Why I'm Running

North Carolina has an honorable history as an innovative state in the areas of education, women’s health, environmental protection and voting rights. We have always set the standard in these areas. Since 2010 and, even more so, in this past legislative session, we have begun a downward spiral from this progress. I am running for the NC Legislature because this push backward demands a response. I look at what damage is being done to our beautiful state and ask myself, how can I not run? It is my sincere hope that others who feel this distress will likewise respond to the call for action. North Carolina, we must do better!



Pilot Mountain For Rent. Apparently, the public can be trumped by donors to political candidates when it comes to our state parks. If you have the money and you donated to our campaign you can have a piece of North Carolina. A bill in the state legislature would allow our Pilot Mountain State Park to be closed for a day for a private event for a $10,000 "fee." See the details from the Winston-Salem Journal at http://tinyurl.com/pilotmtn4rent.


Rural Hall's 40th Birthday. The town of Rural Hall celebrated its 40th birthday on Saturday May 31st. The celebration reminded me of my small-town roots. The community was having great fun at Covington Memorial Park, and I got to take part in a bus tour of the town with a free cup of water from the Living Well. My brother-in-law would love the train depot, too.

Teacher Tenure Law. We need good judges...they are most recently the only protection we the people have from bad legislation. Thank you, Superior Court Judge Hobgood for declaring the "Teacher Tenure" law unconsitutional! My favorite quote from this judge's ruling: "Abolishing teacher tenure "was not reasonable and necessary to serve an important public purpose," How many other bills have been passed by the current NCGA that fail to serve an 'important public purpose'? Read the Winston-Salem Journal coverage here: http://tinyurl.com/nctenure

emptybowlsEmpty Bowls. Mary and Phil attended the 13th annual Empty Bowls fundraiser for the Second Harvest Food Bank on April 23rd. Did you know that Second Harvest feeds 35,000 hungry people in our community? So much thanks to all the community leaders and other volunteers who contributed their time to this event, Including Mayor Joines, Sheriff Schatzman, Councilpersons Besse and McIntosh, and School Board member Elisabeth Motsinger. This country has a surplus of food. How can we improve the distribution of nutritious meals to our families and children who need them. North Carolina, we must do better!


North Forsyth Little League.

On April 12, Mary attended Opening Day ceremonies for the North Forsyth Little League in Rural Hall. It was a warn, sunny day, and the kids were ready to "Play Ball." Spectators should become familiar with Mary's name as the season moves along. The Committee to Elect Mary Dickinson is an advertising sponsor for the league, and her sign graces the center field fence.

County Convention. The Forsyth County Democratic Party held its annual convention on Saturday April 5. Mary and other candidates spoke briefly to an enthusiastic crowd about their campaigns for local, state and congressional races. What a terrific slate we have! Mary relaFCDPconventionted how her primary objectives in Raleigh will be to protect and enhance public education opportunities for our children and to ensure that we take strong action against those who would pollute the air we breathe and the water we drink. She also decried the short-sightedness of our legislature and governor when they rejected federal monies to extend unemployment insurance and Medicaid, eliminated the state earned income credit and reduced job training funds. Photo: Clerk of Court Susan Frye, Sen. Earline Parmon and Mary.

Amigos! Amigas! Another great turnout at our latest fundraising event reaching out to our Hispanic/Latino friends. We had great food, great music and an enthusiastic crowd at Johannes Restaurant on March 2. School Board candidate German Garcia introduced Mary, who shared her thoughts about education policy in North Carolina.

