Tarboro NC – EAST TARBORO PUBLIC FORUM by Richard Parker Jr. Columnist

Community Self-Help.

Our Community Forum on May 28th 2009 at the Oakland House in East Tarboro was wonderful and in my opinion, very successful. Thank you Mr. Greg Higgs and Councilman Melvin R. Muhammad. My special thanks to our guest speakers. There was one invited guest in particular, who deserves special attention and consideration. But first, a parallel.

President Johnson signed into law an Executive order, I believe in 1964, ordering all corporations to begin hiring African-Americans. It benefited me directly because shortly thereafter I was hired as the first Black male of a one hundred year old corporation in Philadelphia. Lo and behold, shortly after that, the maintenance supervisor was promoted to Building Manager. An executive meeting was held to name a new maintenance supervisor. Jack Salzstein, the building manager to-be advised ,”we have a man but he is colored”. Mr. R. Bruce Jones said, “Well then,I`ll go see Mr. Batton.” And off he went. Mr. Harry Batton, Chairman and CEO, after hearing Mr. Jones, said, “ Mr. Richard Parker, the man I talked to on the phone that Saturday morning?” (THAT`S another story) “Give him my blessings”. Now here is the clincher.

About six months into my new job, Jack called everyone into a conference room, first thing on a Friday morning. He sat us ALL down then began to chew everyone out about a case of fluorescent tubes being left on the receiving dock overnight. He said “if it happens again, heads will roll”. Then he just turned and walked out. We were stunned. Suddenly everyone looked at me as if for an explanation. I didn`t have one. EXCEPT; in my mind I KNEW intimidation when I saw it. Plus Jack was trying to hang on to his old job because he didn`t know his new one! I said to my men and one woman, “Jack did not confide in me. I could have avoided this. He is trying to pull my teeth”. “ there is only one thing to do. Everyone call in sick on Monday. I too, will call in sick. Then, everyone come to work on Tuesday. I will handle it from there.” They did just that.

Three days later, Al Evans the Director, Jack and myself, met in the same conference room and Jack, as ordered, made a “public apology” to me. Why ? That`s another story. But I was maintenance supervisor for the next 10 years. Period.


A young man sitting behind me in the forum said the police, in effect were not providing enough protection for East Tarboro citizens. Councilman Muhammad asked Town Manager Sam Noble to respond to this young man`s concern. First Ol` Sam said something like, Give me your name and come see me. I`ll take care of it. The young man, “Are you a policeman?” THAT did the trick. Ol` Sam went into his act. He turned real red, then stood up and hitched up his pants. ARROGANCE: Something like this, “I work for the mayor. I work for the mayor and the eight town councilmen. Everybody else works for me,” as he stared down the motionless row of people making up his entourage. INTIMIDATION!

Sam has forgotten that HE also works for Black people and White people AND Hispanic people, all known as the Citizens of Tarboro North Carolina. We pay his salary, which he has not earned in 20 years plus. He has destroyed the lives of the people of over 28 families under the guise of saving the town some money.

Parks and Recreation needs a whole new organization from top to bottom. Mr. Pettaway says he has new programs and all he needs now is volunteers and children to come. I remember Pettaway and Mitchell saying in the last “Neighborhood Watch” meeting held at Ray Center that the two of them cruised East Tarboro for 12 years trying to get children to come to Ray Center, but couldn`t get anyone. They said they used their own cars too. And they still need volunteers and children to come? They should be fired. Not as long as Ol` Sam is around, however. I think he should go too. OH yes, I volunteered over 3 years ago and was never called. Instead, I was barred from Ray Center by Lee Perry and Jarvis Pettaway. I had reported a leaky roof to the Daily Southerner. RETALIATION!

November elections are near the horizon. Remember 2007? That was a VERY good year. I urge our young people to step forward once more and COMPLETE THE CHANGE. We need a new mayor and town manager. We need a makeover at Parks and Rec. We need women on the town council as well as more young men. Then we can have true Open Government, as or able Editor at the Daily Southerner has so often spoken of.

Richard H. Parker Jr.

Tarboro NC 27886-5117


DCN Inspirational Award – DCN recognizes Anthony Young for his loyalty and friendship over the years

Anthony and I met back in 1998 when he served as statewide “Deputy-Field Director” for the successful 1st campaign of former U.S. Senator John Edwards. I was the interim Edgecombe County Democratic Party Chair as I was appointed to serve out the unexpired term of Roy Gray who resigned to go to work for former Congresswoman Eva Clayton.

