This week, despite being shortened due to the Independence Day Holiday, has been jam-packed with activities. Ray and I settled back into our office on Tuesday and began implementing our plans for our many events coming up this month. On Wednesday we had some meetings with community activists in both Forsyth and Guilford Counties, and on Thursday we threw our effort toward generating phone calls to the N.C. General Assembly.
Next week, we will be leading two youth forums at the Winston Lake YMCA for kids in their Youth Achiever programs. The Boys and Girls Club is also sending participants. We have been in constant contact with the program managers at the Y, finalizing our agenda and confirming our message. We even were able to bring in City Councilwoman D.D. Adams as a guest speaker for the kids. In addition to these two programs, we have organized a Greensboro Coalition meeting on July 13th for GOTV planning and discussions on electoral reform. All in all, next week is sure to be busy, but it will be exciting to see all of our planning come together and result in something positive for the community.
This week on Wednesday, we met with Mr. Michael Thomas of the Goodwill Re-Entry program in Winston-Salem. We talked about his work in the prison system and his classes for re-integration into society, finding a job, and becoming a productive citizen. We were able to provide him with voter registration forms and informational literature about regaining citizenship rights after being incarcerated. Later in the afternoon, we met Mr. Fahiym Hanna, who operates in Guilford County. He is our age and already has his own grassroots organizing experience through various community groups. We spoke with him about reaching out to Guilford County youth and what organizations could assist us in our mission for youth civic engagement and voter participation. Both meetings were highly informative and certainly aided us in our mission for GOTV.
Thursday was almost a complete blur. Coming into work in the afternoon, HQ alerted us that the N.C. House was considering Senate Bill 20, which aimed to incrementally expand Voter-Owned Elections to the state Treasurer’s Race and for one additional municipality. We began making calls to past supporters in the early evening, encouraging them to contact their elected officials. We had also organized a W-S Voting Rights Coalition community meeting in our office for GOTV planning that night, so we had all the participants call both their Senator and Representatives in the General Assembly (see pictures at top). Thursday’s events proved that everything moves so unexpectedly in the legislative process. It really forces activists to constantly adapt and quickly respond with little warning.
In other news, we have moved the date for our Greensboro community movie night to later in July so that Darryl Hunt can come speak. Also in the works… a youth forum for high school students to motivate and train them to register their fellow classmates to vote in the fall. We already have space booked at the public library, and are currently in the process of contacting these students that indicated they were interested in such an activity.
So, it’s definitely been another packed week here in Winston-Salem, but we are very excited about our upcoming events and our GOTV and youth civic engagement efforts. I think it’s safe to say we are virtually “humming” on all cylinders.
Until next time,
Sean Maxwell and Ray Robinson