Mary's Apple Corps! On February 28, Bill and Ansley Browning hosted our event for educators and retired educators. It was great to see seven School Board candidates in attendance, including incumbent Elisabeth Motsinger, who introduced Mary to the crowd. Mary talked about how education is the key to solving so many issues that currently confront North Carolina residents, including the economy, energy sources and the environment. See her remarks on our Blog. Educators: join Mary's Apple Corps of volunteers to send her to Raleigh.

house74filingWith wonderful supporters looking on, I officially filed to run for NC House 74 on February 11 at the Forsyth County Board of Elections. As a career educator, I know that "teaching is not a business driven by a profit margin, it is a passion to change the life of a child for the better, plain and simple." We have a responsibility to try to make things better for our children and families. As a state legislator, I will give my all because North Carolina we must do better - http://tinyurl.com/MaryfilesNC74.


PopepicketOn a bitter, wet day in Winston, standing with Linda Sutton, Sen. Earline Parmon, Rep. Evelyn Terry, Pat Eisenach, Anne Paisley, Martha Kennedy, Jamie Sohn....where else would I want to be?

In this Winston-Salem Journal Letter-to-the-Editor, N. C. Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Skvarla accurately points out that earlier administrations failed to correct the dangers of coal-ash buildup at Belew’s Lake. While they may not have done enough to regulate aggressively the disposal of toxic coal-ash buildup in the environment, Secretary Skvarla fails to recognize the move by the NC Legislature in 2013 to not only deregulate these bad practices but also to disallow local municipalities from having any say as to the quality of water they drink. Pay attention not to what the powers in Raleigh are doing today but what they are planning for tomorrow. Our children deserve better.

Winston-Salem Journal article: Advocacy groups picket store tied to conservative state official

Winston Salem Chronicle article: As voters sour on GOP, Dems prepare for takeover

Camel City Dispatch article: Rep Conrad Gets Democratic Challenger

Winston-Salem Journal Winston-Salem Journal article: Anti-immigrant bills will do more harm than good

On the Road to Raleigh!

Campaign Team #2 Is Fired Up

NC74Team2Team 2 had a lovely hot dog roast at charming Hathaway Park. T-shirts and work ahead for the campaign! Ready to rock in West Winston!!! Other area teams are getting fired up, too!



Blue Grass at Muddy Creek Cafe

OsbornebandThanks to all our friends in Bethania and from elsewhere who joined us for some blue grass music at the Muddy Creek Cafe. Our latest fundraising event was a great success as we sampled some tasty food and listened to the Howell Osborne Band. These local musicians provided all the heat we needed on this delightful summer's eve. Shana Whitehead, you were a wonderful hostess. Bethania is a small town, and Mary knows what small towns are all about. Right now, our N.C. legislature keeps trying to bully local governments by proposing and sometimes passing restrictions on how local leaders can serve their constituents. Apparently, they are prepared to rail against big government - unless the big government is them. North Carolina, We Must Do Better.

Raleigh Is Hot Topic

NC74eventIt has been a hot week in Forsyth County, but the temperatures backed off a bit for our June 19th fundraising event graciously hosted by Ann Guill. Dissatisfaction with the disruptive forces at work in the N.C. General Assembly remained hot, however. Last night, education was the focus of several questions from attendees, including the current debate over the Common Core curriculum. Yes, parents and teachers have valid concerns about implementation, but should we just throw away our investment without even a substitute plan in place? As a long-time educator, Mary will offer an experienced and rational voice in Raleigh on this topic.

Much thanks to our sponsors for this event: Frank Benedetti, Susan Campbell, Frank and Susan Dickerson, Bill and Corty Freeman, Bill Gifford and Jodi Turner, Jose and Flora Isasi, Harold Kennedy, Helen Monroe, Gary Trowbridge and Susan Wall.

Lambeths Host Meet-and-Greet

LambethOn June 12th, we had a lovely visit with some movers and shakers from across Forsyth County, thanks to the kind hosting of Tom and Donna Lambeth. Thanks to Cara Smith, Tog Newman, Cama and Robert Merritt, Clare and Hudnell Christopher, Peter Allan, Ruth and Horace Deudney, DeeDee Fenwick, Susan and George Little, Shirley Fly, Pam Westrick, Linda Simms and numerous others who came with excellent questions and much enthusiasm for this race and the topics discussed. The encouragement was palpable. A shout out to Donna and Tom for making it happen!

