New South Voices - Our New Name
We reached out via email to members of our group looking for assistance in naming our group. Geri Johnson stepped up and came up with New South Voices as the group name. We loved the name and her explanation of why it was appropriate for our group is attached below. Thank you Geri! (By the way, Geri has volounteered to help write position papers on various issues for our group.) Enjoy!
What’s in a Name? Plenty Geri Johnson I would like to emphasize the importance of the name/image of the group of local concerned citizens now being organized in Western Wake County. Continuing to reach a wide variety of moderate and progressive people in our area is essential. Therefore, I would encourage a name that would speak to this. Many of us who relocated here and our children who then grew up here, considered North Carolina to be in the “New South”…progressive and purple. Natives were also proud of this association. We have technology companies and RTP, big universities, magnet schools, green spaces, nice neighborhoods and opportunity to succeed. Jim Crow is distant? history. Our cities are becoming hipster heaven. So we are shocked that the legislature has been hijacked by extreme views. Groups such as ours might be able to help people understand and communicate the big issues, how they are interrelated and how they impact lives in North Carolina.
This may be especially important for the Millennials, young professionals and young family heads that are opting out of voting. People need to know how important their progressive and moderate participation and vote has become to every level of government. I would like to suggest the name “New South Voices” . I think it sounds like an organization that a wide variety of people, especially young people, could feel good about listening to, supporting, and being associated with but not so vague that it lacks commitment. If Wake County is not in the title, it can grow as a model for other local groups. We could possibly claim the name and immediately set ourselves up to be the Western Wake County branch to encourage this. New South Voices of Western Wake County is a favorite.
Although the term New South originated in the post Civil War, this Wikipedia description helps to define both the standards and goals this name would imply. The term "New South" has also been used to refer to political leaders in the American South who embraced progressive ideas on education and economic growth and minimized racist rhetoric, even if not promoting integration. This term was most commonly associated with the wave of Southern governors elected in the late 1960s and 1970s, including Terry Sanford in North Carolina, Carl Sanders and Jimmy Carter in Georgia, and Albert Brewer in Alabama. Similarly, the term "New South" was also used to refer to areas of the South that have become more diverse and cosmopolitan over the last several decades.”
North Carolina has historically been a New South leader. With this status being diminished by our legislature, we can remind our neighbors that it is up to all of us to push back and stand up to those allowing this to happen. It is directly related to and has impacted, the national government elections and extremist direction. So for those who want to “do something”, we can offer involvement and action focused on our state/area which will then support progressive and moderate values throughout government. We are the New South and our voices must be heard.