Pictured: Alester Linton-Pryor leads Horry County Democrats into 2022.
Alester Linton-Pryor is a New York City native who is now spending virtually every waking moment of what is supposed to be retirement in the sunny south trying to overtake the rightwing Republicans who dominate the Horry County political landscape.
As chair of the Horry County (SC) Democratic Party (HCDP), Linton-Pryor leads a determined organization of volunteers who share her concerns about the major social issues of today and who are working to elect Democrats in an area in which using that very word can get you snubbed, or worse.
In this audio episode of the Lean to the Left podcast, Linton-Pryor talks about the challenges she and other Democrats face in her ruby red area, but says she is confident that gains can be made if voters simply will be effectively informed about the benefits President Biden and Democrats in Congress have provided.
She points to the $1.9 trillion relief package the president pushed through Congress to help Americans through the economic disaster caused by the Covid 19 pandemic, and stresses the new jobs it is creating and the financial assistance it has provided. Likewise, the massive infrastructure law that Biden shepherded through Congress will also provide major benefits, including good paying jobs, she says.
At the same time, she recognizes the difficulties that the President and Democratic leaders have encountered in the 50-50 Senate, where voting rights bills and the broad Build Back Better program have stalled, largely because of Republican opposition.
Linton-Pryor takes no prisoners in this interview, stressing that it is the Democratic Party that is fighting for voting rights, equal rights for all, child care, health care, education, and is opposing efforts to restrict what can be taught in schools and to interfere with a woman’s right to choose what should happen to her own body.
During the interview, she talks about two incidents back in the 1960s that formed her determination to make change. Her family was traveling in Georgia and her mom needed to use the bathroom. But the White attendant at the gas station where they stopped told her to simply use the field in the back. Then, further south, the family was walking on the beach. A white couple informed them that “Negroes” were only allowed on the beach on Thursdays.
Much has changed, she says, but much has not. Racism in many forms still persist, and so do inequities that affect minorities and the poor. Voting is the big equalizer, she says, and one of her major goals is to increase voter turnout among those people who are disadvantaged by policies supported and advanced by Republicans.
For those who are involved with HCDP, the interview will provide a glimpse into what drives this determined and dedicated leader and what she hopes to achieve. For those who are not involved with the party, or who live elsewhere, it offers insight into the challenges faced by determined progressive leaders who are bucking the odds in GOP-controlled areas.