For Immediate Release
People from across North Carolina to Gather at General Assembly Today for a Mass Moral Monday to Protest Extreme Budget Proposals that Will Hurt the Most Vulnerable
RALEIGH - Unsurprised but undeterred by Speaker Thom Tillis' and Senate Leader Phil Berger's refusal to reverse course on the avalanche of regressive policies passed last year, the North Carolina NAACP and the Forward Together Moral Movement is mobilizing for a Mass Moral Monday to be held today, Monday, June 16 at the NC General Assembly. North Carolinians from all across the state are called to stand up to these continued attacks on workers, the poor, women, people of color and other at-risk communities.
The Forward Together Moral Movement will celebrate last week's victory for participatory and transparent government as the people assemble once more at the General Assembly to petition their lawmakers for the repeal of these unjust laws. A Wake Co. judge ruled Friday that many of the recent changes to the Legislative Building rules, passed behind closed doors in an attempt to silence the Moral Mondays Movement, were too broad to be enforced.
For the past four weeks, the Forward Together Moral Movement has attempted to petition Speaker Tillis, Senate Leader Berger, Gov. Pat McCrory and their colleagues to repent of the harm they've caused North Carolina, to repeal these destructive policies that take aim at the most vulnerable and to restore faith in their ability to govern according to deep moral and constitutional values.
These three budget proposals from Tillis, Berger and McCrory prove how little attention they have paid to the low-wage worker with cervical cancer who petitioned them for Medicaid expansion or the teacher who works two jobs to pay off her student debt and wants what is best for her kids.
"The political game they are playing with these budgets is becoming very clear," said Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, president of the NC NAACP. "Senate Leader Berger and his colleagues present an extreme budget, and then Speaker Tillis presents a budget that is supposed to appear more moderate. But the reality is that they are both devastating budgets for poor and vulnerable people in North Carolina. We are not fooled by their game nor their political jockeying to promote Speaker Tillis in a statewide campaign.
"Now that all three budgets are on the table, we will return for a Mass Moral Monday to expose the vast and far-reaching impacts of this systematic attack on poor people, workers, African-Americans, Latinos, Native Americans and women as well as on labor rights," Dr. Barber continued. "The budget is a moral document, and its extremist provisions hurt all North Carolinians."
Working families make up the cornerstone of North Carolina's communities. Today, Monday, June 16, the Forward Together Moral Movement will lift up the voices and petitions of those workers and their families who have been impacted by this flood of extremist legislation, including the denial of federal unemployment benefits and crucial worker protections, the refusal of the Medicaid expansion, deep cuts to public school funding, the repeal of the Earned Income Tax Credit and the denial of a living wage.
The Movement will hold a pre-rally press conference at 4 pm at Davie Street Presbyterian Church, located at 300 E. Davie St, Raleigh. The mass rally will begin at 5 pm out on Halifax Mall behind the General Assembly, located at 16 West Jones St, Raleigh. Moral leaders, policy experts and everyday people affected by this extremism will take the stage to make the case for repenting, repealing and restoring North Carolina to higher ground.
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. The NC Conference of NAACP Branches is 70 years old this year and is made up of over 100 Adult, Youth and College NAACP units across the state, convenes more than 160 members of the Historic Thousands on Jones Street (HKonJ) People's Assembly Coalition, and is the architect of the Moral Monday & Forward Together Movement.