Nancy Jones was fed up with Washington, but could one person's voice make a difference?
Jones, 62, of Sherrills Ford decided to write several dozen other Lake Norman-area residents. If they could all join as a unified group, maybe political leaders would begin to listen to their concerns over political corruption, government debt, health-care bills in Congress and other issues.
Thus was born Stand Up America, which met for the first time Nov. 14 at the Sherrills Ford Fire Station.
The grassroots group is not slanted to one political party or another, Jones said.
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"We're frustrated that our politicians aren't listening," she said. "We're just citizens that are unhappy."
The group drew about 70 people to a forum on health-care legislation last week at Mooresville Public Library. The group wanted to learn more about the bills in Congress. They invited four local doctors to discuss how the bills could affect the medical profession and patients.
Part of the group's purpose is to better educate itself on such issues.
Stand Up America intends to contact elected officials on issues of importance and communicate its concerns to citizens beyond the group's membership. The group had 40 paying members before last week's gathering in Mooresville, Jones said.
Stand Up America also intends to be a "support group" for elected officials and candidates who, according to the group's literature, have proven they uphold the Constitution, support a balanced budget and have integrity.
The organization intends to form study groups, including one on the Founding Fathers and the Constitution, Jones said.
In its literature, Stand Up America says it is linked loosely with the Hickory 9/12 Project, a citizen group in Catawba County, to share information and influence legislation.
Jones said Stand Up America might consider joining with various citizen groups at some point to visit legislators in Washington.
Doctors at last week's forum urged the group to contact Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., about concerns over the health-care bills, since Democrats hold majorities in the House and Senate.
"That will make a difference," Dr. David Eagle, an oncologist at Lake Norman Regional Medical Center, told the group. "It works."