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The Progressive Alliance of Henderson County has merged the energies and aims of its grassroots forerunners: PWH, POW, Hendersonville Huddle and Silent Vigil for Immigration Reform.

There's some good news in Henderson County's Election Results

The following is extracted from the 11.22.20 HCDP E-News 

The GOOD news! An historic margin shift in Henderson County <Bruce Sargent>

As we worried on election night that the Presidential election may have been lost, and waited through the days to find that ultimately Biden had won, most of us failed to spot a shining light through the gloom.

Henderson County has been a strongly Republican County since FDR won it in 1944! To this day Republican registrations outnumber Democrats 1.8 to one. Republicans in Henderson County have consistently achieved high margins in Presidential races, typically in the 30-40% range. 

So what happened in 2020 ? Here in Henderson County Biden scored 39.8% of the vote versus Trump’s 58.5% - that is an 18.7% margin, the narrowest since 1976. Romney and McCain both beat Obama with 33% margins, Trump beat Clinton with a 28% margin. That means in this election we reduced the Republican lead by more than 8% versus 2016 to the narrowest since 1976.

There are important consequences from the improved result here in Henderson County! We all know that...  much of that margin improvement came from our own 11th district (where 15 of the 17 counties reduced the Republican margin). Without the extra votes coming from our part of the state it seems unlikely that we would have secured the positions of Cooper or Stein. As just one more plaudit for Henderson County,  we actually had the second largest shift in the whole state!

So how did we do it? There were two components: turnout and voter preference. Countywide this election saw record turnout, 78% of registered voters cast a ballot. Democrats typically show lower turn out than Republicans; this year we narrowed that gap increasing the turnout of registered Democrats by over 9% (to 79%) whereas Republicans only raised their turnout by 6% (to 82%). So, Democrats were more successful than Republicans at increasing turnout. Thousands of Unaffiliated voters shifted towards Democrat with the split being essentially equal!

So, there we have it, Democrats were more effective at increasing turnout, unaffiliated voters turned to Democrat, and overall we moved Henderson county from being R30 (30% republican margin) to R20 for only the third time in 60 years!

Well done everybody who worked for this, or cast their vote! 

Informed Progressive

On Wednesday, Dec 9, 2020 at 2:00, we will feature Will Sagar, Executive Director of the Southeast Recycling Development Council. His topic will be “Recycling in the Age of Covid”. 

Please click on this link to join the meeting:
Meeting ID: 892 1220 0827
Passcode: 786128


Postcard Parties

Postcard Parties will be VIRTUAL until further notice.  

Postcard Parties will PERSIST – but they may not be “in-person” at Oklawaha Brewery (renamed from Sanctuary Brewing), still at 147 1st Ave. E, Hendersonville.  We will post weekly suggestion sheets on our FB page, website and in emails.

This week's full postcard Suggestion Sheet can be viewed below or downloaded at our website.

We will be taking a hiatus for the month of December.
Susan Coppin
by Lee Stevens

Susan Coppin, aka Bunny, is a North Carolina native. She was born in Salisbury and grew up in Spencer, the home of the North Carolina Transportation Museum and former hub of the Southern Railway. Her mother worked as a bookkeeper for the local pharmacy, and her father was Town Manager of Spencer, which may have sparked her interest in government. While he wouldn’t admit it, her father was a Republican and her mother was a Democrat. Bunny leaned toward being a Democrat early, as both she and her mother loved President Kennedy. 

Graduating from North Rowan High School at the age of 16, Susan was valedictorian of her class. She went on to attend the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, which she describes as quite an eye opener for a small town teenager, since it was 1971 and times were turbulent. After a year, she followed a friend to University of South Carolina, where she majored in nursing, and obtained a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1980. While at USC, she was a member of the Sierra Club, as she had a keen interest in environmental issues and loved to backpack and hike. She was not otherwise involved in politics at that point, but had always voted for the Democratic ticket-- never missing an election since the age of 18. Her first nursing job right after completing her degree was in Raleigh, but she later moved to Pikesville, Kentucky and became an instructor in the nursing program at a local community college. From Kentucky, she moved to Murrell's Inlet, South Carolina in 1983, helping to form a charter chapter of the SIerra Club for the Grand Strand, and serving as program director. She and her first spouse, who was in the Air Force, started a banner-flying plane business there, and their children, Amy and Zack, enjoyed trying to help by snapping the lettering of the banners! The family enjoyed fishing, boating, and roaming Huntington Beach State Park, living next door to such a beautiful space.

