Our Series on Progressives at the Local Level
Our Revolution officially launched shortly after the conclusion of the 2016 Democratic Primary. Their mission statement reads as:
Our Revolution will reclaim democracy for the working people of our country by harnessing the transformative energy of the “political revolution.” Through supporting a new generation of progressive leaders, empowering millions to fight for progressive change and elevating the political consciousness, Our Revolution will transform American politics to make our political and economic systems once again responsive to the needs of working families.
Our Revolution has three intertwined goals: to revitalize American democracy, empower progressive leaders and elevate the political consciousness.
Why David Got Involved
“I consider voting one of our fundamental responsibilities, which goes along with being an American,” proudly explained David, who makes sure to cast his ballot during every election.
Originally from Oregon, David Nelson moved to Greenville, North Carolina (largest city in Pitt County) in 2002. David is the Interim Chairman of the Pitt County, North Carolina branch of Our Revolution, which became an official affiliate on March 6th of this year. “I am not a radical, I just have a problem with a system which allows those with money a louder voice.” David echoed when asked to detail his attraction to Bernie Sanders and Our Revolution. “I think there’s something wrong with a system where CEO’s make 400 times more than the average worker,” he continued.
David became moved by Senator Bernie Sanders’ will to get big money out of politics, his push for Universal healthcare, and Sanders’ foreign policy stance. After not finding a house party location within Pitt County he decided to hold his own on July 29, 2015. David would offer his house as a meeting location for a number of other events during Sanders run during the Democratic primary.
David stated his number one priority was electoral reform, making it unsurprising that he became a prominent volunteer in the area. He trained volunteers on the intricacies of how to canvas, helped organized rallies, purchased supplies, and helped to establish the Sanders Pitt County office which would house two national staffers.
His Thoughts On The Election Results
“I was not surprised by the North Carolina result,” David explained that the pattern of southern states going to Hillary Clinton prepared him for the 55%-41% Clinton victory in the state. “You are voting against Democrats if you were voting for Bernie,” was something David heard several times while volunteering for the Sanders campaign.
David was one of the several individuals living in Greenville, North Carolina to have an official role at the 2016 Democratic National Committee, serving as a member of the National Credentials Committee. When asked about his thoughts about the General election and the campaign of Hillary Clinton, David replied, “I wondered where the signs were.” David also relayed that he never received a knock on his door from anyone canvassing for Hillary Clinton, despite her massive political operation.
He also confirmed that several of the Clinton supporters he spoke to simply did not believe polls which showed Sanders outperforming Clinton in the General election. When asked to elaborate on why he thought that was he replied, “It was outside the paradigm for a progressive like Sanders to outperform someone like Hillary Clinton in the General, it’s difficult to prepare for something outside of the paradigm, and that was the Sanders campaign.”
However, numerous polls show that Sanders was indeed polling much stronger than Hillary Clinton against Republican candidates. Sanders polling numbers were vastly stronger than Clinton’s against now President Trump when looking at the aggregate from May thru June of 2016.
What’s Next For Pitt County Democrats
“Pitt County Democratic meetings have gone from 30 people to standing room only (over 90 attendees), since the [Presidential] election,” David answered in response to how Democrats in the area have responded to the Trump Presidency. Seemingly, with more progressive thinking members of the community being behind the surge. In fact, the centrist Democrats in leadership did not even attend the November 2016 Pitt County Democratic meeting.
On April 1, 2017, the Pitt County Democratic Party Convention is taking place in Greenville and could see progressives from the local Our Revolution branch grab key positions within the local party.