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!

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News

Same Day Registration, Voting out of Precinct Nixed. Sadly, the Supreme Court of North Carolina has decided that Same Day Voter registrations and voting out of your precinct on Election Day will not be allowed in the November 2014 election. If you haven’t already registered to vote, you’ll have to sit this one out. If you’ve moved within Forsyth County since you last voted, however, PLEASE VOTE EARLY so you can re-register and have your vote counted! Don’t wait until Election Day! For details on Early Voting schedules in Forsyth County, please go to:  http://www.forsyth.cc/Elections/one_stop.aspx 

Lower Taxes? Not So Much. Our Republican state legislators like to make a big deal out of how they lowered taxes for everyone. Not so much, according to a self-described 100-percent conservative Republican writing to the New Bern Sun Journal. Yes, income taxes were lowered for everyone to 5.8 percent, but the cut benefits mainly the very wealthy. For most of us, the cut is merely a small drop from 6 percent and is more than offset by the elimination of a variety of credits and deductions, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, the deduction for college savings plan contributions, and medical deductions. For most of us, the tax burden has increased. Are you happy with that? Read Robert Ostar's very illuminating letter - http://www.newbernsj.com/opinion/letters/letter-thrown-under-the-bus-1.378998

Apple Corps. Teachers, PTA personnel, retired teachers and candidates came together tonight (September 18) at an Apple Corps meeting to speak about the trials and tribulations for educators and their students in this new climate coming from Raleigh. Thanks to Ann Petitjean, Ron Caviness and Donald Dunn for leading the discussion. What will it take to engage teachers in the changes that are so needed outside of the classroom to make public schools stronger? That question begs an answer.

Mountain For Rent. Pushback from individual citizens and groups like Sierra Club worked. A vintage car group has withdrawn its request to close Pilot Mountain for a day for a private road rally. This would have been a bad precedent showing that, if you have the money and contribute to those in power, you can have a piece of North Carolina. However, a pending bill still would allow parks to  waive speed limits. See the details of the withdrawn plan from the Winston-Salem Journal at http://tinyurl.com/pilotmtn4rent.

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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!

littleleague

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!

Letters to the Editor

Thanks to all of you who have submitted Letters to the Editor to the Winston-Salem Journal supporting our campaign and raising the issues that concern me and you in our wonderful state of North Carolina. You can read all of these letters on our Blog!

Winston-Salem Journal Endorsement

The Winston-Salem Journal has endorsed Mary for the NC House 74 race. Mary is the only challenger endorsed by the newspaper for the state legislative races in Forsyth County. Says the Journal: "We contend that Dickinson, a retired public-school and community college teacher, would help bring back an emphasis on strong public education that [Debra] Conrad and others have not stressed. She’s run an energetic campaign and has generated considerable support."

Compare WXII Responses on Issues

Bill O’Neill of WXII TV News interviewed Mary on September 15th. However, there is no but video clip on the WXII website, presumably because her opponent did not participate, You can find written questionnaire responses filed by both candidates on the right column at the link below. Debra Conrad left the last four questions blank. If she doesn’t care enough to respond to questions about her own voting record, why should we support her? Does she not support her own votes? Check it out!

Sierra Club Members Support Mary

foothillsOn September 30th, members of the Foothills Chapter of the North Carolina Sierra Club showed their support for Mary at a fundraiser hosted by Elyse Jung. Mary discussed her concerns about the state legislature's weak response to the problem of unsafe and leaking coal ash ponds at Duke Energy's power plants. A recently enacted law failed to give priority to Duke's largest pond, which sits at the edge of Belews Lake just outside District 74 and left open the question of who will pay for coal ash cleanup - you the taxpayer or Duke shareholders. Environmental issues raised in neighboring counties can affect our air and water quality in Forsyth, whether they relate to coal ash, "fracking" or Surry County's chicken factories. Our lives and those of our neighbors are interconnected.

Kernersville Area Team Is Hitting Campaign Trail

volunteersOur volunteers in the Kernersville area are ready to get on the phone and knock on doors for Mary's campaign. Several turned out for the team's hot dog social at Kernersville's Civitan Park on September 9, including new recruits Takia and Matthew. In addition to phone-banking and canvassing, team members will be getting out yard signs and staffing the Forsyth Democratic Party's booth at Dixie Classic Fair. Want to help, too? Sign up on our Get Involved page.

