From knitting needles to papasan chairs, professionalism at its finest.

Since I haven’t blogged in a while, I’m going to take you back to a couple of weeks ago when America, Robert and I spoke at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Senior Democrats meeting. We were coming from a sit down with a writer for the Charlotte Post. Herb, a JCSU alum (evidenced by his collared polo bearing the school name), interviewed America and I concerning our responsibilities this summer and our reactions to performing those duties. We talked to him about the ups and downs of phonebanking, political cynicism as well as devotion, and campaign finance reform being the gateway to all other political issues. All in all, it was a productive sit down. Anyway, back to the speaking engagement: we were scheduled to talk to the senior democrats about Voter Owned Elections and the need for passing SB 966. Their fearless leader Sam Brown is also a member of Common Cause, a group that we know are allies of our issues, so we were optimistic about their reception of us. When we arrived, the senior dems were chowing down on their picnic lunches and discussing housekeeping issues. We were welcomed to the podium following a candidate for the Board of Education America and I introduced ourselves, the organization and the issues while Robert passed out postcards and handouts urging the senior dems to contact Tony Rand. We were on fire! The dems were open and engaged, nodding their heads, asking questions, all was well, until we realized someone had pulled out their knitting needles…Go us! However, we managed to collect a handful of postcards and moderate a lively discussion about campaign finance reform and voter owned elections. Not to mention, we were also privvy to a jawdropping passive aggressive verbal altercation regarding raffle ticket behavior… oh snap. Robert also recieved a sobering sneak peak at his inevitable end.

Last Wednesday (July 15th) and this Monday (July 20), America and I were allotted the opportunity to share with Time Out Youth, a LGBTQI (the “I” stands for Inter Sex yeah, I didn’t know there was an I either) center for youth ages 13-23 yrs old, the importance of pre-registration for youth. The facility was the coolest thing I have ever encountered in the basement of a church. It had an air hockey table, a gaming system, a library complete with books and dvds, a papasan chair (those circular ones that swallow your body when you sit in them) and get this: a handprint rainbow mural with, yes, three diminsional puffy clouds. Pretty sweet, right? After briefly expressing my enamoration with the wall and taking a diving leap into the papasan chair, I regained professionalism and America, Robert and I delivered what turned into be a Q and A session about high school civics classes and motor voter laws. We also left the group with Voter Registration Forms we had lifted from the Department of Homeland Security so they could register the eligible members for the municipal and mayoral elections in Charlotte this fall.

Unfortuately I don’t have any new clever anecdotes about Homeland Security, except this man requested to stand sandwiched between America and I waving his new country’s flag while having his picture taken. Flattering? Yes. Odd? Slightly.

It’s hard to believe that only a week and a half of Democracy Summer remains. Looking back on the past 7.5 weeks, it’s hard to name a single emotion that describes my experiences. Certainly there have been struggles and mishaps, frustrations and annoyances, but on the whole it’s been enjoyable. I don’t want to steal thunder from my concluding blog, so I’m leaving a quote I found while searching for our VOE powerpoints…

“If liberty and equality, as is thought by some, are chiefly to be found in democracy, they will be best attained when all persons alike share in the government to the utmost.” -Aristotle.

Sarah, Charlotte Team

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