Wake Dems Weekly Update: Fired Up and Ready for the #BlueWave

Welcome!

What do you get when you put 500+ Wake County Democrats in the Raleigh Convention Center on a Saturday afternoon? You get a group of fired up citizens who are ready to #BreaktheMajority!

The 2018 Wake County Democratic Party County Convention was a great success. With speeches from David Price, NC 4th District Congressman, and Jessica Holmes, the Chair of the Wake County Board of Commissioners, as well as from our many candidates for the November 2018 elections, attendees were “Fired Up, Ready to Go!”. The #BlueWave is rising!

Update on the battle over the State Board of Elections

On Tuesday, the State Supreme Court refused to clarify its order relating to the merger of the State Board of Elections and the State Ethics Commission, as requested by Governor Cooper last week. In response, the Governor has filed a new lawsuit in Wake County Superior Court over House Bill 90 to prevent its implementation on March 16th. The lawsuit cites a separation of powers violation with the new law.

This is the third lawsuit filed over the GOP’s attempts to limit the executive power of the Governor. We will continue to follow this lawsuit.

An ongoing constitutional violation of every child’s right,” judge declares

In 1994, five school districts in NC, and individuals in those districts - Cumberland, Halifax, Hoke, Robeson, and Vance - sued the State. Their claim was that state constitutional mandate for equal educational opportunity has been violated, especially for low wealth districts. Leandro v. State has become a landmark case in the US. In 1997, the State Supreme Court ruled that every child in NC has a right to obtain a sound basic education. As part of the ongoing case in 2004, the State Supreme Court held that at-risk prospective students were being denied their right to the opportunity for a sound basic education. The State expanded Pre-K services as a result, and positive outcomes were achieved.

As part of their first State budget in 2011, the GOP-led NCGA HB 200 capped the number of at-risk students at 20% for NC Pre-K, decreased the overall funding, and required a co-payment for enrollment in the program. The Bill was challenged in court under Leandro. In 2012, the State Court of Appeals upheld that the State must provide free Pre-K to any at-risk 4 year old who applies.

In 2017, the State Board of Education, under Republican State Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson, requested of the Court to be dropped from the lawsuit, claiming that the Board has made the required changes needed under Leandro. This would mean that only the State of NC would be left as a Defendant.

On Tuesday, Superior Court Judge David Lee vehemently disagreed.  In his decision denying the request, Lee stated, "There is an ongoing constitutional violation of every child’s right to receive the opportunity for a sound basic education. This court not only has the power to hear and enter appropriate orders declaratory and remedial in nature, but also has a duty to address this violation." He also noted, “the court record is replete with evidence that the Leandro right continues to be denied to hundreds of thousands of North Carolina children.”

Lessons from Pennsylvania 18th Congressional District

As of the writing of this week’s update, it appears that Democrat Conor Lamb has won the special election in the PA 18th Congressional District, one which went for Donald Trump by more than 20 points in 2016. What are our takeaways as the Wake Dems head into the 2018 midterms?

  • In order to win, you have to show up (Part 1): Democrats had not run a candidate in the PA 18th in 2014 and 2016. Wake Dems have met this challenge, with at least one Democratic candidate in every race in 2018!

  • In order to win, you have to show up (Part 2): Get Out the Vote is an essential winning strategy in 2018! Our voters are motivated at all levels. GOTV begins with the primaries in May and continues up to November 8th.

  • Real Issues = Real Wins: Democrats must focus on the issues that matter to Wake County residents. Education, Jobs, Access to Affordable Healthcare, and Local Infrastructure impact our citizens every day. Wake Dems are lucky to have strong candidates who can not only speak to these issues, but also offer real solutions.

  • It Can Happen Once in a Blue Moon: 2018 is a “Blue Moon Election”. What does that mean? Every twelve (12) years in NC, we have an election cycle where there are no statewide elections held. For 2018, it also means we have a unique opportunity to focus and take back control of the NCGA as citizens look for positive change.

As we move into the 2018 election cycle, there are numerous opportunities for Wake Dems to learn more about the elections and to volunteer. One great source of information is the Events Calendar at wakedems.org. You can find out about candidate forums, volunteer opportunities and social activities!  You can also check out our Facebook page for more information.

How is your Social Media Game?

We are looking for some team members to join the social media committee. Email WCDP3vc@gmail.com if you are interested in joining the team.