Local Politics

Pittsboro woman to speak at Democratic convention

Posted August 21, 2008 4:47 p.m. EDT
Updated August 21, 2008 6:13 p.m. EDT

— A local woman who has survived ill health and financial hardship has been asked to make a prime-time speech during next week's Democratic National Convention.

Pam Roper-Cash has a story that presidential candidate Barack Obama and Democratic leaders want the nation to hear. Her husband had two bypass surgeries and couldn't return to work, then she had open-heart surgery and also couldn't work.

The couple lost their health insurance and had to cash in their retirement accounts to make ends meet.

"Our drug bills are over $3,000 a month, and we live on $1,164. I mean, you do the math," she said.

Roper-Cash's brush with national politics began in June, when she got a phone call from Pittsboro Mayor Randolph Voller asking for a favor from the Obama campaign.

"(He said,) 'They want you to introduce him,' and I said, 'In public?' and he said, 'Yeah' and I said, 'OK,'" she said. "I thought it was a joke. I mean, I really did."

She introduced him before he made an economic speech in Raleigh that kicked off a series of stops nationwide as he closed in on securing the Democratic nomination.

Then the phone rang again with another request.

"(He said,) 'Senator Obama would like for you to speak, and the Democratic National Convention would like for you to speak.' I said, 'In Denver?' and he said, 'Well, yes' and I was, like, 'OK,'" she said.

Now, her home phone rings off the hook, and her e-mail box is filled with messages from Obama's campaign.

Roper-Cash is scheduled to make a three-minute speech between 8:30 and 9 p.m. ET Tuesday.

"It's a big responsibility, but it's an immense honor," she said.