Members of the League of Women Voters of the Piedmont Triad sent a letter (LWV letter) to Gov. Pat McCrory to dispute his characterization of Moral Monday protesters as “outside agitators.” In fact, “pillars of their community” is a more apt description of the LWVPT. Below is their letter:
June 19, 2013
Dear Governor McCrory:
We are concerned that you and the members of the General Assembly are assuming that the Moral Monday participants are from outside North Carolina and that we are simply agitators. We are neither.
We are members of the League of Women Voters of the Piedmont Triad (LWVPT), a nonpartisan organization with 165 members. We reside in the heart of North Carolina, and we are participants in Moral Mondays. We are thoughtful, intelligent women and men, many with advanced degrees, and all with a wide range of knowledge, business skills, professional abilities, and vast experience as community volunteers.
In concert with League members across the nation, we study public policy issues, consult with experts, and then come to consensus on our positions regarding those issues. Our process is deliberate and thorough. After we arrive at consensus, we act on our positions by writing and speaking to elected officials, appointed leaders, and other citizens. We also engage in other forms of action that promote our positions.
The positions of the Piedmont Triad League coincide with those of the League of Women Voters (LWV) at the state and national levels. Standing with LWV chapters throughout the country, we hold that:
– Voting is a citizen’s fundamental right that must be protected and guaranteed. LWV opposes efforts to suppress the vote or to make it more difficult for citizens to vote.
– All US residents should have access to adequate, high quality health care at affordable cost, with equitable distribution of services and efficient, economic delivery of health care.
– Comprehensive immigration policy reform should promote reunification of families, include a system for unauthorized immigrants already in the country to earn legal status, ensure fair treatment under the law for all persons, and provide equal opportunity for young immigrants to pursue higher education.
– A high quality, free public education should be available for all students, with adequate allocation of tax dollars to meet that standard.
– Clean air, water, and land must be preserved to ensure the health and well-being of current citizens and future generations.
We (LWVPT) are certainly aware of budget needs and constraints, but we do not believe that North Carolina’s fiscal problems should be resolved by adding to the burden of our most vulnerable and disadvantaged citizens while promoting advantages for wealthier ones.
In short, the League of Women Voters of the Piedmont Triad endorses Moral Monday because we believe that social justice is being undermined in our state. We are alarmed at the disregard for human dignity and wellbeing reflected in bills proposed and passed by the General Assembly – bills that ultimately land on your desk for approval.
Specifically, we oppose the proposals and actions of the General Assembly in relation to:
Public education - reducing the number of eligible pre-K students; providing publically funded vouchers for select students to attend private schools rather than adequately funding the needs of all children in public schools; establishing a Charter Schools Commission separate from the State Board of Education; restructuring the Guilford County Board of Education with no public input; making deep cuts in funding for the greater university system
Health Care - refusing to expand Medicaid; rejecting the state-federal partnership for the insurance marketplace; privatizing health care services
Voter Protection - requiring voter ID; reducing early voting opportunities and locations; applying tax penalties for parents of voting college students
Immigration Laws - requiring out of state tuition for NC Dreamers; allowing Arizona style racial profiling
Environmental Protection - approving inadequate hydraulic fracturing regulations; allowing off shore drilling; changing land fill permits
Welfare of the Poor - reducing unemployment benefits; eliminating the earned income tax credit; taxing services and medicines, providing unfair tax breaks for the wealthy
LWVPT would welcome conversation with you and/or members of the General Assembly on any of these issues. We seek to always be well informed, and we stand ready to engage in constructive dialog that might be helpful in clarifying our respective positions.
We hope that you will be a moderating force to counteract these assaults on the middle class, poor, and disadvantaged citizens in our state. Your tool for protecting the middle class and poor of NC from the social injustice of the legislature is your veto pen. Using your power of the veto to ensure justice for all citizens of North Carolina is what we expect of you.
In a desperate period of our country’s history, President Lincoln said, “To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.” Thus, the reason for LWVPT’s support of and participation in the Moral Mondays of 2013.
Willie Taylor, Co-President League of Women Voters of the Piedmont Triad
Margaret Salinger, Co-President League of Women Voters of the Piedmont Triad
Let’s hope Gov. McCrory finds his veto pen soon.