Carolina Democracy

Advocacy & Practical Solutions in Robeson County!

April 25, 2022 JD Wooten Episode 15
Carolina Democracy
Advocacy & Practical Solutions in Robeson County!
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Welcome back to Carolina Democracy! Today, we’re joined by Aminah Ghaffar, candidate for District 47 of the North Carolina House of Representatives. We talk about her experiences growing up in Pembroke, her advocacy work on a broad range of issues, and how she plans to build on those experiences in the N.C. House. We also catch up on the latest political news in North Carolina!

Learn More About Aminah Ghaffar:

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Aminah Ghaffar: I've spent most of my working career as an advocate. I really wanted to extend my advocacy and my public service to my community... to be able to provide practical solutions to some of the issues that people in District 47 are facing.

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JD Wooten: Hey everyone, welcome back to Carolina Democracy. I’m JD Wooten, and today we’re joined by Aminah Ghaffar who is running to represent North Carolina House District 47 in Robeson County. We had a great chat about her experiences growing up in Robeson County, her advocacy work on a range of important issues, and how all of that led her to her campaign for the State House.

But first, here are a few things that caught my attention over the past week. Perhaps you remember that last week, I made a passing reference to former North Carolina Congressman turned Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows’ and his apparent voter fraud, but I decided not to go into it because I didn’t want it   to sound like I was on a rant against Republicans. Well, the story got better. It turns out that not only did Mr. Meadows apparently register to vote from, and actually cast a ballot from, a North Carolina address where he may have never even stepped foot, but he was also actively registered to vote in two other states at the same time. The hypocrisy is astounding. I swear some people must think George Orwell was writing how-to guides.

Next, since it’s been a little slower news week on the democracy front in North Carolina, which is always better than a bad news week, I thought I’d revisit one of the election subversion bills passed by the General Assembly, but thankfully vetoed by Governor Cooper. In 2020, the cost of safely administering the election skyrocketed across the country due to the pandemic. Unfortunately, the government failed to provide the necessary funding for these costs, so many boards of elections turned to outside grants and donations. Then in swooped the conspiracy theories about wealthy Democrats buying the election for Joe Biden, among other false accusations.

Since 2020, 29 states have proposed or passed legislation that would bar private money from going to assist with the administration of elections. For decades, Republicans have talked about smaller government and more reliance on private enterprise, and then when it actually happens, they cry foul and engage in conspiracies. Now, if the government could be counted on to fully fund our election administration, that would be the ideal scenario. If that were the case, then perhaps these measures wouldn’t be a problem. But that’s not reality.

As Democracy Docket recently wrote, think of elections offices like public schools. When the government fails to fully fund public schools, they are often supplemented by private donations and grants to assist with providing a sound education to our children. In 2020, elections offices did something similar. The additional money went to things like buying new machines to handle the surge of mail-in votes, or setting up additional voting sites to reduce lines and crowds and to provide personal protective equipment so that elections could proceed safely during a pandemic. This should be lauded, not demonized. But it helped fuel more of the election integrity conspiracies that have engulfed the right. 

Now we risk a self-fulfilling prophecy of reduced election integrity. Over the past decade in North Carolina, we have seen public education funding dramatically slashed, leading to a decrease in effectiveness of that public education, and in turn leading to increased calls for government support to go to private and charter schools, further defunding our schools, further weakening them, and so forth. It’s a vicious, self-fulfilling prophecy. I fear the same thing could happen to our election administration – cut the funding and prevent any augmentation to deal with those budget cuts, and then decry election results after we inevitably face long lines, slow vote counting, poor staffing, and the like. Throwing money at a problem is not always the answer, but cutting funding and access to supplemental funding for such a critical part of our democratic infrastructure is surely not the answer either.

Thankfully, that election subversion measure and several others were vetoed by Governor Cooper. So why am I talking about last year’s news? Because it’s an election year, and it’s worth remembering why protecting Governor Cooper’s veto is so critical. If Republicans still had supermajorities in the state House and state Senate, this and other election subversion measures would be law. The odds are quite long that Democrats take back either chamber of the General Assembly in the current political climate and under the current legislative maps, but the odds are extremely good that Democrats can hold enough seats to sustain the Governor’s veto. It’s also critical that we protect the current, but slim, pro-democracy majority on the North Carolina Supreme Court as there are two seats on the ballot this year, either one of which could tip the balance away from democracy and democratic norms. One way you can help protect the pro-democracy majority on the Supreme Court and protect the Governor’s veto is by supporting candidates in the best position to do just that, and Carolina Forward has made it easy with their Justice Slate and Legislative Slate. Links to both in the show notes so you can donate today to support pro-democracy candidates.

