As the nation begins to wind down from an exhausting Trump-era administration where chaos, contradiction, and following the rule of law has been subject to interpretation, is it any wonder why local Democratic voters are shocked and appalled at the most recent turn of events in local politics?
Forsyth County Democratic Party (FCDP) Chairman, Kevin Farmer, much to the astonishment of District 1 voters, has gone silent as Democratic Party School Board members go rogue in their rejection of Democratic Party policies and procedures in filling the vacant WSFC Board-of-Education District 1 seat.
District 1 represents 47,390 Democrats, where over 41,000 are African Americans. These African-American Democrats are currently being abandoned and must "tow the line" themselves to keep historical representation and centralized power where it belongs, in the hands and power of the voters.
On Saturday, December 5, 2020, the District 1 Executive Committee gathered in an FCDP-sanctioned public meeting to elect and nominate a Democrat residing in District 1 to fill the vacant District 1 Democratic seat. The winner, Chenita Johnson, is a District 1 Democrat and long-term public education and equity advocate.
Johnson overwhelmingly beat six Democratic candidates, including Alex Bohannon, endorsed by the FCAE, and Morticia Parmon, supported by the Young Democrats. Every candidate that participated in the process was committed to District 1 and the process of democracy as executed through the NC Democratic Party (NCDP) Plan of Organization's policies and procedures; e.g., policies to be followed and entrusted to them by the voters.
It is unclear how the FCDP leadership that supported and promoted the District 1 Executive Committee's election process has seen fit to remain silent and passively participate in illegally nullifying voters' authority through their precinct representation. The District 1 Executive Committee representing these voters has rejected Chairman Farmer's assertion that there is no District 1 Executive Committee.
The FCDP 1st Vice-Chair, Kismet Loftin-Bell, plus Democratic School Board members, Elisabeth Motsinger and Angela Bramer, officially participated in this election process and voting.
Why were they present if the process had no legitimacy?
The District 1 Executive Committee has also formally rejected Democratic School Board members' assertion that its Committee does not have the legitimacy to elect nor nominate a replacement for the currently vacant District 1 School Board seat. According to the NCDP
Plan of Organization, the 60 Precinct Chairs and Vice Chairs of the District 1 Executive Committee are the only officials and legitimate spokespersons for selecting the replacement for the vacant Democratic-elected District seat.
In the face of such blatant policy violations, it's time voters ask the question, "Who Benefits?" when Democratic School Board members create a separate election process outside Democratic Party procedures?
Isn't this the very same authoritarian behavior Democrats claim to condemn?
Unless the School Board calls for a special election, the District 1 Executive Committee's authority in the matter is apparent. It validates the request to the School Board to appoint Chenita Johnson as the legitimate and rightful replacement.
It has become increasingly unclear why the Democratic School Board members, led by the Democratic Chairperson Malishai Woodbury, are neglecting to acknowledge that an "open process" is (and was) entirely open, where nothing was hidden from the public's view or hearing.
Denying longstanding democratic processes is not the norm of the Democratic Party. Voters expect Democratic School Board members to have the integrity to push past self-serving preferences and abide by the NCDP’s Plan of Organization to fill the vacant seat.
Otherwise, voters are being put at risk to follow ambiguous and inconsistent processes, leaving them at the hands of elected officials following interests that are not entirely "open" - except to them.
Following prior practice and precedent, the School Board has used the appointment process to fill School Board vacancies, including the recent District 2 “Marilyn Parker” Republican Party referral. And, Winston-Salem and Forsyth County have used historical precedent for all other vacated elected seats to select a city/county/state replacement by the Forsyth County Democratic Party.
District 1 was created in 1992 to ensure that the people would always have at least two School Board members who live in and represent this majority-minority voting district at all times, given the inherent inequalities from racial and socioeconomic segregation.
Considering District 1’s history of being a majority-minority, Black voting district since 1992, it casts a deep shadow over the current Democratic School Board members and the FCDP’s leadership, when a predominantly Black community follows procedures and then has them upended in favor of legitimacy tests to be recognized.
Eunice Campbell, Chair of Precinct 201
Phillip Carter, Chair of Precinct 404
James Maurice Barber, Vice Chair of Precinct 302
Carolyn Highsmith, Vice Chair of Precinct 606
Chenita Johnson, Chair of Precinct 302
Andrew Lindsay, Chair of Precinct 83
Randon Pender, Chair of Precinct 81
Daniel Piggott, Vice Chair of Precinct 83
Arthur Tanner, Chair of Precinct 207
Stacy Wright, Vice Chair of Precinct 201