The Portland BLM Protests: A first-hand account

Ted Corcoran is a disabled veteran, an advocate and a member of Tuesdays with Tillis. He traveled to Portland to document the Black Lives Matter protests and shared his videos with us at a recent Tuesday meeting.

You can follow Ted at:

Twitter: @RedTRaccoon

Instagram: redtraccoon

Youtube: Red Raccoon

Thanks to Gary Pearce for taping and editing Ted’s presentation. Gary’s info can be found on our Zoom Meeting page.

Monday Meeting with the TwT Food Committee

Vegetables arranged in a rainbow pattern

Join us for a zoom call on Monday, 7/13 at 12 noon sponsored by the Tuesdays with Tillis food group.  We welcome Jenna Wadsworth, who is running for NC Commissioner of Agriculture as our special guest. The meeting will be facilitated by our friend Lowell Simon, who is running for NC House of Representatives. Together with the Moore County NAACP Lowell has been working on feeding hungry people since the beginning of the pandemic. What we saw as a temporary food crisis now may be very lengthy and very serious indeed. What does this mean for the work of the Commissioner of Agriculture? All who are interested in food and hunger in North Carolina are welcome to join us.

Join Zoom Meeting
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Password: 649011
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Absentee Ballot Request Form – FAQ

This is taken from the North Carolina 2020 Absentee Ballot Request Form.

1. Why Should You Care? The general election is set for Tuesday, November 3rd . It is unlikely that we will have a COVID-19 vaccine by this date, let alone have had enough time to innoculate the whole population. Additionally, there could be a 2nd wave that could impact your ability to get to the polls to cast your vote. By requesting an Absentee Ballot, you will be able to mail/deliver your vote without jeapardizing yourself nor your family and friends.

2. When can I fill in the attached form and send to my County Board of Elections? Now!

3. How do I make a request for an Absentee Ballot? Read through the information on Page 2, Complete the form on Page 3, and mail the completed form to your County Board of Elections found on Page 4.

4. What is the cutoff to submit the attached form? No later than 5pm the Tuesday before the general election, October 27, 2020.

5. Can I request an Absentee Ballot and then change my mind and decide to vote in person? Yes. Along as you have not returned the Absentee Ballot to your County Board of Elections, you can still vote in person during Early Elections or on Election Day. But once you have returned your Absentee Ballot, you have voted and can not vote again for this election.

6. If I decide to vote in person, do I need to take my Absentee Ballot? No. The poll workers will provide you a new ballot to be used. You may bring the Absentee Ballot if you desire but you will not be able to use that Absentee Ballot as your in-person Ballot.

7. When will I receive my actual Absentee Ballot? Once the ballots have been locked and printed.

8. What is required to complete the Absentee Ballot? Follow the directions that come with the Absentee Ballot. Currently there are two ways to verify an Absentee Ballot is valid: 1) Two signatures that attest that you alone have made your selections or 2) You make your selections with a Notary Present. There is current legislation pending that could change this requirement, so follow the directions that will come with the Absentee Ballot.

9. How do I return my Absentee Ballot? Once you have completed the directions, you can mail the Absentee Ballot to your County Board of Elections. Some County Board of Elections will have drop boxes available; follow the directions that come with your Absentee Ballot. Note only the voter or the voter’s near relative (spouse, brother, sister, parent, grandparent, child,
grandchild, mother-in-law, father-in-law, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, stepparent, or stepchild) may take possession of the absentee ballot for purposes of returning the ballot to the board of elections.

10. May I mail my voted absentee ballot in the same envelope as another person’s envelope? No. The envelope is specific to that voter and must contain only that voter’s ballot. So a husband and wife can NOT place their ballots in the same return envelope.

11. When do I need to return my Absentee Ballot in order for it to count? You need to have the Absentee Ballot at your County Board of Election Offices by 5pm on November 3, 2020 OR Post Marked by the Post Office by 5pm on November 3, 2020 and then delivered by the Post Office at the County Board of Elections Office no later than 5pm on November 6, 2020.

