Welcome to Down Home, Harry! Can you tell us a little bit about why you wanted to join the Down Home team?
Down Home caught my attention because of its commitment to empowering voices that have been ignored for too long. I connect with how Down Home’s mission includes local elections and politics but goes beyond them to create a broad multiracial coalition for the working class. I want to be where people are making positive changes in their own communities, and Down Home is helping rural North Carolinians do it. But it’s really only once I started meeting people on the team that I knew I wanted in.
Can you give us an example of any professional, political, or personal experiences that you are bringing with you into your role that you think will help guide your work here?
Half my family comes from a small town in rural Maine that has no stop lights and had no cell phone towers until last year. I’ve spent much of my life enchanted by the ingenuity, resilience, and independence that comes from living in remote communities. I’ve also witnessed firsthand the hardships and challenges that come with it. My professional impulses are to find places and people in transition and to connect in ways that build solidarity and respect. Interconnectedness is my spiritual and personal mission.
What are you most excited about doing in this movement?
I’m excited to move beyond the big media script of left versus right and get into the surprising and hyperlocal concerns of our members. We have an opportunity to shine a light on real backyard and paycheck issues that touch poor and working class people across the state. I’m mostly excited to talk to people and give them the mic.
What’s the best biscuit you’ve ever had?
The best biscuit is always the one I’m going to have next. The chicken biscuit from Biscuitville always hits the spot, but I daydream about going up the mountain for Betty’s Biscuits in Boone, which are soft and fluffy but have all the crisp savory goodness to make every bite a roadtrip in itself. Add some hot sauce and you’re ready for the sunshine.