ROCKINGHAM — The Richmond County Democratic Party invited 8th District Chairman Dylan Frick to its monthly meeting Tuesday night in the Judicial Center in hopes that his new, fresh ideas can help energize the party going into 2016.
Frick said he was implementing a program called “100 Words for Change,” a list of topics for each month of the year in which Democratic Party members across the state can write about in letters to the editors for local newspapers.
September’s topic was pegged as “Back to School,” and it’s supposed to give those with a knack for writing — or even those without — an opportunity to voice their opinion in an open forum about what North Carolina Republicans have done with the education system.
Another initiative Frick is taking is a 10 question survey — in order to gauge what each county is trying to do for the upcoming elections — results of which will be tallied up during the District Executive meeting in Concord on Sept. 19.
With 14 out of a possible 16 precincts in Richmond County considered organized, Frick said the county is off to a great start, as many counties have up to 10 unorganized voting regions. It’s aimed at seeing who is voting the most.
A few of the sample questions include “What topics do you feel are most important? “What are some resources you will use to recruit volunteers?” “What are some potential headquarters to use for 2016 races?” and “What social media networks do you use?”
In order to move forward with the party’s strategic plan, Frick thinks running the numbers can better help identify who will volunteer and who will be best at raising funds.
“North Carolina is gonna be an important state this year as it is every year,” he said. “We’re trying to see which precincts we can get the most funding and volunteers from. We’re excited to see what we can for Richmond County. It’s gonna be one of the most important counties this year. Let’s take our district back.”
Another topic of discussion at Tuesday’s meeting was the upcoming Morrison-Deane-Goodman Dinner, an annual event that Richmond County Democratic Party Chairman Jeff Joyner called “the most important thing we do all year.”
Each precinct has been given a suggested number of tickets to sell.
“By next week, if we’ve not had any contacts, I will be willing to work the south part of town, and let me bring you your tickets,” said party member Carlton Hawkins.
The event is slated for 6 p.m. Oct. 20 at Cole Auditorium so the county’s party has some time to sell tickets, but party leaders urged members to do what they could to sell at least 200.
“We’ve got to go through 200 tickets at least,” said Joyner. “I don’t care if you have to knock on doors, walk up and down the street, we’ve got to do it.”
Member Lois Jones said the asking price for tickets will be $25, as they were last year when the price went up from $10. Jones thinks other members should phrase their wording differently when trying to get rid of them.
“We’re asking for $25 donations for tickets,” she said. “You’re not actually selling them, you’re asking for the party. We stayed at $10 for so long, and last year we changed it to $25 and had great success. It’s not too much to give to your party.”
State Sen. Jeff Jackson from District 37 in Mecklenburg County is tapped to be the night’s keynote speaker. Joyner called him “quite an interesting senator.”
Jones also said some time will be set aside during the dinner for candidates to speak and answer questions if necessary, but they hope to have things wrapped up by 7:30 p.m.
Reach reporter Matt Harrelson at 910-817-2674 and follow him on Twitter @mattyharrelson.