Newsflash:
Lesli Messinger NC Medicaid Expansion Even as North Carolina General Assembly Locks Its Doors on Moral Monday, 11 Protesters Arrested Yesterday for Sit In at Gov. McCrory's Office
Tuesday, 03 June 2014 14:23

Even as North Carolina General Assembly Locks Its Doors on Moral Monday, 11 Protesters Arrested Yesterday for Sit In at Gov. McCrory's Office

Written by  Rev. Dr. William J. Barber | North Carolina NAACP

RALEIGH, NC - People from all across North Carolina rallied at the General Assembly yesterday for the latest Moral Monday protest of harmful legislation passed last year by Gov. Pat McCrory and the legislature. Despite the legislature locking the doors in an attempt to keep petitioners out, a group of 11 people - everyday North Carolinians impacted by a lack of heath care access and environmentally polluting policies - staged a sit-in at the governor's office. 

The 'McCrory 11' were arrested and charged with second-degree trespassing around 7 pm Monday after refusing to leave until McCrory agreed to meet with them about the impact of his policies on the health of the land and people of North Carolina. 
 
Yesterday's Moral Monday went on despite the Senate's decision to hold a midnight session on Friday, allowing them to avoid returning to the General Assembly until Wednesday and miss the demonstration. The group changed plans by instead focusing on the governor, to whom they also delivered a letter calling on him to repeal the extreme policies; repent for the impact they are currently having on North Carolina's poor and working class and to restore a legislative commitment to governing for the betterment of the state. 
 
"Speaker Tillis and Senate Leader Berger knew we were coming, and they locked the doors to the General Assembly building to prevent us from coming in," said Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, president of the North Carolina NAACP. "But we would not be moved from our purpose - calling upon them and Gov. McCrory to repeal these disastrous policies that are hurting the very people God loves - the sick, the poor, the women and children, the elderly, the least of these. Our eleven moral witnesses would not be moved from their attempts to petition the governor directly. If we expand Medicaid in our state, we would save 2,800 lives. If we cleaned up coal ash and blocked fracking in our state, we would save lives. That is what this moral witness today was about. To our governor and our state lawmakers, we say: if you are going to engage in premeditated political ideology that hurts the least of these, then we will give no quarter. These are matters of life and death, and the blood will be on their hands." 
 
Other speakers illuminated the damage inflicted by various policies, including a new bill passed last week in the House and Senate to end North Carolina's moratorium on fracking, along with the current denial of health care access to 500,000 North Carolinians because of the refusal to expand Medicaid. 
 
"These legislators are setting us up for a perfect storm of disasters while they simultaneously knock down our protections," said the NC Environmental Justice Network's John Wagner, of the bill to rapidly expand the polluting business of shale gas mining, or fracking, along with other environmentally damaging policies. "Our legislators weakened local landfill laws and regulations last year, right before they planned to flood our communities with toxic fracking landfills. We are facing terribly hard times imposed by cruel and blatantly immoral legislation, but together - and it has to be together - we have to fight." 
 
"Refusing to expand Medicaid has forced several hospitals in North Carolina onto life support," said Nicole Dozier, assistant project director with the Health Access Project at the NC Justice Center. "Hospitals in expansion states have already seen big increases in the numbers of insured patients they see and big decreases in their shares of uninsured patients... I'm here today with a caution to the governor and the legislature: In your race to win power, don't lose your soul. Expand Medicaid now." 
 
"Governor McCrory, Speaker Tillis and Senator Berger's refusal to accept federal dollars to pay for the care of the uninsured is not rational, is fiscally irresponsible and lacks moral standing," said former Congresswoman Eva Clayton, who made the economic case for Medicaid expansion. "This is especially difficult to understand given North Carolina's current budget shortfall." 
 
Speakers also lifted up the devastation caused by the Dan River coal ash spill earlier this year, in which Duke Energy spilled tons of toxic coal ash into a river in Eden, NC - disproportionately affecting the poor and communities of color. 
 
"The quality of the air, water and land - and most importantly, the quality of life for North Carolina's people - is in jeopardy," said Connie Leeper, lead organizer for the environmental nonprofit NC WARN, who also called on legislators to hold Duke Energy accountable with a substantial plan for cleaning up coal ash. 
 
Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman of Clinton Tabernacle AME Zion Church and Rev. Joe Hoffman of Asheville's First Congregtional United Church of Christ closed the rally by speaking to the moral mandate that motivates the Forward Together Movement to continue its campaign against these extreme policies in our state. 
 
"We are not the kind of people that shrink back when times get rough," Dr. Spearman told the assembled. "Because of the moral conviction you bring, you are presently the best thing going for the State of North Carolina. I heard somewhere recently that those who appear to be in power will never have ALL the power. There will always be a residual power, an unconsumed, unused, surplus power in community enabling us to shift the center of political gravity and further bend the arc of the moral universe toward justice."
 
