During an interview with the New York Times, U.S. Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA), had a message for Democrats in North Carolina and around the country: Practice economic empowerment.
“I’m for taxing the rich more, but there has to be a focus on economic production — on how do we grow the pie?” he said. “Not just redistribution, but giving more people the opportunity to create wealth. That has to be part of the progressive vision, and that has to involve the private sector.”
As the U.S. heads into a critical election year, Democrats in Brunswick County have launched our own version of economic empowerment. The first step, which we’ve already accomplished, is to become more involved in the life of the community. In August, Brunswick County Democrats hosted the first of its kind Workforce Development Program, focusing attention on Brunswick County’s economy and the need to develop and hire competent workers to meet the requirements of a growing community.
Meanwhile, Democrats in our area are also mindful of the need to provide assistance to underserved portions of our population. That’s why, in September, we organized our first Community Heroes EXPO, an event to promote Brunswick County’s charitable and advocacy organizations. It was a unique gathering of folks from 24 non-profits who, in addition to recruiting volunteers, traded best practices and tips for success in a way that hasn’t been possible since the pre-pandemic years.
We haven’t stopped there. We’re working on local initiatives to bring economic empowerment to Brunswick County’s underserved areas, including a pilot project to expand broadband communications to neighborhoods that have been left behind in the so-called Information Age.
Economic empowerment works best in a bottom-up environment. The people who benefit most by an expanding economy must work to make sure the culture and leadership of their communities are responsive to their needs. In Washington, the Biden Administration and congressional Democrats are doing all they can to revitalize the economy, to reach out to areas underserved by the American Dream, and to re-engage with citizens who aren’t in the ranks of the rich and powerful.
That’s the next step. We’re spreading the principles and values of the Democratic Party in Brunswick County. We’re recruiting grass-roots community activists so we can promote bottom-up economic empowerment. Each day, we’re coordinating with local organizations to get out the vote and elect state and local officeholders whose primary goal is to help all the people they represent rather than kowtowing to the special interests that dominate today’s politics.
In Brunswick County, the scales of economic justice have tipped too far in favor of the affluent and powerful. Instead of clean water, access to sewer lines, improved communications, and affordable housing, we live in a perverse version of the Wild West where gunslingers posing as developers and real estate organizations dominate local and state politics — to the detriment of all residents.
We have a plan to restore power to the people. For our plan to succeed, we need fair-minded citizens of Brunswick County to step up. Several among our ranks have already: a diverse and service-oriented group of folks from our county and region have filed to run for local, state, and federal office. In the coming months, we will focus on getting more people involved in Campaign 2024.
We hope you join us. We’re counting on your support to bring economic empowerment to Brunswick County.