12. How can I verify my Ballot has been received? You can go to your counties Board of Elections website to see if they can provide your past and current voting status. This is the Wake County site: http://www.wakegov.com/elections/voters/Pages/voterinfo.aspx

13. By filling in this form will this also register me to vote? No. You need to be registered PRIOR to requesting an Absentee Ballot. You can contact your County Board of Elections or go via this website: https://www.ncsbe.gov/Voters/Registering-to-Vote to register.

14. Additional Details on Absentee Voting can be found here: https://www.ncsbe.gov/Voting-Options/Absentee-Voting and
you should also check your counties Board of Elections web site.

15. Still have Questions? Contact your local County Board of Elections, phone numbers are provided on page 4.

Workers First Caravan – Postponed

***Please note that the organizing groups have decided to postpone this protest. We will post here and on social media when a new date has been set. Thank you to all who continue to advocate for worker rights. ***

On Wednesday, June 3, working people from Raleigh will join thousands of people from across the country in a Workers First Caravan, an all-out action of national solidarity calling for implementation of America’s Five Economic Essentials and passage of the HEROES Act.

Help us tell Thom Tillis that inaction is unacceptable. We’re ready to fight for our health, our economy and our country.

RSVP: https://actionnetwork.org/events/sen-thom-tillis-put-workers-first

Tuesdays with Tillis is proud to join the North Carolina and the national AFL-CIO in this action.

TWT Gives: Sharing our Stimulus Checks

The TWT Care and Comfort Committee encourages all who have not been affected financially by the pandemic to consider sharing some or all of the funds that came to them from the US government in the form of the stimulus check.

A list of worthy North Carolina relief efforts can be found here, as well as the letter from the Care & Comfort Committee to the group.

Food Banks Near Meat and Poultry Plants

TWT member Elena Ceberio has compiled and vetted this database of food bank locations, generally within 25 miles of meat and poultry processing plants inspected by the USDA in North Carolina.

The information is broken out by county, then by the specific processing plant. In most cases there are four food banks listed for each of the plants.

If you are able, please support these food banks in any way possible and as often as possible. They are feeding people at a rate which is not sustainable without extraordinary effort on their part and in turn, we would hope to support them with the same commitment.

Please share this list freely, but do not provide it for any financial gain. If it is used in a public way, please cite the source.

If you would like to join one of TWT’s committees on immigrants or food security, please contact us here.

En español:

La miembro de TWT, Elena Ceberio, ha compilado y examinado esta base de datos de ubicaciones de bancos de alimentos, generalmente dentro de las 25 millas de las plantas de procesamiento de carne y aves inspeccionadas por el USDA en Carolina del Norte.

La información se desglosa por condado, luego por la planta de procesamiento específica. En la mayoría de los casos hay cuatro bancos de alimentos listados para cada una de las plantas.

Si puede, apoye a estos bancos de alimentos de cualquier manera posible y con la mayor frecuencia posible. Están alimentando a las personas a un ritmo que no es sostenible sin un esfuerzo extraordinario de su parte y, a su vez, esperamos apoyarlos con el mismo compromiso.

Comparta esta lista libremente, pero no la proporcione para obtener ganancias financieras. Si se usa de forma pública, cite la fuente.

Si desea unirse a uno de los comités de TWT sobre inmigrantes o seguridad alimentaria, contáctenos aquí.

Letter to the Editor N&O

May 6, 2020

FOOD PLANT WORKERS
When workers are classified as essential, the company that employs them must ensure their safety. Food processing plant employees work without masks, face shields, or physical barriers, which fosters the spread of coronavirus.

To secure our meat supply, we must improve worker safety. Plants should keep six feet between workers and provide PPE, plexiglass barriers and washing stations. Plants should also test and isolate infected workers. The costs of these measures must be borne by the companies.

President Trump issued an executive order for plants to re-open. CDC guidelines for worker safety are provided, but not required. We are asking that North Carolina lead the nation by insisting that worker health and safety come before profit — and that the lives of our workers be our state’s top priority.

Dr. Doyle Graham,

Tuesdays with Tillis member

Link here.

Worker Safety in Food Processing Plants

 

May 5, 2020

Dear Governor Cooper,

As North Carolinians, Tuesdays with Tillis have been gathering weekly for three years outside Senator Thom Tillis’ Raleigh office to bring attention to the unmet needs of the people of North Carolina. We currently meet online each week to continue our work on behalf of people who are disproportionately affected by the global pandemic. Right now, we are concerned about the safety of those who work in our meat and poultry processing plants. 