Finally, here’s something funny from the past week. Hopefully you already know that last week’s episode featured my interview with Dr. Aimy Steele, founder and Executive Director of the New North Carolina Project. If you haven’t listened to that interview already, please make sure you do. It’s well worth your time to hear all about their great work fighting for democracy in North Carolina. Late in the week, an email blast went out to what I assume is an extremely large email list and included reference to that episode, and it turns out quite a few people I know are also on that list. Within minutes of that email blast going out, I started getting emails and texts with things like well wishes on the upcoming Ohio GOP Primary. Needless to say, I was quite confused at first. I finally worked my way back in the messages to see the original email that highlighted the podcast earlier in the week and it had the following caption: “Dr. Steele talked to former NC Senate candidate JD Vance on his podcast Carolina Democracy last week!” I about fell out of my chair laughing.

About that time, I also got an apology email from the drafter, and while I appreciated the note, the apology was absolutely not necessary. Sometimes life just has a way of lifting your spirits in the right moment, and that all happened during a stressful few hours at work when the levity was especially helpful. Plus, I’m obviously not JD Vance, so no offense taken. As an added bonus, it looks like it caught enough people’s attention to drive up downloads for that episode, so I’ll call it a win. 

Now, before we turn to my interview with Aminah, I of course have some important reminders about the upcoming primary. First, the regular deadline for registering to vote has passed, so if you’re not registered, please do not wait until May 17th to try to vote. You won’t be able to. But fear not, you can still do what’s called same-day registration by showing up in person to vote during early voting. In person early voting runs from April 28th to May 14th. All you need to do is go to an early voting site in your county and register to vote, then vote, all in the same trip. For mail-in absentee voting, the North Carolina Absentee Ballot Portal is open and you can request a mail-in ballot now. The deadline to request a mail-in ballot is May 10th, but don’t wait that long. Finally, the primary election is on May 17th, and polling places should be open from 6:30am to 7:30pm. Links will be in the show notes for the absentee ballot portal.

And here’s another inside tip for those of you who have started getting calls about the primary election from various campaigns and groups trying to drive turn out. Almost every serious campaign and group interested in turning out voters will update their call lists regularly, sometimes even daily, to remove people who have already voted. Time is a precious resource for campaigns so no one wants to waste time dialing a voter who has already cast a ballot to ask them to go vote. So the earlier you vote, the less likely it will be that you get those calls.

Ok, now on to our main feature -- here’s my interview with Aminah Ghaffar.

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JD Wooten: With me today is Aminah Ghaffar, a Pembroke native and member of the Lumbee Tribe. Aminah has served as a domestic violence and sexual assault advocate, and she also founded Good Medicine Women, LLC, to address gaps in knowledge about Indigenous culture and epidemiology. Aminah is running to represent North Carolina House District 47 in Robeson County. Welcome, Aminah.

Aminah Ghaffar: Thank you JD, I'm excited to be here. 

JD Wooten: So before we jump into your background and why you're running, what's your first memory of politics or getting involved in politics?

Aminah Ghaffar: So I would say my first memory was Bill Clinton came to UNC Pembroke in 2008 to speak on behalf of his wife, Hillary Clinton, when she was running in the primary against Obama. And that was my first experience, shaking hands with a political figure and it was at my middle school, Pembroke Middle School. So that was a really interesting experience. And then later on that year, my mom actually became a delegate for the Obama campaign. And so I got a lot of experience with her going to different events that he had in North Carolina. So that was pretty cool. 

JD Wooten: I suddenly feel old. So tell us a little about yourself and growing up in rural North Carolina. What are some of the issues you've experienced that shaped you and led you to getting involved in politics?

Aminah Ghaffar: Well, there was a lot to unpack with that question. So I'll start with, I've always been an athlete. So some of the first instances I came across that were discomfort. The first discomfort that I felt was actually with my own identity. And so I obviously am light, a lighter person. So one of the things that happened when I was younger, is I used to run track ever since I was seven years old. And I was really fast, so I was beating people. But I heard someone yell in the stands one time, don't let that white girl beat you. And then I was like, wait, I'm not white. So I went and asked my mom about it and I was like, mom, why did they say that? And because you know, I've always, I've always known that I was Native and my father's African-American. So that was a lot to process for me and my family never really made me feel like I wasn't welcome in the family or that I wasn't anything but their relative. So I would say a little bit of the erasure of Indigenous people in North Carolina was something that I experienced early on. And then in addition to a little bit of sexism, of course. A lot of women are not considered worthy to be in certain spaces because we're women, which is just a really weird phenomenon to me. And I didn't have the words at the time, but witnessing some of the systemic oppression that even some of my classmates at school were dealing with in terms of lack of resources and being in an overcrowded classroom and having substitute teachers that were fully checked out and the classroom just not being in control at all. So those are a few things that I experienced early on. 

