Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Even If The DCCC Doesn't, Economic Progressives Have A Message Voters In Red Districts Are Open To-- NC-05

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Blue America's newest endorsed candidate, Jenny Marshall, who's running for the North Carolina seat occupied by Virginia Foxx, has worked on dozens of political campaigns over the years. But this last election cycle she saw the need to be more involved in the process. Here’s a snapshot of her recent accomplishments, accomplishments that attracted Blue America's attention:

She helped establish an all-volunteer-run office for Bernie Sanders’ campaign in Winston-Salem. After the North Carolina primary, the office was moved to a new location to continue operating a phone bank for the Sanders campaign throughout the rest of the primary season. In 2016 she was elected to serve the North Carolina Democratic Party on the Platform and Resolutions Committee where she helped reform the superdelegate process. She was elected to represent Sanders as a Delegate to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. Jenny is a founding member and current president of Triad Progressives which helps voters find their way into the political process. This past election cycle, she helped organize her precinct and turn it blue for the first time in over a decade. In hotly contested North Carolina, Jenny canvassed door to door for down-ballot candidates throughout the general election.

In addition to her commitment to progressive candidates and causes, Jenny is a full-time public servant at a high needs Title I priority school, teaching history to 8th and 9th graders. She lives with her husband and their large, blended family in Winston-Salem. She earned two degrees while raising a family, has owned a successful small business, and even helped start a school before returning to the classroom. While teaching in Indiana, she fought back against the Republican state government’s assault on education and organized labor. She formed a group that opposed terrible legislation being shoved through the statehouse, eventually becoming a leading resource for information and action items for others in the state. Her move in 2012 to North Carolina landed her in a state with a similar stance toward schools, and Jenny’s activism continues unabated to this day.

Her opponent is Virginia Foxx, the notorious right wing Republican who, on the House floor, called Matthew Shepard's death a hoax while his mother, Judy Shepard, was present in the chamber. Said she thinks the Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution is unconstitutional and was voted the meanest Representative on the Hill in a survey of congressional staffers. She is the queen of defund, deregulate and dismantle. Foxx, who boasts she was "tea party before the tea party started," is blunt about her agenda "I’m going to push to diminish the role of the federal government in everything it’s in that isn’t in the Constitution," Foxx said in an interview in her district. "That’s education, health care. All the things that the federal government does that it should not be doing. I’m happy to diminish its role."

24 hours after Matt Coffay's guest post-- the other compelling progressive running for Congress in North Carolina, we've asked Jenny to do her own guest post introducing herself to DWT readers and helping us understand how an outspoken, unapologetic progressive wins in a deep red district that gave Trump a 57.4% to 39.8% win over Hillary. If you like Jenny's approach and think she would make a better member of Congress than Virginia Foxx, please consider supporting her campaign by contributing here.



DC Democrats Aren't Trying To Oust Virginia Foxx, But That Doesn't Mean It Can't Be Done
-by Jenny Marshall


"Good luck," they say when I tell them I am running against Virginia Foxx. My response is always, "It isn’t about luck, just hard work." Well, hard work deep canvassing 263 precincts and a message that reaches out to voters. That is our plan, simple yet effective. Get out there and meet people where they are.

For the past 7 election cycles, Foxx has handily won her seat in North Carolina’s 5th district. She feels so secure that she refuses to hold town hall meetings and her letters in response to voter questions are cut and pasted together from her website. She was a safely gerrymandered R+11 until a court order forced a redistricting that added 33,000 more Democratic voters in 2016. Had there been a candidate in the race that ran a competitive campaign she would have been in deep trouble. Even with raising no money and no field program, the previous candidate lost by only 16.8%. Not quite the clock cleaning one would have expected from such lopsided race. The new district lines, coupled with the kind of campaign that we are amassing, is a recipe for us to send Foxx packing.

To win, you need the right candidate. The 5th district is urban, suburban, and rural. Stretching from the piedmont to the mountains, it takes a candidate that can "fit in" in all three. That is where I come in. I grew up in a small town where it was more common to see gun racks than wine racks. I understand what it is like to grow up in a community that struggles to remain viable. Downtown storefronts are abandoned, poverty is growing, and the young people are leaving and not coming back. 10 of the 11 counties in the 5th District are considered rural. They look like the place where I grew up.

I work in the urban center of Winston-Salem at a high poverty Title 1 school. It is singularly the hardest, yet most rewarding job I have ever had. My students’ lives are riddled with issues that plague the urban center of Forsyth County. Systemic poverty, low wage jobs that provide little benefits, the gentrification of their neighborhoods and racial injustice cripple their opportunities to provide an economic stable future for themselves and their families. In contrast, my neighbors in the suburbs seem like they have everything going for them, but in reality many are living one major crisis away from ruin. The economy has only been good to the very wealthy. Those lucky enough to be born at the right time in the right zip code, well they won at the lottery of life.

