Announcing the Longleaf Slate: Now or Never NC welcomes Blair Reeves

Earlier today, Now or Never NC issued the following press release on the next phase of our efforts to create a new majority in the North Carolina State Legislature: Now or Never NC welcomes Blair Reeves FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, June 17, 2020 Raleigh – Now or Never NC, a volunteer-driven, independent political action committee dedicated to electing progressive candidates to North Carolina’s State Legislature, welcomes new team member Blair Reeves, creator of Long Leaf Pine Slate, a highly successful online fundraising project. The immediate goal is to further propel top State Legislative challengers to help create a new majority in the 2020 elections.  Now or Never NC’s new grassroots, social media fundraising effort will utilize the moniker Longleaf Slate.  Now or Never NC member Mark Granville stated: “We welcome Blair Reeves, whose leading-edge work creating the Long Leaf Pine Slate has helped transform North Carolina political fundraising.  Now or Never NC amplifies the work of top challengers who are committed to the causes of public education, nonpartisan Redistricting Reform, voting rights, and have an appreciation for the role of local government. The addition of Mr. Reeves turbo charges our continued efforts to elect progressive candidates in North Carolina’s most competitive state legislative races in 2020.” Blair Reeves offered this statement on the opportunity to join Now or Never NC: “In state legislative campaigns, mostly unknown candidates must constantly compete with well-entrenched incumbents for donors and visibility.  Now or Never NC has done tremendous work supporting these candidates to help level the playing field and I respect their track record.  I’m eager to combine our strengths and join forces to most effectively get North Carolina back on a progressive trajectory and return fair elections, good government, and honest leadership to Raleigh.”   Now or Never NC was founded in Raleigh in 2014, and has been a key, early supporter of many of the new progressive State Legislators elected in North Carolina over the past 3 election cycles.  For more information visit www.NowOrNeverNC.org   ###   Now or Never NC 

The distance between us

On October 1, 2013, a group of concerned citizens, comprised of Democrats, Independents, and mainstream Republicans, met in the back of a salon in Cameron Village, in Raleigh.   North Carolina had taken a hard political turn the right, though we knew of our State’s history of support for public education, and the role of Governors like Martin and Hunt. As would be the case with subsequent gatherings in communities across the State, a future Legislator and future local elected official would join in. This effort was born.  We established two main goals: 1) to focus time, talent, and resources on top-tier challengers in the most winnable districts in this gerrymandered State, and 2) to focus on actual solutions to our State’s most pressing concerns.  The following mission statement ensued:      WE ARE committed North Carolinians who know our state to be a place of reason and moderation.      WE SEEK to support a forward-looking agenda, a common-sense approach, and a tone of civility in the public affairs of our state.      WE AIM to promote changes that strengthen North Carolina's reputation as the best place to live, raise a family, educate a child, build a business, and pursue the American Dream.      WE ASK for your gifts, talents, and time as we work together towards this goal.      WE BELIEVE North Carolina is at a crossroads, and that the time to act is now. Adversity, Resilience, Results: Since then, with top challengers, their campaigns, and you, we’ve helped propel more than 15 top challengers to great victories, while facing considerable adversity. In 2014 and 2016, our first two cycles, the final weeks of each election were hard. In 2014, a tide that saw the defeat of U.S. Senator Kay Hagan, close State Senate races were lost: one in Fayetteville we’d win back in 2018, and another in Wake County where Sarah Crawford is highly favored in 2020.  In 2016, a tide that almost prevented Governor Cooper from winning office, Jane Hipps of Waynesville waged a valiant battle in a tough Senate district and subsequently with cancer. She inspired us all.  Joe Sam Queen would win back the overlapping State House seat in 2018.  Also in 2016, Warren Judge of Kitty Hawk, one of the most tenured local elected officials in our State’s history, sadly passed away just days before the election. In 2020, it's an honor to back his widow, Tess, for the State Senate.  The point is:  This effort and the people of North Carolina have the resilience and experience to win.  For now, we’ll focus on the present crisis.  While the temporary physical distance between us seems daunting, we’re sufficiently steeled and of one mind to get through this.  Soon enough, we’ll again marshal the talent and resources to politically fight where we are, for the heart and soul of America.  Now or Never NC

