RALEIGH — Members of the Scotland County branch of the NAACP will travel to Raleigh today to talk about past and pending legislation they say hurts minorities and the poor in North Carolina.
The local branch will join NAACP groups from across the state to participate in the 11th Annual Forward Together Moral Advocacy & People’s Legislative Day. Hundreds of people are expected to attend the daylong event.
NAACP officials said that during this legislative session, more than 2,000 bills have been introduced, “many of which are unconstitutional and undermine democracy.”
The group said legislation such as House Bills 239, 240, and 241, which, among other things, strip the governor of the power to appoint members to the Court of Appeals and Superior Court and move the state backward.
The laws are also being introduced and passed by a General Assembly whose members were elected with the help of gerrymandered districts that were found to be unconstitutional by a federal court, according to the NAACP.
“These illegitimate lawmakers are engaging in a political coup d’etat, passing laws that take power from the governor and judicial branch and placing it in the hands of Speaker Moore and Senate Leader Phil Berger and other extremists in the legislature …. Their actions will not be done in the dark,” the civil rights group said in a statement.
The actions include, HB2, the state’s refusal to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, gerrymandering that packs black voters into districts, voting rights and “the law that takes power from the governor and the judicial branch.”
The NAACP also opposes a bill that Republican leaders have introduced that would make all judicial elections partisan.
“In order to make Scotland County and North Carolina better for all of us, we have to hold our elected officials accountable on the state and federal level,” said Herman Tyson, president of the Scotland County NAACP.
The Scotland Branch NAACP will meet with local legislators Sen. Tom McInnis and Rep. Ken Goodman. The group said it had not scheduled a visit with Rep. Garland Pierce because as former NAACP branch president he was familiar with many of the group’s concerns.
“On Feb. 27, we visited the office of our congressional leaders and now we will be going to Raleigh,” Tyson said. “Now is the time to make your voice heard and we encourage anyone from the community to join us.”
The event is expected to begin at 8 a.m. and end at 3 p.m.