Tuesday, September 16, 2014

HKonJ Press Conference Summary


September 16, 2014


Contact: Tom Wolf, NC NAACP - tiwolf13@gmail.com or 504-940-4441


RALEIGH, NC - The Historic Thousands on Jones St. Coalition gathered this morning to host a press conference in which Reverend Dr. William J. Barber, II, Professor Irving Joyner, Al McSurely, and Bob Hall both addressed the false and intimidating nature of Senator Phil Berger's televised ad, and explained their efforts to mobilize voters between now and the November elections. 


Rev. Dr. Barber opened the press conference by noting that nearly 800,000 North Carolinians still have not registered to vote. Reaching them in addition to the 250,000 African Americans and 400,000 white women who voted in 2008 and 2012 but not in 2010 will be a central to the NC NAACP's Get Out the Vote efforts leading up to the election. Rev. Dr. Barber said, "We are ensuring that all our branches are pushing everybody we know and say 'This is the time we must vote!'" 


To get out the vote, the NC NAACP established the Moral Freedom Summer program, in which almost forty young people knocked on the doors of and spoke to thousands of North Carolinians. It will also organize Freedom Sabbaths at churches, synagogues, and mosques throughout the state, as well as the March to the Polls rallies, over the next several weeks. Lastly, the NC NAACP will reach out to people across the state by telephone and social media. 


Rev. Dr. Barber also addressed the regressive voting laws implemented in North Carolina in July 2013, which, if not overturned, would curb voting access for people from all walks of life. "That is why," he said, "we've had veterans join the Moral Monday rallies. They have said they did not want to fight for freedom overseas only to see their freedom at home undermined." 


Irving Joyner, Professor of Law at NCCU, explained that our appeal against these voting laws is being expedited in the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, and is set to be heard startingon September 25th. Furthermore, Professor Joyner related the decision handed down by Judge Donald Stephens last week, which ruled the arrest of Leonard Beeghley unconstitutional. This decision, he said, has implications for the nearly thousand Moral Monday demonstrators who were arrested in the summer of 2013. 


Al McSurely also spoke at the news conference, condemning the deceptive ad endorsed by Senate Leader Phil Berger. The NC NAACP played the ad, after which Mr. McSurely said, "Senator Berger not only needs to take down this ad, but he also needs to get his backers to pay for an ad from now until election time saying that you do not need an I.D. to vote."  


The North Carolina NAACP has filed a complaint against Senator Berger with Kim Strach, Director of the North Carolina State Board of Elections, and Doug Henderson, Guilford County District Attorney. The complaint states: "On August 29, 2014, North Carolina Senate Leader Phil Berger aired a 30-second ad on television in Guilford County and other areas which boasted that Sen. Berger had passed a law that required North Carolina voters to have a photo ID if they wanted to vote in North Carolina elections. On information and belief, Sen. Berger has spent $122,000 on this ad, and similar ones, in an effort to intimidate and discourage people who do not have a photo ID for the 2014 elections." 


The NC NAACP then showed its own fact-checked video, which provides specific information regarding what voters need to know before the November elections. 


Several members of the media were present, so if you would like more in-depth coverage, tune in to your local television or radio stations tonight for more information. 





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