Chef Sunny, Shannon, Jake, David - Feeding the Soul

Recent weeks have been a strain on us all, though for some more than others. It’s been a monumentally difficult time for restauranteurs and their employees, many of whom have utilized their talents and labored to help Now or Never NC flip numerous seats over three election cycles. No one has done more than Chef Sunny Gerhart of St. Roch Fine Oysters + Bar in downtown Raleigh.  Among other things, he’s personally presided over four chef-led events to benefit various candidates who are now great Legislators. When reached by phone recently, Chef Sunny’s main concern was for his employees, all now laid off.  He’s put his entire life savings into the restaurant, named after the neighborhood in which he grew up in New Orleans.  He does not have kids and indicates he can live off very little, though he wants there to be something that his employees can come back to.  Thankfully, he’s still offering take-out daily at St. Roch from 11am-8pm.  Call 919.322.0359 or walk-up order at 223 South Wilmington Street in Raleigh.  You can also place an online order here or purchase a gift card (click "Order Online").  Also steadfast have been Shannon & Chef Jake Wolf of Capital Club 16, and David Meeker of Trophy Brewing.  Shannon, Jake, and David have always answered the call to work with Now or Never NC for boutique events.  They have been unwavering.   Capital Club 16 & Trophy Brewing are part of a win-win effort spearheaded by Jai Kumar, to help these great establishments feed our healthcare workers in this time of crisis.  It’s called “Feeding the Soul,” and you can learn more and donate by clicking this link. Sunny, Shannon, Jake, and David are examples of how North Carolinians have utilized various talents to help restore the forward-looking North Carolina we know: a beacon in the South, leader in the nation, and light in the world. Well wishes to you for good health and safety as we pull together, individually and collectively, to meet the challenge before us. Now or Never NC P.S. These are among the many chefs, artists, and establishments impacted by this crisis, all of whom have graciously shared their talents and venues to help get us back on track. Snap Pea Catering, The Connells, Jon Shain, Rod Abernethy, and so many others have been vital to this work. Let's all do our part. 

Mary Ann Brittain - A State as Good as its People

"The purpose of life is… to make a difference – to have it matter that you lived at all." - Mary Ann Brittain One of our earliest encouragers, Mary Ann Brittain, has passed away. Today, we celebrate her life, one of immense purpose for the betterment of all. For decades, Mary Ann worked in concert with others to make the natural environment come to life for school children and teachers at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences and, with her late husband Bill, offered love to foster children and helped change the face of children's services in group homes. She also led a coach-pitch little league baseball team. We share her obituary here: https://www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/raleigh-nc/mary-ann-brittain-8208491. Mary Ann lived and worked in communities all across our State.  She knew the worth of each individual, and the impact that informed, committed North Carolinians can have to effect change. North Carolina would not be where it is today, and our desire to rectify wrongs would not have been fueled as intensely as it was and remains, were it not for the tireless, often unheralded work and leadership of neighbors like Mary Ann Brittain. It’s why we’re committed to restoring forward-looking leadership to our State that has given us so much, a State as good as its people. We send our sincere gratitude, prayers, and sympathy to the family of Mary Ann Cromer Powell Brittain. A neighbor who made a difference, whose example lives on. It mattered that she lived.

October Surprise: It's House to House

October seems a long time away.  It's not.  And it's the final push to definitively Break the State Legislative Supermajority. You've heard of an "October Surprise" in politics, an event orchestrated to influence the outcome of an election.  The wind is at the back of challengers, and we're keeping our foot on the pedal of support for them through Election Day, to limit any surprises to come. We're also preparing for our own October Surprise.  Sign up now to host a house party in your neighborhood for a challenger who can Break the Supermajority, sustain our Governor's vetoes, and get North Carolina back on track.  (Late September and early October are great times to send a message to the overreaching Legislators in Raleigh.) We call our house party guide "House to House," because we’re in an electoral fight to the finish all across North Carolina, and the election will be decided by bringing neighbors together to turn outrage into action.  Please stay tuned for supplements to this guide that incorporate canvassing, voter education, and Get Out The Vote (GOTV) information.  www.nowornevernc.org/house_parties  P.S. To sign up to host a house party for a challenger in your home, or help, please click on this link and sign up.  If you need more information please contact us at NowOrNeverNC@gmail.com or call 919-283-4819.  We’re partial to house parties on *October 1 in particular, which will mark five years working to restore the forward-looking NC we know.

Envision victory: Prepare to sprint

“Politics is the science of human happiness - and the felicity of societies depends on the constitutions of government under which they live." - Founding Father, John Adams, writing in early 1776 in response to a request from drafters of North Carolina’s Constitution, some of whom would go on to sign the Declaration of Independence. Five years ago this summer, volunteers across North Carolina started working on a plan to help Break the State Legislative Supermajority and restore balance and moderation to the forward-looking State we’ve known, culminating in the formation of Now or Never NC. We’ve backed 7 new State House members thus far, a majority of whom are women or African-American.     On Memorial Day, we remembered those who have died in service to our nation. Every day, we honor their sacrifices by exercising the freedoms they helped secure, freedoms enshrined in our federal and State Constitutions. Today, the unconstitutionally-gerrymandered Supermajority is ramming through a $24 Billion budget released by them just last night, without input or debate for the first time in recent history. As in the past, we’re in a political struggle for the heart and soul of our State and nation, and we choose to fight here at home. With 5 years behind us, and the election just 5 months away, we’re envisioning victory, inspired by the words of John Adams, incredible candidates, and your ongoing support.  Together, we’re built for this moment, and we’re preparing for the sprint to the finish, lifting up and endorsing candidates across the State, and engaging with North Carolinians and friends of the Tar Heel State across the nation. So, rest up. Prepare to sprint, with victory in mind.  (May 29, 2018)

