By Jesse Wood
Aug. 29, 2013. Hundreds packed into the Harvest House in Boone on Wednesday night for the “Bringing Home the Dream” rally, which was inspired by the Forward Together Movement and Moral Mondays. Last night’s event was among 13 simultaneous rallies held in each of the 13 U.S. Congressional Districts in the state.
Rev. Tommy Brown, the night’s emcee, estimated that 600 people attended the event that featured “great energy and great speakers.”
“It was excellent,” Brown said. “Good energy to move forward with.”
The evening featured live music from Melissa Reaves, the choir of the Mennonite Brethren Church, Kat Chaffrin and jazzman Todd Wright. Brown said he was particularly impressed by a rendition of “We Shall Overcome” by Reaves, Wright and the choir.
“That was awesome,” Brown said.
Rio Tazewell of the Boone Community Network was among the many speakers that included keynote speakers Dr. Timothy Tyson and Brother Wesley Jarel Morris and local speakers Dr. Matthew Robinson of ASU, Todd Carter of the Hospitality House, Dr. Marye Hacker and others others.
Tazewell said he spoke about looking at the environment in a holistic way – instead of just allowing jobs and economic issues to take precedence – and constructing an economy with respect to a sustainable and healthy environment.
“Look at our state government. They are not really doing that and operating with a very short sighted point of view,” Tazewell said.
The speeches spanned a variety of topics and concerned legislation passed this year in the N.C. General Assembly – from health issues, voting rights, public education, women’s health and rights and criminal justice.
As for Wednesday night’s event, Tazewell felt that it was an overall success with a diverse group of people attending – although, like Brown, he was slightly discouraged at the low attendance of college students.
“I think everybody was pretty blown away by the energy and the turnout – numbers-wise – was impressive,” Tazewell said. “There was literally no place to sit or stand.”
The closing speaker was Morris, who currently works at the Beloved Community Center, a social justice organization in Greensboro and focuses on immigrant and worker justice and youth organizing.
Tazewell said that Morris “spoke the loudest to me with his passion and superb speaking skills and message.”
After the event, Morris posted to the Boone event’s Facebook page:
“Thank you all for such a POWERFUL night of LOVE, JUSTICE at “Take the Dream Home” day in Boone, NC. Let’s keep moving forward together! Much love from Greensboro, NC and the Beloved Community Center! Families and individuals pledged to vote and register others to vote, organize locally and continue the much needed activism and staying connected to the BCN Boone Community Network and Ministers hosting movement trainings!
Thank you to Dr. Barber and the NC NAACP for his awesome leadership in this state and to each of the community members that sang, spoke out and came out! I am grateful. I’m headed back to Greensboro in the morning. Thank you Boone!”
This was compiled by the NC NAACP during the waves of Moral Mondays demonstrations and these figures were presented at the Harvest House event on Wednesday.
“The Numbers Matter”
DID YOU KNOW 500,000 low-income adults have been denied health care coverage because of the decision made by Gov. McCrory and the General Assembly to refuse Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act?
DID YOU KNOW 25,000 uninsured veterans will lose out on coverage because of their refusal to expand Medicaid?
DID YOU KNOW health care services for 1 in 10 women nationwide are provided by Medicaid?
DID YOU KNOW that women with Medicaid coverage are more likely than uninsured women to have received a Pap test in the last two years?
DID YOU KNOW nearly half of Planned Parenthood patients rely on Medicaid coverage to access affordable, preventive care, including lifesaving cancer screenings?
DID YOU KNOW that North Carolina hospitals will lose $13 billion in the next ten years because of the decision by Gov. McCrory and the General Assembly to refuse to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act?
DID YOU KNOW that North Carolina would have saved $1 billion at the minimum in the reduction of uncompensated care from 2014-2019 if Medicaid had been expanded under the Affordable Care Act?
DID YOU KNOW that the disparity between insured rates for African Americans and white people would be cut in half if Medicaid had been expanded under ACA?
DID YOU KNOW that an African American infant is twice as likely to die as a white infant in NC?
DID YOU KNOW that the Senate budget cuts $21 million from programs that serve people with mental illness, development disabilities, or addictive disorders?
DID YOU KNOW that HB 695 will reduce access to reproductive healthcare for women living in 99% of NC counties?
DID YOU KNOW that North Carolina is ranked 46th in teacher pay?
DID YOU KNOW that 9,635 vouchers would be provided in the 2013-2014 school year under the House voucher proposal?
DID YOU KNOW that this voucher proposal would divert $90 million in funding frompublic schools over the next two years?
DID YOU KNOW that 62% of these vouchers would go to students already attending private schools?
DID YOU KNOW that the Senate budget falls $242.5 million short of spending enough to keep current service levels for children in school and college students?
DID YOU KNOW that the Senate budget eliminates 6,800 teacher assistant jobs?
DID YOU KNOW that the Senate budget eliminates 17,500 preschool slots for at-risk four year olds?
DID YOU KNOW that the Senate passed a bill to remove the approval requirement from the State Board of Education to expand charter schools?
