I was so moved by the inauguration Monday. The President who took the oath of office and offered his vision of what our founding documents commit us to, as Americans, was the President we worked so hard to elect. Watching him, so confident, so respectful, so human, I felt Monday was truly an ‘inauguration’ -- a coming out of Barack Obama, the man we were moved to support 5 years ago, as President of the United States, and a coming out – after over 30 years of suppression and denial and equivocation– of a Democratic vision of what America is and what it stands for: a clear articulation of what we like to call Democratic values – freedom, justice, equality – and how protecting those values requires us to act together for the common good. In articulating this vision so clearly, so forthrightly, so inclusively, the President gave us back the Democratic Party that we have been missing in America. He gave us a new starting point for what he described as ‘our continuing journey’…
So how do we move forward? About 40 Durham Democratic Women assembled on January 13th to celebrate our accomplishments in 2012 and to set our priorities for action in 2013. We agreed to focus our energies in the first three months on two critical issues that require immediate attention:
§ Ensuring that the Governor and General Assembly support Medicaid Expansion as part of implementation of the Affordable Care Act for low-income individuals in North Carolina.
§ Ensuring that the US Congress – and our community – act against gun violence.
We hope that we will see some success in both of these areas by spring – enabling us to broaden our scope to work on issues related to supporting and strengthening public education in North Carolina and to join Democracy NC in it’s efforts against voter suppression.
Over the long term we are committed to doing all we can to take our state back:
§ to make sure every voter who is eligible to vote understands the issues and can vote;
§ to support fair electoral redistricting, that doesn’t pack democrats and African Americans in just a few districts; and
§ to help elect more progressive women to public office who will fight for our values.
Here’s how you can help this week and next: READ, WRITE, REACH OUT, MARCH.
What to do to support Medicaid Expansion as part of the Affordable Care Act
§ Send a postcard to Governor McCrory asking him to support expansion of Medicaid in North Carolina. Ask five friends to send a postcard too. You can find all the background information you need – and where to write the governor – at our websitehttp://www.durhamdemwomen.org/medicaid-expansion.htmlinformation
§ Sign on to Action NC’s petition to the Governor in support ofMedicaid Expansion. http://signon.org/sign/tell-mccrory-expand-medicaid?source=s.fwd&r_by=4059863
§ Write a letter to the editor. See an article in the N&O or Herald-Sun about Medicaid or the Affordable Care Act? Send a letter to the editor in response, supporting implementation of Medicaid Expansion. See our guidance on writing letters to the editor athttp://www.durhamdemwomen.org/advocacy.html
§ Sign your organization on to a letter to the Governor organized by the North Carolina Justice Center and Legal Services of Southern Piedmont urging the Governor to implement the Medicaid Expansion for low-income individuals under the Affordable Care Act.http://www.ncjustice.org/?q=health/media-release-north-carolina-groups-urge-mccrory-implement-medicaid-expansion
Learn more about the Affordable Care Act. The League of Women Voters is sponsoring a series of lectures on Health Care Reform. On Wednesday, January 30 hear Dr. Pam Silberman on the Health Care Safety Net. 7:30 PM at Extraordinary Ventures, 200 S.Elliot Rd, Chapel Hill NC
What to do to help prevent gun violence:
Read the President’s plan to protect our children and our communities by reducing gun violence.http://www.durhamdemwomen.org/preventing-gun-violence.html
Send a letter to Senators Hagan and Burr and Representative Coble telling them we want common sense solutions to gun violence:
• Eliminate loopholes and require background checks for all gun sales
• Reinstate the prohibition on high-capacity magazines
• Renew and strengthen the ban on assault weapons
• Create serious penalties for gun traffickers
• Get armor-piercing bullets off the streets by prohibiting the possession and transfer of this dangerous ammunition
• Keep 15,000 cops on the street
• Initiate further research on gun violence
• Help schools develop and implement comprehensive emergency management plans
Addresses and suggestions for writing letters athttp://www.durhamdemwomen.org/advocacy.html
What to do to support equality and justice in North Carolina:
March with Durham Democratic Women February 9, 2013 at HK on J.http://hkonj.com
Look for our banner near the McDonalds at the gathering spot at Shaw University. Or car pool with us from Durham. Email Sondra email@example.com to find out where and when to meet.
Become a member of Durham Democratic Women and work with us to help take North Carolina back! Write us firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know how you want to help.
Thanks for all you do! Together, we can make a difference!
Sondra G. Stein
Durham Democratic Women