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Letters to the editor – Thursday (11-6-08)

This campaign is still under way
Just when the residents of Rowan County are pleased that the political campaigns have finally ended, I need to remind them that while one campaign is over, an equally important one is still going on.
The United Way of Rowan County is collecting much needed dollars in order to meet the needs of our citizens during the next year. We have received commitments for only two-thirds of our $1.9 million goal, so we are putting forth extra effort and extra time to reach our goal.
We realize that there are many uncertainties in the community due to the poor economic conditions, and that is obviously negatively affecting the giving spirit in Rowan County. However, the irony is that the services provided by United Way agencies will be needed even more as unemployment rises and financial stress grows.
Last year, more than 70,000 people (nearly half of our citizens) used at least one service provided by the local United Way agencies. That number will likely increase next year due to the economy. But if our campaign goal is not reached, then there will likely be some citizens who will not be able to receive needed services.
I also want to assure everyone that administrative costs for the United Way of Rowan County are extremely low at 7.9 percent, which is the lowest of any charity that I am aware of. This is possible because of the large number of volunteers and a small but efficient professional staff.
So if you have not given, please do so. And if you have given once and can see fit to increase your gift or pledge, that would also be very helpful. Thousands of our own people are counting on the generosity of Rowan County’s good people.
ó Phillip J. Kirk Jr.
Kirk is chairman of the Education Division of the United Way of Rowan County.
Emotional moment
As I was handed a ballot and saw Sen. Barack Obama’s name there, I cried. My husband became concerned and asked why I was crying, and I advised him that they were tears of joy. See, I’m a “generatiion X” child, born and bred in Washington, D.C., and I remember the civil rights marches and my mom preparing food for strangers who were there from out of town. I remember her marching, the placards she toted, the numerous meetings she attended. I remember the countless Americans who were stoned, heckled or even died (both black and white) in order for us to be where we are today. I remember the struggles, President Kennedy’s assassination, Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination … I remember the city on fire, stores and other businesses burning to the ground. I remember segregation, blacks on one side, whites on the other ó I remember.
As I look at Senator Obama, I see an individual who has all the main ingredients in his blood line. He is neither black nor white to me. He is an incredible human being who stands up for America, not black America, not white America, but for America as a whole. I see an individual who will get medical care for the families that can’t afford it yet cannot qualify for Medicaid. I see a great leader who will guide us out of the recession that many Republicans don’t know we’re in.
When I look at Barack Obama, I see inclusion. I see hope.
ó Lynne Goodjohn
Spencer
Shattering defeat
Voters to Mrs. Dole: If you attend a glass church, you should not throw stones.
ó Michael S. Young
Salisbury
Thanks for support
With this historic election season winding down, I want to thank the citizens of the 6th District, those who voted for me and those who did not, for participating in an election that will be discussed for years to come.
I am so humbled to have received such a large margin of support in a year that, quite frankly, was not a good one for our party. I need to thank all of those who put my sign in their yard, put my bumper sticker on their car or contributed to my campaign. Your support was both tangible and heart-warming.
We received the endorsement of every newspaper in our district that endorses candidates. The news media has always been fair with me, and I pledge to remain open and accessible to the media during the next two years.
You cannot be elected to 13 terms without the strong support of an outstanding staff, both in North Carolina and Washington. I know my victory is a direct result of the hard work that they do in serving the people of the 6th District. All of us pledge to continue to offer our assistance to all residents of the 6th District.
Some people think 13 is an unlucky number. As someone who was elected to his 13th term to serve the great people of the 6th District, I feel as if I am the luckiest man alive.
ó U.S. Rep. Howard Coble
Greensboro
Coble is a Republican who represents the 6th Congressional District.

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