Young Dems Held Virtual Conference to inform Forsyth Residents on Mental Health and Education in the age of COVID
On Saturday, February 27, the Young Democrats of Forsyth County held a virtual conference with sessions in the field of mental health and education.
The mental health session hosted Shea Graham, a licensed therapist with degrees and post-graduate certificates from Columbia University and Harvard Medical School, respectively. Shea presented on ways that we can maintain our mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic and also spoke to warning signs that signal expert intervention may be necessary.
The education session consisted of Representative Amber Baker, a former principal; Alex Bohannon, a recently appointed the the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Board of Education member; and Rebecca Martin, a local school teacher. Representative Baker and School Board member Bohannon discussed the action steps that local and state government were taking to re-open schools safely. School Teacher Rebecca Martin gave a presentation aimed to educating parents on the best ways to keep their school children focused during virtual learning and the COVID pandemic.
The virtual conference was recorded, and YDFC plans to edit the recording into segments that it will share through its social media. So, if you were not able to make the virtual conference but would love to hear from these experts, please be sure to check out the Young Democrats of Forsyth County's social media pages!
Kerry Peay is a member of The Law Enforcement and Legislative Reform Committee of the North Carolina Democratic Party Progressive Caucus. This Committee consists of five core members and other contributors from across North Carolina to talk about ways to making law enforcement better. This Committee formed in the aftermath of George Floyd's and Breonna Taylor's deaths.
These members hoped that their solutions could be eventually turned into public policy. None of the members, Kerry included, believed that their work would lead to a Nobel Peace Prize nomination. But that is exactly what happened here. The Law Enforcement and Legislative Reform Committee was one of around 200 nominations for this year's Nobel Peace Prize.
If you would like to read more about the groups nomination, click here.
Congratulations Kerry and keep up the great work!
Two new, statewide issues caucuses have formed in the North Carolina Democratic Party: The Rural Caucus and the Disability Issues Caucus.
On Wednesday, January 27 at 7:00pm, organizers of the Rural Caucus held a formation meeting to vote on temporary officers and Bylaws. The meeting was a tremendous success: Over 100 Democrats across the entire State of North Carolina attended the meeting, which is a record for any statewide auxiliary formation meeting. After a long three hours, the Bylaws were approved and the following temporary officers were elected:
Brandon Combs (Person County) - Acting Chair
Jennifer Thompson (Montgomery County) - 1st Vice Chair
Hon. BJ Gibson (Scotland County) - 2nd Vice Chair
Chris Suggs (Lenoir County) - 3rd Vice Chair
Emily Hogan (Watauga County) - Secretary
Colton Browder (Haywood) - Treasurer
Rural organizing has become a recent focus of the Democratic Party as we collectively look to expand and include more people. In fact, newly elected DNC Chair recently held an open meeting to discuss its importance and to lay out a strategy to achieve success in rural organizing. Here is the link to the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hwsGffMxIM&feature=youtu.be.
On Saturday, January 30 at 6:00pm, organizers of the Disability Issues Caucus also held a formation meeting to vote on temporary officers and Bylaws. The meeting was an overall success, with over 40 individuals attending the meeting. As a result, the Bylaws were approved and these temporary officers were elected:
Michael Evola - Acting Chair
Kara Hinkley - 1st Vice Chair
Kris Dixon - 2nd Vice Chair
Tia Cheek - Secretary
Both the Rural Caucus and the Disability Issues Caucus now must wait for approval from the NCDP State Executive Committee, which will hold a vote on Saturday, February 27. Following Bylaw approval by the NCDP SEC, each county will then have the opportunity to create its own chartered unit under each statewide caucus. Hopefully, Forsyth County can create its own Rural Caucus and Disability Issues Caucus in the near future!
On January 13, the North Carolina General Assembly began a new term that brought with it both new and experienced officers. Three Forsyth County Democrats will serve in this term.
Amber Baker and Evelyn Terry will represent us on the NC House of Representatives side. Representative Baker, representing House District 72, is serving her first term. She has served for more than a decade as principal of Kimberley Park School in Winston-Salem. Representative Baker holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Winston-Salem State University. She also earned a Master of Arts and a Ph.D. at the Ohio State University.
Representative Terry, representing House District 71, has been representing Forsyth County since being sworn into office in 2013. She has experience serving as the chair of the Forsyth County Department of Social Services Board of Directors and President of the George Black House and Brickyard. She is also a member of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority, the NAACP, and the National Museum of African American History and Culture, among others. Representative Terry has a bachelor's degree from Johnson C. Smith University and a master's degree from Appalachian State University.
