How a Grassroots Group in North Carolina Is Fighting Trump’s Betrayal

(Photo: Cyndi Hoelzle / EyeEm / Getty Images)(Photo: Cyndi Hoelzle / EyeEm / Getty Images)

Welcome to Interviews for Resistance. We’re now nearly a year into the Trump administration, and activists have scored some important victories in those months. Yet there is always more to be done, and for many people, the question of where to focus and how to help remains. In this series, we talk with organizers, agitators and educators, not only about how to resist, but how to build a better world. Today’s interview is the 104th in the series. Click here for the most recent interview before this one.

Today we bring you conversations with Brigid Flaherty, Juan Miranda and Kischa Peña of Down Home North Carolina. They discuss how the grassroots organization grew out of the results of the 2016 election, how they organize within their communities, and what fights they are taking on in 2018.

Sarah Jaffe: Give people a sense of what Down Home North Carolina is. When did it get started?

Brigid Flaherty: Down Home North Carolina is a member-led grassroots organization. We believe in building power for working communities in small-town and rural North Carolina. We actually were formed right after the election…. When we were looking at the political makeup of North Carolina and what had happened since 2010 and the far-right takeover of the state, and then moving into 2016 and watching that happen at the federal level, it felt like the best offense that we were going to have was to make sure that we were building strong local leadership in places in North Carolina that weren’t necessarily the places that had a lot of infrastructure. For us, this felt like a long-term project that needed to happen in order to make sure that working people got what they deserved, were able to build their leadership, and flex their muscle so that we could really be making winds that could change people’s lives in the years to come.

We said in November [2016] that we were going to start Down Home and then actually got off the ground in June [2017]…….

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