Dear Governor McCrory,
I know times are tough for you right now. Your approval numbers are in free fall and your own party is overriding your vetoes. So I thought now would be a good time for a young North Carolinian to reach out and say a sincere "thanks."
Thank you for teaching me to never take my rights for granted. I used to rest on my laurels knowing that Governor Perdue would veto any bill that might remove the rights of vulnerable North Carolinians. There was no need to draft editorials and spread petitions while studying for AP exams. But because of you I know that democracy doesn't mean anything if the people don't participate when they see something immoral happening.
Thank you for creating and engaging a new generation of southern activists. It is so inspiring to see so many young people coming out to protest. Don't get me wrong, there have always been young activists, but it's wonderful to see so many pre-teens having their first activist experiences at Moral Monday, all because of you.
Because of you I have even more respect for teachers. My teachers in high school were excellent. Many of them have changed my life and taught me so much even outside the classroom. Seeing how the state of North Carolina has disrespected them recently makes me admire their commitment even more. To stay and teach young people even when you have to take a second job (after all, there isn't a raise on the horizon) is downright heroic.
Thank you for introducing me to so many great North Carolina organizations. Because of you and the North Carolina GOP I started out by Tweeting at North Carolina's chapters of Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice. As the year progressed I began to collaborate with these organizations through videos and blogs. Because of your persistence, I collaborate with NARAL-NC and have some exciting projects in the works.
Thank you for making my eighteenth birthday so special. Turning eighteen isn't very exciting when you're a non-smoker like me, but having the right to vote you out of office some day was the best present I received.
Thank you for teaching me what it means to be an activist. Being at a Moral Monday rally or "Stand with NC Women" event humbled me. Meeting organizers who put together protests with only a few hours notice taught me that activism is about all of us working together. Their jobs are emotionally (and physically) exhausting but they always come through. So showing up whether an event is exhilarating or when the sun is beating down on you and you feel discouraged is the least any of us can do.
And last but not least, thanks for the cookies -- wait, scratch that, you can keep those.