Leading from the Left

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Rep. Jackson Speaks Out

On Monday evening I logged into the audio stream from the NC State House. I wanted to listen to the debate about the school bullying bill, a bill I'd followed for nearly 3 years, and a bill I knew would go a long way towards protecting gay and lesbian students in our public classrooms. I went online knowing I'd hear some things from from the right wing that would be appalling and, yes, hurtful.

But what I didn't expect to hear was a freshmen legislator speak passionately and brilliantly about love. Rep. Darren Jackson (D-Wake), who was sworn in only weeks ago to fill a vacancy, spoke about bullying, about hate, about unfairness and about pain. And what came through, what came from his heart, went far beyond that. I won't try to paraphrase his remarks here; you can read them for yourselves. But it was as fine a speech as I've ever heard on the floor of the NC General Assembly. It brought a tear to my eye then and did again today when I read it in the Independent, reprinted in its entirety.

Rep. Jackson is a great example of the kind of leader we need more of in the NC General Assembly. Wake County is lucky to have him.