Election season is heating up here in Buncombe County. North Carolina is one of the most competitive swing states in the country and strong turnout in Buncombe County can swing our state blue.
Because I'm running unopposed in the general election, I'm focused on three priorities between now and Election Day:
We're making voter registration a family affair in the Beach-Ferrrara/Burke household and Meg and Cal spent a recent Saturday morning registering voters for the Clinton/Kaine campaign. I've got a stack of voter registration forms in my car and will hand deliver one to anyone in Buncombe county who needs to register - just let me know if you need one!
Our team was really grateful to have Jordan Terry, a senior at the University of Missouri, interning with us all summer. As part of our efforts to support Democratic candidates, Jordan joined the Blue Ridge Mountain Coalition and logged hundreds of hours phonebanking and door knocking for candidates like Rep. John Ager, who is running for re-election in NC 115 here in Buncombe County.
I'll be phonebanking for the Clinton/Kaine campaign - which is also working to elect Democrats up and down the ballot - next Wednesday, Sept. 7 in downtown Asheville. Just reply to this email if you want to join me.
I was honored to speak at the Henderson County Democratic Convention last weekend. I'm so inspired by the important work Henderson County Democrats do to support policies that help people thrive. My work with the Campaign for Southern Equality teaches me every day about how important it is to do long-term organizing in every single neighborhood.
It was an extraordinary honor to attend the annual White House Easter Prayer Service along with my wife, Meghann, and to have the opportunity to read scripture - a passage from The Beatitudes - during the service.
These comments from President Obama during the service have stayed with me since:
And Pastor preached on this this weekend, and I know all of you did, too, as I suspect, or in your own quiet ways were reminded if Easter means anything, it’s that you don’t have to be afraid. We drown out darkness with light, and we heal hatred with love, and we hold on to hope. And we think about all that Jesus suffered and sacrificed on our behalf -- scorned, abandoned shunned, nail-scarred hands bearing the injustice of his death and carrying the sins of the world.
And it’s difficult to fathom the full meaning of that act. Scripture tells us, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” Because of God’s love, we can proclaim “Christ is risen!” Because of God’s love, we have been given this gift of salvation. Because of Him, our hope is not misplaced, and we don’t have to be afraid.
And as Christians have said through the years, “We are Easter people, and Alleluia is our song!” We are Easter people, people of hope and not fear. Now, this is not a static hope. This is a living and breathing hope. It’s not a gift we simply receive, but one we must give to others, a gift to carry forth. I was struck last week by an image of Pope Francis washing feet of refugees -- different faiths, different countries. And what a powerful reminder of our obligations if, in fact, we’re not afraid, and if, in fact, we hope, and if, in fact, we believe. That is something that we have to give.
I am humbled and honored to serve as your next County Commissioner. Thank you to Gordon Smith and Isaac Coleman, who ran such strong campaigns. Tonight, voters proved that even when we disagree, we can disagree with empathy and civility. Tonight, we proved we can elect an openly LGBT commissioner for the first time in Buncombe County. Tonight, we proved that our politics are better, our community is better and our nation is better when we can be inclusive. Thank you for your support. I'm ready to get to work. - Jasmine