Thursday, January 10, 2013

NC NAACP and HKonJ to Visit the People's House to Hold a Legislative Briefing

on Poverty and Economic Justice on January 15, 2013 at 9:00 am (Press Conference at 10:00 am)


9 January 2013

For More Information:            Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, President,919-394-8137

                                             Mrs. Amina J. Turner, Executive Director, 919-682-4700

                                          Atty. Jamie Phillips, Public Policy Coordinator, 919-682-4700

For Media Assistance:            Rob Stephens, Field Secretary, 336-577-9335

RALEIGH - The NC NAACP and Historic Thousands on Jones Street (HKonJ) People's Assembly Coalition will convene at the People's House, (NC Legislature on Jones Street) on Tuesday, January 15, at 9:00 a.m. for a policy briefing on the long legislative session, which will begin in a few weeks. The news conference is at 10:00 a.m.

            The seven-year old Black-White-Brown People's Coalition will remind the Governor and the legislators, who recently swore on he Bible to uphold the North Carolina Constitution, that Article I , Sect. 2 of the Constitution requires them to govern "for the good of the whole." The policy briefing's theme is: "Addressing Poverty and Economic Justice in NC."

            On Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s actual birthday, the leading civil and human rights organizations in the state will hold the briefing as a follow up to the Truth And Hope Poverty Tour, held last year with stops in 27 communities across NC, to present the coalition's priorities for the upcoming HKonJ People's Assembly 7 on February 9, 2013 in Raleigh. The briefing as well as the People's Assembly will focus on a comprehensive call to address the issue of poverty and economic disparities.

            Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, President of the NC NAACP and Convener of the HKONJ People's Assembly Coalition says, "Dr. King said 44 years ago that we could not refuse to address the issue of poverty. But 44 years later, we have 1.7 million North Carolinians living in poverty, the same number we had in 1968. This is a moral, social, and political crisis that our elected leadership, regardless of political party, and the people of this state cannot ignore. We can face it and address it. We will present and push policy issues that can make a difference if we have the moral courage to place economic justice and the poor at the center of our state's agenda and do what is best for the "good of the whole".

            The key issues which must interconnect in order to address the issue of poverty and economic justice include: 1) economic sustainability-addressing poverty, full employment, living wages, disparate unemployment and labor rights, affordable housing, minority access to contracts, targeted empowerment zones and fair tax reform; 2) educational equality - every child deserves a high quality, well-funded, constitutional, diverse public education - and access to Community Colleges and Universities; 3) healthcare for all- ensuring access to and protection of Medicare and Medicaid, Social Security and providing environmental protection; 4) addressing the continuing inequalities in the criminal justice system for black, brown and poor white people; and 5) protecting, defending and expanding voting rights for all people.

            The briefing will update clergy, NC NAACP Executive Committee Members, NAACP Branch/Chapter Presidents, and HKonJ Leadership in the state of North Carolina on those topics essential to eradicating poverty and promoting economic justice throughout the state. Experts in areas of such as political science, law, economics, poverty, and civil rights will present their analyses of the current state of affairs in NC. A documentary based on the NC NAACP's Truth and Hope Tour of Poverty conducted last year will be screened in the morning as well.

            The NC NAACP and its partners will re-emphasize their call to North Carolina's leadership to "stay moderate in the face of extremism" - a petition that was first released Friday, January 4, 2013. Attendees will personally deliver the petition and DVD of the documentary to legislative offices after the briefing. Legislators are welcome to attend.


Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.


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