Wednesday, March 08, 2023

Look What's Happening in the Mecklenburg Co. DemsParty


Drew Kromer (left) and Braxton Becoats (right)
Two under-30 young Democrats are vying with one another to become chair of the Mecklenburg Democratic Party.

I'm indebted to Danielle Chemtob (Axios Charlotte) for filling me in on what looks like a true generational shift in one of the most important (and most under-performing) urban counties in the state.

According to Chemtob:

Drew Kromer is an employment law attorney, whose campaign for chair emphasizes the "need to engage underrepresented voters and increase attention to precincts in communities of color. Black turnout was 38% in Mecklenburg, according to an Axios analysis of North Carolina and Mecklenburg board of elections data. Kromer also wants to hire an executive director and split the county’s 195 precincts into regional groups. Many precincts are led by a couple of people and clustering them together could build community and drive turnout. His goal is to raise at least $100,000, as party fundraising lags in Mecklenburg compared to other urban counties...."

Braxton Becoats is a seventh grade social studies teacher. He told Chemtob that "the party needs to do more to get out the vote to energize voters who don’t always come out every election. That requires going places that might be uncomfortable for some .... 'Sometimes Democrats are not comfortable going into the community,' particularly the Black community, Becoats says. 'If you don’t go into the community, then you’re not going to reach your voters, you’re not going to know what your voters want.' Becoats, who is also president of the African American Caucus of the local Democratic party, wants to partner with local colleges to engage with students. He also says the party needs to do more advocacy at the state and local level."

The election of one of these two young men will happen at the county convention on April 22. Since I know them only from Chemtob's reporting, I'm willing to declare this decision one of the toughest in the state for activist Democrats.

(Chemtob includes some numbers representing Mecklenburg County's "under-performance" in last fall's election, which gave us buddy-boy Ted instead of Cheri Beasley in the US Senate. That failure has ignited soul-searching and changed directions at all levels of the Party.)

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