Leading from the Left

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Good morning, everybody.

We recently made some changes and plan on making more as the campaign progresses. Most importantly, we added an issue section on social justice. I’m almost embarrassed to admit that social issues were noticeably absent from the first incarnation of the electmikenelson.com website. These issues are simply too important to the long-term health and well-being of Orange County to get short shrift. I hope to add even more coverage to social justice topics in the coming weeks. Stay tuned.

I’m excited to announce that we’ll add a brief video to the website, hopefully early next week. And I intend to add daily messages to the blog starting this week. I’ve started by posting my responses to the first candidate questionnaire. Stay tuned for more.

In other news, while it hasn't been officially announced in the mainstream press yet, I received the first endorsement in the campaign---from EqualityNC. ENC is a statewide political organization that works for equal rights for the LGBT community in North Carolina, and they lobby at the state legislature on issues of importance to the lesbian and gay community. And while ENC typically only endorses candidates for the state legislature, the organization will make an exception and endorse in local races if an openly gay or lesbian candidate is running. I am honored to have the ENC endorsement.

EqualityNC believes that it’s important to have the LGBT community at the table. In this crucial time in our country’s history, as the US is grappling with questions of equal rights and equal treatment for LGBT Americans and as the far right continues to gain traction by demonizing the gay people, it is critical to have openly gay people in elected office. Gay and lesbian elected officials can help shape the debate, educate the electorate, and change the tone of the discussion swirling around LGBT equal rights.

If elected this year, I will become North Carolina’s first openly gay male to serve on a County Board of Commissioners.

School equity. You may have read in the paper this week that the County Commissioners are recommitting themselves to resolving the issue of inequity of funding between the two school systems. Judging by their statements at a recent County Commission meeting, the commissioners seem determined to begin a gradual process of restoring equity. This is the right thing to do. I hear often from parents whose children attend school in the Orange County system that they do not feel they get the resources they deserve. In a county that values quality education as much as ours, this is not acceptable. I support efforts to resolve this disparity and, if elected, will work to seek a solution that benefits children in all parts of the county.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or ideas. The easiest way to reach me if via email: mikenelsonnc@aol.com