If Fred somehow gets in on this I think all of North Carolina will be converted to Linux in a matter of weeks!
Ok, only joking, but this seems like a good idea with a decent starting point. I can't say I'm overly optimistic about it (bureaucracy is... difficult to overcome), but making people aware of alternatives is the first step in the right direction
I agree wholeheartedly with your concerns surrounding bureaucracy, especially in the Southeast. I've had to appear a number of times before our Commission in Knox County, TN, and it's rarely ever an easy thing to convince local government to embrace outside-the-MSBox thinking no matter how pragmatic. North Carolina is a prime candidate to benefit from Linux systems given its economic climate, but change will almost certainly come in steps.
If I may offer a suggestion from my personal experience with local government, I'd say appearing before one's local legislative body during budget discussions would be the best opportunity to discuss installing Linux in certain departments as a cost-cutting measure. One doing so would need to be prepared to speak for approximately five minutes, have hard copy or a slide presentation with supporting cost-efficiency data (for bonus points, I suggest designing and delivering this presentation on a Linux machine), and be prepared to make a few politicos look stupid for saying things like "I DON'T KNOW ABOUT THIS OPEN-SOURCE DOOHICKEY DOESN'T THAT MAKE IT LESS SAFE?!" (No, really, I feel comfortable betting a triple-digit sum that at least one politico would say that.)
I would suggest starting with a program that replaces 15-30 Window$ computers within the bureaucracy with models powered by Linux. The most likely replacement candidates would be in the school setting, both within administrative offices and classrooms. It may take a budget cycle or two in order to see the concept spread, and the more educated a government's IT personnel are concerning Linux the better, but given traditional Southeastern governmental mindsets, this is what I suggest would be the route with the best chance of success in accomplishing what the poster wants to (rightfully) do.
If it succeeds, though, there better be a professional supplier or two available to handle the load, because most governments don't feel comfortable buying tech from mom-and-pops. They'll want reliable hardware and software support at an affordable price, or else they're going to just go right back to the abusive relationship that is Window$.
Or I could be completely wrong. My wife tells me that quite often, anyway.