Phone Banking for Mary

phonebankThanks to all those supporters down at Forsyth Count Democratic Headquarters phone banking on behalf of our campaign. On a Thursday night on a beautiful day in April, this is dedication. With all this help from these wonderful folks, we will get the job done. We are on our way to Raleigh!

Afghan Voters Set the Standard

 As we watched the people of Afghanistan face great dangers to have their voices heard, I can only say how ashamed it makes me feel that too many of us, here in North Carolina, fail to follow their lead and exercise our right to vote! Our voting record reflects unbelievable apathy on our part. No matter the obstacles the NCGA puts in front of us, we MUST overcome those barriers and get to the polls. Read more on my Blog.

Teacher Bonus Plan Is Bad Idea

The North Carolina General Assembly has passed a bill that requires teachers who want job security to trade their tenure for small bonuses. It appears it isn’t enough to end tenure for all teachers in 2018, this law forces our school systems to encourage 25% of their teachers sign on to this plan immediately, for a $500 bonus, paid out over a year. Asking our teachers to compete with one another over the opportunity to get four-year contracts is a bad idea, North Carolina. Read more on my Blog.

Education Is the Key

ThisLandOur February 28th fundraiser focused on education. Central issues of my campaign are Education, Environment, Economy and Energy, and education is the key. Only with a well-educated citizenry can we solve our issues relating to the other three. With seven school board candidates and numerous educators in attendance, Mary discussed how the N.C. General Assembly has failed to recognize the importance of public education and, in fact, has set itself on a course that hurts our children and grandchildren. It is taking financing away from public education to provide private school vouchers, has allowed teacher pay to slip to 48th in the nation and has encouraged 17,000 teachers to leave for neighboring states that better recognize the value of teachers and public education. Mary's remarks are posted on her Blog. Also check out our Photo Album.

It's About Our Water


Many friends who are concerned about our environment attended our February 5 fundraiser at the home of Susan and Warren Jones. Thanks to City Councilperson Molly Leight for introducing Mary to the crowd. We talked a lot about water - contamination of our streams and drinking water from spills at Duke Energy's coal ash ponds, like those at Belew's Lake, cutbacks in the N.C. Clean Water Management Trust Fund, possible relaxation of our water quality rules and appreciation for the Yadkin Riverkeeper efforts in monitoring the health of the river that forms the western border of District 74. Mary also made a plea for a shift from our coal-fired power plants to clean solar and offshore wind energy. It makes sense both for our health and our economy. North Carolina, We Must Do Better!

Pfafftown Teambuilding


Here's a shout-out to Deborah Woolard and Bill Donahue! We got off to a great start to energizing Pfafftown at the house party they hosted on February 4th. We were wowed by the guests' interest in the 74th District race. Their comments and questions about educational opportunity, the environment and voting rights clearly showed that in these areas North Carolina, We Must Do Better! Below: Mary shares a moment with Matt Potter.



Crossing 52 Initiative


It was wonderful to gather with old friends from Crossing 52 Initiative. My dear friend Hema Sethi hosted a traditional Crossing 52 potluck dinner for our fundraising event on January 25th. Check out our photo album and Blog page.

Crossing 52 worked hard to bridge racial divisions in our community. At our gathering, we reminded ourselves that there still is much work to do. Our legislature and governor have repealed the Racial Justice Act, enacted the most suppressive voting procedures bill in the country, refused to expand Medicaid, has made a mess of the agency that assists families at risk of hunger, and has short-changed our students and teachers in our public schools. North Carolina, We Must Do Better!

