Because we can.
Do you recognize that? It’s the call of the arrogant, the powerful – or at least those who believe themselves to be. It’s the explanation we get from people who don’t think they need to explain themselves, and last week we heard it in words and in deeds from those who’ve forgotten whom they serve.
In Raleigh, House Republicans held an after-midnight veto override vote early Thursday without giving the public notice – unless, possibly, you happened to be on the General Assembly website at 12:15 a.m. It was a vote Republicans could have held on any morning or afternoon and achieved the same result, yet they inexplicably decided to invite criticism by doing it with the stars shining down.
When asked about that vote, House speaker Thom Tillis, normally a savvy guy, said this: “The fact of the matter is we got it done.”
Because we can.
It’s why Democrats on the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Board of Education voted to fill a vacant District 6 seat last week with someone who doesn’t represent the district’s conservative demographic. Led by board chair Ericka Ellis-Stewart, a Democrat, the board selected Rev. Amelia Stinson-Wesley, another Democrat, who would likely never win a District 6 election and who, like most everyone else in the room, suspected she wasn’t the most qualified.
Before her at-large election in November, Ellis-Stewart had proclaimed that she could represent the whole district instead of the low-income children for whom she’d previously advocated. But on Thursday, she and the other four Democrats chose one of two Democrats among the 12 District 6 candidates – and only after it was clear the other Democrat would come with too much political baggage.
Because they could, of course, just as Republicans did with a vacant school board seat three years ago. Now, Democrats hold a majority on the board, and Ellis-Stewart got the most votes of any at-large candidate in November. What kind of threat could a small geographic slice of grumbling conservatives pose?
Here’s one: Last month, county commissioner Bill James floated the idea of a Town of
James, who says he is not one of those officials, says that “stage 2” of the plan would be for Ballantyne, along with Mint Hill, Matthews and Pineville, to ask the legislature to form their own South Mecklenburg School System. Is it all a long shot? Yes. But those who roll eyes should remember they are dealing with a population of do-ers who are accustomed to accomplishing what they want.
These suburbanites wouldn’t mind the lower taxes that would come with deannexation. And while they are far from the first citizens to feel this way, they are tired of the disconnect from the leadership of
And the thing is – none of us were surprised, no? Not at the school board, nor at Republicans in
And if the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board follows last week’s slap with policy that disregards its now-underrepresented district, more citizens might finally feel compelled to do what has only been talked about before. Not because they necessarily want to, and not because it would be good for