Next they moved to Dallas, Texas, as her spouse transferred into civilian life and became a pilot for a small airline. Bunny worked for an Infectious Diseases private physician practice and became an activist for the LGBTQ/AIDS community. The male physician there was quite the social and civil rights activist, and  he introduced her to the University of Texas Grand Rounds where they went to see Dr. Fauci speak. He was Bunny’s hero then and remains her hero today!! Unfortunately, though, the practice where Bunny worked was attacked by skinheads who spray painted death threats on the door, along with swastikas and antisemitic slogans, since the female physician was Jewish.

Due to her mother’s failing health, they asked for a company transfer to the Atlanta hub to get closer to her in North Carolina. In Atlanta, Bunny resumed her involvement in the LGBTQ/AIDS community, working for another Infectious Diseases practice. This practice became nationally prominent in a fight to open an AIDS hospice house in a suburb, where almost no one in the neighborhood wanted this to be located. This fight was featured in an episode of the Oprah Winfrey show. ACTUP helped them win the court battle and the house was opened! Bunny co-facilitated a support group for those living with AIDS, with a highlight being the group marching on World AIDS day, culminating in Piedmont Park with a free concert by Elton John. 

Sadly, the marriage ended in divorce, and Bunny moved into their townhome back in Murrells Inlet in 1999. Always having a love for music, combined with a background in piano and flute, she met her current spouse, Ted, who was at a friend's party performing as a solo acoustic musician. He was a progressive from Oakland, California and together they became engaged in politics when the "hanging chad fiasco of 2000" occurred. She became a board member of the local League of Women Voters Georgetown County Chapter as well as Chairman of the Natural Resources Committee, later handing the reins to Gillian Roy, whose spouse founded Whole Foods. Together with her, they focused on water quality and purchased and gave every legislator in South Carolina a copy of Tapped Out, a book about water conservation and our future.

With the children gone off to college, she and Ted decided to move to Western North Carolina and eventually retire there. They did so in 2007, after having visited here twice a year to attend Americana music festivals for the decade prior. Ted’s mother was a Weaver (related to Vances) from Weaverville, so he had spent many childhood summers here with his grandparents. As a relative of Zebulon Vance, he feels that the Vance monument should be removed completely as does Bunny. 

The first couple they met here, their dear neighbors Jane (who passed away in 2016) and Richard Zecher, introduced Bunny to the Department of Peace of Henderson County which was formed in 2006 after several locals attended a Peace Alliance conference in Washington DC. Several of the current PAHC members were also involved in this and she cherishes their friendship. As soon as the Inauguration of 2017 took place, Bunny heard about Progressive Organized Women and attended all the rallies! She later joined Progressive Women of Henderson County and then PAHC. These actions helped her cope with the current administration immensely. In addition, Bunny maintains her profession by working part-time as an RN Case Manager with Advent Home Health.
Informed Progressive

On Wednesday, November 18, we held a virtual Informed Progressive meeting focused on hearing members’ thoughts on plans/actions for 2021 for the Progressive Alliance of Henderson County. A number of suggestions were made and the following is a short summary.
  • Feature a presentation by the Braver Angels organization
  • Solicit progressive to run for local office (and support their campaign)
  • Continue efforts toward Medicaid expansion in NC - checking for physicians who would be willing to speak on this issue
  • Develop events for or outreach to young people (perhaps highlighting issues such as marijuana reform, workforce housing, high speed internet)
  • Participate in other effective grassroots movements such as Stacey Abrams’ Fair Fight organization
  • Recruit more members to serve on committees (please see our website for volunteer opportunities)
  • Recruit more members for Leadership
An attendee added that there is so much work that needs to be done and that we are the ones to who must rise to the challenge! 

It is incumbent on each and every one of us to do our part to change the political discussion and bend political will to reflect our progressive values and goals, both locally and nationally. We must not rest – there are letters to the editor to write, politicians to call and call and call, postcards to pen, relationships and communities to cultivate.  This is an exciting time as we have a voice (and with it, the responsibility) to repair and create a better democracy.  As Dr. Heather Richardson Cox frequently states “no one is coming to save us - we are our own saviors”.

