HB2 is Meant to Keeping Working People Divided and the Privileged in Power

13254650_497581913785235_5877474686534218680_o

Alamance NAACP President Barrett Brown speaking in Raleigh, NC at the State Legislature for the NC NAACP’s “Repeal HB2 Moral Monday” on May 16, 2016.

In considering House Bill 2, or the so-called “The Bathroom Bill,” it seems the propaganda of the elite is again dividing working class people. History teaches us that despite being in the minority, the elite maintain their privilege by distracting and then dividing the majority against themselves. People of power and privilege never have to fear revolutionary progress so long as they keep the masses divided and fearful of each other.

How else could a plantation of 150 enslaved people be held in submission by a family of five? Or how could colonial nations subjugate native peoples? They set one class of their victims against the other. People who would otherwise be natural allies buy into the bitter lie that perceived differences make house workers superior to field workers or that one tribe of indigenous people is better than another tribe. This systematic sowing of mistrust and fear between house workers and field workers, between the Cherokee and the Sioux, or between working class whites and working class blacks only serve the purposes of the wealthiest one percent.

So in all of the controversy over the bathroom provisions, much of the law is going unexamined. Let us remember, HB2 made it illegal for any local government to pass any kind of anti-discriminatory law, to protect any class of people. HB2 made it illegal to sue for workplace discrimination at the state level, for any reason. And it inexplicably prevents towns and cities from raising the minimum wage or passing other labor standards in their respective jurisdictions.

But we don’t hear about those provisions from proponents of House Bill 2. They only want to repeat their “common sense” argument that women and children were not safe under the Charlotte ordinance and that the NC Legislature had to protect them. In this case however, “common sense” is code for “I have no empirical data to support my gut feeling.” There is no evidence to support the fear that the sponsors of this bill set to burn like wildfire in the hearts of people who don’t understand the complexity of what it means to exist as transgender person. Women and children are statistically far more susceptible to sexual assault by people they know. That means boyfriends, priests, caregivers, family members, and trusted family friends.

And let us not forget that 150 years ago it was “common sense” that slavery was supported by Holy Scripture. Just 50 short years ago it was “common sense” that white people and black people should use separate restrooms. Many legislators who voted for this bill nurse their own personal prejudices and fears and so voted to set the Civil Rights Movement backwards 25 years.

Civil Rights is still a movement, and will continue to be an evolving movement until every citizen has an equal opportunity enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We are all entitled to those liberties whether our fellow citizens fully understand them or approve of them. HB2 has been a divisive distraction for the citizens of North Carolina. We should be focusing on issues that could make our state better, but instead we have become what the New-York Times called “pioneers in bigotry.” We are better than this. To be on the right side of history, we must repeal House Bill 2.

– Alamance NAACP President Barrett Brown

Get ready for the June 7 Special Primary for NC, Early Voting May 26th to June 4th

From the NC NAACP and Democracy NC:

Juneprimaryspecialelection.jpg

Early Voting for the June Special Primary begins on May 26th and continues through June 4th

The only early voting site in Alamance County is at the Alamance County Board of Elections Office at 115 S. Maple St., Graham. Early voting begins on May 26 and 27, Thursday and Friday from 8 am to 5 pm. Early voting continues, May 31 through June 3, Tuesday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm. And finally on June 4, Saturday from 10 am to 1 pm. Find early voting sites for other NC counties here.

And find more local early voting information from the Burlington Times-News here.

The June Primary is very important. Republicans and Democrats will pick their candidates to be on the November ballot for the Congressional race and for the NC Supreme Court. While some Congressional districts have only one candidate for US House of Representatives, everyone will be voting for the Supreme Court seat where there are 4 candidates running. The NC Supreme Court decides important issues that impact you!
Click here to view your ballot.

Click the links below to view the bios of the candidates that will be on your ballot!

US House of Representatives
NC Supreme Court

Help Us Spread the word!

Now is the time to make sure your community knows about the upcoming election! There is a new handout that features information about the special June 7th primary, with photos of the 4 candidates running for the NC Supreme Court and with descriptions of Congressional primary contests. You can help spread the word by passing out the Special Election Handout in your workplace, faith center, organizational meeting or community event. Email it to your friends and family.We can’t sit any election out! Here in NC we know that courts matter, especially when we are facing the avalanche of unconstitutional laws passed by extremists in the NC General Assembly.

