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North Carolina progressive partners look to the future

In the face of underinvestment by national Dems, NC progressive groups narrowed the gap, defended the state from a Republican supermajority, and proved once again that organizing works

RALEIGH – Despite doubts and indifference about Cheri Beasley’s U.S. Senate campaign from the national Democratic establishment – which led to a $25M spending deficit compared to her far-right opponent – progressive organizations in North Carolina knocked 263k doors, made 1.71M calls, had 211k conversations with voters, sent 2.1M pieces of mail, and sent 1.1M texts to turn out historically disenfranchised voters.

Although Cheri Beasley fell short of winning in the U.S. Senate, there is much to celebrate in North Carolina today. Thanks to the efforts of grassroots progressive organizations, Republicans were blocked in their effort to assert a supermajority in the NC House –an outcome that will protect abortion access for millions of North Carolinians. The fight for the House came down to a single district, and represents a landmark southern victory that was won through the effort and dedication of grassroots activists and organizations.

The coalition, whose leaders have collectively been organizing on the ground in North Carolina decades, released the following statement:

Many of our organizations are newer to the ecosystem as we have built bases and built power that have led to sustained organizing work -- but our leaders and our base have hundreds of years' worth of organizing under our belts.

North Carolina has experienced years of underinvestment in and disenfranchisement of communities of color. Collectively, our organizations had over 89k conversations on the doors with voters, and those conversations made crystal clear that progressive issues resonate with voters. Our coalition continues to build an infrastructure that narrows the margin year after year.

We know that both political parties have historically overlooked communities of color—Latinx, Asian & African American —but our organizations have done the year-round work to connect with our communities to shrink margins between voter turnout.

The collaborative voter outreach efforts of Siembra NC and Poder NC are two examples of that shrinking margin within the Latinx community. Both organizations focused on voters who are consistently ignored during elections. Siembra NC focused on turning out new voters, knocking on 21,000 doors this cycle. Canvassers spoke to person after person who said no one had ever come to talk to them about an election before. Poder showed up in mailboxes and focused on the 55,418 high opportunity voters they engaged in 2020 who cast their first ballot that year after skipping the 2016 and 2018 elections. The mail pieces were unique, culturally resonant, and informative, and highlighted issues like abortion access, and these voters make up a preliminary 17% of the total early votes cast by Latinx North Carolininans this election.

“We had to make tough choices because funding was limited for all of our organizations this year,” stated Natalia Diez, Co-Executive Director of Poder NC. “The pressure to maximize our dollars gave us the opportunity to focus on the more than 50,000 voters that we knew others would fail to prioritize and that we see as high opportunity. The focus and investment paid off in grounding the growth we know is possible for the Latinx electorate in this state” ”

“We led with conviction and love for our communities and did not give up on them, even when others saw our state as unwinnable. The reality is that Cheri Beasley could have won, but only if North Carolina had seen the same kind of investment as other states,” stated Nida Allam, Care in Action North Carolina State Director. “We know our communities best and the power of the people prevailed. We are only getting started!”

“When we have the chance to support a candidate as qualified as Cheri and who leads with her values and fairness, we step up our engagement,” relayed Dreama Caldwell of Down Home NC. “We double down when she is a Black woman because we need to increase representation of this powerful voting bloc in halls of power, especially in the U.S. Senate – which currently has zero Black women serving. The rural voters we work with achieved important successes including blocking a supermajority in Raleigh and protecting reproductive freedoms. We know that building power will take time and we know that it will happen.”

-Care in Action, Siembra NC, Poder NC, Down Home NC, Carolina Federation, Advance NC, NCAAT in Action, Equality NC, New NC Project

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