A woman becomes involved in local politics
Cannon describes her entrance into political activity. Recently widowed in the mid-1950s, Cannon began to work for the North Carolina State Library. During her fifteen years working there, she became increasingly involved in local Raleigh politics and by the early 1970s, she was helping to campaign for Jim Hunt's first bid for lieutenant governor. For Cannon, these experiences allowed her to learn about the inner workings of local politics, thus preparing her for her own bid to become the mayor of Raleigh in 1977.
Citing this Excerpt
Oral History Interview with Isabella Cannon, Spring 1993. Interview G-0188. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Full Text of the Excerpt
In the meantime, I had become more and
more involved in the social activities of my church. Also, I had become
involved in political action. I went through the real learning process
of political activity, from literature drops at residences, to
telephoning for candidates. I went through the ranks of precinct
officers. I was Precinct Chair for several years and am still a precinct
officer, although I had to drop out when I became
an elected official. In addition, I have been Chair of the Citizens
Advisory Council for the Wade Community, an advocacy position for the
area to City Council. I resigned all these when I ran for office but
have since been deeply involved. I continue to be a delegate to party
conventions and to be active in political campaigns.
About that time, Jim Hunt started his first campaign for Lieutenant
Governor, and I was really caught up in his mixture of patriotism and
idealism that I felt he brought to the political scene. I worked two
days a week as a volunteer for him, doing ordinary jobs like stuffing
envelopes and telephoning, ordinary jobs I didn't care much about but
that are necessary. However, the excitement of being in Headquarters,
being part of all the campaigning and learning the importance of voters,
voter registration . . . all the activity that is so important in the
political realm was challenging and exciting and had a deep impact on
me. It was a good learning experience.