Message from the Chair – by Kent Blevins
Hello Cleveland County Dems! I look forward to seeing you at our 2023 Annual Convention on Saturday, April 15 at 10 am! We were disappointed with the November, 2022 election results, but we are building on our progress and are developing plans to get to a different result in 2024.
We can only achieve a different outcome if we each commit to do our part to turn Cleveland County BLUE! You may think I’m delusional, but I truly believe we can do it IF WE MOBILIZE our Democratic voters. So please commit to attending the Annual Convention on April 15, and be thinking about how you can become more involved at the level of your precinct organization as well as in the overall work of the county party.
The big news event at the state party level is the new slate of officers elected at the Feb 11 winter meeting of the State Executive Committee. We have a new Chair, and new 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Vice-Chairs (see this link: https://www.ncdp.org/leaders/ncdp/). Our new NCDP Chair, Anderson Clayton, appeared on MSNBC Morning Joe on Friday, March 2. For those who missed it, here is the clip:
The ousting of the incumbent officers surprised a lot of people. There seemed to be a lot of dissatisfaction with the strategy and money management of the previous officer team. I believe a positive aspect is the new emphasis being given to the importance of rural counties as we work together to turn NC blue in 2024.
Cleveland County Dems had good representation at the event on March 2 where Pam Genant announced that she is running for the office of Lieutenant Governor. She will not be the only Democrat on the primary ballot, but Pam made many trips to Cleveland County last year as she ran against Patrick McHenry, and she has a lot of Cleveland County supporters!
Also in the news: Governor Cooper gave his State of the State address on March 6. You can watch that here: https://www.pbsnc.org/blogs/watch/governor-cooper-state-of-the-state-address-2023/
Every election is important, but 2024 will be especially so. We have a lot of work to do between now and November, 2024 to ensure that Democratic candidates who will fight for our values and principles are elected (see values of NCDP here: https://www.ncdp.org/our-values/). I don’t have to remind you that the stakes are tremendous. Democracy in this country was gravely tested in the aftermath of the 2020 election. We must not and cannot relax as we fight anti-democratic forces in our county, our state, and our nation. I am grateful for each of you and for the way you have “fought the good fight” in the past, and I feel blessed to walk beside you as we gird ourselves for the important work ahead.
Again, I look forward to seeing you on April 15. As always, thanks for all you do for the good of the cause!
Kent Blevins, Chair
Cleveland County Democratic Party
NOTE: Since the writing of this section, Pam Genant has withdrawn from the Lt. Gov. race and soon will announce her plans for the future.
Do You Have Your Convention Ticket Yet?
We’re counting down the days to our 2023 annual convention. And it’s going to be an exciting one! If you don’t have your free ticket yet, please get it HERE now. You do not want to miss this special event on Saturday, April 15.
We have a great keynote speaker lined up for you this year: U.S. Congressman Jeff Jackson. He has hit the ground running in Washington, and we can’t wait to hear the stories he has to share.
A light breakfast will be served from 9:00-10:00 a.m., and refreshments will be available throughout the convention, which will kick off at 10 a.m. sharp.
Come prepared to bid on a wide range of interesting items in the Live Auction that will be sponsored this year by the Democratic Women of Cleveland County. This is going to be fun!
Read more about the 2023 CCDP Annual Convention and GET YOUR TICKETS here: https://clevelandcountydemocraticparty.com/convention-2023/
Grassroots Organizing From the Bottom Up – by Katie Champion
I think we can all agree that the primary mission of the Democratic Party at all levels (precinct, county, state and national) is to get Democrats elected up and down the ballot. With this in mind, I think we can also all agree that the 2024 general election will be one of the most important elections of our lifetime, with our Democracy hanging in the balance. With so much at stake, I don’t think anyone would disagree that it is too early to start thinking about and planning our strategies for achieving this goal.