JD Wooten: Well, thank you for sharing. And I can certainly imagine why that would lead you to want to get involved and do something about it. But first more on your bio, you studied biology at East Carolina University, and then you went on to earn a Master's in Physiology and Biophysics from Georgetown. What led you to those fields? 

Aminah Ghaffar: Well, from a young age, I used to want to be a doctor and that came from kind of following my mom around work because she had a home care and hospice business. So being around her and witnessing good patient care and just the care and the effort that went into, especially end of life care for different people of all ages. And of course the kids were the hardest, but seeing the amount of empathy and the amount of, of love and care that goes into supporting people who are really at their wits end when their relative passes away. So just that really inspired me to get more into medicine and also being a super nerd. I am a super nerd. I've always loved science. I've always been interested in figuring out how things worked. And so medicine, and biology, and physiology was the way to go in terms of studying how all those systems worked.

JD Wooten: I love it. Own it. I was an engineer before law just got to lean into it. So you mentioned earlier, lifelong athlete. I understand you were a division one track and field athlete in college. What was your event and how was that experience? 

Aminah Ghaffar: So I did the multi-event. So indoor, I competed in the pentathlon and outdoor I competed in the heptathlon and I actually still have the record for the heptathlon at East Carolina. And I also competed in the 400 hurdles. And a quick story is my junior year, I finished the heptathlon, which is the hundred hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200 on the first day. And then the second day is long jump, javelin, and the 800. And so three hours after the 800, I went back to the track and competed in the 400 meter hurdle prelim, and I made the finals the next day. So needless to say that was a very busy weekend for me. But that's one of the things that I learned in doing track and field is just persistence, discipline, and learning how to take care of myself too, was a big part of that. Because obviously doing eight different events, I had some stress injuries and I had to learn how to take care of myself and prioritize my health. And yeah, just really spoke to and encouraged me to work hard. 

JD Wooten: That's wonderful. So let's start with the million dollar question. Why are you running for the North Carolina House? 

Aminah Ghaffar: I've spent most of my working career as an advocate. So the domestic violence advocacy, missing and murdered Indigenous people advocacy, and environmental advocacy. I really wanted to use this opportunity to extend my advocacy and my public service to my community.

JD Wooten: Okay. So why don't you tell me some more about that advocacy experience that you've had so far and how that might tie into your work in the House? 

Aminah Ghaffar: Absolutely. So I've done a lot of grassroots efforts to get people aware of different things that are going on in the area and nationwide. And talking to people, and a lot of times, not even talking, but listening, and listening to understand, not listening to change someone's mind, but really getting to the core of understanding who people are and what they're going through. And being able to amplify that, for whoever needs to hear it, whether that'd be policy makers or whether that be other elected officials. 

JD Wooten: So turning to your campaign platform, why don't we start with environmental issues. Where do you think North Carolina should be heading in terms of investment in renewable and sustainable energy? 

Aminah Ghaffar: We should absolutely be moving towards renewable and sustainable energy and not the type of renewable and sustainable energy that is trying to be passed off as for doable and sustainable energy. Because there's some companies that are trying to say that biomass is something that's renewable and sustainable, but it's not, and it actually causes more harm than good. So I, I think that there should be two approaches that North Carolina should be having towards the environmental movement, not just investing in this new and renewable energy. So air, wind, solar, but also fining corporations for waste management practices. And making sure that people are held accountable for putting different communities, often the most marginalized and overburdened communities, at risk to suffer the public health impacts of what these companies are doing to these areas, to our air, to our wind, to our water.

JD Wooten: And I understand Robeson has struggled with that. 

