Barbara & Tom Coulson: Champions of Democracy

For more than three decades, Barbara and Tom Coulson have been tirelessly working to make democracy work in North Carolina. This month, Common Cause NC honored the couple with its inaugural Champions of Democracy Award.

“The Coulsons have been a steadfast force for good in North Carolina, selflessly giving their time and energy toward building a democracy for all,” said Bob Phillips, executive director of Common Cause NC. “Their passion for defending voting rights, ending gerrymandering and fighting big money in politics is truly an inspiration.”

Residents of Little Sandy Mush outside of Asheville, the Coulsons first joined Common Cause 35 years ago and continue to be actively involved in good-government efforts in North Carolina, serving as mentors for a rising generation of citizen activists.

“I would say that we are getting older, but we’re fighting for the rights of these young people who are coming up,” Barbara Coulson said. “And I think the best thing that they could do is to become involved and become aware of how things that are happening in our Legislature and in our Congress are affecting them.”

Tom Coulson said that the work of winning democratic reforms necessitates dedication and longterm vision.

“It requires effort and attention, and sticking to it,” Tom Coulson said. “This is not a sprint. It’s a marathon.”

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