Local Democrats joined together on Saturday, April 20, for the Richmond County Democratic Party County Convention and to welcome their keynote speaker, State Superintendent June Atkinson at the old courthouse in downtown Rockingham. Registration began at 9:30 a.m. with refreshments served by the local chapter of Richmond Democratic Women.
Ken Goodman, current State Representative for the 66th District and former chair of the Richmond County School Board, brought news from the General Assembly and greetings from State Representative Garland Pierce, for the 48th District.
Goodman also introduced Atkinson on Saturday morning.
Although Atkinson felt that there was still a lot of work to be done to improve the public education system in North Carolina, she also chose to recognize several of the positive changes in education. She discussed the improvement in test scores across the state and highlighted improvements made in the graduation rate. Atkinson said, “While our graduation rate dropped to a low of 68 percent, it is now almost 81 percent, and that is the four year high school graduation rate.”
Atkinson also shared letters from children she has received, as well as the daily challenges faced by teachers who work in public education.
During the day’s events three resolutions, one to support an increase in the minimum wage to $8 an hour, one calling for passage of the Equal Rights Amendment with removal of the time restraint and one in support of gun safety legislation, were passed unanimously.
New County Executive Board members for the 2013-2015 term were also elected during the meeting. The new county chair of the Richmond County Democratic Party is Lee Quick, first vice chair is Lois Jones, second vice chair is Raymond Collins, third vice chair is Jane Layton, secretary is Jim Chandler and treasurer is Millie Wright.