In addition to delivering a letter to Gov. McCrory calling on him to "Repeal, Repent and Restore," protesters delivered similar letters to Speaker Tillis and Senator Berger yesterday, leaving them wedged under and around the General Assembly's locked doors. The Forward Together Moral Movement vowed to return the General Assembly every week until their demands are met. 
 
 

The letter delivered to Gov. McCrory's office can be accessed HERE.

  

The letter to Speaker Tillis and Senate Leader Berger that the Forward Together Movement left wedged under the doors to the General Assembly today can be accessed HERE

 

  

The list of the 'McCrory 11' moral witnesses includes:

 

1. Jodi Lasseter

2. Serena Sebring Wadlington

3. James Tyson

4. Manju Rajendran

5. Justin Miller

6. Rakhee Devasthali

7. Deborah Ferruccio

8. Colin Miller

9. Kriti Sharma

10. Marie Garlock

11. Sedrick Harris

Read 3232 times

Latest News from the Messinger Campaign

  • Savannah's Lesli Messinger gives Democrats best chance to beat Jack Kingston
    Savannah's Lesli Messinger gives Democrats best chance to beat Jack Kingston

    On Saturday, October 20, First Congressional District candidate Lesli Messinger visited Pin Point, Georgia and talked with locals about her candidacy and to listen to what issues those citizens believe are important.

    Messinger has traveled through her congressional district for months since her qualifying back in late May and has touted a strong progressive message and has been able to build grassroots coalitions.

    Written on Sunday, 21 October 2012 16:18 Read more...
  • Messinger Wins Race to Face Kingston
    Messinger Wins Race to Face Kingston

    Progressive Democrats say Congrats to U.S. Congressional GA District 1 Primary Winner Lesli Messinger. Lesli Messinger has claimed the Democratic nomination for Georgia’s 1st Congressional District Tuesday beating Nathan Russo in the Democratic Primary.  Unofficial results showed Messinger with 54 percent of the vote to 46 percent for Russo with 97 percent of the precincts reporting.

    Written on Wednesday, 01 August 2012 15:55 Read more...
  • Georgia’s Only Democratic Woman Candidate for Congress
    Georgia’s Only Democratic Woman Candidate for Congress

    Democrat Lesli Messinger seeks to end 20 years of Republican domination in coastal Georgia.  It’s a particularly difficult challenge to unseat an incumbent, and harder still for a Democrat in a Congressional District that’s been Republican-ruled for 20 years.

    Written on Friday, 27 July 2012 02:52 Read more...
  • Mickey Stephens backs Lesli Messinger for Congress
    Mickey Stephens backs Lesli Messinger for Congress

    State Rep. Mickey Stephens, D-Savannah, has endorsed Lesli Messinger for the Democratic nomination in the 1st Congressional District.

    Messinger, a Savannah businesswoman, is running against Nathan Russo, a retired St. Simons businessman, in Tuesday’s primary.

    The winner will face Republican incumbent Jack Kingston, who is seeking a 10th term.  Last year’s boundary changes left the district with a GOP tilt, but less pronounced than in the past.

    The endorsement apparently is intended to buttress Messinger’s claim to be a stauncher Democrat than Russo and a loyal supporter of  President Barack Obama.

    Russo has argued that, to beat Kingston in the district, a Democrat must make a strong appeal to many independents and at least some Republicans.

    Stephens prefaces his statement by saying he’s “a lifelong member of the Democratic Party for over 30 years.”  

    “Not only does Mrs. Messinger have fresh new ideas that I feel truly represent the people of our district, and the state of Georgia,” he said. “She is a proud supporter of President Obama’s policies. I know Messinger will stand with President Obama in Congress, on a true Democratic front with other members of Congress.”

    Written on Thursday, 26 July 2012 00:00
  • U.S. House District 1: Lesli Messinger says she speaks for middle class
    U.S. House District 1: Lesli Messinger says she speaks for middle class

    Lesli Messinger moved to Skidaway Island four years ago, she says, to escape the “dark and dreary” environs of New Jersey. But Messinger says she found darkness and dreariness near the tranquil community where she and her husband, Nathan, relocated. She says she met women who couldn’t afford cookies for their grandchildren and people whose jobless benefits were expiring.

    Written on Tuesday, 24 July 2012 00:00 Read more...

ERA Legislation in your State

Unratified states Gold - Ratified States Purple

Sign the ERA Petition

ERADemandButton

On Friday, September 12th more than 150 activists will go to DC and Demand that their Senators and Representatives support removing the ratification deadline from the ERA (SJ Res 15 and HJ Res 113)

Button-SignERAPetition

Sign the Petition - Sen. Sanders Run as a Democrat in 2016

Button-SandersPetition

Like Lesli Messinger

Lori Wallach on the TPP from PDA Progressive Roundtable

Progressive Roundtable with Reps. Ellison and Pocan and Lori Wallach on TPP

TPP: The Biggest Threat to the Internet You've Probably Never Heard Of