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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Isabella Cannon, Spring 1993. Interview G-0188. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

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.