It Was a Wonderful Journey, and Looking Ahead
The news across North Carolina and the US was very bad last night but I remain hopeful that things will turn around. How far down this road we must travel first is up to us. How angry are we? How much do we care?
As for me and this NC House race, in spite of the outcome, I am so glad I picked up this challenge. What a wonderful journey it has been, and what dear, dear friends helped me along the way! You, my friends, are most definitely included. I have absolutely no personal regrets and feel very proud of the race we ran, together. Of all the things I learned, the greatest lesson was to see you step up whenever called, whenever able.
It is my intention to use the leftover funds to help committed grassroots candidates for 2016 who need help with their campaigns. I, personally, will not run for office again. If enough of us get serious enough and work hard enough, we can prevail. Take this as a fact and, once you catch your breath, get very busy looking for good candidates who have blood in their eye and the courage to move us in the right direction. Onward!
Mary Talks with WXII News
Recently, Mary was interviewed by Bill O'Neill of WXII News. Here are some short videoclips on what Mary had to say about the state legislature's micromanagement of local communities and the state's budget priorties.
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
On 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
Our 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
What 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
Team 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
Thanks 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
It 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
On 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
Thanks 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
Our 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!
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.