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Frustrated by the actions of elected leaders, members of the NAACP from Henderson and three other mountain counties will travel to Raleigh Tuesday to express their views on pending and past legislation they say hurts minorities and the poor.
“We have a list we’d like to present and we’re going to be discussing the direction the North Carolina General Assembly is moving in and bills that are hurting North Caorlina,” said Melinda Lowrance, president of the Hendersonville NAACP chapter. Among the bills she cited as negative in the NAACP’s view are 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 opposes a bill Republican leaders have introduced that would make all judicial elections partisan.
“We think it should remain nonpartisan,” Lowrance said. “Because if it becomes partisan I don’t believe we’ll get the fairness we should from the bench.”
Besides Henderson County, the delegation includes NAACP members from Buncombe, Transylvania, Yancey and Mitchell counties. Also traveling to Raleigh from Hendersonville is Donald Reed, second vice president of the Hendersonville chapter. The WNC delegation will join members of the NAACP and Forward Together Moral Movement for the 11th annual People’s Legislative Advocacy Day.
NAACP representatives on Feb. 27 delivered about 150 letters to U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows’ office in support of Obamacare and immigration reform.
Lowrance has been appointed district supervisor for the NAACP in Western North Carolina, which has grown to nine branches. Besides Hendersonville, the NAACP has branches in Yancey, Mitchell, Jackson, Haywood, McDowell, Buncombe and Burke counties plus a college branch at Mars Hill University.
“We’re beginning to organize a chapter here at Blue Ridge Community College,” Lowrance said. “I believe we’re growing because of the frustration among the people over the policies. It’s just everything that’s going on that’s affected those that are less fortunate and people in general. People are just frustrated now with the way things are going.”