Voices of the Community: The Reluctant Activist

As part of our new series, we bring to you voices of our community. In our first piece, Jan Legg brings us her personal story in the “The Reluctant Activist.”

If someone had told me a couple years ago that I would become involved in politics, especially at the local level, I would have laughed in his or her face.  But then Donald Trump was elected…and I moved from Southern Florida to Forsyth County…and then the Parkland school shooting occurred.

Honestly, it was the school shooting that brought me to my knees – or more accurately, the response of the MSD students.  I saw them rise up from that unimaginable tragedy and take on the powers that be, and I was both amazed by them and ashamed of myself.  I was ashamed because it should have been me who rose up; I was the adult, they were children.  Adults are supposed to protect children; children are not supposed to have to protect themselves.

And, so I went to the D.C. March for Our Lives rally, and I joined the local chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, and I found a progressive group of people in Forsyth County.  I googled democrats in Forsyth County and saw that there actually is a Democratic Party organization here. 

As I thought about the issues that are important to me, I kept coming back to the idea that we have to elect people who will fight for these issues. We can protest and advocate and educate (and these are all good things to do) but the bottom line is that if we don’t elect new leaders, we’re spinning our wheels.  So, I started attending the Forsyth County Democratic Party monthly general meetings and the business meetings.  For me, this is where I think I can make a difference.

I am a political neophyte at best – I’ll never be a policy wonk or political strategist.  But I can do my own little bit to move the country and our local community in the direction I would like to see it go.  And if I ever meet any of the MSD students, I’ll be able to look them in the eyes and say I might have been slow out of the starting gate but I’m in the race.

Come out of the closet, Democrats, if you’ve been hiding.  It’s a new day.  Join us and discover what you can contribute.  We all bring our own unique backgrounds and abilities to the table. Let’s see what we can do together to make our world a better place.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”  Margaret Mead


Eric Cohen