When workers who toil in environments that involve close person-to-person contact are classified as essential (often a euphemism for expendable), the company that employs them must ensure their safety. Meat and poultry processing plants provide a number of conditions that promote the spread of communicable diseases, especially the coronavirus: people stand shoulder to shoulder with no barrier between them; while they wear gloves, they do not wear masks or face shields; the pace of work is unrelenting with pressure to work faster making safety lapses more likely. 

To secure our meat supply, we must make worker safety paramount. Fewer workers should be on the line at one time, allowing 6 feet of space between them; plexiglass barriers should be erected between workstations; workers should be provided with gloves, gowns, and high quality face masks that filter all inhaled air, like the KN-95 masks issued to waste disposal and sewer workers; workers should be provided with full face shields, since the lining of the eye also is a portal for entry of the virus. Hand washing stations and sanitizer must be readily available. In addition, the plants need to conduct diagnostic testing to know who is infectious and who is not, since many people carrying the coronavirus are asymptomatic. Those who test positive must be isolated from other workers and from their families until they no longer test positive. Attention needs to be paid as well to break rooms and safe transportation, as these environments are also sites of virus transmission and distance from each other should be maintained. All the costs of these measures must be borne by the companies. Workers should not endure financial hardship in addition to the risks that their jobs entail. 

President Trump has now issued an executive order for the meat and poultry plants to re-open. At the same time the states are enjoined from stopping the plants from opening and thus cannot require the plants to insure worker safety first.  This is outrageous. CDC guidelines for worker safety are provided, but are not required. 

Tuesdays with Tillis demands that the state of North Carolina lead the nation by challenging this executive order. We ask you to insist that worker health and safety come before profit and that the lives of our workers be our state’s top priority. 

Thank you for the work that you do on behalf of all North Carolinians.

Sincerely,

Doyle G. Graham, MD, PhD

Dean Emeritus of Medical Education
Duke University School of Medicine

Professor Emeritus
National University of Singapore

and

Tuesdays with Tillis

 

 

Food for Children in Chatham County

Kids Eat Free provided by Chatham County Schools

For those of you desiring a worthwhile endeavor to support during these difficult times, please consider the Chatham County Schools (CCS) food for kids. CCS fed over 2600 meals to children in our community, providing free breakfast and lunch. Meals can be picked up daily at fourteen (14) school sites and mobile delivery is made to six (6) additional sites. Food is available to all children regardless of what school they attend and or where they reside.

The Chatham County School Nutrition Services works with two food pantries who also provide food to the kids: West Chatham Food Bank and CORA.  The following provides information about the programs and where donations can be made. 

Chatham County Schools 

These are extraordinary times, affecting everyone and Chatham County Schools (CCS) are providing free breakfast and lunch to all children, ages 18 years and under. Breakfast and lunch can be picked up curbside at school locations, and mobile delivery is made to additional sites.  Food is available to all children regardless of what school they attend or where they reside. Adult meals can be purchased, $2 for breakfast and $4 for lunch.

Families may pick up food distributed by the Chatham County School Nutrition staff and school employees, at curbside, minimizing any safety concerns. Information and updates on meal services, including locations and times, are available at Nutrition Services Facebook.

Food will be placed in safe and sanitized food containers with a safety label including instructions for safe food handling information.

Donations are welcome to the Chatham County School Nutrition Program.

Please make the check payable to Chatham County School Nutrition Services, 369 West Street, PO Box 128, Pittsboro NC 27312

Information is available about Chatham County Schools District Website and Facebook page. 

Food Pantries

West Chatham Food Pantry (Chatham Residents Only)

Feeding the children is their number one priority, as well as their families, if possible. West Chatham Food Pantry Fuel Up program provides about 1000 weekend bags monthly to five schools, approximately 2700 students. Due to the coronavirus, they may expand service to local churches who have children in need. Additionally, they are starting to provide Fuel Up bags to children through their drive-up service at the pantry.