Anthony was a hard worker and we talked almost daily and still talk almost weekly since we first met. I learned a lot about politics through Anthony. In 1998 Anthony partnered with myself and the local party and we had a successful Democratic Party gathering at the Tarboro National Guard Amory. I don’t recall there being such a gathering of this magnitude since that time.

Not only has Anthony been very helpful politically but he has also been a great resource and inspiration to The DCN.

Anthony came to Pinetops several years ago when I invited him to be the guest speaker for the NAACP Edgecombe County Branch. He did a wonderful job. I had the video shown on WHIG TV in Rocky Mount NC and I ran into folks who say they really enjoyed his message.

It has been good people like Beverly May and Anthony Young who have inspired me to do what I do. Because of them there is The DCN.

Learn more about Anthony Young below.

ANTHONY YOUNG has dreamed of entrepreneurship for most of his life.  As the son of a small automechanic shop owner, Anthony learned early on to love entrepreneurship.  Since grade school, his passion has always been small business.  

Strengths:  Strategic analysis, tactical resourcefulness, and creativity for problem solving.  

Dreaming of his own business, In 1996 Anthony made the decision to return to community college in order to begin the process of gaining additional business insight in pursuit of his  small business dream.  In 2000 he obtained his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Organizational Management from Saint Augustine College in 2003, and wrote his final thesis on “the Creation of Economic Wealth in Poor Wealth Communities.”   In 2003 he obtained his Master of Business Administration Degree from Wake Forest University.   While at Wake forest, Anthony competed in and won the business school competition on his “Brown Toes” business model and represented the school in a national competition of business schools and students. 

MY Dual passions:   Social Entrepreneurship and Political Strategy

Company:   the House of Brown Toes (www.browntoes.com ) is a expanding family brand of products for babies and the entire family.  He has written children’s books and designed a series of beautiful quilts that celebrate family, culture, and heritage.  His products are perfect for family reunions to new born babies.   Anthony’s products were selected by home shopping giant QVC as one of its best items and a  major retailer in the United States.    Our baby quilts are in the homes of several homes of “A” list stars In Hollywood California.

Challenges:   Access to capital.  Despite having excellent credit, a winning business model, and major market interest, it is difficult to move forward a small business when true access to capital is often awarded based on political connections and less because of the ability to grow.  In many ways, it is precisely because of this lack strategic support that small businesses fail.  Often times for small businesses, the only thing in abundance by way of opportunity is the shallow rhetoric of doors closing when the answers could just have easily been a door opening.    Yet still, I am enormously encouraged by the new policies of President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.

While attending college, Anthony worked full-time in North Carolina politics:

· In about 1996 – Co-chaired the election of Annie Bullock to Henderson City Council.  In her election, Annie Bullock became the first African American woman elected to Henderson City Council in the history of the Vance County.   Mrs. Bullock had already made history in 1967 as the first African American to graduate from Duke University in Durham with a Masters Degree.

· In 1998 – Served as statewide “Deputy-Field Director” for the successful 1st campaign of former U.S. Senator John Edwards

· In 1998 – Joined the NC Department of Justice and helped Attorney General Mike Easley implement the first Predatory Lending Laws.

· In 2000 – Successfully organized all 100 counties as the “Director of Field Operations” for the election of Governor Mike Easley

· In 2003 to present, serves as the Deputy Chairman of the North Carolina Property Tax Commission.  As a “quasi judicial” board, the commission serves as the final “court” for the adjudication of property tax matters for the state.    I am the first African American to serve in this commission.  We heard nearly $1 Billion in property tax valuation cases in 2008.

· 2009 – I spearheaded the opening of the Henderson Campus of Saint Augustine’s College in Vance County:  managed all level of campus activities, recruited the inaugural class of students, and taught two classes.   I took the time from my own business beginning in May to help the region obtain its first 4-year institution in the 4-county area.   I tried to help. 

News Coverage:  Featured innumerous major new publications around the country such as The Baltimore Sun News, The Raleigh News & Observer Newspaper, The Modesto Bee of California, The Susquehanna Times of Pennsylvania, The Charlotte Observer, South Carolina State Newspaper, and national magazines such as Earnshaw Magazine, American Baby, Parenting, Black Business Inc., and Kids Today.   Presented the “Brown Toes Family Tree Heritage Quilt” to dignitaries such as U.S. Olympic Silver Medalist Bryan Clay, US Congressman Jim Clyburn, and have fielded requests by Actor/Comedian Wayne Brady.

