Moral Monday Action

On Monday, July 26, roughly a hundred people gathered on the sidewalk outside of Thom Tillis’s office in Raleigh for a Moral Monday lead by the Poor People’s Campaign of North Carolina.  Those assembled were attempting to raise awareness of, and demand support for, the For The People Act, The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, ending the filibuster, statehood for Washington, DC, and a $15.00/ hour minimum wage. 

Allied participating groups included the Forward Justice Law Firm, Fight For 15 NC, The Beloved Community Center of Greensboro, Healthcare Workers for Justice, Tuesdays With Tillis, and the NC NAACP.

The For The People Act comes in response to voter suppression legislation, much like the “Monster Voter ID Law” that Senator helped write in 2012 in his capacity as Speaker of The House in NC and as ALEC’s (American Legislative Exchange Council) point person in the North Carolina General Assembly, are proliferating in state legislatures across the country. 

An attempt by Tuesday’s With Tillis organizer Karen Zeigler to deliver a petition in support of the For The People Act was rebuffed at the front door but the struggle for the defense of voting rights, for equal protection under the law, and for a living wage has just begun.     

Text and photos by Kevin A Smith

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