2017 Elections: Wilmington Thursday, June 15

Earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court confirmed that the Legislative Supermajority created unconstitutional, racially gerrymandered districts. On Wednesday, Governor Cooper called a special session for Legislators to fix this mess, which has disenfranchised voters and cost taxpayers dearly; but yesterday, the Legislative Supermajority balked at doing even that. Enough. We have to win State Legislative seats at the next election, which could be as soon as later this year.  We’re not waiting for districts or confirmation of elections in 2017.  Please join us this evening next week in Wilmington as we prepare for the hard work ahead:  Wilmington next Thursday: Indochine restaurant, 7 Wayne Drive, Wilmington (Market Street at Forest Hills), 5-7pm, Click here to visit our Facebook event page.  No contribution required. RSVP appreciated via our Facebook event page or email NowOrNeverNC@gmail.com. Appetizers, and complimentary beverage for those who RSVP.  Please join us.   Now or Never NC P.S. Elections do not win themselves. Please donate online here.  We need just 3 more State House seats to break the Legislative Supermajority, free our Governor’s veto, and help restore our State. Of course, no matter what happens, we still need to end gerrymandering. Help us support top challengers who support redistricting reform and who want a competition of ideas again in North Carolina. Please join us.   Paid for by Now or Never NC

Legislative Disasters: Special Suggestion - Do No Harm

Despite hollow protestations from vulnerable State Legislators to the contrary, our citizens have been on the receiving end of unwanted advances from an overreaching disaster of a Legislative body.  Whenever wise investment has been needed to advance our people, or North Carolinians need a hand up, our Legislature has responded with one misguided move after the other, and recently another one came to light. Hurricane Matthew has decimated part of our State, and we are reminded that our “leaders” raided the our State’s “rainy day fund” of $500,000 needed for disaster relief.  Our elected officials are now contemplating a special session in Raleigh next week; the last time they did that they passed the unmitigated job-killing disaster that is HB2.  We have a suggestion (a "special suggestion" to the Legislature) for any special session: first do no harm.  Please join us in supporting winnable race challengers who can break the Legislative supermajority and who will go about the actual business of restoring our State.  Donate here. Now or Never NC

Next Wave of Winnable Race Candidates: washing away division

Our journey home continues and the list of candidates who can return us to the North Carolina we know is expanding.  As selected early this year, Now or Never NC’s initial wave of endorsed candidates for the State Legislature are running in the most winnable of districts based upon historical data (and strategically overlapping districts in the west and northeast): candidates Ball, Beasley, Judge, Schandevel, Futrell, and Hipps. It is bittersweet to share with you that, because of the continued intransigence and boneheaded moves of our State Legislative “leaders”, and thankfully great challengers running exceptional campaigns in a Presidential election year, our electoral map for State Legislative seats is expanding! Recently, we have compiled and shared information with you on increasingly competitive State House races, and met with emerging State Senate challengers who are now in a position to defeat incumbents. The result is that Now or Never NC anticipates making additional endorsements and statements of support in additional House and Senate races in the very near future. In the meantime, please support our first wave of winnable race candidates: Ball, Beasley, Judge, and Schandevel for NC House,  and Futrell and Hipps for NC Senate. Of course, even with positive trends, precision gerrymandering means there are no shoe-ins. Victories must be earned. So, will you join us? It’s Now or Never for North Carolina, and we’re going home. [Paid for by Now or Never NC]

Our Journey Home

In the coming weeks, we start our journey home to the North Carolina we know. Yes, there may be bumps along the way, though we know who we are, and we know where we’re going. Election Day is less than ten weeks away, with early voting starting sooner. This Labor Day weekend, as we celebrate the contributions workers have made to our nation, let’s also take a moment to strategically plan for a destination: a North Carolina that is once again a forward-looking beacon in the South and leader in the nation. In doing so, we recognize leaders past of both parties, and their extraordinary sacrifices and contributions not merely to improving themselves, but to those around them, their communities, and far far beyond. North Carolinians in our greatest tradition.  By contrast, we know all too well the work of our State’s current “leaders”, and the litany of their senseless, self-inflicted wounds is too long and deep for us to stir over yet again. There is real work to be done in North Carolina. Our citizens face numerous difficulties in their lives. Each circumstance is unique, though there are many common threads, none of which are solved by Legislators bent on destroying, among other things, public education, jobs, and Constitutionally-protected rights and opportunities. It is for those reasons, and a grateful recognition of our own various opportunities and talents, that we band together for a purpose greater than ourselves: to reclaim and restore the North Carolina we know. But we must earn it. So, will you join us? It’s Now or Never for North Carolina, and we’re going home. Now or Never NC P.S. Please click here for a listing of - and to support - our 2016 endorsed candidates. [Paid for by Now or Never NC]