“Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime. Never ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble”
Representative John Lewis
Former Freedom Rider
Last week, the scab of racism and bigotry was opened up and we have responded with peace, violence, and with incredible pain and uncertainty. This is not a new challenge for America but one that has been passed to each of us from generation to generation.
In 2016, within our own city, we witnessed a murder because of ingrained hatred and ignorance. Afterwards, people gathered together, in churches and colleges to express shock and to ask “what can we do?” And we talked, and talked, and we talked…a lot. As a community, we talk well. Listening, with visible results, not so much.
It is time to make some noise and get in good trouble. Good trouble will ruffle feathers and make some people angry and that’s okay because out of anger some people can learn and be called into action. We must be the noisemakers our community and its leaders need. As Representative Lewis says, this is the struggle of a lifetime and it is required of all of us—black, white, brown, yellow, LGBT, Republican, Democrat—to come to the community table and get to work. Self back-patting, false enlightenment, and name calling on social media will do nothing.
It is time for us to put aside the feel-good half measures of the past and commit to the hard work ahead of us.
I’ll see you there.
If you have not done so already, please request a mail-in ballot!
Information about available resources for people during the virus crisis is coming at us from all directions. It is confusing and difficult to wade through. I have developed a list of the various governmental programs available to various groups/people. It is my hope that I have simplified the process and given you some focus as you wade through your options. Please let me know if you should have any questions.
Mecklenburg County Small Business Loans
SBA - Small Business Guidance and Loan Resources
National Association for the Self-Employed: COVID Resources
US Dept. of Labor - Coronavirus Resources
Immigrant Eligibility Public Programs
Covid Funding, Flexibility, Waivers
PPP - Paycheck Protection Program
NC Unemployment Insurance
NC Covid Housing/General Resources
NC Nonprofit Pandemic Resources
NC Commerce Resources
Financial Resource/ Grant list for Small Business, Individuals, Nonprofits, Artists
I believe in the arts. I believe that children of all races and backgrounds should see plays, hear symphonies, and have the opportunity to create their own unique art. I believe that everyone should be able to witness the power of the arts without being priced out of the opportunity. I believe that all types and mediums of art should be in every neighborhood. No community should receive favored treatment.
I believe that the county needs to consider and study the current request for funds from the Arts and Science Council. I don’t want to see funding without looking at the current organization. Is it top-heavy? Is current funding being used in the best interests of our community? What would be the depth of the board’s involvement in a new structure?
The county has a wonderful opportunity to approach funding in a unique manner. The Board of Commissioners can help to reinvigorate the role of the corporate community in the arts. Can current staffing be made available to lend expertise and skills? Can members of the community become involved, on a street level, without having to join a board? The citizens of Mecklenburg County have recently spoken on this topic and I believe that we are called upon to listen to ideas and seek to find answers that strive to be effective and provide opportunities for positive growth.
The human needs - housing, medical services, schools - are many. We are called upon to make our first commitment to the crisis needs of our citizens. On this, we must be unwavering.
It is my hope that the current board will carefully review the request from the Arts and Science Council, and in doing so, may they not lose sight of those standing in front of and amongst us all.