Listen, I’ve got some bad news. No really, it stinks....
Before I get to it, let me give you some perspective. Remember last year? It was rough, I know. I was there.
But some positives came out of it (why hello, brown house on Blount Street ☺). We hit a number in Wake County that no group of voters had ever hit before. Ever.
75.3% voter turnout in November 2016.
Think about that for a second. Over 3 out of every 4 registered voters in Wake County cast a ballot in the general election. That’s simply incredible. But here comes the bad news....
In October of 2015, the turnout in Raleigh and Cary was 11.3%.
Barely 1 out of 10.
Whenever anyone brings up the virtues of local politics, former Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill's name always comes up. The Speaker famously said "All politics is local", and he is right. His charge has never been as important as it is today, especially in states like North Carolina. It's easy to default to the idea that the reason local politics is so important is because the majority of what affects us as citizens on a day-to-day basis comes from city halls. This isn’t meant to diminish that idea. Not in the least.
But it's so much more than that.
I cannot wait to see the day that people like Commissioner Jessica Holmes are leading the fight on the front lines in Washington. We need fighters like Corey Branch, Matt Calabria, Nicole Dozier, and John Burns fighting on our side on Jones Street and beyond.
What's the common denominator? They all got their start in local politics. They are the ones that are going to be fighting for progressive ideals for years to come, and they are building their base in local government.
I’ll admit it: I’m a little scared. But fear can be a motivator. Right now, it’s the fear of the unknown. What’s going to change? What could happen?
As I type this, I’m on my way home to be with the three people who mean the most to me in the world. My girl and our two boys are my best friends. Making sure my wife has access to world class healthcare of her choosing keeps me fighting. Making sure our boys have strong public schools to call home keeps me fighting.
But the fight isn’t just every four years. It’s right now. Every day. All leading up to our next leg in this fight, October 10th.
See you there.
Brian Fitzsimmons just completed two years as Wake County Democratic Party Chair where he earned a reputation for being a political force of a nature with a heart the size of Dix Park. He's recovering from his service by soaking up precious family time, serving as CAC co-chair and focusing on his small-business. The man is NONSTOP.