What Will Happen in the Short Session?
It is unclear what the NC House and Senate leadership plan to include in this short session. Of course, it is expected they will make some efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic impact on the state. The NC Justice Centers offers its views here specific to how the state should use federal dollars.
No matter what the NC General Assembly does, this is an extraordinary opportunity for North Carolinians to express our views to our House and Senate members AND leadership. Some of the issues on which this e-newsletter edition focuses are:
- Medicaid Expansion. Health inequities have been noted before, but never have the health inequities in our state and country been more visible than during this pandemic. Everyone can share their views (see Calendar, April 28th below) and make this an issue not only for this short session but also for the upcoming election. To become informed, NC voters must insist that candidates for NC House and Senate seats report their position on this important issue.
- Voting. The Wisconsin primary earlier this month put many of their citizens in the position of having to choose between a health risk and voting. On both the state and local level, it is important for elected officials to know the upcoming election should be safe and accessible for all concerned. Common Cause NC offers this letter from the state director to make needed changes, and the League of Women Voters offers talking points here to use when talking with people or contacting US House members and senators. Here is the League’s action alert for the latter.
- Census. The census is a huge undertaking, and it is being hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic. NC currently has not dedicated funding to promote the census, but the NC Counts Coalition is appealing to all to sign on to a letter asking the NC General Assembly to dedicate dollars to do so. Go here to read the letter and sign your name and organization. Feel free to share with others. Deadline to sign on is this Wednesday, April 22nd.
- Redistricting Reform. Every ten years, districts are redrawn after the census. Currently, the party in power in the NC General Assembly determines how districts are drawn. Historically, that policy has meant that many, if not all, districts that were drawn gave one political party an unfair advantage over the other. Fair Districts WNC has created this action plan to help voters of WNC share their concerns and get the NC General Assembly to take action.
With this edition, we bring back our calendar. Many of us are becoming fairly adept with using Zoom and other videoconferencing tools. Never have they been needed more than now. The “events” are all virtual.
Stay strong and safe!
Calendar of Events/Activities
Here are some upcoming virtual events or meetings that focus on one or more social justice issues. Many of these require online registration. Check the links to get that information and additional details.
- April 21st – The NC Justice Center is offering a workers’ rights update on COVID-19 starting at 11 am. Register here.
- April 22nd-24th – The film “Saul and Ruby’s Holocaust Survivor Band” will be available to view. For details, go here.
- April 23rd – The League of Women Voters Asheville Buncombe has planned a virtual voter registration training at 6 pm. This is an especially important year to get everyone eligible registered; educated on the issues, policies and candidates; and turning out. All are welcome. Here is a link for people to register. Please feel free to share.
- April 26th – Earth Day Vigil, “Seeing with New Eyes”, starting at 6 pm. Go to this link to register and get further information.
- April 28th – The NC Justice Center and other groups are promoting a digital day of Advocacy for Medicaid Expansion. Check out this Facebook page for details and complete this form if you and your organization want to participate in a “tweet storm”
- April 30th – “Dine IN for Life”. Leave it to the creativity of WNCAP to come up with a twist this year to raise funds but also support local restaurants! Check out here for the particulars to either get takeout, delivery or a gift card.