N.C. NAACP calls for protests to request public town halls 

Sen. Richard Burr

N.C. NAACP calls for protests to request public town halls 
February 23
00:06 2017

N.C. NAACP calls for protests to request public town halls

By Cash Michaels

For The Chronicle

On Monday, Feb. 27, the Winston-Salem office of Sen. Richard Burr is going to hear some noise from many of the Republican senator’s constituents, and the local chapter of the N.C. NAACP.

“We must hold our federal elected officials accountable in their home districts,” said N.C. NAACP President Rev. Dr. William Barber II, in an email sent to supporters and the press earlier this week. “

“On Feb. 27, we will deliver a list of demands and request public town halls at the offices of all of our N.C. senators and representatives to ensure that our elected officials listen to the people,” Barber’s email continued. Below was a list of every U.S. senator and congressperson elected to Washington from North Carolina.

Sen. Richard Burr’s Winston-Salem office was second from the top.

According to Rev. Alvin Carlisle, president of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County NAACP, he will be there at 4 p.m., along with several other chapter members and citizens to protest Burr’s insistence on repealing the Affordable Care Act, among other issues. A press conference will also be held.

“ We really want to raise our concerns with our elected officials that we need to take a fair and moral stance when it comes to any reform of public health care,” Rev. Carlisle said. “Don’t be irresponsible, definitely don’t try to repeal without replacing, and when we’re looking at replacing, it’s important that we also look at bills that will continue to benefit the poor in our community that will also allow for affordable care, and also care that does not discriminate against those that have pre-existing conditions.”

Saying that “It’s always important that the people’s voices are heard,” Rev. Carlisle agreed that now that Sen. Burr was just re-elected last November, and has said that this is his last six-year term in Congress, he may not be vulnerable to public pressure as would someone running for re-election in 2018. But that shouldn’t matter, Carlisle said.

“I think it’s important for us, not only for him but for all of our elected officials to continue to hear the voice of the people, and, of course, to make clear that they serve at the will of the people,” Rev. Carlisle said.

Of course, it would be hard to protest at Sen. Burr’s office Monday without citing clear concerns about where the month-old Trump Administration is headed, and how many are fearful that the gains of the Obama Administration will all but certainly be erased.

“There are reasons for concern that we’ve already seen after only one month in,” Carlisle said. “There are major concerns about some of the things we’re seeing from the Trump Administration.  Even when it comes down to executive orders, we still believe that there is a system of checks and balances in our country that needs to be enforced, and we don’t feel that our elected officials should sit back and allow “45” [Trump] to do whatever he wants.”

The local NAACP chapter will be only one of several groups from across the country to target Republican lawmakers with concerns about issues ranging from repealing Obamacare to supporting a ban on Muslims entering the country. GOP congresspeople have been targeted at raucous town hall meetings  by their own supporters in many cases.

Earlier this week, the North Carolina chapter of the national group “Together We Will” took out a quarter-page “lost and found” ad in the Sunday News and Observer. The ad said, “LOST- United States Senator. “He may respond to the title ‘Senator Richard Burr’, though his constituents have been unable to verify whether this is still the case, as they have been unable to contact him in recent weeks. … If found, please return Senator Burr to his constituents by way of a Town Hall meeting or other suitable gathering in which the Senator demonstrates his accountability to his constituents by listening to and honestly addressing their concerns.”

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Cash Michaels

Cash Michaels

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