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Congressman Mel Watt brings message of optimism to Uptown Democrats

Posted on 31 Jan 2011 by Jenifer Daniels

The Uptown Democratic Forum is marking its ten year anniversary celebrating the new year with optimism. Invited speaker, Congressman Mel Watt, brought a message chocked with facts and clarity to the current landscape in DC and in America.

Present at Friday’s lunch meeting were Mayor Anthony Foxx, City of Charlotte, Pat Cotham, organizer of Uptown Dems, Ann Newman, former candidate for NC House 103, and Joel Ford, Meck County Dem Party chair, as well as over 75 constituents from the region.

Highlights from Friday’s event

America’s economic health

about political landscape

  • it will take 25 seats to win back majority in the House of Representatives
  • 8 newly elected Republicans are surrounded in ethics controversies
  • 60+ seats won by Republicans in 2010 were won by President Obama in 2008
  • big drop in voter turnout from 08′ to 10

on jobs, economy

local/regional outlook

  • Dems lost a lot of state seats
  • state and local economies are in a mess economically
  • “If people didn’t have jobs, they’d have to find a way to survive. We are all in this together.”

questions from the audience

  1. (I am) really concerned about redistricting…what can we do to make sure it is a fair process? A. Watt implores us to get involved in the process.
  2. We were out-hustled & out-messages…will anything be done, on a national level, to change that in 2012? A. Watt says that self preservation is key and the biggest pulpit is that of the President.
  3. How can we win the culture wars? (e.g. abortion, health care disparities) A. Watt says that we have to involve ourselves in substantives debates.
  4. What is Washington doing about continued regulation of the mortgage industry? the gap is widening between the have and have nots. A. Watt says that he doesn’t have the answers on that but expects to see movement in the area soon.
  5. What can we see from Washington to ensure education is well-funded and reformed? A. Watt notes that only 7cents of every Federal dollar is spent on education)

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