Click here to download the Special Election Handout

We encourage you to download the handout and make copies. However, if you or your organization has the capacity to distribute 200 or more in the next few weeks, send your name, email, phone, mailing address, quantity desired, and name(s) of congregation, community center, or places where you’d distribute the handout to info@democracy-nc.org and Democracy NC will send you a packet.

JunePrimaryDistricts.jpeg

The District lines for who represents you in the U.S. House of Representatives recently changed because the US Supreme Court found that two of the previous districts were racially gerrymandered.

Click here to read the NC NAACP statement on the Supreme Court decision.

The Alamance NAACP Joins Local Partners to Protest Against Discriminatory HB2

The Alamance NAACP Joins Local Partners to Protest Attacks Against Minorities, Labor and Local Municipalities by the NC General Assembly and Governor McCrory.

IMG_2392

IMG_2369

BURLINGTON, NC – On Saturday March 26, the Alamance Branch of the NAACP joined local partners, including Alamance Pride and Life’s Journey UCC, to protest against NC House Bill 2. By passing NC House Bill 2, Governor McCrory and the extremists in the State Legislature, including bill co-sponsor Rep. Dennis Riddell of Alamance County, have written discrimination into the laws of North Carolina and have undermined the ability of local governments to respond to specific circumstances within their own local jurisdictions on critical civic, economic and public safety issues.

IMG_2382

We are gathered together to publicly oppose NC HB2 because it is as malicious as it is ridiculous. It is discriminatory and a gross over reach by the Legislature, that tramples on the authority of local municipalities. It is based on fear and ignorance. We call for a repeal of this intrusive and unjust law. – Barrett Brown, President Alamance NAACP

Burlington, NC Mayor Ian Baltutis on the unresponsiveness of Alamance County’s own State Representatives.

Find local news coverage here: http://www.thetimesnews.com/news/20160326/anti-hb2-rally-draws-crowd-from-alamance-county

 

 

Join the Alamance NAACP for Our Annual Freedom Fund Banquet on April 30, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-03-18 at 3.19.02 PM

Alamance NAACP, “2015 NC NAACP “Branch of the Year”, invites you to our Annual Freedom Fund Banquet, feature keynote speaker NC NAACP President Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II.

 

UPDATE: Tickets to this event are no longer available.

WHO: Alamance NAACP, “2015 NC NAACP “Branch of the Year

WHAT: Alamance NAACP Annual Freedom Fund Banquet

WHEN: Saturday, April 30, 2016 from 6:00 pm -11:00 pm (Doors open at 6:00 pm. The program begins at 6:45 pm.)

WHERE: First United Methodist Church of Elon, 1630 Westbrooke Ave. Elon, NC

Our Freedom Fund Banquet is a fundraiser for the benefit of the Alamance NAACP featuring keynote speaker, NC NAACP President, Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II. Read about our speaker HERE. This event will feature a full buffet, live music and a live auction. Evening wear is requested. You can make your reservations for the 2016 Freedom Fund Banquet online, by mail or in person.

New This Year! After the Banquet, join us for an After Party at Jazznmore, featuring a live band, Kimber and Kompany, featuring Dale Kimber. Admission to the after party is included in your ticket price. Wristbands for free admission to the after party will be handed out at the banquet as our program concludes.  

To reserve a ticket or reserve an ad in our program online, go to: https://alamancenaacp.wordpress.com/tickets/

2016 Freedom Fund Banquet Ticket: $40.00, tables for 8, $320.
2016 Freedom Fund Banquet Souvenir Book Color Ads at $35.00, $50.00 and $100

For more information or to arrange to pick up a ticket in person, call our Freedom Fund Banquet Chair, Paul Keller, at 919.358.7537 or email us at Ioweone@yahoo.com and we will schedule a convenient in-person ticket pickup.

At the banquet, please take the opportunity to renew your membership or become a new member of the Alamance Branch of the NAACP, Unit #5368. Regular annual adult memberships are $30.00. Life memberships are available. Membership dues can be paid by cash or check.

Contributions to reserve a ticket are non-refundable. Contributions, donations or gifts to this NAACP Unit are not deductible as charitable contributions for Federal income tax purposes.