Hobbies:   travel, gardening, theater, culture, and lecturing and mentoring other hopeful entrepreneurs.

Speaking Truth to Power -Quenesha McNair: Be a winner in school

Newsflash: Success is looking for all high school students with winning attitudes! Is that you?

I recently read a passage that stated, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he,” and it dawned on me that our self-image determines who we are. The question I have for my young leaders of the future is, who do you think in your heart that you are? (Rocky Mount Telegram)

Note: Quenesha is a native of Pinetops NC and a graduate of SouthWest Edgecombe High School. I remember working with her in P.A.I.R. (People Against Irresponsible Recreation) when I was the reporter.

Raleigh NC – Voters Reject Cuts to Public Education

Daily Political Briefing: Voters Reject Budget Cuts

More Info

May 27, 2009


                                             May 27, 2009                                          

Voters Reject Cuts to Public Education

NCAE President Sheri Strickland & Vice President Rodney Ellis (far right) hand-delivered the scientific poll results to Speaker Joe Hackney yesterday and once again reminded the state’s most powerful legislator that parents, educators and students are depending on his leadership through this economic crisis.

85% of North Carolina voters rejected the House’s latest proposal to balance the state’s $4.8 billion budget deficit by eliminating 12,000 teaching positions, according to a poll released by NCAE today.   

According to the poll, over 60% of voters opted for a balanced budget that modernizes and strengthens the state’s outdated tax system in order to pay for education services instead of current proposals in the legislature that gut public education.  These increased taxes include tobacco, alcohol, out-of-state corporations and those making in the top 1% of all earners. 

"In all the talk of lost revenue, elected leaders need to take notice that voters support increased taxes in certain areas to balance the budget rather than eliminating teachers, overcrowding classes and destroying a child’s right to a sound, basic education," said Strickland.

Strickland pointed out that the poll showed 71% rated their local public schools as excellent and good while 80% of respondents rated the quality of teachers in their public schools positively.   

"We’re certainly not surprised that North Carolinians understand how important public schools are to the future of our state and that and that elected leaders should look elsewhere to reduce spending and raise revenue," Strickland said.  "Our citizens know that money spent on education is an investment in our children, not just an expenditure on a balance sheet." 

To read the poll, click here

Did You Wear Red Today?

Educators across the state donned red to show support for public education.  Send your school’s pic to brian.lewis@ncae.org and it’ll get published in the Daily Political Briefing.

Daily Political Briefing in Sampson County Yesterday

DPB spoke to the Sampson County Association of Educators’ Retirement Dinner yesterday.  Consequently, the DPB was not published yesterday.  Our sincerest apologies for the delay.   

Now More than Ever:  Educator Wednesday Every Wednesday

The fight to save jobs continues.  Please take the time to lobby your legislators in Raleigh on Educator Wednesday.  Sign up with brian.lewis@ncae.org on one or more of the following dates:

June 3 ~ June 10 ~ June 17 ~ June 24 ~ July 8 ~ July 15 ~ July 22 ~ July 29   Educator

Wednesday Begins at 9:30 a.m.  NCAE reimburses 35 cents for mileage. 

Brian Lewis, Lobbyist/Government Relations Specialist

North Carolina Association of Educators
700 South Salisbury Street

  • Raleigh, North Carolina 27601

(919) 832-3000 or (800) 662-7924 extension 256 or (919) 413-2580 mobile

Rocky Mount NC – City greases rails for Crossing at 64 grants

So will Bojangles come to Edgecombe side of Rocky Mount? C. Dancy II – DCN Publisher

The Rocky Mount City Council on Tuesday approved a deal to spur retail growth at a planned 85-acre mixed-use development.

The council approved an agreement with a developer designed to pave the way for government grant money to fund water and sewer mains to serve the Crossing at 64 development. (Rocky Mount Telegram)

Wilson NC – Bar names 3 nominees to replace judge Governor must make decision by June 1

Attorney Lamont Wiggins didn’t make the cut, I wonder why? C. Dancy II – DCN Publisher

The Seventh Judicial District of the N.C. Bar Association submitted three names Tuesday for Gov. Bev Perdue to consider as potential replacements for former N.C. District Court Judge Robert Evans. (Rocky Mount Telegram)