I have to confess that I am one of those people who grew up in the 50’s, came of age in the 60’s and 70’s. I was proud when the Supreme Court decided Brown v Board of Education. When Congress passed The Civil Rights Act of 1964. When Medicaid and Medicare made health care available to families living in poverty and to what then seemed like “old people.” When Title IX extended equal protection to women in higher education. It seemed to me then – and still seems to me – that this is what government is supposed to do: to look out for the poor and aged and infirm; to extend the benefits of our democracy to everyone by making sure that everyone had equal access to ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
I don’t need to tell any of you that it is this vision of government for the public good which is under attack – not just here in North Carolina, but across the country, and in our nation’s capital where Republican leaders are intent on making it impossible for our President to govern in the best interests of the people.
Now I’m not one who believes in conspiracy theories. But this is a concerted and purposeful attack – on public education, on health care for all, on voting rights, on women’s rights, on the rights of working people. It is a strategic attack devised by a Republican leadership, guided by the sweetly named ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council), funded by business leaders, that is intended to dismantle, piece by piece, government for the public good, and to make it impossible, ever after, by so-called ‘tax reform’ that starves government of the revenue it needs to provide services and otherwise act in the interests of all of our citizens.
This is what we are faced with. And this is why we have to act. In whatever ways we can. Educating ourselves about the issues. Writing letters to legislators. Joining phonebanks. Talking to neighbors and colleagues at work. Joining demonstrations like our Peoples Lobby Wednesday Vigils and the NAACP’s Monday Night Nonviolent Civil Disobedience.
We have no choice, really, if we want our children and grandchildren to have the opportunity to grow up in a nation that still believes in government of the people by the people and for all the people.
What You Can Do This Week.
Standing Up for what you believe in.
Monday, May 13. 5:30 PM
Nonviolent People’s Protest at the State House
Join Reverend Barber and the NC NAACP in shining a light on the extremist actions of the NC General Assembly. "The point is every Monday they open the session, and every week they announce new forms of extremism, so every Monday we will continue to rise up."
To participate in Civil Disobedience come to Davies St Presbyterian Church at 3:45 PM. To show support for those planning to commit civil disobedience – including some of our own members – come to Bicentenniel Mall across the State House at 5:30 PM.
Let’s rise up together.
Wednesday, May 15. 10:00 AM -12:00 Noon
People’s Lobby Vigil
Rev Barber said it well: every week the NC General Assembly attacks another one of our fundamental American rights. So every week, we need to keep standing up and reminding everyone inside the state house and out on the street that this General Assembly doesn’t represent us. Special targets this week:
§ stopping HB 937 which extends the right to carry guns to restaurants, college campuses, and public and private assemblies.
§ Stopping HB 944 that uses our Public Education dollars for vouchers for private schools, and
§ Stopping the Senate’s Tax Bill aimed at defunding public government.
Come join us! Sign up at http://www.signupgenius.com/go/60B0F4BA5AB28A75-standingfor
If you want to carpool from Durham, meet us at Oakland and W Club, along Oval Park at 8:55 AM. Just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know you want to ride with us.
Wednesday, May 15. 12:00 Noon – 2:00 PM
NC4ERA Vigil: Simple Justice, Long Overdue.
After more than 40 years, North Carolina will walk back onto the historical stage with an Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) Action on the heels of Mother’s Day! If you come to join the People’s Lobby Wednesday morning, plan to stick around in the afternoon in support of the ERA: “Simple Justice, Long Overdue.” The vigil, in front of the State House, marks the introduction of a bi-partisan joint resolution in the U.S. Congress to remove the deadline for the states’ ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). The lead sponsors of the legislation are Senator Ben Cardin (D) and Senator Mark Kirk (R). If you are interested in attending contact Marena at email@example.com
Writing or Calling your Legislators for Right Action
Help Save Public Education. On Tuesday, the House Education Committee will vote on HB 944 that takes public dollars away from public education to support vouchers for private schools. Committee members and other representatives need to hear from their constituents before Tuesday. Write or call or use NC Justice’s simple online form at http://action.ncjustice.org/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=10789
Protect us all from more gun violence.
HB937 that expands the right to carry guns to public places like restaurants and college campuses has passed the House and moved on to the Senate. Call Sen. Berger (919) 733-5708. Let him know you expect him to protect the people’s right to send children to college without the threat of guns on campus and to eat in peace. Tell him to vote against HB937!
Join NC Justice’s Campaign against Senator Berger’s regressive Tax Proposals. It’s time to raise the red flag on the Senate’s tax shift plan which forces middle and low-income families to pay more while giving a tax cut to the wealthiest individuals and corporations.
While the Senate has not yet released specific legislation, the proposal they released with a press conference, video and website outline the general message: cuts to the personal and corporate income tax and increasing goods and services that are subject to the sales tax. This change shifts a higher tax load to middle and low income families while cutting taxes for millionaires.
The Senate tax plan also puts our vital public services and infrastructure at risk, reducing state investments by $1 billion, roughly equivalent to the entire community college system budget.
It is time to urge legislators to stop all proposals and legislation that would hurt working families and our cherished public investments.
Tell your legislators this plan is a bad idea for North Carolina. Write your own letter or use the NC Justice link for actionhttp://action.ncjustice.org/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=10783
Let’s all stand strong together….
Sondra G. Stein
Durham Democratic Womenwww.durhamdemwomen.org
– Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.