People's Durham would have to be my favorite organization from among your Citizen Awards [Jan. 30]. Nothing is more important than for the working class to organize and begin to recognize its own strength. No amount of reforms will mean very much, or be lasting, without a strong working-class organization to force them into being until we eventually get it all.
I would also like to point out that although the introductory article to the Citizen Awards referred to "underserved minority communities," a quick look at the latest census numbers show that the minority community is actually doing quite well in comparison to the rest. The minorities I speak of are the 39 percent of the city of Durham population that is white. Most of the urban hipsters and exploiter (I mean entrepreneurial) class are white, there's no doubt about that. Many of these people came from outside of the community to gentrify and basically make the city their own. The value of their "contribution" is vastly overstated, in my opinion.
In "The miseducation of Pat McCrory" [Feb. 6], Bob Geary provided an accurate summation of the obstacles many poor North Carolinians face. What is even more unfortunate is that these obstacles spread beyond the confines of our state.
Currently our state elected officials are threatening unemployment insurance, a cost-effective plan to expand Medicaid and the voting rights of low-income and elderly citizens. This is occurring at the same time their colleagues in Washington threaten to cut vital programs such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs, Head Start and child care assistance—programs that serve us all well by putting children of lower-income families on a trajectory toward healthier, more productive lives.
These threats are real. We have the power to prevent them by calling, writing and organizing in-person visits to let our elected officials know we oppose any short-sighted cuts that impact impoverished citizens, and we will remember threats to their well-being during our next election.