Our campaign focuses on a strong economic platform of raising the minimum wage, providing opportunity for job skills training, and adding jobs through rebuilding America’s infrastructure. Everywhere I go in the 5th, economic issues are at the top among people’s concerns. From the teacher who is working a second job or the waitress who picks up a second shift just to make ends meet, people are struggling. In 2007, Virginia Foxx voted no to increase the minimum wage to $5.85 with a cap of $7.25. She does not support people earning a living wage. She has little empathy for people’s plight to make a better life for themselves. People have lost hope in our government. They need someone who will stand up and fight for their families and communities. I will fight to raise the minimum wage to $15.00 and include wage increases for service workers. I will fight for the right to unionize and will work to protect employees from pay schemes like comp time that can be controlled by their employer.

Another major worry of voters is healthcare. A recent survey found that 68% of Americans have less than $1,000.00 in the bank. One major illness can be financially devastating. Virginia Foxx wants to repeal the ACA and replace it with what I call The John Grisham’s Rainmaker AHCA where states like North Carolina will apply for waivers to gut provisions like pre-existing conditions and coverage limits. So, not only have you maxed out your insurance coverage, you are destitute and stuck in a high risk pool for the rest of your life. Thanks, Virginia. 40,000 people in the 5th district are covered under the Affordable Care Act. 30,000 receive substantial subsidies to buy their plans. They will lose their coverage when she votes yes on the repeal and replace. With 75% of Democrats and 60% of all Americans supporting single payer health plans, there is no reason for Congress to continue to stonewall the progress of bills like HR 676. I will be a strong voice in support of a single payer program.

We must protect our most vulnerable by protecting Medicare, expanding Social Security and Medicaid. I spoke to an elderly woman at the Earth Day festival who lives on $820.00 per month. She visits the food pantry and other charities just to scrape by, yet she still volunteers to help others in hospice care. In the wealthiest country in the world, why do we have people living their senior years in abject poverty? We all know the answer is greed. I support raising the cap on Social Security Income tax moving towards abolishing it completely. I will fight to prevent the privatization of Medicare and propose to increase the income eligibility guidelines to qualify for Medicaid.

You have to have the right message and the strength to stand up and fight for it. Bernie Sander’s progressive populist message resonated with the people in the 5th district as was evident in his primary results. These people of the 5th want equity from a system they feel has left them behind. They want a representative that isn’t bought out by corporate interests and big money. They want their voice heard and to know that their opinion matters. And I agree.

In the words of Bernie Sanders "Enough is enough." Let’s get to work.



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4 Comments:

At 7:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Virginia Foxx is probably the 2nd dumbest congress hominid, after Louis Gomert.
But she perfectly reflects her district. It *IS* fucking NC, after all.

You'll need far more than hard work and freakish luck. You're going to need a miracle. And I haven't believed in miracles since I was 6.

It *IS* fucking NC, after all.

 
At 1:34 PM, Blogger Madison Wilburs said...

I take exception to this post. I live in the district, and my suspicion is that you do not know this area, this state, or its people too well. What we need first of all is for people to give us a chance here. Read the piece above and discover that we have new lines, a changing demographic, and the possibility of a wave election. Foxx is not "dumb" by any means. In fact she is highly intelligent and a savvy politician. However, your assertion that she reflects me in any way is offensive. Believe me: I live here, and there are many progressives here and progressive ways of life. Yes, we also have a substantial rural, conservative base. They are not stupid or bad people; they have just been left behind by the glittering promises of our society. We think we have messages they will relate to.

 
At 3:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Madison Wilburs - Bravo to you for standing up to this "Anonymous" writer who does nothing but complain about everyone and everything written on DWT. Most of the readers of this blog are sick and tired of this person's negativity and wish they would do us all a favor and go away and write their own negative blog. We need to hear from people who have positive solutions to problems in our country and positive attitudes instead of just bitching all of the time. Thank you for your terrific comments!

 
At 10:28 AM, Blogger Mary Carson said...

Medicare for All.
Not single payer.
Not public option.
Everyone understands what Medicare is.
Everyone likes it.
Only 1 in 10 can tell the difference between single payer and public option.
Medicare for all will resonate with voters this cycle.
Everyone should be saying Medicare for All and letting the other 2 fade away.
I know there are differences​between the 3, and people who understand and care about them will debate their merits, but on the campaign trail it should be Medicare for All.

 

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