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Flipping Seats Is Enough to Stop a Bill; It’s Not Enough to Pass One

In the North Carolina General Assembly (NCGA), there’s currently a GOP super majority, which has used its numbers to override gubernatorial vetoes. For 2018, the NC Democratic Party is hyper-focused on flipping the four seats it would need to break the super majority. While it may be a needed short-term tactic, it is not a long term strategy, because flipping four seats is enough to stop a bill; it’s not enough to pass one.

What’s worse is that an exorbitant amount of money will be spent in the attempt to “stop the bleeding” but not to address the causes. In case after case, we’ve seen the democrats and independents unable to out-raise the republicans, and yet the response is still to escalate- raise more! For what? Why are we doing the same things, asking the same people for even more, for a short-sighted if not impossible goal?

What else could we be doing?

I challenge every 2018 candidate to refuse to spend funds on advertising. Take your money and build a tiny house where one is needed. Gather the poor white working class, Muslims, the LGBTQ community, Christians and Jews, professors and minorities and build that house.

That’s how you change hearts, by working side by side. Perhaps the white vaguely racist guy doesn’t change his ideology, but learns he can set it aside long enough to work with the black woman to get something greater than themselves done. There’s a tangible result, proof of what comes from working together, rather than fighting intangible ideologies.

And when the pundits and newscasters ask “what’s your platform?” answer “scaffolding”. When your competition says “what are you going to do for us?” You answer, “I’m gonna set my shit aside and get something done for the betterment of others, just like with that house.” Your candidacy is no longer theoretical. Your candidacy is already a legacy. And if you should lose, know you already won because there is something to show for the money and time. We need service-oriented leaders.

I’ve been asked to run many times, and I wrestle with it daily. But something tells me I might do more good being an architect and strategist for many than focusing on my own candidacy. I don’t need my name on the door. I need a functioning democracy for all people. I’ve been asked what I would do if I were to run, and I’ll tell you for free- I’d build a tiny house, affordable housing, and then a shelter. We need people with vision, project management, coalition and building ability.

This is a direct challenge to all my compatriots raising money for 2018 candidates. Don’t hate me because I love ya’ll, but are you going to outspend the super pacs? Are you going to take money from people already hurting just to escalate the curse of money in politics that you know is wrong?

And for the candidates, you could promise to do something if elected, or you could build something now and let your record speak for itself.