December 18, 2018

Local Power: Who Has It

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Reading through the Triad Business Journal today, I couldn’t help but reflect on the nature of local political power. The Triad Business Journal just released its list of 2018 Power Players. The list is a who’s who of the Triad; CEOs, education leaders, bankers, non-profit leaders, and developers. These upper-class men and women have a disproportionate amount of power over how our local society is shaped.

Government is supposed to be of the people, for the people and by the people. But instead, our democracy on a national, state and local level has degenerated into oligarchy; rule by the rich.

In Winston, the local oligarchy is organized by the Winston-Salem Alliance, under the leadership of Allen Joines. Allen Joines carries out the agenda of Winston’s 1 percent (that’s what they pay him to do) inside and outside of City Hall. Mayor Joines didn’t make the Triad Business Journal’s list. TBJ’s honor roll is more accolade than journalism.

The Triad Business Journal doesn’t wish to shine a light on the powerful or in any way question the legitimacy¬†of their power. But that’s our task as citizens. We must continue to strive for a more just society where the needs of the poor are prioritized, where housing and other basic necessities are met.

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