On the Senate side of the General Assembly, Paul Lowe, Jr. is our sole representative during this term. Senator Lowe represents Senate District 32 and will begin his Sixth year as a State Senator from Forsyth County this year. Professionally, Senator Lowe serves as a pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church.
To learn more about these General Assembly members, search for them here.
From left to right: Representative Amber Baker, Representative Evelyn Terry, State Senator Paul Lowe, Jr.
This past Tuesday, January 5, Georgia held runoff elections for both of its United States Senate seats after both seats ended in a virtual tie during the November general election. As a result of Tuesdays election, both Democratic Party United States Senate Candidates, Reverend Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, defeated their Republican opponents. The Democrats will now control both houses of Congress and the Presidency, opening room for an ambitious and progressive Biden administration agenda.
Reverend Raphael Warnock defeated Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler with 50.8 percent of the vote to Loeffler's 49.2 percent. With a victory margin over 1/2 of a percent, Warnock avoided a recount against Loeffler. Before becoming the Senator-elect from Georgia, Reverend Raphael Warnock was the senior pastor at Ebenezer Methodist Church in Atlanta, the former pulpit of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Jon Ossoff defeated incumbent Republican Senator David Perdue. Ossoff beat Perdue by gaining 50.3 percent of the vote to Perdue's 49.7 percent, also winning by more than the recount margin. Ossoff, at 33 years old, will be the youngest Democrat elected to the United States Senate since President-elect Joe Biden in 1972.
On December 5, the precinct chairs and vice chairs residing in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools Board of Education District 1 nominated Chenita Barber Johnson to replace Barbara Burke on the Board of Education. This seat became vacant as a result of Barbara Burke's transition to the Winston-Salem City Council following the November elections. This nomination will be considered by the WSFCS Board of Education, which makes the final decision on Councilwoman Burke's replacement.
Chenita Barber Johnson has served the community in numerous roles, including leadership positions that directly help our students. For example, Chenita Barber Johnson co-founded the Coalition for Equity in Public Education, an organization that seeks to promote and ensure equity and anti-racist policies, curricula, cultures, and environments, along with transparency and accountability in all things related to the WSFC public school system. Chenita has also served as the PTA parent liaison and mediator.
Congratulations on your nomination, Chenita!
On October 20, Forsyth County Democrats joined together to attend the Vote Common Good Rally in Winston-Salem. The Vote Common Good Rally brought together people of faith––regardless of age, political leanings, or faith interests––to raise their voices to stop the re-election of Donald Trump as President of the United States. The event also sought to inspire and mobilize people to make the common good the principal voting criteria this election. Many candidates delivered messages of hope and inspiration while many musicians performed for the attendees.
A special thanks to Pastor Scovens and Chad Armstrong for hosting the event at Galilee Missionary Baptist Church. Here are some photos from the event:
Voters in Forsyth County are out in waves on this first day of Early Voting. Many of the early voting locations have lines wrapped around the building; others have lines extending down the road. Near the Anderson Center, Winston-Salem State University students marched to the polls while the marching band played music. This is a wonderful day for Forsyth County and Democracy.
Although this voter turnout is a great sign for American democracy, we want to let everyone know that there are many other early voting sites that do not have wait times! You can find the early voting locations and most recent wait times by clicking here.
The Young Democrats of Forsyth County Registering Winston-Salem State students, including the Basketball and Volleyball Teams!
On Tuesday, October 7, the Young Democrats of Forsyth County were on the Winston-Salem State University campus to register students for the upcoming election. During this voter registration drive, YDFC was able to register both the WSSU Basketball and Volleyball teams! Forsyth County Commissioner Fleming El-Amin was also in attendance, assisting in the registration of many WSSU students.
This is only one of many voter registration drives that the Young Democrats of Forsyth County have been recently hosting all over Forsyth County. These efforts will continue until the voter registration deadline has passed. The voter registration deadline is this Friday, October 9, so be sure to register to vote if you have not done so already! You can register to vote here.
Over the past few weeks, volunteers have filled bags with campaign literature, candidate slate cards, and information regarding how to vote this year. These bags are then placed on the doors of residents in Forsyth County. These efforts will ensure that all eligible voters have the resources they need to cast informed votes this election season. Thank you for all of your hard work!
Want to get involved in these efforts? Sign up to Assemble Bags for Precinct Lit Drops! Don't worry – this opportunity occurs in a mask-wearing, socially distant, and safe environment.