July 13, 2006
A small group of folks from Asheville drove to Raleigh on July 6 to peaceably visit our legislators and seek an audience with our elected representatives. We also sat in on the legislative session on the state budget. For our troubles, we were referred to by Rep. Phil Haire as, “The Buncombe County Radicals.”
What did we do that was radical besides show up in the halls of power to see what was going on over there? This tells me that these people live in a bubble and that they are unused to being confronted by their constituents on a regular face-to-face basis.
When we stood at the door of the House of Representatives, there were many lobbyists crowding the entranceway — going in and out, shaking hands, and whispering to each other — and we had to step aside for fear of being trampled. I think those are the people these legislators are used to dealing with, not the people who elected them to their fine offices.
We need to let these powerful few know that we citizens deserve a place at the table too and that we deserve more respect than to be condescendingly referred to as, “The Buncombe County Radicals.”