The past two weeks have made it depressingly clear that the Republicans in Congress suffer from the same misplaced priorities as our own North Carolina Republicans. “They’re anti-establishment anarchists” I heard one commentator say – and, in one sense, he was right. They are determined to destroy “our good faith and credit” in the US government: they want people to believe that the government can’t do anything right: that “that government is best which governs least.”
But they are not anti-establishment. They are only anti-government. Their agenda is set by Americans for Prosperity, ALEC, John Locke, etc: the organizations that have funded the Tea Party! Just check out Rob Christensen’s column today about Congresswoman Renee Elmers (http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/10/12/3275839/christensen-why-dc-is-broken.html) or Dana Milbank’s piece on why Mitch McConnell isn’t joining Harry Reid in finding a solution in the Senate (http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/10/11/3273024/mitch-mcconnells-vanishing-act.html).
The policies that these organizations are pushing are aimed at making life better for the 1% at the expense of all the rest of us. As Ellie Kinnaird reminded us in her passionate speech to Durham Democratic Women last weekend, this administration (Governor plus General Assembly) has waged a war against the working poor [and middle!] since their first days in office. They
· Denied 500,000 North Carolinians access to health insurance fully funded by the federal government through Medicaid Expansion under the Affordable Care Act.
· Deprived 170,000 long term unemployed North Carolinians of access to federally-funded unemployment extensions. And decreased the maximum dollars and number of weeks someone can collect unemployment in NC in order to cut the unemployment taxes that NC businesses have to pay.
· Denied over 900,000 working poor North Carolinians access to the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) put in place by President Reagan!
· Raised taxes for all of us by increasing the sales tax in exchange for cuts in corporate and personal income tax and the estate tax.
· Deprived all of us of the right to redress by making it more and more difficult for more old, young, Black and Hispanic North Carolinians to vote!
This is just a starting list of all those who have been hurt by the policies of this administration. I haven’t talked about all the kids in our public education system who have been deprived by transfers of public monies to private vouchers. Or all the women who have lost access to safe and affordable healthcare by the attacks on Planned Parenthood.
We are talking about millions of voting age North Carolina citizens who have learned this year how dangerous Republican leadership is to the well-being of our state. They are ready, Ellie told us, to join us in fighting back and electing a new leadership, if we reach out to them, if we make sure that they are not deprived of their right to vote by the changes to our state voting laws! That’s what Ellie’s Voter ID Project is working on. You can find out more about it at https://www.facebook.com/NCVoterIDProject?ref=profile
So our job, in the months ahead is outreach: talking to folks in our communities. Making sure that everyone who has been impacted by these policies understands the stakes in the 2014 election and is fully equipped to come out and exercise their right to vote.
Voter education and registration is going on right now.
You can join Wednesday evening and Saturday morning sessions with Beth Silberman and Susan Yaggy at
You can also join Durham Peoples Alliance voter outreach efforts at their office every Sunday at 1:30 PM. PA is also signing folks up to pass out literature and talk to voters at the polls during Early Voting for the Durham Elections on November 5. Sign up athttp://www.SignUpGenius.com/go/5080A4BADAD2CA02-early1/1105392
Teachers are fighting back.
Join Durham Association of Educators' "I Heart Public Schools Rally" from 4:30-6 on Friday, Nov. 1, at the downtown Durham "Bull" Plaza at the intersection of Corcoran and Chapel Hill Streets. It’s time we were as noisy about our support for Public Education as the Tea Party is in their fight against it!
(see attached flyer for more details).
The Moral Monday-Forward Together Movement Continues.
Get ready to join the Moral Monday-Forward Together Movement as it continues to take on the Governor and the General Assembly to fight for our rights. Rev Barber announced these priorities at the NAACP North Carolina State Conference this weekend:
1. Ask Gov. McCrory to call a Special Redemptive Legislative Session to rescind the stripping of unemployment, insurance, benefits to 100,00 families and medicaid health benefits to 500,000 families which takes effect on New Year's Day 2014.
2. Public education campaign to expose the State Budget Director's ethical conflict between his propaganda/financial networks and his role as a powerful state employee who writes the take from the poor and gives to the rich state budget.
3. Enforcing the North Carolina Constitutional guarantee that all children enjoy the right to a sound, basic education. The NC NAACP will join with other civil rights organizations to file legal action to challenge the cuts to public education as unconstitutional.
4. Wage a spirited fight against the monster voter suppression law in the court houses, at the polls, and in the streets to have it declared unconstitutional by the 2014 elections.
5. All Roads Lead to Jones Street on February 8th, 2014, when we will bring together the largest People's Assembly in Raleigh in the state's history.
To listen in on the discussion visithttp://new.livestream.com/accounts/5188266/events/2463447
So let’s all get ready to get out and do what we can to turn things around. Don’t forget to check out our website at www.durhamdemwomen.org for updates on all these issues and more.
Together, we can make a difference.
Sondra G. Stein
Durham Democratic Womenwww.durhamdemwomen.org