Many of us, I suspect, if we were fleeing brutal poverty or a corrupt regime or death squads, would give very little thought to anything beyond removing ourselves and those we love from an untenable situation.

We’d snatch up our children and flee to a place that held the promise of a better life. I’d wager that some of us would even sneak across a border with our babies in tow to escape a life that offered us no hope.

That said, every nation has a right and a responsibility to protect its borders. While it only has two to defend, the United States faces a distinct challenge with its neighbor to the south. While we have in-migration from all over the world, our border with Mexico is unique because the U.S. is a wealthy country and Mexico is a poor one.

It is rare in the entire world that an enormously rich country shares a porous border with another country so impoverished. And indeed, the overwhelming majority of undocumented immigrants in this country have come from Mexico.

It’s clear to anyone with the most rudimentary understanding of migration patterns that we do not encounter the problems with our northern border that we do with our southern. The inescapable conclusion is that the United States is an irresistible beacon of aspiration and prosperity to millions of our poorest southern neighbors.

The evidence is in the appreciable number of Mexican nationals who have risked everything to attain these ideals. Yet regardless of our feelings about them, we must never forget that the children they bring with them are guiltless.

When war, pogroms and famine have driven people to flee their own countries, the majority of Americans have repeatedly shown a willingness toward leniency to those who have found themselves outside our laws because of situations they had no ability to control.

Such is the case with the “Dreamers.”

Brought here by their parents as infants and children, many have never known another home. They think of themselves as Americans. Some have never again set foot in the country they were born in.

These children were raised with the same hopes and dreams that most of us have for our offspring: a good education and a job that will make them happy and economically secure. Under DACA, that is exactly what many of these young people have been able to accomplish.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a stopgap program introduced by President Obama in 2012 because Congress couldn’t or wouldn’t pass the Dream Act, first introduced 17 years ago. The Dream Act would have created a pathway to citizenship for these children. Nevertheless, neither DACA nor the Dream Act — if it had passed — was intended to be easy, hurtle-free avenues for remaining in this country.

DACA, which must be renewed every two years, has numerous restrictions with regard to who is eligible. Among them: DACA recipients must have been brought to the U.S. before the age of 16 and have lived here continuously since June 15, 2007; the program is available only to those now aged 16 to 35; and those eligible must currently be enrolled in or have graduated from high school or possess a GED.

They are ineligible if they have been convicted of a felony, a serious misdemeanor or are considered a threat to national security.

After they have cleared these hurdles and become DACA enrollees, these young people are eligible to apply for driver’s licenses, Social Security cards, jobs, and although they do not qualify for federal financial aid, they can attend college utilizing private loans.

DACA recipients are Dreamers, but not all Dreamers are DACA recipients. When anti-immigrant legislators denigrate Dreamers and vow to kick them out of the country, they often fail to distinguish between the two. According to the independent, nonpartisan Migration Policy Institute, DACA recipients are more likely to be enrolled in college or to have already graduated. They hold higher paying jobs than the average Dreamer. They’re even organ donors at a higher percentage than the rest of us.

While there are fewer than 800,000 DACA recipients, their economic contribution is enormous.

In the state of Iowa, for instance, programs like DACA have helped propel growth. Seven thousand Iowans fled the state between 2010 and 2015, but 29,000 immigrants moved in. Iowa’s economy could not be sustained without these new workers.

DACA is not any kind of permanent solution, and we absolutely must do something about our immigration laws. Many Democratic lawmakers have tried mightily to balance our immigration policy with empathy and compassion for DACA recipients.

But the Republican Congress members now bent on deporting these high-achieving, incredibly motivated Dreamers — who through no fault of their own cannot fully claim this country — are just plain mean-spirited and wrong-headed.  Click here to read the Counterpoint 


The Democratic Women of Moore County filled a bus with ReSisters (and a couple of ReMisters) on Saturday, January 20th!  They traveled to Raleigh for the Women’s Rally, brought their signs, their enthusiasm, and their voices to a wildly enthusiastic scene!

Here’s a sampling of what we saw in, and what we brought to, Raleigh!



DWMC President Dunham: On The Money! 

