Response: First of all thank you for your response.
Sir since I have been actively engaged in politics since the early 90’s I know how the process works. Some may agree and some may not but I will stand behind my following belief 110%. When it comes to politics voters vote based on the color of a person’s skin because many times they do not know the candidate and vote for someone whom looks like them. Voters vote for a candidate because they know them or know of them. Voters vote for a candidate because a family member or friend knows the candidate so they trust in them. Voters vote for a candidate because they have seen them at a rally, heard them on the radio and/or seen them on tv. And the main one is voters will vote for a candidate just because they like that candidate. I have no problem with none of the above because it is a person’s right how they vote and whom they vote for.
Sir I will vote for a person because of the color of their skin if I do not know the candidate. If after doing my homework on a candidate and I can’t find anyone that actually knows the candidate then I will sometimes choose a person that looks like me. You see I look at the candidate and I also look at if I feel that person will be accessible to me if they are elected.
I will challenge anyone when it comes to voters voting for folks whom looks like them because I strongly feel that Jesse Helms was elected by folks simply because he looked like them and what he stood for. These folks crossed party lines because in a state of NC whereby there are more registered Democrats than Republicans he continued to get re-elected is proof enough for me.
So sir if I would be careful when you say you don’t want anyone to vote for you simply based on the color of your skin because if you don’t think that is going to happen then you are somewhat ignant to how politics work.
I will not get into the you know me and I know you thingy however I will say that I have been actively engaged in Edgecombe County Politics since the early 90’s and I know who have been actively engaged in the Democratic Party on the County Level what they have done and have not done and that is one of the things that I use when a candidate seeks office in Edgecombe County. If I was going to run for an office I would first reach out to folks who are actively engaged in the process on the county level to see if they would support me and I would respect whatever they say. However I would not file without seeking support of certain voters who are actively involved in the voting process. If I am correct I mentioned you as it relates to the Edgecombe County Democratic Party.
Sir all that you have stated here sounds great however politics is not all about who you are but well you can sell yourself to the voters along with your campaign committee. It takes a real political machine to run a campaign especially when one is running against an incumbent and one with dollar bills. C. Dancy II – The Political Agitator
Thanks for the question. Anyone who would vote for me simply based on the color of my skin, in all candor I do not want their vote. In my opinion that is irresponsible. I would rather people have an understanding of who I am and what my vision is for this part eastern North Carolina. We have never had an indepth conversation. We have spoken a few times in passing and at meetings but I don’t really know you and you don’t really know me. Let me tell you a little bit about myself and I think it may help to answer your question. This may seem to be a ramble at times, but if you continue to read, I would hope that my thoughts fall into line for the readers. I am 33 years old. aside from the 4 years that I was in College in Greensboro and my 3 years in law school in Buies Creek, NC I have lived in Edgecombe County my entire life. As cliche as it sounds I believe that we all have a responsibility to use whatever talents that we have to make sure we leave the world better than it was when we found it.My undergraduate work was in economics, From 1998 -2000 I was planning on a career as an economics professor at the college level. As I was preparing to pursue my PhD in Economics I began to study the emergent economies of south east Asia (at the time, China and Vietnam) The closer I came to graduating college my love of history beat out my enjoyment of numbers and I decided to go to law school instead of pursuing my Masters and Phd in Econ. In all candor within the next 10 years I probably will still complete my education in economics as I really enjoy using data to find practical solutions to problems.
I have spent the last 9 years operating a general law practice in eastern NC, mostly in Nash and Edgecombe Counties. A lot of my work is criminal defense and defending parents after the department of social services has taken their children away alleging that the children have been abused or neglected. One thing I have noticed in talking to some of the people i represent is how closely the economic situations of the some of my clients tracks to some people in countries like Vietnam, Singapore and China. It bothers me that we can live in a country with as much economic opportunity as we have available here and so many people I get to know in Edgecombe County do not understand the importance of a good education and because of a lack of education will never be able to rise out of poverty. Now of course the population I deal with tends to be more skewed towards unemployed, under educated and impoverished, so it is not my intent to paint the entire county with that same brush.
From the experiences I have had, I try to develop practical solutions to some of the problems I see. One thing that has bothered me since I did a research project on post conviction relief in 2002 is the expunction laws in North Carolina. An expunction is the way you can have the record of an arrest, charge and/or conviction removed from a criminal record. Without going into too much detail, in NC and many other states, there are only a few ways to have arrest and conviction records removed from a record. Last year our general assembly did make some progress in this area, but I would like to see an application process where a person with certain non-violent offenses can show a judge that they have achieved some level of education and stayed out of trouble for a period of time and have most of their record cleared for purposes of public inspection. This is important so that people who have a past can apply for a job and have the chance to be judged on their merits instead of immediately turned down due to their record. Every week at least 3 people come into my office with a copy of their record in hand asking me if there is anything they can do about it so they can get a job. I am growing tired of saying, I’m sorry but until the state laws change there is nothing I can do in most of those situations. Something as simple as a good paying job with retirement and health insurance can go a long way towards lifting a person out of poverty. If a person is able to work and have health insurance the can move their children off the medicaid rolls. Saving the County valuable funds. So many children end up in foster care and other out of home placements due to problems their parents had that began with unemployment and poverty. This is a overview of my thoughts. To gain more insight into my thoughts on this issue read the essay on the plight of the unemploable on my web site at http://www.solomon23.com Not a plug for the campaign, but that essay is a lot more detailed than I can be in this quick response.
When it comes to crime issues in our area. I can count 5 times in the last year that I have opened the newspaper and seen that a young man I represented within the last month has been killed or has been charged with killing someone elses child. That has caused me to become more outspoken about doing something to stop our children from killing each other. A lot of the young men that I represent stay in touch with me after I have finished with their cases. I try to offer them guidance and general big brother type advice as long as they want to call on me. I have had some of my guys invite me to their GED or college graduations. I just had the mother of one of my guys that I helped 5 years ago stop by the office with gifts for My wife and I for our new born child. Lately I’m getting too many letters from guys who are now in jail charged with murder saying Mr. Solomon, I’ve messed up and I should have listed to what you told me and stayed out of trouble. I feel like it is irresponsible of me to sit back relaxed at the beach every weekend as i could do and not at least try to change the situation that we have developing here.
So essentially my perspective is of a guy who grew up here and wants to help create a world where everyone from Edgecombe County has the same chance to dream and accomplish their goals as I have. watching this County from my vantage point feels like I’m watching my own home burn to the ground and I can’t stand by and just watch.
I don’t suggest that I have all of the answers to our issues, but I am willing to continue working make our County a place that my children may want to live when they grow up.
William R. Solomon Jr. Candidate NC House 23