The objectives of the Democratic Women of Craven County:
a. To encourage participation in the political process, while supporting the principles of the Democratic Party.
b. To encourage qualified Democrats to seek public office and support their endeavors.
c. To work toward the election of the Democratic Party nominees.
d. To initiate and carry out the programs and projects on behalf of the Democratic Party and its nominees.
Join us for our monthly DWCC meetings!
May 12, 2022
1232 S Glenburnie Rd, New Bern, NC 28562
Can't make it in person?
Please email us about a Zoom link:
CRAVEN COUNTY DEMOCRATIC PARTY
meetings are held monthly on the fourth Monday evening at 6:30pm on Zoom. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for the link.
Trailblazer: Sandi Wheeler
When Sandi Wheeler moved to New Bern in 2007, Eastern North Carolina gained a true crusader for social justice. Though short in stature, her huge heart and boundless empathy are unequaled. She was a leader in many groups and initiatives in Craven County while her home became a hub for meetings, organization and planning. Sandi's influence reached to racial justice, voting rights, protecting the climate, immigration issues, healthcare, and community activities. She was active and an officer in both the Craven County Democratic Party and the Democratic Women of Craven County. When Sandi moved back to Northern Virginia to be near family in 2020, she left behind a powerful legacy.
Sandi during 2011 and 2012 was office manager for the Obama presidential campaign in the New Bern headquarters. She attended specialized training in Chicago twice, once during the campaign and again when the campaign evolved into ongoing community activism. This training also included assisting in the successful rollout of the Affordable Care act.
In September 2012 Sandi was honored as one of 10 North Carolina volunteers to attend an in-person meeting with First Lady Michelle Obama at ECU. Mrs. Obama spent 45 minutes with the volunteers prior to the campaign rally where she introduced them as key to the successful Obama campaign in North Carolina. After the campaign, the national group appointed state leaders for the Organizing for America (OFA) movement; Sandi was appointed as a State Leader for North Carolina. She led the local chapter of OFA and provided leadership to volunteers regarding climate, immigration reform, gun violence prevention and the ACA.
Within the Democratic party, Sandi was an active volunteer between 2007 and 2019. She particularly was key with GOTV, including phone banking, and helping arrange rides to the polls during early voting in election years. She served as Second Vice President and also Secretary of the County party. She was a member of the DWCC from 2013 to 2019 and held several offices within that group.
Sandi was a founding director and secretary of the Carolina Nature Coalition, an environmental group whose mission is to educate the public on how effectively to recycle, re-use and eliminate damaging waste. Monthly programs are offered to educate the community on management of resources such as water and energy. During the summer the group offers field trips for children and interested adults to nearby natural habitats to learn about the wonders of the Crystal Coast. Through this organization Sandi helped bring local, state, and national environmental concerns to public attention.
As an advocate for racial justice, Sandi was a member of the NAACP for 12 years and Treasurer for the group for 7 years. She was instrumental in arranging transportation to the annual HK on J marches and demonstrations in Raleigh. Some participants remember fondly that she was right there for support when they were arrested during a Moral Monday demonstration.
Sandi showed a passion for protecting and expanding voting rights. She was very active with Democracy NC which now presents an annual award called the Sandra Wheeler Legacy Award. Her long-time efforts with the non-partisan organization included frequent participation in voter registration and education events through Craven Get Out the Vote. She also managed local voter protection during voting periods.
From 2009 to 2019 Sandi participated with the Craven County Police Department volunteer program as Secretary, Vice-President, and President. She helped develop a summer program for underserved children to attend summer camp accompanied by police officers. She was able to provide significant funding for the program through identifying grant resources. Sandi's community involvement also included helping to found a Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) program in 2010.
Sandi was active in the Faith Connection organization of churches. From 2016-2017 she also volunteered with SAFE-NC, a group which assists undocumented immigrants with legally preparing for possible deportation by providing the myriad legal documents needed to protect their children born in the USA who would remain behind with guardians.
While in New Bern, Sandi was an amazing model as a crusader for social justice and community involvement. In Virginia, she continues serving others and volunteering as a lead teacher for Basic Literacy students who have come to the US without knowledge of English. She reports that the program had an influx of Afghan students in October. Her teaching has been on Zoom since the pandemic started; but as always, it sounds like she sees something that needs to be done and she does it!