West Chatham Food Pantry welcomes and would much appreciate:

Food donations: rice, dried pinto beans, canned items, franks & beans, pasta, canned corn, chicken ramen noodles, cereal cups, white and chocolate milk, chicken noodle soup, animal crackers or nabs, fruit packs, diced tomatoes and small fruit cups or pudding. 

Monetary donations:  West Chatham Food Pantry, include on the memo line Fuel Up and mail to PO Box 254, Siler City NC 27344.

Curbside drop off food donations are available at the Pantry – new address is 2535 Old Hwy 421N Siler City 27344, (919) 742-3111. The food pantry is open Monday 4:30 to 6pm, Wednesday 12:30 – 2pm and Friday 12:30 – 2pm.

Food donations can be made at any time. If the pantry is closed, contact lougiovenco@gmail.com or call (941) 468- 5130. Lou will meet anyone who would like to donate, opening the doors to the pantry.  For information and questions, send an email to wcfoodpantry@gmail.com

CORA (Chatham Outreach Alliance)

CORA provides food to individuals and families within our community who are in need during difficult personal economic periods. These are extraordinary times and CORA is continuing their work to create a community without hunger. CORA is grateful for you and their partners’ work to support vulnerable neighbors during the COVID-19 pandemic. The true strength of a community lies in our ability to come together and care for each other, especially during times of need and uncertainty. 

 CORA welcomes and would much appreciate:

Food donations: canned veggies, fruits, and proteins, such as tuna, chicken, SPAM, and ham. In addition,  kid-friendly food is appreciated, such as single-serve mac and cheese, applesauce, cereal bars, fruit snacks, cheese and crackers, and juice boxes. 

Monetary donations: CORA can make a dollar go much further than an individual can because they’re able to buy in bulk. Please send donations to CORA at PO Box 1326, Pittsboro, NC 27312 or give securely online here. 

Curbside drop off donations can be made at the Pantry: 40 Camp Drive in Pittsboro, NC, 919-542-5020, Monday through Friday between 9am and 3pm.

For the latest news and updates, check their website.

The most recent updates to Food for Children in Chatham County can be found here.

We will be posting resources for other counties on this website as we find them. Please check back frequently.

Citizens Demand Emergency Action from NC Legislature to Ease COVID-19 Hardships

Dear Governor Cooper, President Pro Tempore Phil Berger, Speaker of the House Tim Moore,  and all NC Senators and Representatives,

As North Carolinians, our Tuesdays with Tillis group has been gathering outside Senator Thom Tillis’ Raleigh office for the past 163 consecutive Tuesdays to bring attention to the unmet needs of the people of North Carolina. Tomorrow, and for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis, we will practice social distancing and meet virtually online each week to continue our witness in this time of peril brought on by a global pandemic that now includes a growing number of cases in our State.

Today, we are calling upon Governor Cooper, President Pro Tempore Phil Berger, Speaker of the House Tim Moore, and all NC Senators and Representatives to meet in an emergency special session to be convened immediately on a virtual basis.

We call upon you to address the following issues which require an immediate and effective response to take care of the people you were elected to serve:

1) Take all necessary action now to ensure that the 2020 elections take place as scheduled, with a paper ballot provided to all registered voters with a pre-addressed postage-paid envelope, as Oregon has done successfully since 2000;

2) Expand Medicaid to all citizens who currently live without benefit of health care coverage. This alone would provide the State with $4 billion in added economic growth;

3) Provide no-cost health insurance for all currently uninsured children living in the State;

4) Extend unemployment insurance to all workers;

5) Provide all workers with paid sick leave;

6) Provide a guaranteed minimum income to all North Carolinians for the duration of the pandemic;

7) Increase the State minimum wage to $15 an hour;

8) Ensure that all children who receive free meals at school will continue to be fed;

9) Honor and extend the mandated 30-day moratorium on evictions, provide safe shelter for the homeless, and create a permanent plan for affordable housing throughout the State; and

10) Establish state-wide provisions for food and other necessities to be delivered to anyone who is in quarantine, including those who have tested positive for COVID-19. Emergency plans for our senior citizens also must be implemented.

All of these demands can be met with funds from the State’s Rainy Day Fund. That day has come.

We look forward to your immediate response.

Sincerely,

Tuesdays with Tillis