Aminah Ghaffar: Absolutely. We, I won't say we, because a lot of times the work that I do is supporting the actual environmentalist in the county. So people like Ms. Donna Chavis with RedTailed Hawk Collective, and Friends of the Earth. And then people like Mac Legerton with RC Co-operative and Anita Cunningham. They often spearhead a lot of efforts to bring awareness to different issues going on with these corporations, like NC Renewable Power, for example, who was trying to renew an air permit last month. And so they organized and made sure that people are aware of what was going on, the implications of what this would mean, because this is a company that has violated the Clean Air Act multiple times. So they should not be able to have this air permit. So a lot of it is targeting the bureaucratic efforts of these companies to slow them down because we may not be able to get rid of them, but we can slow them down and use their bureaucracy against them. 

JD Wooten: So coming from one of North Carolina's many rural counties, where would you like to see North Carolina go with sustainable agricultural methods and technology?

Aminah Ghaffar: I've been reading this book by an Indigenous author, it's called Fresh Banana Leaves. And I think she does such a great job of really talking about Indigenous, sustainable practices. And things like having a good working relationship with microbes and also I like her metaphor for why she named her book Fresh Banana Leaves, because there's oftentimes this idea of this is an invasive species. And so instead of that, she challenges that, and she's like none of these species should be called invasive, but they're new relatives. We should be working on incorporating them into the ecosystem. I also think that there's this agricultural system that's used in South America and Mexico a lot called milpas. And that's just the thing that the corn, squash, and beans, so that crop rotation, and that crop diversification, and making sure that we're not over tilling the soil and things of that nature. 

JD Wooten: So Aminah, was there anything else in the environmental space and the environmental issues that you want listeners to know about your platform?

Aminah Ghaffar: Yeah, again, just about the good waste management practices. So even if someone can't convert to the fully, I think there should be more of a transition into more sustainable agricultural practices, because I know that telling people to stop something cold turkey is never going to be effective or something that's sustainable. So in order to keep this sustainable piece of it, I think it's important to create like a step-wise plan to where people can gradually start to adjust to this new world that we're going to be moving towards. So I wanted to make that clear that it's something that needs to be a transition and not something that you just like stop cold turkey, because that has a negative impact also. 

JD Wooten: Certainly that makes a lot of sense. 

Aminah Ghaffar: Oh, I should also say that. I don't think that there's a one size fits all solution for environmental issues. Or especially the sustainable agriculture and even going back to the environmentalism stuff that we were talking about before, because for example, so I have some relatives or people that I talk to who are Mashpee Wampanoag. And so there was an issue with, they were actually advocating against windmills being put in their area because of the lay of the land and the landscape. And so, although this was a green initiative, it would've had harmful impacts on the ecosystem in that area because of the soil erosion and things like that. So I think that it's really important to be very specific and oftentimes engage with the local people to see what, or the Indigenous people in those areas to make sure that their knowledge is taken into, into consideration when we're doing these green initiatives. 

JD Wooten: That certainly makes a lot of sense. I mean, a one-size fits package almost never works. So I would certainly support that. So let's talk real quick about criminal justice. I know you've said an area of concern for you is the crime rate in Robeson County and the lack of trust with local law enforcement. How do you hope to address those issues from the General Assembly? 

Aminah Ghaffar: I think that we have to take away the power dynamic. And when I say that, I don't mean that we need to strip police of their power. I don't think they need to strip people of their authority in that sense, but we need to be having conversations as a community because they are still part of a community framework. And I think a lot of the issues and the mistrust is coming from this very clear attitude of the power dynamic. And so people aren't going to feel comfortable coming to report things to the police. If they're, if they feel like their concerns aren't going to be taken seriously, or if they feel that nothing's going to get done about it. And so I also think that instead of having the power dynamic, we should have an empowering dynamic. And so I think that looks like going back to having town halls, going back to making sure that everyone is brought to the table, the community members and the people who are law enforcement or people who are in elected positions and making sure that we're facilitating and the people in power are the ones facilitating these conversations and making sure that everyone is welcome to the table. And again, that kind of dispels this whole, because it's just like any relationship, whether it be a romantic relationship was on a relationship or community relationships or community dynamics, like we have to talk, if there's no communication, you know, everyone's just going to be drawing conclusions on things. And we're actually not getting to the core of what the issue is, which is a lack of communication. And so, lack of communication causes that lack of trust. 

JD Wooten: I think that's brilliant. When I was in the military, one of the things that I really valued about our thinking was trying to put the emphasis on the fact that we wore the uniform to serve. If I went out in the community in my uniform, I was a representative of something else and I was there to serve them. And I think there may be some opportunities for that communication piece. You think town halls can do that, or do you think there are some other ways that you might want to address that? 

