “It’s not to get down into the nitty gritty refinements of all public policy.” Mary’s Law makes sweeping promises the state can’t keep, claims to fix problems that constitutions can’t solve, and harms our justice system.
Susanna Birdsong, Senior Policy Counsel, ACLU-North Carolina. Memo to NC Senators. June 20, 2018.
Each election is important but 2020 is the year we must win up and down the ballot! This is the most important election of our lifetime!.
We have a real opportunity to change leadership in our state legislature, hold the courts and keep our Governor Roy Cooper and elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Every vote we turn out for Democrats increases the likelihood that we will take back the White House and add a Democratic Senator to Congress.
Perhaps even more importantly, the winning party will be in charge of redistricting following the 2020 census. This will have far reaching impact on elections and policy for the next decade. Your help is vitally important! We can't succeed without you.
Right now we are recruiting for Early Voting Poll Greeters. There are six sites to cover. While many more people are voting by mail, about 60% of the county is still likely to vote early in person or on election day. We have a plan to keep you and the voters safe.
If you want to sign-up for a shift please use our Sign-up Genius page.
Do you have questions about working the polls? Email PollGreeters to get answers.
Volunteers are also making phone calls and texting. Sign up for our newsletter and complete the volunteer form to get updates about opportunities.Become a volunteer
Each election is important but in 2018 we have a lot at stake. Our courts, our state constitution and the health of our state. In addition there are many initiatives addressing various campaigns and issues recruiting volunteers. There are many options but when you volunteer for the county party you are working to get voters out to support every Democratic candidate on the ballot, elect all four of our judicial candidates and defeat all six amendments to the state constitution.
We have very specific periods and types of work to be done so it is possible you may volunteer for us and other efforts. Just remember we need to get Chatham voters out and have people at the polls to greet them.
Show your support for CCDP's efforts to promote our values and ideals and turn out our voters this November! Purchase an ad in the Unity Breakfast program. All program ads are full color. Please send your art (pdf, png, or jpg) to Lesley Landis by September 7th.
Ad sizes and cost.
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Half page interior $50
Quarter page $25
If you prefer to mail you payment in please use this form.Donate
Thank you for supporting the Chatham County Democratic Party and our Unity Breakfast!
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Let the BOC know that you are in support of countywide zoning with an interim zoning measure that would later be adapted to an updated comprehensive land-use plan and map. This zoning would exempt agriculture and the related agricultural businesses that might exist on a family farm. A public process to identify and list agricultural uses will be needed. Additionally, this zoning would exempt minor and family subdivisions, and would grandfather commercial and industrial uses that are already in existence. Owners of a farm or property currently in agricultural or residential use that choose to convert the property to a major residential development or a commercial or industrial use (not related to the agricultural use) would have to seek a zoning change, and that process would require community input and hearing.
Note that of the 100 counties in North Carolina, only 23 are unzoned.
It is particularly important for those in the unzoned areas to speak out! Ask for an updated comprehensive Land-Use Plan and Map:
The county presently has a Land-Use Plan that was adopted in 2001. It is basically a very good guideline, and was developed with much public input. The findings and goals of the plan are still relevant; however, much has changed since 2001, and the current growth patterns and projected development necessitate an update. It is also clear that Chatham County is diverse in land uses, and a one-size-fits-all may not be appropriate at this time.
The primary defect of the existing plan is the absence of a land-use map to accompany the written text. Without such a map, planning staff and officials do not have a framework for governing land uses. This results in ad hoc and haphazard development.
Chatham has a chance to get planning right. We are hopeful that we will! PDF of Talking Points
Why Zoning Now
Protect Your Property
Chatham has recently been assaulted undesirable uses in unzoned areas. This includes 3 quarries and a shooting range this year. Our close proximity to Wake, Orange and Durham counties invites further exploitation of Chatham as a dumping ground.
Without modern land use controls environmental damage from oil and gas fracking and coal ash disposal will be exacerbated. There are currently 12 open pits in the unzoned area vulnerable to coal ash disposal.
The strong urbanization of Chatham, which is upon us, will threaten our growing agricultural community. This intrusion of development will inevitably cause conflicts with the farm community.
Recent economic proposals such as Chatham Park, the Siler City Megasite, and the Moncure Megasite will provide jobs and prosperity to our community. Good investment requires that adjacent sites be compatible neighbors. Uncontrolled land use leaves this to chance.
Infrastructure investment in schools and utilities needs to be planned so that taxpayer funds are not wasted. It is projected that a new school will need to be constructed every two years. A look at school overcrowding in neighbor counties is a clear warning that a wise response to growth is very necessary if we value education.
Quality of Life
People move to Chatham to enjoy the quality of this place we call home. Protection and preservation of our way of life be it urban, suburban, or rural needs to be consistent with our citizen’s vision.
“The land will care for you, if you care for it.” Thomas Berry
- Protect Your Property
We're looking forward to seeing you at Fleet Reddish!
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Democratic Party Documents
- NCDP Plan of Organization
- 2012 NCDP Resolutions
- CCDP Officer Job Descriptions
- Precinct Officer Job Descriptions
- NCDP Resolution Guide
Voter Registration and ID Committee Gearing Up!
In the last 72 hours of the 2013 General Assembly, NC legislators passed a 56-page bill that changes how, when, and where voters can cast ballots and also changes the limits and disclosure requirements for political donors. A new analysis by Democracy NC shows that election law changes, confusion, and poor preparation may have blocked as many as 50,000 voters. Chatham has a proud history of high voter turnout – we must not let this law prevent Chatham voters from exercising their constitutional right to vote.
Under the leadership of Del Turner, the Voter Registration/Voter ID Committee will address this challenge in our county. You can be a part of this important work-- or perhaps you know friends who would be interested in helping – let them know about this opportunity.
Volunteers are needed to call voters, assist with filling out forms, and provide transportation to get ID’s. Voter Registration will begin the first week in April and continue through the year with a break in August. Volunteer for the amount of time you can – every hour helps.
Email Del Turner to find out more or volunteer.
Precinct Officials are elected every two years at precinct meetings held in the first quarter of the year before the County Convention.
Precinct Chair Vice Chair Albright Unorganized Bennett Unorganized Bonlee Unorganized Bynum Karl Kachergis Anna-Rhesa Kallam East Siler City Jesse Scotton Juanita Dukes East Williams Mike Kalt Mike Bennett Goldston Tripp Tucker Tarsha Cox Hadley Mary Honeycutt Carolyn Siverson Harpers Crossroads Rebecca Loflin Faye Tillman Hickory Mountain Greg Stewart Vacant Manns Chapel Michelle Colbert Michael Hobbs New Hope Sheila Thompson Vacant North Williams Alan Buis Patricia Brown Oakland Steven Maynor John Shaw Pittsboro Beverly Bland Kali Korey Three Rivers Unorganized West Siler City Unorganized West Williams Nancy Jacobs Patrick Walker
(Click on the map for a full-screen image.)
To find your precinct and polling place enter your address at the link below -
Watch the Videos from the convention.
Building on and extending the historic legacy of the Democratic Party, the Chatham County Democratic Party is committed to:
- Truth in Government
We encourage all individuals who share these values to join us in our efforts to bring them into the political process. We also encourage individuals to consider running for political office to help turn these values into public policy which protects the health and safety of its citizens and advances quality of life, the common good and economic well-being of all the people in Chatham County.