Please click on this link to view a recording of the meeting:

Postcard Virtual Party #201       November 27, 2020
Loyal Readers,

Welcome to PAHC's 201st-consecutive Friday Suggestion Sheet.  All of us in the Alliance should be proud of the streak, and the success we have achieved in changing perceptions of progressive causes since January, 2017.

This is the last Sheet you will receive in 2020.  National and state politicians are busy working on their lame duck or 2021 agendas, and have neither the time nor inclination for discourse in December.  Quite frankly, your cadre of Sheet writers could also use a break (hint – we can also use MORE writers to do these sheets on a rotating schedule). We expect the next Sheet to be issued on Friday, January 8. In the interim, local politics continue and we can still accomplish much in December.  In that vein, we offer the following two local snippets for your activism.

Please have a safe, healthy, and rewarding holiday season with all who are important to you.

Henderson County:

On October 14th, 2019, the Henderson County Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC) submitted a letter to the Board of Commissioners presenting the Low Impact Development Initiative.  A LID approach to site development does not have to include large, expensive structural measures, but should consider the whole process, leveraging conservation practices and smart design decisions where practical. Some considerations to include in this approach are: • site selection • impervious surface reduction • limitation of site disturbance (leave areas undeveloped) • site layout with less space (pedestrian-based instead of vehicular-based infrastructure) • structural storm water measures • infiltration potential • bioremediation • vegetated roofs • capture and reuse • extension of storm water flow paths.

The wording of the LID can be viewed at:

The LID Statement was pulled from the Commissioners' consent agenda for November 18, for reasons currently unknown. 

Please contact all five County Commissioners and request that they re-hear and approve the LID initiative at their December meeting.  Adopting this initiative will help ensure the continued preservation of the mountains, waterways, and other natural phenomena that we all planned to enjoy when we decided to move or stay here.

County and City:

Now that the frenetic 2020 will soon be in our rearview mirrors, why not take advantage of the temporary lull and get directly involved in local politics?  Both the County and City have numerous Boards and Commissions which allow citizens to weigh in on myriad issues.  It takes no special expertise – this writer has been appointed to 3 such boards in the past 14 months just by filing an application with the City and the County.  Openings occur constantly as members drop off or reach the end of their terms.  Check for descriptions and applications at the following URLs:

City of Hendersonville:

City Boards and Commissions include:

  • ABC Board
  • Animal Services Advisory Committee
  • Business Advisory Committee
  • Environmental Sustainability Board
  • Historic Preservation Committee
  • Seventh Avenue Advisory Committee
  • Tree Board
  • Walk of Fame Committee

Henderson County:

County Boards and Commissions include:

  • Advisory Council on Aging
  • Agricultural Advisory Board
  • Animal Services Advisory Committee
  • Cemetery Advisory Committee
  • Child Protection and Fatality Prevention Team
  • Environmental Advisory Committee
  • Henderson Tourism Development Authority
  • Historic Courthouse Corporation
  • Historic Resources Commission
  • Home and Community Care Block Grant Advisory Committee
  • Jury Commission
  • Juvenile Crime Prevention Council, Henderson County
  • Library Board of Trustees
  • Local Emergency Planning Committee
  • Recreation Advisory Board
  • Senior Volunteer Services Advisory Council
  • Transportation Advisory Committee
Some people don’t look.
Some look, but don’t see.
Some see, but don’t act.
Some people act.
. . . Anon
To connect residents of Henderson County and surrounding areas to civic engagement and activities at the grassroots level.
The Progressive Alliance of Henderson County (PAHC) compassionately advocates for justice, respect, inclusion and sustainable, healthy communities for all.    

Visit our website for more photos, events, and links to like-minded groups.
The PAHC core leadership group (currently Chris Berg, Nancy & Neil Brown, Lucy Butler, Sheila Clendenning, Julia Luellen, Laura Miklowitz, Sissy Owen, Amy Ross, Vikki Schantz, and Paul Weichselbaum) working together diligently to strengthen our impact, has created mission and vision statements for the group.

Please speak to any of us if you can offer your ideas and time about the future of Henderson County. 
Copyright © *2020* *Progressive Alliance of Henderson County*


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Progressive Alliance of Henderson County · P.O. Box 192 · Mountain Home, NC 28758 · USA

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