LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: House Bill 318, Publix fair food

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: House Bill 318, Publix fair food
November 12
00:00 2015

In above photo: Letter to the Editor (File Photo)

Sad day for hard-working citizens

To the Editor:

Dear Members of the Forsyth County Community,

The passing of House Bill 318 represents another sad day for many hard-working citizens of our State.  This intentionally deceitful legislation is titled the Protect North Carolina Workers Act.  Many in our community are out of work and still looking for jobs every day without much luck.  By Gov. McCrory signing this bill into law, these extremely vulnerable citizens face a pathway to starvation.

Adults that were not disabled and looking for work were, under previous law, able to apply and receive a small allocation of food stamps.  That is no more.  HB 318 also makes it more difficult for local police and governments to protect and serve the public while making it easier for exploitation of immigrant workers.  One of the primary sponsors of this bill, Debra Conrad, is actually among our delegation from Forsyth County.  We respect the right of all members of the delegation to voice their opinion through legislation.  We cannot in good conscious, however, support a bill that will starve and disenfranchise children for the political amusement of those who no longer wish to adhere to a simple and age-old American adage: This land is your land … this land is my land.

Those whose compassion for our citizens still living on the margins are deeply grieved about this abusive law.  We know how much people depend on a little boost when they are down and out, lose a job,  do day work,  or work fewer than twenty hours a week.  These affected members of our community are invisible to some.  They are not invisible to us.  We respect them.  We know that they count.

This unbridled abuse of and disregard for the basic tenants that have made this country the greatest in world, an international melting pot, will not last forever.  We urge everybody to use your power to vote while you still have it. When we as a community believe in the Power of One, all things will become possible.


The Forsyth County Legislative Delegation

Rep. Edward F. Hanes Jr., Co-Chairman

North Carolina General Assembly, District 72

Rep. Evelyn Terry, District 71

Sen. Paul Lowe, District 32

Publix should reconsider not joining fair food coalition

To the Editor:

While visiting my daughter or my sister-in-law in Jacksonville, Florida, I have often shopped at a wonderful Publix there. I was delighted when I saw that a Publix would be opening in Winston-Salem. But then came the surprise.  I learned that Publix, a wealthy, privately-owned, giant grocery store chain, will not support a 1 cent increase per pound in the price of tomatoes and join the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) Fair Food Program. The CIW is a well-respected farm worker rights organization in Florida. Their Fair Food Program is an innovative partnership among farmers, farm workers and retail food companies that ensures decent wages and humane working conditions on participating farms.

The program has been lauded by the Washington Post as “one of the great human rights success stories of our day” and recognized for its effectiveness by the United Nations. Despite what seems like a no-brainer, Publix refuses to sign on and support a 1 cent increase per pound in the price of tomatoes. The increase would insure that there is no market for tomatoes which have been produced in Florida on farms where slavery and sexual harassment are well documented. Other major companies have joined the Fair Food Program including McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Burger King, Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. Since Publix will not join them, I cannot in good conscience peruse the aisles of what I am sure will be a beautiful store. Publix, please reconsider your decision, and do the right thing for the farm workers who put food on our tables.

Sara Swann Watson

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