Democrats plan a 'Fed Up' rally

By Myrna Campbell | Jun 21, 2013

Haywood County Democratic Party Chairman Janie Benson has invited fellow Democrats to a “Fed Up” rally onMonday, June 24, to demonstrate disapproval of the regressive legislation being supported by Governor Pat McCrory and the Republican- controlled North Carolina General Assembly.

“Regrettably, Governor McCrory told Republicans at their state convention this past weekend that he will not back down — that is, he will continue to stand his ground and push for legislation that will promote his party’s conservative ideals.  As Democrats,  we cannot remain silent while they launch a full- scale assault on our core values,” said Benson.

Numerous political leaders have been invited to speak at the rally, including State Sen. Joe Sam Queen, former State Rep. Ray Rapp, former State Rep Phil Haire, retired NC Court of Appeals Justice Gerald Arnold and former Congressman Bob Etheridge, spokesperson for Public Schools First.

Etheridge, a former state superintendent of public instruction, refers to actions taken by the General Assembly as the “systematic dismantlement of public education.”

He points out that under current legislation, class sizes will increase, 10,000 children will be cut out of pre-kindergarten programs, the number of teaching assistants will be reduced and a voucher system, funded with taxpayer money, will be created to support private school enrollment.

Other issues to be addressed by rally participants will include legislation that denied Medicaid expansion to 500,000 people,  leaving them without any health insurance; removing 170,000 people from unemployment benefits when North Carolina’s unemployment rate remains the fifth highest in the nation; replacing the graduated state income tax with a consumption tax that will increase prices on basic goods and services; and major changes in the voting process, including less time for early voting,  having to show a government- issued photo identification and forcing college students to return to their home towns to vote. Voting where they attend college would jeopardize their parents'  $2,500 dependent tax deduction.

Those who want to participate in the rally should plan to congregate at Democratic Headquarters in the Haywood Square at 11:30 a.m. on June 24.  The group will then march to the Court House lawn to hear presentations by Queen and others.

Those who are unable to march should meet with Juanita Dixon at the courthouse by 11:45.

For further information, call 452-9607 or visit haywooddemocrats.org

“By participating in the rally, you will send two very important messages to Raleigh:  First, that you totally reject the conservative agenda being promoted by the Republican leadership and, secondly, that you support the efforts our Democratic leaders have put forth to maintain our status as a progressive state,” Benson said.

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