Local NAACP branch demands town hall

Local NAACP branch demands town hall
March 02
06:15 2017

Move is part of statewide campaign toward officials.



The North Carolina NAACP launched its campaign to reach out to every U.S. senator and representative in the state earlier this week, when they hand delivered letters demanding public town hall meetings before the end of the month. The Winston-Salem Branch of the NAACP participated.

Simultaneously at 4 p.m. on Monday Feb. 27, 15 NAACP branches held news conferences and delivered letters with a list of demands including: a request to vote against the repeal of the Affordable Health Act, standing against executive orders or legislation that would deport immigrants or ban refugees or Muslims, the support of living wages and union rights, and the restoration of the all protections of the Voting Right Act.

The letter also called for state leaders to renounce lies about voter fraud and oppose voter suppression.

The local NAACP presented a letter to U.S. Sen. Richard Burr’s staff.

“This visit is part of our ongoing efforts to hold our elected officials accountable at every level,” said Rev. Alvin Carlisle, president of the Winston-Salem NAACP. “We believe our human and constitutional rights are non-negotiable.”

Before handing over the letter to Dean Myers, chief of staff of Burr’s local office, Carlisle and the group of 50 demonstrators were met by resistance from building security, but they wouldn’t be silenced. Instead of leaving, they formed a wall on the sidewalk just outside the build-ing located on West First Street and shouted their frustrations.

Greensboro native John Thompson said after losing his job and health insurance in 2013, the Affordable Care Act saved his life. Within that very same year Thompson was diagnosed with cancer, he said the health care act was his lifeline.

“Thank God for Obamacare,” said Thompson. “Without it I would have been uninsurable for the rest of my days. No diagnostic test, no surgery, no rehab, no hope.”

Thompson mentioned for 28 years he voted Republican but in his time of need the GOP was not there for him.

“For 40 years, I paid my taxes, I worked to sup-port my family but when my back was against the wall in the richest country in the world, Senator Burr, where was your GOP for me?” Thompson shouted at the building.

President of the state NAACP Youth and College Division, Dominique Penny, said it is an alarming concern that we are still facing some of the same challenges we faced 50 years ago, including the Voting Rights Act.

“Any effort to suppress the vote of the people is unjust and unconstitutional. Our vote is our voice and we will not be silenced.”

Although representatives declined to comment on Monday, Myers did say that he would make sure that Sen. Burr receives the list of demands from his constituents. When asked what’s next for the movement Penny, who currently attends Winston-Salem State University, said, “We can’t be all talk. We have to be about action.

“When we finally get this town hall, we’re demanding we need to show up in great numbers. We have to show them we mean business.”

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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