Reprinted from High Country News:
By Paul T. Choate
July 11, 2012. The Watauga County Democratic Party will again rent the building on West King Street that formerly housed BeansTalk to use as their headquarters in the months leading up to the November 2012 elections.
Party members began working inside the building yesterday, July 10, putting up posters and getting the inside cleaned up and ready. On Wednesday afternoon Treasurer Susan Phipps, Third Vice Chair Jesse Presnell and Field Organizer Ian O’Keefe were hard at work trying to get everything ready prior to a grand opening.
“We’ll have a grand opening at some point in the summer – probably closer to the beginning of August when people are starting to think about elections,” said Phipps.
This is the second time the party has used the building as their headquarters. According to Presnell, the previous time was in 2008. Party members are excited about the location and glad to be back.
“We know that this place is going to have good foot traffic because it certainly did last time and we expect that it will this time,” said Phipps. “In fact, every time we are in here somebody pops in and just wants to know what it is. They’ve heard we’re going to be here so they come and see if anything is happening yet. Soon enough it will be!”
The party does not always have a physical headquarters. A facility is only rented during state elections. When there are only municipal elections coming up, there is no headquarters.
Phipps said they always try to make sure they rent a facility in downtown Boone so that the most people possible take notice.
“We always like to be very close to the university because the students just have a tendency to drop in,” said Phipps. “It’s a good place for our volunteers because we have a constant flow of volunteers, so they can come and work for a few hours and then go. So, we like to have that central location and a place that is easy to walk to from businesses and the university.”
As for volunteers, Presnell said that once they are up and running they expect to have approximately 15 to 20 volunteers working in the headquarters every day. He added that volunteers come from all walks of life and vary dramatically in age.
“[Last time we were operating a headquarters] we had a 14-year-old and we had a 95-year-old, Virginia Mcleod, so 14 to 95,” said Presnell.
The building housing the headquarters (and formerly, BeansTalk) is owned by Charlotte-based Full House Properties, LLC.
The headquarters is located at 352 W. King St. in downtown Boone.
For more information about the Watauga County Democratic Party, visit wataugadems.com.