Rowan Democrats prepare for 2012

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 9, 2011

By Sarah Campbell
SALISBURY ó Local Democrats are planning to increase their presence in Rowan County and get more voters to the polls in 2012.
ěWe want to be more visible as Democrats,î Veleria Levy, the newly-elected chairwoman of the Rowan County Democratic Party, said Saturday. ěWe want to be out there and be seen to let people know that the democrats are here.î
During their annual convention Saturday, party members spoke about the need for more involvement and a stronger turnout at the polls.
ěIf last yearís results taught us anything, itís that staying home on Election Day has consequences,î Gov. Bev Perdue said in a letter to the party.
Genoal Russell, former party chairwoman, said the Democratsí efforts to boost turnout need to be ramped up in 2012.
ěWe have a wonderful opportunity, a golden opportunity to turn this county blue,î she said.
Raymond Coltrain, a member of the Rowan County Board of Commissioners, said that as people think about who to support in 2012, particularly county commissioners, he encourages them to remember one thing.
ěPlease try to identify people who are going to concentrate on the issues, not their personal agendas,î he said. ěWe desperately need that mindset to come in and make decisions.î
Party members also encouraged supporters to share their opinions with state lawmakers as they negotiate a tough budget.
Steve Drinkard, treasurer fo the group, read a letter from his wife, Lina, urging Democrats to attend a ěOne Voiceî rally at 4 p.m. May 3 in Raleigh to show their support for public education.
ěIt is incredibly important that we show Gov. Perdue by our presence on May 3 that she will have more than enough support if she does the right things and vetoes the budget,î she wrote. ěWe must help her have the courage to veto this budget and any other that seeks to destroy public education.î
Steve Drinkard said educated students will create the foundation for a stronger work force.
ěIím wearing blue today because we are the blue party and Iím wearing blue jeans today because we are the workers party,î he said. ěWe need to support our public schools because thatís where it all starts.î
The group also passed a resolution opposing bills that would reform workersí compensation laws.
Dick Huffman, first vice-chairman, said the proposed legislation could decimate the stateís Workersí Compensation Act.
ěWithout Lorene (Coates) there they are trying to do terrible things to the least of these,î he said.
During the meeting, the party also appointed officers for the upcoming year.
Officers include Levy, chairwoman; Dick Huffman, first vice chairman; Bonnie Baker Harrell, second vice chairwoman; Whitney Bost, third vice chairwoman; Steve Drinkard. treasurer and Diane Sarinto, secretary.
Levy replaced Russell who had previously served as chairwoman for two terms.
She encouraged members to be active in the party by attending meetings regularly.
ěWe need to stand up and take our state back,î Levy said. The next meeting of the Rowan County Democratic Party will be at 7 p.m. May 26 at the J. Newton Cohen Sr. County Adminstration Building, 130 W. Innes St.
Contact reporter Sarah Campbell at 704-797-7683.