The North Carolina NAACP and the Forward Together Moral Movement will hold what’s being billed as a Mass Moral Monday at the General Assembly on June 16.
In a conference call with reporters last week, movement leader Reverend William Barber said that today’s rally will focus on how policies implemented by the Republican-controlled state government have affected hourly workers.
“Now that all three budgets are on the table, from the North Carolina House, and the Senate, and the Governor’s Office, the next Moral Monday will include a mass rally to expose the vast and far-reaching impact of the systematic attack by the extremists in our legislature, led by Berger, Tillis and McCrory and others on poor people, workers, African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, women, and others throughput our state,” said Barber.
Today’s rally comes just a few days after the State House approved its $21 billion budget, which some have praised for being more moderate than the Senate version.
Some of those observers are people working in public education, who are relieved that teachers’ tenure rights are not being threatened in the House budget.
Donna Coffey and Jamezetta Bedford, the chairs of the Orange County and Chapel Hill-Carrboro Boards of Education, respectively, told WCHL recently that they’re also glad to see that the House didn’t explicitly put teacher-assistant jobs on the chopping block.
But Barber told reporters he sees a game being played, perhaps to benefit House Speaker Thom Tillis in his U.S. Senate campaign against Sen. Kay Hagan.
“The political game that they are playing with these budgets is now becoming very clear,” said Barber. “Senate leader Phil Berger and his colleagues present an extreme-to-the-nth-degree piece of legislation, in the budget.
“Then the Speaker of the House, Thom Tillis, presents a budget that’s extreme, let’s say, to the fourth degree that is supposed to appear as moderate. The reality is that they are both devastating budgets for the poor, the vulnerable, for public education, and for workers.
“We are not fooled by their game, and their political jockeying to try to promote Speaker Tillis in a statewide campaign.”
Monday’s events begin with a 4 p.m. press conference at Davie Street Presbyterian Church in Raleigh, followed by a 5 p.m. gathering at Halifax Mall behind the General Assembly.