Two UNC-Greensboro students have been elected to serve on board of the 13th Congressional District Democratic Party in North Carolina.
Roger Cooper, a senior at UNCG, was elected on Jan. 6 to serve as the chair for the 13th District Democratic Party. Sheree Simon, a senior in her third year, was chosen to serve as the secretary on the same day.
“My favorite part about it is that I get to talk to people who I never would have talk to in the first place,” said Simon. “I started going to the district meetings because I was the College Democrats of North Carolina representative for the 13th district, so I would go and talk to people who I knew, but being secretary has forced me to talk to people who I didn’t know, and I’ve gotten to work on my leadership and organizational skills.”
Simon, a double major in political science and International and Global Studies, has always been interested in different cultures and believes in the importance of the ability to empathize. She has a background in service, and has been a part of the UNCG College Democrats since her freshman year. Though she started going to the meetings as a regular member, she soon started attending Executive Board meetings and organizing events; she became a Chief of Staff, and then the Director of Chapter Engagement.
“I joined because I understand that policy affects people’s lives,” said Simon. “You have to go to where they are and help them where they are.”
Cooper, a political science major with a concentration in pre-law, is also a member of the UNCG College Democrats. He joined after transferring from North Carolina A&T, became Treasurer, and then ran for the club’s presidency seat. His work with the UNCG College Democrats is not Cooper’s first experience with politics, however, as he as been politically involved from a young age.
“My aunt has always been politically engaged in different ways. When I was 13, she was organizing precincts and trying to get people to vote, trying to register voters, and she told me ‘You’re going to help me do these precincts or you’re grounded.’”
Together, and along with the rest of the club, Cooper and Simon hope to get the UNCG College Democrats more involved in the Greensboro community through both politics and service. This includes getting other Democrats informed about why they need to vote and getting off campus to support the Greensboro community.
“This coming up semester, we have a trip to a local Synagogue, so we’ll be doing a cultural visit to learn more about the Jewish community. We’re having an active shooter training in cooperation with the UNCG police department because people want to know how to protect themselves,” said Simon. “We’re trying to bring to light a lot of issues so that people can get involved. I’ve planned a lot of events for this upcoming semester, and they all should go well. That’s the hope.”
Now, outside of the College Democrats, Cooper and Simon are implementing similar principles in their work with the 13th District. While Simon’s primary duties as the secretary are traditional, promoting communication and organization, she is also working on the district’s social media platforms.
“My main job is recording keeping, like most other secretaries. We’re comprised of five counties and in the past, there was no communication between anybody and no organization. I’m having to disperse information in ways so that everyone can access it.”
Cooper, who was elected unanimously as Chair, has been working to organize the District Party since his election.
“Moving forward, I want to increase communication. I would like to have a meeting where we’re not filling a position, where we’re discussing things important to the district and actually implementing a plan where we can elect Democrats,” said Cooper. “I would like to raise some more money, as well, and work and do everything I possibly can to elect Democrats, not just in Congress but in other seats as well—in as many seats as possible.”