A successful grassroots movement begins by organizing people at the most local or precinct level and expanding outward. It can start with current precinct members reaching out to their Democratic friends and neighbors to encourage them to get involved in precinct activities. This can be accomplished through phone calls, texts, emails, postcards, face-to-face conversations, and/or mailed invitations to precinct-sponsored meetings or events. Informal activities such as a hot dog or potluck supper can be the perfect venue for a meet and greet, or for the recruitment of volunteers, distribution of candidate information, or even planning an event such as a voter registration drive.
To assist with these voter outreach activities, there are a number of different types and formats of voter lists available through the Democratic Party’s database known as VoteBuilder. If the purpose of your voter outreach activity is to recruit volunteers, you would likely be more successful in using the voter “engagement” list. On the other hand, if your purpose is to motivate inconsistent voters to vote in an upcoming election, the voter “mobilization” list would be the more preferred list. If you are feeling very ambitious and want to persuade Democrats who tend to be swing voters to vote for the “preferred” candidates, then the voter “persuasion” list would be the one to use. These lists can be printed for specific streets or groups of streets in your precinct or for your entire precinct. They can also be tailored for a specific subgroup such as party affiliation, gender, race or age group, and can be formatted for phone calls, canvassing, or mailers (i.e. postcards).
Any individual or group interested in obtaining a list for the purpose of voter outreach can contact Katie Champion by text at 704-258-5645 or by email at [email protected].
DWCC Update – by Joyce Gladstone
Live Auction at the CCDP Annual Convention
The Cleveland County Democratic Party 2023 Annual Convention, slated for April 15th, will include the return of the exciting Live Auction. This year, the Democratic Women of Cleveland County (DWCC) will conduct the auction, and the profits will go to their special projects, such as funding the billboards. Each precinct is asked to bring at least one item for the auction. Additionally, DWCC and CCDP officers will provide auction items.
Auction Items can be baked goods such as cakes, pies, breads, etc. Potted plants, flower arrangements and fruit baskets make excellent auction items as well. Democratic memorabilia are popular, as are Cleveland-County-themed items such as jewelry, pottery, baskets, books, historical pieces, etc. Use your imagination! All contributions are appreciated.
Procedure: Turn in your auction items at the annual convention between 9:00 a.m. and 9:45 a.m. this Saturday. Fill out the auction donation form that will be provided to you at that time. You will be asked to estimate the worth of your donation and list a beginning price for the auctioneer. Buyers will also complete a form with name, contact info and amount paid.
Laura Cummings, DWCC Treasurer, will oversee the auction. Willie McIntosh, former County Commissioner, will serve as auctioneer.
DWCC Spring Fundraiser
The Democratic Women of Cleveland County will have raffle tickets on hand at the annual convention to sell for just $10 each. Only 2,000 tickets are being sold. First prize is a week at a resort near Disney World in a unit that sleeps 10 and has 3 bedrooms, 3 baths. How many tickets would you like?
The raffle drawing for 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes will be held June 1, 2023.
Use the opportunity Saturday to pick up 10 or 20 tickets to sell to your friends and family. This should be an easy sale. After all, who doesn’t want to go to Disney this summer?
For more information, contact:
Joyce Gladstone, DWCC President
Note About Annual Precinct Meetings
Thank you for participating in our recent annual organizational precinct meetings and for all your donations to our sustaining fund! We are happy to report that as of today, 19 of 21 precincts in Cleveland County are officially organized. And with your help, we can get Mooresboro-Young and Fallston organized too.
Please, if you know any Dems in either of those precincts (Mooresboro-Young and Fallston) that you think would be willing to serve as a precinct officer, forward their name and phone number (if you have it) to [email protected].
We will recognize each precinct and the new officers for each precinct at our annual convention. We will also report on the final total of sustainiong funds collected during this year’s meetings.
That About Sums It Up
That’s all for now, folks. We’re off to make more convention preparations. So please join us Saturday. We’ll have much more to share with you then.
We look forward to seeing your smiling faces!