Alamance NAACP Leads “Moral March to the Polls” in Honor of Bloody Sunday

12821546_469846713225422_4688450620457904404_n

“We are Marching to the Polls to reaffirm our community’s commitment to voting. We have been discouraged through redistricting, and all manner of voter suppression, but we have come too far to turn around now. It is a moral imperative we participate in our own government.”  – Barrett Brown, President of the Alamance NAACP

BURLINGTON, NC – On Saturday, March 5, 2016 at 1:00 pm, the Alamance Branch of the NC NAACP and local partners led a “Moral March to the Polls.” Thirty marchers gathered at the Alamance County Historic Courthouse in Graham, for a march to the early polling site at the Youth Services Building. The March represented local participation in a statewide “Our Time, Our Vote” GOTV Campaign focused on voter engagement, education, mobilization and protection. The March also honored the anniversary of “Bloody Sunday,” the pivotal confrontation on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama which ultimately paved the way to the passing of the Federal Voting Rights Act in 1965. Over 50 years later, it is still necessary for Americans to fight for their right to vote. Saturday’s Moral March to the Polls was an invitation to all people of goodwill to participate in the democratic process by exercising their sacred and blood-bought right to vote.

 

Race Relations the Topic of Discussion at Supper Sponsored by Alamance NAACP and Eighteen Local Churches

FullSizeRender (2).jpg

BURLINGTON, NC – On Sunday, March 6, 2016, the Coalition for Racial Reconciliation, a ministerial group initiated by the Alamance NAACP’s Religious Affairs Committee, brought together sixty local clergy and church members for a meal and a chance to discuss the Coalition’s recent inaugural event, a pulpit exchange held on Sunday, February 28, 2016. The pulpit exchange promoted the Coalition’s goal of initiating local relationship building between members of faith communities, across lines of race. Churches were paired with a congregation of a predominantly different racial composition and each held a worship service led by a minister of their partner church.

Today’s Coalition supper, at Occasions in Burlington, brought together ministers and four church members from each participating church in the pulpit exchange, to discuss the experiences provided by the pulpit exchange. Conversations around the tables started with a focus on the participant’s early awareness of race and then moved to broader questions about the state of race relations in our community and in the nation. Though it was widely acknowledged that racial reconciliation is an enormously ambitious goal, by the end of the evening there was an optimism in the room. These initial efforts to share perspectives, to reveal misconceptions and to develop familiarity, are the beginnings of an inspired attempt to be truth tellers and bridge builders in our community.

The Coalition has several upcoming efforts planned. In March, the Coalition is planning joint mission projects, chosen by paired churches. In April, participating churches will bring a wider portion of their congregations together for a broad dialogue regarding issues of race and racial reconciliation. Further out, a collaborative community event, such as a community choir has been considered.

Find local news coverage here: http://www.thetimesnews.com/news/20160326/alamance-county-churches-begin-working-toward-unity-across-racial-denominational-lines

The church pairings for the pulpit exchange and the shared supper include:

Union Chapel UCC and Church of the Holy Comforter Episcopal (actually held on Feb. 21)

First Reformed UCC and Arches Grove UCC

St. Matthews AME and Elon Community UCC

True Community Disciples of Christ and Life’s Journey UCC

Gethsemane Christian and First Baptist of Elon

Gospel Tabernacle and Front Street United Methodist

Clover Garden AME and First Methodist of Elon

Morgantown Baptist and Macedonia Lutheran (to be held on March 13)

Martin’s Chapel Baptist and Union Ridge Church (TBA)

VOTE! BE HEARD! Alamance NAACP 2016 Primary Election Voting Guide

Screen Shot 2016-02-16 at 6.13.55 PM

INFORMATION ABOUT THE 2016 MARCH PRIMARY ELECTION IN ALAMANCE COUNTY:

UPDATE: THERE WILL BE NEW CONGRESSIONAL ELECTIONS ON JUNE 7TH, INCLUDING AN EARLY VOTING PERIOD. Find more information HERE.