Aminah Ghaffar: Yeah, I think there, and town halls is one way, but I also think you have to meet people where they're at too. So law enforcement or anyone in power needs to be actively engaging and seeing like, okay, what community events are going on? Where can we go? Where can we support work? And not just showing up or a PR purposes, but also offering something, bringing something that is of service to that event, or you know, maybe you buy the food, maybe you provide, or even just do like a training or something or, you know, provide childcare or something by having the cars out there. And having like, I don't know, the possibilities are endless! And I think we have to get creative with how we're setting this dynamic. And we have to understand that these wounds are very deep and are they're generational. So it's not something that one event, or one outing, or even one year or a couple of years, is going to fix. It's going to take a long time to heal some of the wounds that have occurred in communities that have been impacted by this negative power dynamic. And I think that should be heavily considered. And I was taught by one of my mentors that there is no forgiveness without an apology. So I think that there's, there's always two sides of the coin. Like you can't expect forgiveness if you don't apologize for the perpetration of the wrongdoing. And so I think that's a really important part of the conversation as well. 

JD Wooten: I agree. And what, if anything, do you envision the General Assembly might be able to do. Because some of these sound like local issues, but I certainly think that there's bound to be a role for the state to help play in this as well. So any thoughts on that? 

Aminah Ghaffar: Yeah. And that's that's a great question because honestly, I would look to not only my community, but I would also look to other people in the legislature for how we tackle this issue. Because I don't think it's just local. I think there're several districts that are dealing with the same issue and I won't dance around it. A lot of it is systemic racism. And I think there's a larger conversation that needs to be had there about how we're treating people because of our biases. And so I think something that the Assembly could do is again, like doing a way with these one-stop shop bias reduction workshops and making sure that there's some type of sustainable plan where people are constantly being challenged and constantly challenging themselves to reduce their biases. So that you're not treating people like strangers, or you're not treating, you're not treating your fellow community members as strangers. But you're treating them as human beings, because that's the impact of bias is that there's these unconscious dehumanizing elements to it that really take away the sense of this is somebody that I need to protect. This is somebody I need to care for. And so I think that the General Assembly could assist with that by looking into, again, like these, this bias reduction plan and different training efforts to make sure that not just law enforcement, but all public service entities really take seriously the bias reduction effort. 

JD Wooten: Brilliant. So finally, education. North Carolina once had a stellar reputation for its public schools, although that's started languishing a bit in the last several years. One of the more egregiously impacted counties, as I understand it, has been Robeson County. How would you like to see the state address these educational shortcomings? 

Aminah Ghaffar: Well, I do think that one of the questions that keeps coming up is private schools getting access to public school funding. And that's just not acceptable to me. And that again, in my opinion, I think that that's saying if your child can't afford, or if this family can't afford, to provide their child with this level of education, then they're not going to be able to get it on a public school level, and I think that's wrong. I think that there's a, there's a horrible class discrepancy when we're talking about being able to send your child to private school and being able to or, you know, having a child at the public school system. So I think there's a, there's a socioeconomic component to the issue that's occurring when it comes to what's happening to our public schools. And being somebody who even went to a private school for, from eight to 12th grade, I can speak from, from my experience that the difference in the education that I got here and the education that I got at the private school. And even going to a lab in eighth grade, being able to go to a geology lab and learning about just, just a lab, a general science lab, was mind blowing. And it was something that wasn't provided for me at Pembroke Elementary or Pembroke Middle School. I think every child should have access to good education, high quality education, where they're being prepared for college, for trade schools, or whatever. So even diversifying the options that we're giving our kids to tailor to what their strong suits are. And I also think that, when we're making sure that we're investing in public schools, we're investing in futures, we're investing in the next generation of workforce. And so I also think that why wouldn't public schools of Robeson County be considered as, you know, the next generation of, of leaders or the next generation of, of people. And that, that's what bothers me about it is because I feel like when that funding doesn't go here or those efforts don't go here, that you're saying that those futures don't matter, or those futures aren't worthy of our investment. And so that kind of makes me a little disheartened and I see a little bit angry because we have some very brilliant children around here. We have some really amazing minds here, and we also have amazing teachers in the county that are under-resourced and don't get the proper pay and are overburdened in their classrooms. And so I think that, again, investing in, and not just the children's futures, but also the amazing educators who are dedicating their lives to making sure that the next generation is taken care of is of utmost importance to me.

JD Wooten: I couldn't agree more. I think, first off public funds are for public schools. If you want to send your kid to private school, that's great. 