Outpouring of Support Continues


Thanks for another great outpouring of support at our December 11 fundraising event at Senor Bravo. Carol Teal, Executive Director o Lillian's List, introduced Mary, who spoke to the crowd about recent actions, and inactions, of the N.C. General Assembly that affect women in areas of voting rights, infant mortality, health and pay equity. Thank you also to event sponsors Katherine McGinnis, Jane Daugherty and Betsy Gregg, and to our host Sal Bravo.

Wow! What a Great Turnout at Our Kickoff Fundraising Event!


The turnout and enthusiasm far exceeded what we thought were ambitious goals for our initial fundraising event Monday night. Thanks to you, we really have the ball rolling to create change in Raleigh. Don't hesitate to tell your friends in the 74th District about our campaign. If you could not stop by this time, stay tuned for details about our next event. And, of course, we have a standing call for volunteers if you would like to help. Meanwhite, check our Photo Gallery and breathe in some of the excitement.

We'd like to thank Justin at Johanne's for allowing us into his space as well as our event sponsors: Barry Boneno, Elizabeth and Hayes Henderson, Helen and Tim Monroe, Emily and Ed Wilson.

Important Links

Committee to Elect Mary Dickinson
P.O. Box 25244, Winston-Salem, NC 27114-5244

Recent Posts

  • Fourth of July in District 74 Posted 3 weeks ago
    There is something about the Fourth of July that brings out the small town in all of us, and so Phil and I thought it would be an adventure to take a field trip on this holiday across District 74. If you study the 74th District as I have, you will find yourself reading a litany of small towns: Kernersville, Walkertown, Rural Hall, Bethania, Tobaccoville, and even some unincorporated areas like Belews Creek, Dennis, Donnaha, Seward, Vienna and Dozier. Below: Tobaccoville Village Park   And so, we began our trek at the Kernersville Parade, seeing friends and fellow candidates along the way. Our journey to Belews Lake showed lots of folks out on their boats, enjoying the beautiful scenery. Rural Hall’s wonderful Mexican Restaurant Monte Real was a great stop, too. Meandering through the rural areas along the border with Stokes County was a delight for my birder spouse. Below: Piedmont Cheering Hearts in Kernersville     While checking out Horizons Park and Tobaccoville Village Park for future hot dog roasts, we met families enjoying picnics, disc golf, playgrounds and cookouts along the way. ...
  • State Intrusion into Local Government Posted last month
    Thanks to Elizabeth O’Meara and Melynda Dunigan for an excellent article in the Winston-Salem Journal regarding the overreach of our North Carolina General Assembly into local governance. Removing the right to have tree ordinances applied to private properties will impact the beauty of our city and the healthfulness of the air we breathe, no question.   I attended last evening’s Winston-Salem City Council meeting because of that same issue. Might I add to their observations regarding the tree ordinance that local government should also be able to regulate local parks, local water systems, local taxes and local airports.  Local school systems should be able to employ their budget to school book orders, knowing that the curriculum will not suddenly be changed by the State Assembly and their purchases made moot. Local municipal governments should be able to collect business license fees and taxes to provide the revenue for trash and garbage pickup, street, park and sidewalk maintenance…in short, all the everyday blessings of living in a civilized world that we take for granted.   Last night, another resolution in response to the ...
  • On the Trail Posted 3 months ago
    A task I set for myself on this campaign journey was to reach out to my Warwick High School classmates in Pennsylvania for their support. No matter that we graduated in 1963 and I hadn’t seen many of them more than once or twice at high school reunions in the interim 50 years. One thing never changes, I believe, the lure of old friends across the miles and across the years. And, so, I began the phone calls and discovered that my pals had some wonderful journeys of their own to tell me about. Some of them are not well, some of them are struggling with financial or personal issues, some have led lives of travel and enrichment, some are still working, many are still learning new things and taking on battles of their own in their communities. And, I must admit, many of them have more grandchildren than I’ll ever have!     Our hometown of Lititz, Pennsylvania, was and still is a very conservative place. But even my most conservative classmates cheered me on and lifted me up with their ...
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