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Watauga County, North Carolina has a strong and active local Democratic Party. We think out of the box, run strong local candidates, and never stop trying to move our county "forward," even when we get trounced as we did in 2010. After a good cry, we just pick ourselves up off the floor, dust off the damage, and head for the next open door. That's how we were able to defeat Amendment One in this year's primary election.

We are involved in numerous community outreach projects (local homeless shelter, Habitat for Humanity, Meals on Wheels, etc), but yesterday we held our first "Cash Mob."

Bigger cities have been organizing Cash Mobs for about a year now.

The general idea is to encourage people to go into small, local businesses and spend their money, en masse, to give the business owner a little bit of economic stimulus.... ...the first gathering called a “Cash Mob” appears to have been held in Buffalo, NY, on August 5, 2011, and was organized by blogger, Christopher Smith.
Cash Mobs are not generally defined as "political events," in the traditional sense of the word, and we don't know if other political parties are engaging in this excellent idea, but we decided to give one a go.  I'll tell you why and share our pictures below the orange.

Which political party, if any, is really supportive of small, local businesses?

Democrats know that small businesses are the engines that drive our economy. From family-owned restaurants to high-tech startups, entrepreneurs and small-business owners are crucial elements of our communities and our economy. They “represent the essence of the American spirit.”

The GOP "has done a nice job of coming up with a talking point that appeals to the Republican base, that presents the president as contemptuous of the private sector and dismissive of small business," said Stuart Rothenberg, editor and publisher of The Rothenberg Political Report, a nonpartisan political newsletter.

Republicans: "We're for small business!"

Democrats: "No. WE'RE for small business!"

The American Public: "You both suck."

Lots of talk, lots of spin, and still hard times for local business.  The Watauga County Democratic Party decided to prove who really stands for small, local business once and for all in the name of all politics is local.

The Democrats' first stop yesterday was"Village Hardware" in Blowing Rock, NC.  The business is owned and operated by a local family that has found its store now off the beaten path. Oh, and did I mention? When we called ahead of time to let them know we were coming (a very good idea BTW), they quietly admitted they were "registered" Republicans. All the better! After all, what has the local Republican Party ever done for them!

Here we are in all our glory (and having an absolute blast!):

We collectively spent over $800 in just an hour in this small business:


We bought brooms and birdseed and glue and commode parts and hoes:


Sylvia was having a hard time with her choices, so she focused on birthday presents:


Some folks spent a couple of dollars; others spent much more. The checkout line got really long:


A quick break before our next stop:


Onward to "Papa Joe's Restaurant" for lunch! Yes, that's right. No "Chick-Fil-A" on our schedule.

About 50 of us showed for lunch and spent around $500 with the fine folks at Joe's:


Here's Cullie Tarleton.  He's our very excellent candidate for NC House. He has been targeted by both Art Pope's flying monkeys as well as our state Democratic House Caucus as one of (if not the) top seats in play for the state House this year. Show him some love, why don't ya:


Oh, and a special shout out to Lonnie Webster, who took these great pics yesterday. The local press published our original press release about the Cash Mob but didn't show for the actual event.  we're following up today with a press release. And we're already planning our next mob!

Thanks for letting me share. For more information on cash mobs, go here.

Originally posted to irmaly on Sun Jul 29, 2012 at 09:26 AM PDT.

Also republished by I Vote for Democrats and Community Spotlight.

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