Aminah Ghaffar: That's your business.

JD Wooten: That's your business. Have at it, but not with, not with the taxpayer dollars. Taxpayer dollars are for the public schools. 

Aminah Ghaffar: Exactly. 

JD Wooten: And your note on teachers, we woefully under compensate our teachers across the state. Even in the best supplemented counties, we're still woefully under compensating our educators. Because, you know, people like to talk about, oh, well, where do we rank in these, you know, state rankings with, with teacher pay or whatever. And I get that desire to talk about those rankings. But I think what really matters is how are we compensating our educators versus somebody that has the same education and experience level in the private sector across the street? Because that's where we're losing our educators too. They're not leaving North Carolina to go to Virginia. They're leaving the school to go across the street to the private sector. And last time I checked, we were somewhere in the ballpark, 48th or 49th in the country by that metric. 

Aminah Ghaffar: Wow. I do want to make sure that I say that I had a great relationship with most of my teachers in public schools and the decision to go to private school had nothing to do with the quality of teachers that I had. It had everything to do with just creating or having access to more academic challenges. But at the same time, like I, I know people who have done well in these schools. But you'll hear the same story from, from most of us that we were, we kind of walked into higher education a little bit unprepared when it came to, to college curriculum. And so I think it's important to again, invest in making sure that our schools get the same access to education and not just in AP classes or IB classes. But you know, across the board, whatever academic level that students may be at. Everyone should get the same access to the quality education, because I think that that's a comment smoke screen that people miss is that, okay, well, we'll just put our gifted students here and make sure they get access to all these things, but then you're still leaving a lot of people behind in that sense. 

JD Wooten: Couldn't agree more. So what do you hope to accomplish in your first term in the North Carolina House? Maybe your top priority or your top two or three?

Aminah Ghaffar: Ideally I would at least like to make sure, and this is something that I think I can do within my wheelhouse in the first year, is making sure that the Proclamation that's given by the Governor on May 5th about missing and murdered Indigenous women has accurate data about how many cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women that are in North Carolina. Because right now, and for the past three years of this Proclamation has been given, it has said 90 cases. And that is inaccurate. Because I know for a fact that there are 600 cases alone in Robeson County. So making sure that the state starts to invest in research about this issue that we're having with Indigenous women, men, boys, and girls going missing at alarming rates and being found murdered at alarming rates. So that is one thing I definitely think that I can accomplish in my first year. 

And the second thing I would want to accomplish is I imagine having some sort of legislation that addresses some type of obligation for corporations, energy corporations, food corporations, to invest in transitioning to better waste management practices, because I think that's a good starting point for the transition towards more cleaner and renewable energy is making sure that the practices that are currently in practice and are probably going to be in practice for the next couple of years. I don't really have a timeline on it, but having a reasonable plan for what that transition looks like. And the first thing to do is to make sure that the waste management is under control. And enforcing those policies. And for the third thing, I'm going to have to think about number three, that was a bit longer, but this is great because the job is definitely not done when I'm done campaigning. The job will just be beginning when I get done campaigning. So making sure I'm holding myself accountable, to be able to provide practical solutions to some of the issues that people in District 47 are facing. 

JD Wooten: I love it. So before we close, is there anything else you want people to know about you or your campaign?

Aminah Ghaffar: You can find me at Pretty simple. I have Twitter and Instagram, and I have a Facebook page. You can find me in all those platforms. 

JD Wooten: All right. So if I want to go volunteer for your campaign, I go to

Aminah Ghaffar: Yes. Volunteer or donate, whichever one you feel led to do.

JD Wooten: Well said. Aminah, thank you so much. It has been an absolute pleasure having you today. I really appreciate you taking the time to talk to us. 

Aminah Ghaffar: Yeah, thank you for having me. I really enjoyed the show.

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JD Wooten: Thanks again to Aminah Ghaffar for joining us today. Visit to learn more, volunteer, or as Aminah noted, you can donate too, whatever you feel led to do. And don’t forget Dr. Steele’s words of wisdom from last week: “Don’t just think everyone else has got it under control. No, they do not. Stand up, speak up, and do something.” And that includes supporting those doing the important work of protecting and expanding democracy.

In closing, if you or someone else you know should be on the show, send me an email at Please subscribe wherever you get your podcasts to make sure you never miss an episode, and share this episode with a friend. Together, we can achieve a better North Carolina for everyone.

Interview with Aminah Ghaffar
Closing Notes