After ten months of diligent work toward the goal of being the North Carolina Democratic Party (NCDP) Jewish Caucus, we were deeply disappointed with the results of the vote in the November 12 session of the NCDP Executive Council. A single vote stood between our Caucus and final approval.
The nascent Caucus has been working very hard to establish itself since February this year. At the same time, the Caucus worked closely with the NCDP Affiliated Organizations Committee (A/O) to bring our bylaws into compliance with the recommendations of the A/O and with the NCDP Plan of Organization, and also worked to grow our numbers statewide. Since inception, we have grown to over 400 members, and established 5 county – and one regional – chapters in 7 of the largest counties in North Carolina. (Many of you joined us during the process of registering for the October 15 Zoom convention.)
This is not the final word on the Caucus becoming an Affiliated Organization of the NCDP. According to a statement the party released on Tuesday,
“Ours is a big tent party, united by our shared values that believes in creating safe spaces for our many constituency communities to organize so that they may advocate for the elected officials and policies that most-impact their lives and their beliefs. Despite the procedural issues that caused many of the no-votes during this attempt, we remain committed to helping the Jewish Caucus achieve recognition under the NCDP. We recognize the sinister rise of antisemitism, and we will continue to listen to the voices of our Jewish brothers, sisters, and friends. We stand with them and will fight every day to ensure they feel safe and welcome in North Carolina.”
The means, and internal processes by which affiliation will be achieved, are still being explored. But what is certain is that, even as this is happening (or if it doesn’t happen at all), our 400 and growing membership remains solidly committed to supporting Democratic candidates, locally, statewide, and nationally; putting our organizational skills and energy to that purpose.
We want to elect Democrats who will stand up to the ceaseless efforts to gerrymander districts and throw up barriers to voting, one of our most basic and critical constitutional rights; Democrats who will stand up for women’s health, immigration reform, responsible gun ownership legislation, responsible climate action, and equal access to education, internet, and opportunities for economic security.
In these fraught days, after the heinous Hamas attack on Southern Israel on October 7, and the subsequent Israeli military response, emotions are running high the world-over, and antisemitic incidents have been rising exponentially. The news is full of examples of this on our college campuses. We mourn the loss of innocent lives, regardless of their nationality or religion, while also supporting Israel’s right defend its citizens, and the need to defeat Hamas.
We wish to combat antisemitism in all its forms, including antisemitism arising in the context of conversations related to the State of Israel, as well as all other forms of racism, bigotry, homophobia, Islamophobia, and prejudice. We seek to educate the public about these prejudices.
Our commitment to the Democratic Party policies and candidates runs deep. We will engage the Jewish community in voter registration, voter turnout, and fundraising in support of the Democratic Party and its candidates. We will provide a safe forum for Jewish voters to discuss critical issues with elected officials and candidates. And we will educate and create forums for meaningful dialogue with fellow Democrats on issues of importance to the Jewish community.
During this time, it remains our objective to achieve all of the above as an approved Caucus. We will keep you apprised of any developments.
The Executive Committee
Amy Block DeLoach
Steven Abrams, Durham County
Linda Brinkley, Wake County
Amy DeLoach, Brunswick, New Hanover Counties
Perry Dror, Buncombe County
Amy Lefkof, Mecklenburg County
Catherine Magid, Guilford County