“In a time where slogans of a few words capture a position, and controversy swirls with each news cycle, On Point offers refreshing and timely insights from a new generation of young elected officials in the eternal struggle to build a more perfect union,” wrote Senator George J. Mitchell in his introduction to On Point: Voices and Values of the Young Elected Officials, by Jeff L. Thigpen.
The author had that point in mind when he decided to write the book.
“I wrote On Point because there’s an emerging group of principled leaders shaping a new era in American politics. It’s time we know them and why they were inspired to run for elected office, and how they are meeting the challenges of this time in history. Most importantly, it is time we hear their stories,” said Thigpen.
Rep. Alex Cornell du Houx was one of only seven state lawmakers chosen for the book, containing unique National profiles of sixteen young elected officials. Rep. Cornell du Houx is in his second term as a legislator representing Brunswick, District 66. He was a former Marine who served in Iraq and is currently a public affairs officer in the Navy Reserve. He worked for the Truman National Security Project in Washington, DC on national security and energy issues.
“My work with the Truman National Security Project included focusing on educating members of Congress and other elected officials on why to take this issue just as seriously as our military is,” said Cornell du Houx in the book.
While he worked for the Truman Project, he brought veterans of all wars together to form a coalition called Operation Free, whose mission is to strengthen our security by reducing our dependence on oil. He organized and took part in press events at the White House about the issue. In each state, he recruited and trained future leaders, elected officials, their staff, nonprofits, and others involved in national security. He went on national bus tours with Operation Free, raising awareness with each veteran’s personal story as to how America’s dependency on foreign oil is a national security threat. The bus came to Maine in 2009.
“Alex’s personal story exudes a profound sense of duty, honor, and service to country — as an officer in the Navy, community leader, and in the Maine State Legislature. Those unique values have shaped his advocacy work for veterans, renewable energy, and energy independence,” said the author of On Point, Jeff Thigpen.
Thigpen has received praise for choosing to write a book highlighting young officials at this time.
“Conventional wisdom says that Washington, DC is usually wrong about 95 percent of the time — give or take 5 percent. On Point gives us fresh faces and new voices in progressive leadership working to get it right. They are problem solvers, in touch with peoples’ lives and figuring out solutions that will work today. America’s future is now, and these young leaders have the values and courage to make a difference,” said Celinda Lake, President of Lake Research Partners.
Some of the personal stories remind the reader of America’s civil rights struggle and makes one thankful for the work these young officials are doing, including the author, Jeff Thigpen, who was recently on The Rachael Maddow Show. As a county register of deeds in North Carolina, he is pressing for a review of the lawsuits and investigations by state attorneys general and others into MERS, who are reportedly involved in 60% of US mortgage loans. He believes it will take a coordinated effort at the local, state and federal level to recover loss of funds at Registers of Deeds in counties nationwide, as well as for homeowners.
“This is a mess and the MERS system impacts millions of homeowners across the country in danger of having their homes foreclosed,” said Thigpen. “To me these issues with MERS are simple. Are major banking conglomerates going to tell the truth or not; and are we going choose to have two standards of justice in America: one for Big Money and the other for the rest of us?
O. Max Gardner III is nationally recognized as a successful consumer bankruptcy attorney. His quote appears on the back cover saying, “The young politicians profiled in this book give me hope for the future. Jeff in particular has been working to uphold the rule of law, even if it means putting the powerful financial industry’s feet to the fire.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jeff Thigpen grew up in a small farming community in southeastern North Carolina. At age twenty-seven, he was elected the youngest county commissioner in North Carolina and the youngest ever in Guilford County. He has served with distinction in elected office for fourteen years and is currently the Guilford County register of deeds. As in his writing, the author demonstrates that strong leadership in the 21st century needs boldness and courage, good humor, and pragmatism to leave our neighborhoods better than we found them. Jeff received a BA in political science, and in justice & policy studies from Guilford College and an MA in public affairs from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and he is a graduate of the North Carolina Institute of Political Leadership. He has received several awards, including the Tyre Tyler Outstanding Young Democrat in North Carolina, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Award from UNC-Greensboro, and the North Carolina Association of County Commissioner’s (NCACC) Local Government Federal Credit Union Productivity award for creating efficiencies in county government. He is also a member of the Young Elected Officials Network. He lives in Greensboro with his wife, Michelle, an elementary school principal, and their two children, Elle (8) and Aiden (4).
On Point: Voices and Values of the Young Elected Officials, 164pp, Quality Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-882190-11-9
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