Political notebook: Where does Edds’ declaration of interdependence come from?

Published 12:05 am Tuesday, January 17, 2017

By Josh Bergeron

For the past several months, County Commissioners Chairman Greg Edds has been rallying support for a document known as a “declaration of interdependence.” The declaration, however, isn’t entirely original.

A document worded almost identically to Rowan County’s Declaration of Interdependence was included in a 2009 document called “Sustaining Partnerships for Regional Economic Growth.” It was created by the American Association of Community Colleges and National Center on Education and the Economy.

The page that’s nearly identical to Rowan’s declaration finds its way into the community college document in a section about a partnership in north central Indiana. Rowan County’s version appears to include small differences.

One section in the community college document, for example, states: “we will find the new opportunities in our region by listening to each other and then ‘linking and leveraging’ our assets in new and different ways.”

Rowan County’s version states “we will find the new opportunities in our region by listening to each other and then ‘linking and leveraging’ our assets in new and different ways that promote the common good.”

New phrases are added in some parts of Rowan County’s document, such as: “we will not plagiarize steal, or poach from each other.”

When promoting the document at various town council meetings across Rowan, Edds has said the document was inspired by a book called “Grassroots Leaders for a New Economy” and developed by a local group of community leaders that has met regularly. When asked about the similarities between the Indiana document and the one he’s been promoting, Edds clarified where the Rowan County Declaration of Interdependence came from.

As the group of community leaders continued to meet, Edds said they became worried. The group had turned into 250 or 300 people split into specific focus areas. The goal was to discuss ways to make “real improvement in the region,” Edds said.

“We were worried about whether leadership from across the county would buy into what we were doing,” he said.

Edds said Craig Lamb, the vice president of Corporate and Continuing Education at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, brought the group an example of a document used in a community that experienced similar changes. Lamb previously worked at a community college in Lafayette, Ind.

Lamb said he wrote the original declaration of interdependence included in the Indiana community college document, which was funded with a federal grant.

“At the time, the region was experiencing similar kinds of difficulties and realized that the region needed to come together, that they weren’t competitors,” Lamb said.

It’s not unusual for cities to pass identical declarations or ordinances, but it’s not everyday that the document comes from several states away.

Newest Congressman schedules listening event in Salisbury

Rep. Ted Budd’s first official event in Salisbury will be Tuesday at the Rowan County Chamber of Commerce Building.

Budd, a first-term Republican who represents the 13th District, will have a listening tour this week in a number of cities within his district. Salisbury’s turn will be from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at 204 East Innes St. in Salisbury. The event is for business and community leaders to express their concerns and interests with the congressman, according to an event announcement.

Other stops on the listening tour include Greensboro, High Point, Lexington, Mooresville, Statesville and Mocksville.

Hudson will sit on Health subcommittee 

As U.S. Congress debates repealing and replacing Obamacare, one of Rowan County’s congressmen will play a significant role in the final outcome.

Rep. Richard Hudson, R-8, last week was appointed to the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Health. The committee is poised to be at the center of repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare. Hudson will also serve on the Subcommittee on Energy and the Subcommittee on Environment.

In response to his appointment last week, Hudson said he’s proud to serve on the committee and give North Carolina a “seat at the table” on health care reform.

“The Health Subcommittee is the epicenter for health care reform, and one of our first priorities is repealing Obamacare and replacing it with patient-centered, market-based reforms that make health care more affordable,” Hudson said in a news release. “The bottom line is, the American people deserve better than the past eight years of failed promises and a 1950s-style, one-size-fits-all, government-run health care system. We’re going to give them better.”

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.