When residents gather in Mount Airy, North Carolina this evening, there will be a banner hanging on a tractor trailer at the back of the stage. This is the banner:
The rally this evening has been months in the making.
Shortly after Glenn Beck began talking about his plans for a new '1791' clothing line that will benefit his new Mercury One charity effort, folks in town know as the model for "Mayberry" began lobbying to bring the manufacturing jobs to Mount Airy. Beck has been clear that the '1791' project may not involve many jobs in initial stages...so it may not be a manufacturing windfall. But he has been looking for and celebrating vibrant entrepreneurial spirit in towns across the country.
The mayor and others emailed Beck, making their pitch for Mount Airy.
But there was some discord. The board of commissioners seemed hesitant to back the job recruitment effort citing Beck's ideological leanings.
This perturbed Beck who said on the radio: “I won’t do anything in a city where you are going to make everything about politics. Forget it. I’m really not interested in working around a bunch of people who might consider job creation a partisan event.”
The Mount Airy mayor, Deborah Cochran, called Beck's radio show a few minutes later to state her case:
And eventually the Surry County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to send a letter to Beck encouraging the project.
A local resident, Melissa Hiatt, decided to create a new t-shirt:
This is from our report at the time:
Melissa Hiatt told the Mount Airy News she created the shirt — which has the words “Bring it Beck!“ over an image of the American flag and a ”Made in the U.S.A.” stamp — to support Mayor Deborah Cochran’s efforts, and because the board of commissioners reportedly declined to support the project due to Beck’s politics.
“I’m very proud of her for being persistent and for going after such a thing,” Hiatt said. She said there needed to be something to show the community‘s support for the mayor and Beck’s project. “We want jobs and we should leave politics out of it.”
Then a few weeks ago plans came together for a rally to be held on Labor Day. WGHP-TV covered the story:
There is now, of course, a Facebook page backing the effort and tonight rally. Here is the flyer they have been distributing:
The Mount Airy News has this preview:
Today, a “Bring It Beck” jobs rally is being held in honor of Labor Day and in an effort to encourage television and radio host Glenn Beck to locate a manufacturing operation in Mount Airy.
The jobs rally is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m., featuring speakers, special music and other attractions. It will be held at the corner of Independence Boulevard and Willow Street.
The day’s events, which will last about two hours, include local elected government officials as well as businesspeople speaking, special music by Rachel Johnson and food sales.
Organizers say there will be a video documentary produced about the event that will be sent to Beck.
Note: The Blaze will be monitoring local media coverage of the event tonight -- but feel free to send any initial pictures and video of the event directly to me so that we can provide quick coverage this evening!
So while the manufacturing plans for the '1791' project are not fully clear, and may not be the economic answer for any particular town, it's clear that the drive and determination evident in Mount Airy is a sign that the spirit of American enterprise is very much alive.