From  Inline image 1
Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Point and Counterpoint: About That New Tax Bill
It Reflects the Republicans’ Commitment to the Rich
The author, president of the Moore County Democratic Women, lives in Southern Pines.
By Darlene Dunham, Special to The Pilot
If there was any doubt before the passage of the House tax bill that the leaders of the Republican Party have lost their compass, their raison d’etre, that doubt was all but erased in the middle of the night Dec. 2, 2017. While most of America slept, those early-morning hours witnessed an even more shameful piece of tax legislation rammed through the Senate. One does not have to be an avid follower of politics to understand just how far from their roots the Republicans have strayed with this bill.
The party of fiscal restraint, the party whose laments about the ever-burgeoning federal deficit and ballooning national debt have been a nonstop mantra everyone has listened to for decades, has abandoned all pretense of caring about these issues or about any Americans except those in income brackets capable of funding their campaigns.
The proof that this Republican-led Congress is inordinately beholden to the rich is written throughout this tax bill. From the beginning it was cloaked in secrecy and opacity. Thrown together in just a few weeks, it quickly burgeoned into a behemoth.
Coming in at 515 pages, the text of the bill was finally published Nov. 21 by the chair of the Senate Finance Committee. The committee voted to move on it exactly one week later, Nov. 28.  On Dec. 1, after frantic bargaining and last-minute scurrying for votes, the final version, shortened by a mere 18 pages, was passed with critically important amendments handwritten in the margins and strikeouts throughout this now-official document.
Can anyone seriously believe this bill was thoroughly scrutinized and vetted? Contrast what happened in 2017 with what took place in 1986, the last time the Republicans went to the mat for comprehensive tax reform. Back then, they spent six months carefully crafting legislation. They held numerous public hearings, looking to cut taxes but not wanting to overly burden the federal deficit. And finally — wait for it — they passed their bill with bipartisan support in a Congress controlled by Democrats.
But not so much today with bipartisanship. Today, it is about Republicans delivering on promises made to their high-dollar donors and handing this ineffective president something resembling a legislative accomplishment. Today it is about throwing out long-held principles and bestowing government gifts on those who need them the least. And today, it is about adding $1.5 trillion to the deficit.
And that’s just for starters. The economic forecasts underpinning this bill are even more fanciful than the trickle-down theory of Reaganomics and have even less empirical evidence to support them.  Wishful thinking and alternative facts aside, when the real cost of this tax gift to the affluent becomes apparent, no amount of fantasy will make the numbers go away. There is every reason to believe that the deficit will grow by more than $1.5 trillion. And when the economy does not perform per the rosy forecasts of Mnuchin and Cohn, the general welfare of the American people will suffer.
Cuts will be made to Medicare and Social Security, and funding will wither for our public schools, lands and infrastructure. Make no mistake, this is exactly how these so-called leaders of Congress are planning to pay for the generous tax cuts they’ve gifted the wealthy this holiday season. But the true tragedy here is that absolutely no promises were extracted from the nation’s businesses that they would use these tax breaks to create new jobs or invest in capital projects. This is a bill that some of the most successful companies in America — Black Rock Financial, Starbucks, Vanguard, Berkshire Hathaway — have publicly opposed. They know that many of this country’s wealthiest corporations and companies are currently sitting on piles of cash, much of it in offshore banks.
Many of the chief executives of these financially flush firms have already stated that they have no intention of hiring additional personnel or investing in substantive improvements to their plants or equipment. Many, such as Amgen Inc. CEO Robert Bradway, have already made it clear that gains from these tax breaks will be returned to shareholders or be used for buybacks of company stock. CEOs from Coca-Cola and Cisco have made similar statements.
Finally, here are a couple of dirty secrets buried in those 497 pages and in the handwritten notes scribbled in the margins: All tax cuts come to a screeching halt in 2025, eight years from now.
Sorry, did I say all? I meant tax cuts end only for individuals. Then they revert to today’s rates. And the formula for figuring out which tax bracket you’re in?
See the full article, including the Counterpoint from former Moore County Republican Party Chair John Rowerdink HERE.


Democratic Women Collect Supplies for Title I Schools

From , August 12, 2017

For the past four years, the DWMC has been collecting school supplies for Moore County teachers and students at their regular monthly meetings.  Over the years, the group has collected more than 11 boxes of supplies, which have been donated to Title I schools in Moore County (so designated because of the percent of students who receive free school lunches).

“The movement began, and continues to this day, as a way for the DWMC to show the collective esteem in which we hold the hard-working teachers of Moore County,” says a spokesman.

The self-appointed leader of this effort has been Tina Ganis, former president of DWMC, who has spent hours collecting the contributions from meetings, toting them to her garage, and then contacting the neediest schools to drop off supplies.

Recently, Ganis decided that that efforts should be expanded beyond the meetings, and is encouraging members to bring supplies directly to the schools.

So, with a cadre of dedicated volunteers, the group has supplied collection boxes to each of six schools throughout the county, including: Southern Pines Primary, Southern Pines Elementary, Aberdeen Primary, Aberdeen Elementary, Robbins Elementary and Vass-Lakeview. In addition, collection efforts will continue at regular DWMC monthly meetings.  Supplies can be dropped off at the above locations Monday through Thursday, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

“Every worthwhile effort to benefit the community has at least one indefatigable champion, and Tina has been that for our Dem Women,” says Darlene Dunham, DWMC president. “And our Women have stepped up to provide tons of supplies. It isn’t enough for us to be content with encouraging community activism unless we are also willing to let our actions speak directly to our love of our community.”

Donald Trump’s Presidency Has Inspired 11,000 Women To Run For Office From

“Over ten thousand women isn’t a ripple — it’s a wave,” Emily’s List president Stephanie Schriock said.

Emily’s List has seen an “unprecedented” amount of women interested in running for political office, the group’s president Stephanie Schriock told The Washington Post on Friday for a story about Democrats challenging Republicans in traditionally red districts during the midterm elections.

“During the 2016 cycle, her group spoke with about 900 women interested in running for school board, state legislature or Congress,” WaPo’s Ed O’Keefe and Mike DeBonis wrote. “This year, they’ve heard from more than 11,000 women in all 50 states — with a few dozen seriously considering House races, she said.”

In December, The Huffington Post’s Emma Gray reported that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s loss in the 2016 presidential election had motivated women across the country to get more involved with the political process.  Read more …




2016-17 DWMC Officers: (left to right) Betty Barnett, Membership; Sandy Waterkotte, Communications; Paula Shelton, Corresponding Secretary; Darlene Dunham, President; Kerry Arnold, Treasurer; Lynn Hancock, Recording Secretary; Diane Anello, Programming

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