Sierra Club, N.C.A.E. Endorse Mary for District 74

The North Carolina Sierra Club and the North Carolina Educators Association (N.C.A.E.) have endorsed Mary for the House District 74 seat. Environmental and education issues are are paramount to Mary, and she intends to bring some common-sense thinking on these subjects when she arrives in Raleigh next January. We must protect our air, water and wildlife from the toxic waste of coal ash ponds and hydraulic fracturing ("fracking"), and we must invest in a high quality public education for all our children. These are our future!

Camel City Dispatch: "Our Approach Is Refreshing"

Chad Nance tells how we will get to Raleigh in "The Camel City Dispatch." It is with volunteers and financial supporters like you. Read the article.

Sherwood Forest Supports Mary

ParkerWhat a wonderful turnout at our latest fundraising event at the Sherwood Forest home of Dee and Charlie Parker. And welcome to our young volunteers Maria, Stephany and Dalia. In remarks to her enthusiastic supporters, Mary compared several of the things our N.C. General Assembly said they did in the budget with what they actually did relating to items such as money for teacher assistants, Medicaid and tax relief. In Forsyth County, WCFCS Budget Director Kerry Crutchfield has pointed out that the recently adopted budget, in fact, does not provide enough money to retain many of our valuable teacher assistants. See more Photos.

Reaching Out to Voters

Much thanks to the 10 volunteers who took to the phones on Thursday night. We are reaching out to voters to tell them about Mary. We will be phone-banking every Thursday night at Forsyth Democratic Headquarters on Burke St. between 5:30 and 8 p.m. It's easy and fun, so join us in our effort to take some common sense 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

environment

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

pfafftown

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

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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

TealMary

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!

moxonfranco

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

  • Letters of Support Posted 1 days ago
    Thanks to the numerous friends and supporters who submitted Letters to the Editor in the Winston-Salem Journal on my behalf. We certainly could not so it with all our volunteers and supporters getting the word out about our campaign. October 19, 2014 LILLIAN NORDENHOLZ, Winston-Salem A top priority The candidate I support for the N.C. House District 74 has spent the better part of her career teaching middle-school and high-school students, as well as working with children with special needs. Through her long experience in both public and private schools, she has learned what works in the classroom and what doesn’t. I’m referring to Mary Dickinson, a candidate who has been personally involved with education over a lifetime. She cares about our teachers and our children, and is deeply committed to improving the quality of education in North Carolina. Mary Dickinson knows that education in North Carolina is vastly underfunded, and she feels strongly that we must do more to ensure that every child receives the education necessary for his or her future success. As a former teacher, I share her concerns about the quality of ...
  • Concerns about NC Common Core Posted 3 weeks ago
    I have heard enough from parents and teachers to believe that Common Core, as it is now formatted, may need some adjustments to make it more effective. I am also concerned that testing is a major component of Common Core. It begs the question, though, why is this practice of over-testing our students suddenly under attack? Since No Child Left Behind, our budget for education has been depeleted of funds to pay for testing of all kinds. Someone is getting very, very rich on the backs of our students and their teachers. If testing is the issue, I say, let’s look at that. However, if raising our student standards is what upsets people, I say, how else are our children going to become competitive? I’m glad that Mr. Peek is a supporter of Common Core. With a legislature that wants to repeal and replace it, I wonder how Mr. Peek’s voice will be heard. And, why is Secretary June Atkinson not on this commission? As for how long it has taken to put this committee together, I give the NCGA ...
  • Ann Majestic Worked for All Children Posted 2 months ago
    Wisdom and attorney Ann Majestic went hand in hand. Her service to the Wake County school system and beyond will be sorely missed. Like a good teacher, she did her homework and used the knowledge gained to bring common sense to the issue of how integrating children both racially and economically can result in greater school equity. More importantly, she proved to us that being educated in a diverse environment increases the learning of all children, regardless of their socio-economic background or physical or mental abilities. Her success with the Leandro case as well as many others and her tireless work on behalf of school children should make all North Carolinians proud. Her loss will leave a hole in the fabric of quality education for all of our children in our state.
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