Lee Turner is the new president of Democratic Women of Greenville County. What’s the next year going to look like under her leadership? Here’s a peak.
By Lee Turner
Having already realized the Democratic Women of Greenville County is, by my measure, the largest regularly attended Democratic meeting in all of the 4th congressional district of SC, I was thrilled beyond measure to get the opportunity to lead this esteemed group.
During the campaign, I attended every meeting I could find in Greenville and Spartanburg counties. I could see that the DWGC is in a league of its own. I could visualize how potent we would be with real focus on the issues currently facing us. I knew the women selected to serve along with me, Ruth Todd, Lucille Herwald, Gaye Gibson, and Peggy Schotsch were real workers with real commitment. They were fuel to my passion too.
Circumstances are rapidly changing in today’s political climate. There is much to accomplish before 2020, just at the state level. WE must ‘carpe diem’– seize the day – and harness the energy of the many newly activated citizens determined to make a difference in a political climate fraught with threats to democracy.
From this group of determined women and men, I believe we can build a networkconnecting all of the many activist groups in Greenville County. Having built many relationships during my recent congressional campaign, both here in the 4th district as well as throughout the state, I know we can connect with organizations across the state that are also determined to maintain the momentum of our successful 2018 efforts.
Some of the many issues facing us in SC now:
- Redistricting for fairer representation.
- Replacing outdated voting machines with new ones with backup records.
- Expanding Medicaid.
- Legalizing medical cannabis.
- Protecting women’s rights and continuing the fight for gender equality.
- Improving education well beyond the “minimally adequate” standard.
- Protecting our environment from the SC coast to Piedmont mountain ranges.
- Reforming Criminal Justice.
- Building bridges for legal immigration while embracing smart border security that keeps criminals and drugs out.
- Supporting legislation for sensible gun laws that protect public safety while preserving Constitutional rights.
With the many distractions manufactured by politicians all fueled by big money and built into today’s political/legislative arena, FOCUS is imperative. Without focus we will get nowhere, despite our good efforts.
A survey will soon be available online tohelp us identifythe issues that the YOUcollectively deem to be the most important. The list above is just a start. You may have something you feel more passionate about. Include it in the survey. To aid with focus and build some structure, the need for politically active committees, becomes apparent. We may have one committee or we may have 10, dictated by our level of interest and determination to make a difference.
We must also continue to expand our membership. Nothing says strength like showing up in numbers! Further strengthening our group with youth and diversity will keep us relevant and improve our inclusivity. I run into women every day. I make a point to never miss an opportunity to invite them to join or return to our group. Show a little excitement about our plans and what we’re doing … gets them every time!! Many people on the sidelines are ready to make a difference. An enthusiastic invitation to come to a meeting could be the first step for them.
We must also reach out to every activist group that we are aware of. Get someone in each group to attend our meetings, give a report on what they are doing, and find a way to weave their efforts into ours. This is imperative to maximize the effectiveness of our efforts. The left hand needs to know what the right hand is doing, optimally working in tandem.
And lastly, we need to raise mo’ money!!! Nothing says ‘hear us roar’ like money, a major component in leveling the playing field. As we are more able to assist candidates and contribute to the community, our strength will only be enhanced.
When I got WOKE in April of 2017 and was compelled to give up my life as I knew it to go to work for America, I vowed three things. I said to myself, “I want someone to listen to me, I want someone to fear me, and I want someone to represent me”.
I still do. And I bet you do too.