North Carolina For the People
North Carolina’s pro-democracy coalition, aimed at educating the public on how to build a democracy where everyone participates, every vote is counted, voting rights are fully enforced, and everyone’s voice is heard.
Board of Directors
Melissa Price Kromm, Chair
Melissa Price Kromm is the Director of North Carolina Voters for Clean Elections, where she has served as its lobbyist and leader of the statewide pro-democracy coalition for the past twelve years. The coalition coordinates advocacy in structural democracy, voting rights, campaign finance reform, government ethics, and transparency, redistricting reform, judicial independence, the right to protest, and election crisis prevention. Kromm led efforts to pass campaign finance disclosure reform, voting rights reform, and stop attacks on judicial independence. Recently, Kromm led the coalition to stop bills promoting campaign finance secrecy, attacking the freedom to vote, limiting the right to protest, and spearheaded pioneering legislation to prevent election subversion. Before joining North Carolina Voters for Clean Elections, Kromm was part of a successful effort to pass same-day voter registration at early voting sites in North Carolina and pre-registration of 16 and 17-year-olds.
Jackson Sailor Jones, Vice Chair
Sailor Jones joined Common Cause NC in 2022 as the organization’s Associate Director. In the years prior to joining Common Cause NC, Sailor focused on pro-democracy work as Southern Coalition for Social Justice’s Communications Director and Democracy North Carolina’s Campaigns Director. In both roles, he supervised messaging and communications work, digital efforts, resource creation, and training, and worked closely with internal teams and external partners to coordinate successful organizing and advocacy campaigns and programs. During Sailor’s more than a decade of experience in social justice spaces, he served in various roles with other North Carolina-based organizations such as Equality NC, the League of Women Voters of NC, NARAL Pro-Choice NC, NC AIDS Action Network, North Carolina Voters for Clean Elections, and the North Carolina NAACP. Sailor hails from rural Eastern North Carolina and is a proud graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill and North Carolina Central University School of Law.
Jeanne Van Divender, Treasurer/Secretary
Jeanne Van Divender is happily retired after working for over 20 years in the Chemical and Pharmaceutical industries. Her work areas focused on Information Management. She is formerly a Board member of North Carolina Voters for Clean Elections. She has always loved volunteering with many organizations, including serving in leadership roles with PTA, church, and Girl Scouts. She has been a long-time volunteer with AARP – helping lead volunteers with Advocacy, DIY Presentations, community outreach, and technical assistance. She is currently serving as an AARP NC Executive Council member. Jeanne has also volunteered as an election poll worker for many years, serving as Chief Judge at her precinct. She received a BS in Chemistry from the University of Richmond and a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia.
Benjamin Barber is the democracy program coordinator at the Institute for Southern Studies, a contributing writer for Facing South, and a graduate of the School of Social Policy & Practice at the University of Pennsylvania. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Barton College in Wilson, North Carolina. His work at the Institute focuses on projects that link history, advocacy, policy, and civic engagement to promote equity, democracy, and social justice. He has written and spoken widely on Southern politics, voting rights, history, and movements for change across the region.