DID YOU KNOW that charter schools are privately owned but receive per-pupil funding from the State?
DID YOU KNOW that charter schools are not required to offer lunches or bus transportation to students, which often keeps under advantaged children and children of color from attending these schools?
DID YOU KNOW that the Governor’s budget, crafted by Financial Director Art Pope, would cut the North Carolina Public University system by nearly $200 million? And this is on top of $400 million already cut last year.
DID YOU KNOW that if they pass the House budget, North Carolina will become the only state in the South to cut funding to higher education?
DID YOU KNOW that Governor McCrory and Art Pope’s budget will eliminate financial aid for over 8,000 students and many more students receiving need-based financial aid will see their packages reduced?
DID YOU KNOW that undocumented students currently have to pay out-of-state tuition to attend in-state public universities even if they have lived in North Carolina since they were babies?
DID YOU KNOW that 527,000 workers in North Carolina earn less than $9.00 an hour?
DID YOU KNOW that 61% of workers in North Carolina who earn less than $9.00 an hour are women?
DID YOU KNOW that North Carolina has the 13th highest percentage of our population living in poverty in the country?
DID YOU KNOW that North Carolina has the 5th highest unemployment rate in the country?
DID YOU KNOW North Carolina is the ONLY state in the union to take deliberate actions to deny long-term unemployment benefits to eligible citizens?
DID YOU KNOW that 71,000 unemployed workers lost federal emergency unemployment benefits on Sunday, June 30th because of the General Assembly? 100,000 more will lose their unemployment within the year. It would have cost the State nothing to extend these benefits for these struggling North Carolinians.
DID YOU KNOW that North Carolina TURNED AWAY $600 million in total federal emergency unemployment benefits as a result of the actions of the General Assembly?
DID YOU KNOW that the wealthiest 1% of taxpayers will receive an average of $11,000 in tax cuts under the latest Senate tax shift proposal?
DID YOU KNOW that 56% of tax cuts in the latest Senate tax plan will go to people who earn more than $940,000 a year while 80% of North Carolinians who earn less than $84,000 will see their tax load increase?
DID YOU KNOW that 64,000 military families will be affected by the proposal to abolish the state Earned Income Tax Credit?
DID YOU KNOW that McCrory approved a $13,200 annual salary increase for four of his cabinet secretaries giving them a total salary of $135,000 so they “could afford to live” while he has done nothing to help the 1.7 million North Carolinians living on incomes below the federal poverty level?
DID YOU KNOW that fracking, the process of injecting chemicals and sands at high pressure underground to extract natural gas, causes groundwater contamination with toxic and in some cases carcinogenic chemicals and requires a huge amount of fresh surface water?
DID YOU KNOW that federal scientists have found that fracking is likely to cause earthquakes?
DID YOU KNOW that Cornell researchers found that leaking methane when extracted via fracking leads to greenhouse gas emissions at least 20% greater than coal-fired electricity over a 20-year horizon?
DID YOU KNOW that fracking is currently illegal in North Carolina, but the House and Senate have introduced bills that will bring fracking and its dangerous consequences to our state?
DID YOU KNOW that the Senate budget falls $41.4 million short of spending enough to keep current service levels for justice and public safety areas in state government?
DID YOU KNOW that the General Assembly has repealed the Racial Justice Act, an act that’s sole purpose was to root out racial bias in the death penalty?
DID YOU KNOW that 31 defendants on death row were sentenced by all-white juries and that 38 others were sentenced to death by juries with only one person of color?
DID YOU KNOW that researchers for Michigan State showed that defendants with white victims are 2.6 times more likely to receive the death penalty than if the victims are African American?
DID YOU KNOW that potential African-American jurors are dismissed from juries at over twice the rate of their white counterparts?
DID YOU KNOW that before it was repealed, the Racial Justice Act was found constitutional by a Republican judge and it had already found racial bias in the cases of several death row defendants.
DID YOU KNOW that while less than 22% of North Carolina’s general population is African American, African Americans make up 57% of the prison population?
DID YOU KNOW there are 40 Voting Rights Counties in North Carolina with local elections this fall that are affected by the Supreme Courts’ decision to gut the Voting Rights Act?
DID YOU KNOW that although 21 million North Carolinians have voted in the past 12 years, there has been only 1 case of voter impersonation fraud that occurred according to the State Board of Elections?
DID YOU KNOW that in a five year national investigation by the US Department (of?) under the Bush administration, there were only 86 convictions for improper voting across the nation?
DID YOU KNOW that there are an estimated 500,000 people in North Carolina who may not have a current NC driver’s license or state-issued photo ID?
DID YOU KNOW that although African Americans make up 22% of the voting population, they make up 32% of active voters without a valid NC photo ID?
DID YOU KNOW that although seniors over 65 make up 18% of the voting population, they make up 26% of active voters without a valid NC photo ID?
DID YOU KNOW that although women make up 54% of the voting population, they make up 66% of active voters without a valid NC photo ID?
DID YOU KNOW that it could cost North Carolina $20 million to implement a comprehensive voter ID program?
Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.