Primary Election Calendar:
Monday, January 25 Absentee by Mail Begins
Friday, February 19 Voter Registration Closes for Primary Election
Thursday, March 3 One-Stop Early Voting Begins
Tuesday, March 8 Absentee by Mail Ends
Saturday, March 12 One-Stop Early Voting Ends
Tuesday, March 15 Primary Election Day

Early Voting Sites:
Youth Services 201 W Elm St. Graham, NC 27253
Holly Hill Mall 309 Huffman Mill Rd. #300 Burlington, NC 27215
Mebane Arts Center 622 Corregidor Dr. Mebane, NC 27302

Early Voting Days and Times:
Thursday, March 3 – Friday, March 4      8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 5                                          9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Monday, March 7 – Friday, March 11       8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 12                                        9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Primary Election Day Voting Sites:
find your precinct at www.ncsbe.gov/webapps/pollingplace_search/

Primary Election Day Voting Day and Time:
Tuesday, March 15                                         6:30 am – 7:30 pm
*note:  Any voter that is in line at 7:30 p.m. will be allowed to vote.

 

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE 2016 MARCH PRIMARY ELECTION IN NORTH CAROLINA:

Screen Shot 2016-02-16 at 6.16.26 PM

Same Day Registration:

Persons who are not registered in a county may register to vote during the one-stop early voting period. This process is called “Same-Day Registration” and is currently permitted due to a preliminary injunction granted under a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit; this option is the subject of ongoing litigation in federal court. Find more information at http://www.ncsbe.gov/Elections/Election-Information

Primary Voting for 17-year olds who will be 18 by the November General Election:

North Carolina law permits citizens who are at least 17 years of age to register to vote and vote in a primary election, as long as the person will be 18 years of age on the date of the general election. However, these individuals may register starting no earlier than 60 days prior to the date of the primary election. Find more information at http://www.ncsbe.gov/Elections/Election-Information.

Voting if you have a criminal record:

If you are convicted of a felony, you temporarily lose your citizenship rights. But you automatically get your rights back after you finish all parts of your sentence, including any probation or parole. You do not need a special document saying your rights are restored. You just register to vote like any other citizen. If you were registered before your conviction, you will need to register again. If you are convicted of a misdemeanor, even if you are in jail, or if you are awaiting trial, you do not lose your right to vote.

If you DO NOT HAVE AN ACCEPTABLE PHOTO ID or cannot vote in person, you can still vote:

Absentee Voting:

  • A signed and completed State Absentee Ballot Request Form may be mailed, faxed, e-mailed or delivered in person to the county board of elections office and must be received by the county board of elections no later than 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 8.  The State Absentee Ballot Request Form may be found at http://www.ncsbe.gov/Portals/0/FilesP/AbsenteeBallotRequestForm.pdf.
  • When completing the form, the voter or the requestor must sign provide an identification number for the voter (i.e., NC DMV driver license number, NC DMV identification card number, or the last four digits of the voter’s social security number.) If an identification number is not provided on the form, then the requestor must submit a copy of a current and valid photo identification or a copy of one of the following documents that shows the name and address of the voter: a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document.
  • Absentee ballots must be returned to the county board of elections no later than 5:00 p.m. on the date of the election. The envelope may be mailed or delivered in person to the board of elections’ office. An absentee ballot may also be delivered to an election official at a one-stop voting site during any time that site is open for voting. Ballots received after 5:00 p.m. on election day will be timely ONLY if they are received by mail and bear a postmark that is dated on or before the date of the election and are received no later than 5:00 p.m. on the third day following the election. More information on absentee voting may be found at http://www.ncsbe.gov/Voting/Absentee-Voting.

Declaration of Reasonable Impediment:

  • Voters who are unable to obtain an acceptable photo ID due to a reasonable impediment may still vote a provisional ballot at the polls. (Examples of a reasonable impediment include but are not limited to the lack of proper documents, family obligations, transportation problems, work schedule, illness or disability, among other reasonable impediments faced by the voter.)
  • Declaration of Reasonable Impediment: Voters must sign a declaration describing their impediment and provide their date of birth and last four digits of their Social Security number, or present their current voter registration card or a copy of an acceptable document bearing their name and address.  (Acceptable documents include a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government-issued document.)

Find more information at the following links:

http://www.ncvoter.org/
http://voterid.nc.gov/index.html
http://www.ncsbe.gov/
http://www.alamance-nc.com/boardofelections/