The Good: Women (of Color) in the Triangle

Come December, the Durham County Board of Commissioners will comprise five women, three of whom are women of color, including the first Muslim woman elected in North Carolina, Nida Allam. Alexandra Valladares will become the first Latinx person on Durham County’s Board of Education. Natalie Murdock won the Democratic primary for the District 20 state Senate seat. Wake County elected a Latina, Maria Cervania, to its Board of Commissioners. Wake County Commissioner Jessica Holmes—whom Cervania will replace—should make a strong bid for labor commissioner this fall, and Yvonne Holley led a crowded field last week in the primary for lieutenant governor, though she may face a runoff in May.

The Bad: Young (Non-)Voters

If you were surprised at Joe Biden’s 19-point romp in North Carolina last week, look no further than who showed up—and who didn’t. Between the 2016 election and September 2019, 1.1 million people registered to vote in North Carolina; 61 percent of them were under 30. According to exit polls, Bernie Sanders trounced the field among 17–29-year-olds, pulling 57 percent to Biden’s 19 percent. Even among everyone under 45, Bernie beat Biden 42–29. However, the under-30s comprised just 14 percent of voters, while the under-45s made up only 36 percent. The other 64 percent—those 45 and up—went for Biden 49–14. And that’s how youth-fueled political movements die.

The Awful: Coronavirus

Since the first confirmation that COVID-19 had reached North Carolina last week, we’ve vacillated between fits of panic and wondering if everyone is raiding Costco’s toilet paper supply for no good reason. Here’s what we know: The coronavirus can be serious, especially for the elderly and those with compromised immune systems. Because the U.S. is so far behind in testing, there are likely thousands of additional cases we’ve yet to confirm. The further it spreads, the more it will disrupt daily life. (The Italian government just placed the entire country—60 million people!—on lockdown.) The more that happens, the more likely it is to lead to a recession. Here’s what we hope: Some viruses peter out in warmer weather, so it’s possible that spring and summer will slow COVID-19’s advance. Fingers crossed. 

Contact editor in chief Jeffrey C. Billman at 

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