What you should know and some opportunities to make a difference. There may be only a few more chances to stand up and be counted before most of these terrible bills including brutal budget bills are ratified and then signed by Governor McCrory. Our weekly NC NOW legislative updates include many bills we are tracking, but we can’t fit the whole story of each bill. Just the NC Senate Budget bill is 413 pages, all by itself. But I will mention a few of the more heinous parts to give you some ideas. I have been emailing NC NOW’s legislative updates to members and other people I know are interested in women’s issues. Thanks so much to long term NOW activist Robin Davis for writing them up so well and in a timely manner.
I hope that articles and the legislative updates will shock and appall you, and then will motivate you to make a difference. One big impact you can have is by joining us at the Moral Monday protests. I have seen many of you at earlier protests (Moral Mondays, Not in Her Shoes, ERA Rally), and as the protests get bigger, I see more people I know (and more I don’t know, also good!) The focus of the June 24 Moral Monday protest is on Women’s Issues and Economic/Labor Issues. Thanks to a few great women for getting Women’s Issues on the agenda! Just in time – as the frenzy to pass bad laws is speeding up. Governor McCrory signed 56 bills on Wednesday, Jun 19, including the bill to repeal the Racial Justice Act (Senate Bill 306). It is painful to see this state move so radically in the wrong direction. First I have some more information for you. Then I have things you can do to help. We CAN make a difference, and certainly we are recognized as trying to change things with all of these huge protests!
Things you should know!
I need to share Martin Dyckman’s opinion piece in the Asheville Citizen-Times on 6/19/13. He is a former editor at Florida’s St. Petersburg Times. He said in part
“I covered politics throughout a long career in journalism without ever seeing a legislative session as overwhelmingly radical as that of the current General Assembly.
It’s an orgy of meanness, prejudice, nastiness, cruelty, shortsightedness, selfishness, spite, arrogance and conscious brutality. Three examples, among many, are the cynical forfeiture of extended unemployment insurance, expansion of Medicaid and repeal of the earned income tax credit. Now, they’re hatching a tax scheme that will increase the burdens of the poor and middle class, give a windfall to the wealthy and impose more destructive cuts on the schools and colleges.”
He does a great job of summing it up. It really is that bad. Worse, for women and families, public education, and more.
Any measure that hurts the poor hurts women and children disproportionately.
Here is an overview of the House budget with references to the NC Senate budget from North Carolina Justice Center’s NC Policy Watch. The people in this progressive organization really know their stuff. The emphasis with caps is mine.
“In the Health and Human Services area, the House Budget provides $434 million in FY2014 to fully fund the projected enrollment growth in the number of people eligible for the Medicaid Program. However, similar to the Senate proposal, IT LIMITS THE NUMBER OF DOCTOR VISITS COVERED for participants from 22 to 10 visits, RAISES CO-PAYS, and lower reimbursement rates for providers. The Senate budget KICKS PREGNANT WOMEN OFF MEDICAID!!!! The House budget keeps pregnant women on Medicaid. “
WHAT ARE THEY THINKING????? Talk about inserting oneself in the doctor patient relationship - limiting visits to the doctor - unconscionable! And kicking pregnant women off Medicaid? Did they think we wouldn't notice?
But I want you to realize there is a SERIOUS War On Women going on here. Any measure that hurts the poor hurts women and children disproportionately. We need to be aware and speak up! A lot!
Did you know..
Women are more likely than men to be poor at all stages of their lives because of ongoing employment discrimination and greater responsibilities for unpaid caregiving. As a result, women and their families disproportionately rely on federal programs to protect their health, obtain quality child care and higher education, and help them meet their basic needs during difficult times and as they age.
Women who head families and elderly women are especially reliant on programs for low-income people.
Women are over two-thirds of the elderly poor.
More than one in ten women 65 and older was poor in 2011.
(My sources are at www.nwlc.org, links on the NC NOW National Organization for Women facebook page).
What you can do!
First of all, let me encourage each and every one of you to join us at the next Moral Monday protest at Halifax Mall, between the 2 legislative buildings in downtown Raleigh, at 5pm. If you are willing to get arrested, you need to contact the NC NAACP beforehand to have them review your situation and help you make arrangements. Also, you need to meet with them at 3pm for instructions.
You can write letters to the editor for your local paper, many many people read them. Talk to friends and family. And share articles on Facebook, if you use it. NC NOW National Organization For Women has an active and busy facebook pages with articles of state and national interest. ‘Like’ us to stay up to date and in touch!
You help us be able to communicate with you (email, newsletter, facebook and websites), to provide Legislative Updates for you and continue our work, by supporting and in some other ways by being a member of NC NOW. Please join or donate asap! Contact me and I can check your membership status. A membership form is attached, in case you like to take care of things when you see them, like I do!
I hope to see as many people as possible (ideally each and every one of you!) at the next Moral Monday protest at 5pm at Halifax Mall in Raleigh. The people doing Civil Disobedience go in at 6pm, but there are still things to do after that.
President, NC NOW
p.s. Another thing to do is join and support organizations that look after your interests which are likely women and families' interests. You can find a join or donate form from Raleigh NOW at Join or donate - download file