Burke County Democratic Party

Where is the American Dream?

“Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of God's children.” - I have a dream, by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


Finding myself frustrated after six years of unemployment, I was at the temp agency in town doing my paperwork for a  prospective job. They needed my North Carolina birth certificate, so I went home to look for it, instead, I found myself staring at my daddy’s refugee papers. Here, I found my beginning: a grass green Promissory Note issued to my daddy for $640. I stopped and I began to weep. I had the typical American childhood filled with my uncle dressing up like Santa Claus, yes, Santa is Hmong. Birthday parties with the pointy hats and echoes of close your eyes and make a wish now.  Everyone knows how challenging school can be but I beat the statistical odds and graduated as a Patriot with Honors and AIG from Freedom High School. I ended up as a Demon Deacon for Wake Forest University and by the time I managed to graduate in 2010, both my parents had lost their jobs at Southern Devices-Leviton and Capri Industries.  

If I could encompass the hurt in my heart for the heavy weight that I feel for not being able to find a steady career into words, all I could muster would be Dr. King’s words, “In a sense we’ve come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned.”

I’m still waiting for my check to bounce. I rather wish I was in a boxing match because at least I’d know who my opponent would be (Cinderella Man). How could I articulate the echoes of Dr. King’s words on that day because I am still paying that Promissory Note for my father. A poor Hmong village boy who was left with nothing but a musket rifle his father used to hunt when America decided to pull out of Southeast Asia.  

My mother and I don’t know how to look each other in the face sometimes and express the dismay in our hearts because we don’t know how to do anything but cling to one another. How can you possibly know what you just don’t know? Please heed me in this turbulent climate of powerlessness the only thing I’ve been able to turn to has been writing my once broken grammar into my broken hearted thoughts of saying, “I don’t know this country, though I speak the language, no one understands my English or what I mean.”

As I write this story, I’m still unemployed with a stack of student debt accruing interest. My language is not of war but of survival now. What must I do to get a decent job?

Never Underestimate the Influence of Precinct Organization

Hello fellow Democrats. It is an exciting time of year when we get together and plan for the next two years. Precincts are the grassroots of the Democratic Party and the Burke County Democratic Party cannot move forward without the neighborhood organization of the precinct.

I get so many questions about precincts and precinct organization. So many people do not know what a precinct is or what it does. A few years ago, all I knew was that a precinct was a geographic area around my polling place. All people in the same precinct voted at the same polling place on election day. But there is more to precinct organization than that.

Precinct Democrats:

  • Organize around an issue of concern for their precinct

  • Get to know other Democrats in their neighborhood

  • Distribute information from the Burke County Democratic Party

  • Communicate with voters in their precinct

But that’s not all. Being part of an organized precinct allows you to:

  • Have an impact on the Democratic Party Plan

  • Participate fully in the Democratic Party

  • Have a voice

It is important for everyone to have a voice in the Democratic Party, to shape our future. We have precinct meetings going on right now. Attend your precinct meeting. Here is a list of all precinct meetings.:

Click to find precinct meetings in Burke County NC

Click to find precinct meetings in Burke County NC

If you are unsure of your precinct you can go to the NC Board of Elections voter search page, https://vt.ncsbe.gov/RegLkup/ and enter your name and county. When you find your name, click on it. The first thing listed on the right side is your precinct.

Make a plan, get involved, and attend your local precinct meeting. The Burke County Democratic Party depends on you. I look forward to seeing you there!