PROGRESSIVES IN CHARLOTTE SOCIALIZE
Progressives in Charlotte North Carolina looking for a ‘Dem Good Time’ flock to Blackfinn Restaurant in South Charlotte’s Ballantyne monthly, every third Thursday from 6-8 p.m. to “Socialize with other progressive-minded people who value equality for everyone”, as advertised. While the event is primarily promoted towards young Democrats or Gen X and Millennials, all progressive-minded people, or Democrats are welcomed to come socialize and just have a ‘Dem Good Time’.
WHAT IS ‘DEM GOOD TIME’?
I ask Co-Founder Janice Robinson four specific questions regarding ‘Dem Good Time’. View video for her answers.
Just what is ‘Dem Good Time’? ExpressYourselfBlog explores the origin and purpose. The title ‘Dem Good Time’ is an obvious play on words that work as a catch-phrase to get your attention, and so it does. I reached out to one of the Founders of this newly formed politically savvy social, Janice Robinson, Precinct Chair for District 148, to understand more about the purpose of these gatherings. Robinson says she and her co-founder Jennifer Gaddy, started these social meet-ups as they wanted to “Bring more GenXers and Millennials into the (Political) fold”. She continued, “Build lasting friendships and relationships with other Progressives in our communities” of all ages.
While politics certainly play a pivotal part as the event is geared towards congregating a specific political group, the premise is getting to know other members of your party casually. That said, Robinson acknowledged the hope and primary purpose is to convert the comfort of a casual connection into energy and excitement about getting involved, and ultimately voting. Her response in answer to my question, what is the primary goal, was simple and matter of fact, “To get out the vote”.
Because the event attracts Progressive Independents and the core Democratic base, occasionally the Founders will present special events that offer an opportunity for local Politicians to attend and connect with Constituents in a convenient and casual setting for one-one interactions.
VOTERS GET A SNEAK PEEK AT CHARLOTTE CANDIDATES
Generally, this monthly event is free of Politicians. The event held in April 2018, however was a special event to Kick-off the Primary Elections to give Candidates an opportunity to connect with Constituents one on one and offer up to a three (3) minute overview of their political agenda. Per my personal observation, all in attendance that included but not limited to, Candidates County Commissioner At Large, Trevor Fuller, Mecklenburg District Attorney, Spencer Merriweather, Natasha Marcus for NC Senate 41, and Constituents alike certainly seemed to be having a ‘Dem Good Time’.
CONNECTING WITH CONSTITUENTS
If you are a local Politician in Charlotte North Carolina, it may be in your best interest to keep your eye on this social gathering. If you were unable to attend the first event where Constituents came out to meet and greet their local Candidates, you may want to mark your calendars for upcoming opportunities. Any Politician truly committed to properly servicing their community needs to understand voter challenges. When it comes to connecting with Constituents for feedback, you have to meet them where they are and convince them their voice and views matter.
It was very apparent, one young man in attendance was certainly proud to pose with incumbent County Commissioner At Large, Trevor Fuller. Both beaming and basking in the moment. It was special to see young voters excited about their Candidates, and Candidates just as excited to connect, and converse with them.
If you are a Progressive-minded Politician and it is the third Thursday of the month, you’ll likely find your would-be voters at Blackfinn in Ballantyne having a ‘Dem Good Time’.
A ‘DEM GOOD TIME’ SPREADS
As the word and success of a ‘Dem Good Time’ spreads among local Precinct Chairs, Robinson reveals there is talk other local Precincts are considering adopting this monthly meet-up in their communities and counties. As I hear this news one has to consider, should this congregation of community continue Blackfinn Ballantyne won’t be the only business reaping the rewards of increased and consistent traffic to their establishment, which they must be experiencing.
These Dem Good Time events, sparked by a Democratic leader’s vision could be a welcomed revenue stream for local small business during this highly anticipated political season leading up to the 2018 Elections. According to Robinson, at least 25-30 are now showing up monthly to socialize. Of course, eating and perhaps drinking is certainly a natural part of any socialization. Perhaps Mayor Vi Lyles can contribute vocal support of such efforts, in the name of Citizen involvement in getting to know your local leaders, and for the growth of their city’s small businesses. The potential revenue stream may add similar value as the popular social organization with a global imprint, ‘Meetup’. Party Politics aside, just a thought.
ULTIMATE GOAL | JUST HAVE A ‘DEM GOOD TIME’
In conclusion, the ultimate goal of the founders is simple. Give permission as it where, for all who come together at Blackfinn Ballantyne on the 3rd Thursday of every month, to “Let our hair down, relax and have some fun with like-minded folks” says Robinson. In other words, just have a ‘Dem Good Time’, then, go vote!
Visit ExpressYourselfBlog’s Peoples Political Perspective to view Candidate’s individual video short.
ExpressYourselfBlog, Creative Commentary