100 Stories: Matthew Clark
We’re continuing our 100 Stories series with Matthew Clark, an organizer in Cary.
Community organizing is critical to our strategy to win in November — not just in North Carolina but across the country. For Matthew, that’s part of what makes this campaign so important. It’s an opportunity to make an impact at every level of government and foster real change in her community.
This campaign is not about changing one policy or simply enacting a platform. Organizers like Matthew are working every day to build local systems to help create long-lasting, positive change and train the next generation of Democrats.
I am a first generation college graduate and at least a fifth generation North Carolinian. I’ve got family from all over the state. My dad is from up in the mountains in a small town called Jonas Ridge, North Carolina. It’s a very poor area up there and my mom is from Wilmington, but she has family outside of Beulaville. We weren’t the richest folks when we were growing up but, because of economic policy and educational policy that was put in place in the 90s by Democrats, like Bill Clinton and Jim Hunt, we were able to thrive. I graduated near the top of my class in high school and received a full scholarship to college. I have two graduate degrees now, one in philosophy and one in public policy, from Duke. All of that was made possible by public education.
I’m concerned that children in North Carolina that are growing up right now aren’t going to have the same opportunities that I did. I know that there is someone out there whose dad was a truck driver, just like mine was, and whose mom works at a daycare, and they’re in public school, and they don’t have the resources that they need to get the opportunities that I got to move out of poverty and to move into a wonderful job and to thrive in this state. When you work with Democrats, like I’m doing right now, we all grow stronger together through education, through economic policy that works for everybody: not just the people at the top but for people like me, who grew up a little bit poor, and now, I’m doing alright.
Both my parents, my mom and my dad, have been a big inspiration to me. For my mom to be able to see someone that is as strong as she is be elected president of the United States in her lifetime is something that I really care about.
My dad, on the other hand, voted for Richard Nixon twice, voted for Ronald Reagan twice, voted for George Bush and in 2004, because he cares about the same things as I do really, he told me “I didn’t leave the Republican Party, the Republican Party left me.” I think that there are a lot of Republicans out there right now who are looking for somebody to vote for, I just ask them to give Hillary a chance because she is working hard for working people. Give her a chance because she cares about your children. Give her a chance because she’s leading a party that literally has room for everyone. We don’t want to build walls. We want to build bridges. We don’t want to fire people. We are ready to hire people. That is why my dad is now voting for Hillary Clinton. He’s campaigning for Hillary Clinton. That’s why when my mom talks about Hillary, she gets tears in her eyes. That’s why if you’re a Democrat or you’re a Republican, and you’re ready for change, and you’re ready for a better education system in this state, and you’re ready for a better future for our children, and a better environment into which we’ll evolve, come volunteer for the Democrats, because we’ve got a place for you.
We want to hear from you ! Tell us why you are voting for Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party this election here, and you could be featured next.