Good morning everyone, Dana Cope here with another blog post about what I have learned in my lengthy political career. In this era of hyper-partisanship I am disappointed to see that so many politicians are afraid to work across the aisle. I have made it a priority in my work with the State Employees Association of North Carolina (SEANC) to work across the aisle. This is because our issues, taxpayer issues and state employee issues, are not partisan. SEANC stands a far better chance of protecting the rights and interests of state employees if we stay loyal to issues instead of to individual political parties.
SEANC’s record of working across the aisle was even recognized in a 2011 article in the News and Observer. The article pointed out that at the time, the North Carolina Republican General Assembly was working with two employee unions in very different ways. Legislators were working to bar payroll deduction of dues for the North Carolina Association of Educators, which is the main lobbying resource for North Carolina teachers. However, the legislature was taking a less hostile approach to the issue of dues checkoff for SEANC members, even going as far as bringing members of SEANC to the table to participate in key negotiations. I believed then and still believe that the North Carolina Association of Educators could have had more success if it had not tried to play partisan politics. From the 2011 article:
Dana Cope, executive director of SEANC, said the teachers took an overly aggressive and partisan approach to the Republican majority, and it backfired.
SEANC earned its reputation for working across the aisle by backing Republican Patrick Ballantine in the 2004 North Carolina gubernatorial race, and by running a major campaign against Democratic House majority leader Hugh Holliman. As a result SEANC has frequently been invited to participate in draft changes to the state employee health plan.
Even though I am a registered Democrat, I am someone who they are at least inviting to the table, allowing me to speak on ideas of public policy. I don’t win every time. But at least we are successful in shaping public policy and the state health plan – things that matter to tax payers and our members.
You can learn more about my commitment to state employees by visiting my SEANC website.
Thanks for reading,