Aberdeen Man Headed for Democratic Convention
Surrounded by family photos spanning decades, Maurice Holland sits in a small room of his home in the Midway community of Aberdeen and smiles as he reminisces about the past and looks to the future.
The community activist who first became aware of and involved in politics nearly 50 years ago thanks to the racial controversy that happened at the 1964 Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City, N.J., is now preparing to be on the inside looking out. He will represent North Carolina as a delegate to the 2012 Democratic National Convention (DNC) at Time Warner Arena in Charlotte on Sept. 3-7.
“This is beyond my wildest dreams,” Holland said. “To think what has happened in my lifetime. I got involved in 1964 when Alabama sent two delegations (to the DNC). Now I’m going to a convention where we are going to nominate a black man for his second term as president.”
Holland hopes his accomplishment will be an example to future generations.
“For me to go (to the DNC) from Midway, what does it say for the next generation for participating in politics, expressing their views and getting involved at any level? Everybody who comes behind me can participate and make a difference.”
Holland decided to apply to be a delegate after finding an application form online. He filled out the form and sent it off. Weeks later he was elected as a delegate at a district convention held on May 19.
“It was divine providence,” he said of his election. “It took six ballots before I finally got the 50 percent plus one vote.”
He said he didn’t bring signs, fliers or other literature touting his candidacy. He opted instead for passing out simple business cards and devoting time for face-to-face discussions.
He was one of 93 delegates selected there. Overall, the state will have 158 delegates and 12 alternates at the convention.
It’s been nearly a month since his selection and Holland said he’s still coming to grips with the opportunity that has been presented him.
“I am still putting it all in perspective,” he said. “It puts you on another level.”
Over the years, a handful of Moore County residents have attended national political conventions. Most recently, Moore County’s Tessie Taylor attended the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver.
During his life, Holland has worked as a cook, a waiter and a mobile home salesman, and owned several businesses. He is semiretired now, working in the home health care business, but he remains active in his community. He currently serves as a board member of the Southern Coalition for Social Justice.
He has served as president of the Midway Association, been a member of the Aberdeen Planning Board and is an active member of the county Democratic Party.
In recent years, he has been instrumental in helping the Midway commun-ity become part of Aberdeen through voluntary annexation.
Holland said he has nothing special planned for when he attends the convention other than to represent Moore County in an “upstanding, proper and honorable way” and “do something that is constructive.”
“The only thing I can do when I go is be where I am supposed to be, and convey the concerns of the people here, and bring back a lot of contacts that will be able to help us in the future,” he said.
Contact Tom Embrey at (910) 693-2484 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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