NC NOW members delivered the pro-choice signature ad packets to all of our representatives in the NC House and NC Senate on Monday, 6/4/18. The packets included a copy of the pro-choice signature ad that we ran in Indy Week in January (as we do every year), and a letter from NC NOW.
This year the letter was somewhat focused on the terrible budget process which blocked input from all Democratic lawmakers and maybe some Republican ones as well. The letter also talked about inappropriate uses of taxpayer money in the budget. See the letter below.
NOW members from Raleigh, Triad and Fayetteville all worked together on the delivery. A few more members from Durham and Raleigh NOW wanted to join us but couldn’t make it. The group who came from Fayetteville was done in the main Legislative Building before the folks from Triad and Raleigh were done in the Legislative Office Building (next to Halifax Mall). They took the opportunity to talk to passing lawmakers as they waited.
We all talked to Rep. Billy Richardson about the value of processing the untested rape kits. Rape is a serial crime. The sooner you figure it out the sooner you can get the guy off the street. Richardson had worked with the Cumberland County Rape Crisis Center and Lt. John Somerindyke of Fayetteville Police Department and Roberta Waddle of Fayetteville NOW to write the 2017 bill that made the untested rape kit inventory happen. Richardson was the primary sponsor.
NC NOW members see the value in testing ALL of the rape kits. The state is pushing harder to test ones from unsolved crimes – about half of them. Richardson was talking about a specific serial rapists whose rape kits that had been processed in Fayetteville after many years. The rapist had gone on to Texas and continued to rape there until caught. If the rape kids had been processed in a timely manner, multiple later rapes in Fayetteville and Texas (and who knows where else) could have been prevented.
Unfortunately our legislative leadership is so far refusing to start tracking these kits so they can be processed.
Some of the problems in the budget can be found with links to more detail at NC NOW posts “You Can’t Believe this Terrible NC State Budget“ and “$1.55 Million in Taxpayer Money Going to CPCs in NC Budget.” Newspapers have been sounding the alarms about the budget as well – and these titles convey some of the outrage. As in “Cut from the NC budget: Democracy,” (News and Observer, 5/28/18) and “Sooooie! There’s plenty of pork in the state budget.” (News and Observer, 6/1/18) and “Editorial: Is N.C. in the hands of dictators? Latest budget ploy suggests so,” (WRAL, 5/28/18). The NC Justice Center covers problems with the budget from many angles at “The secretly-negotiated 2018 budget: What’s in it? Why won’t legislative leaders allow real debate?” (NC Policy Watch, 5/31/18)
I have to say I have never done this with so many legislators and legislative assistants about.
The group went to eat together at Carolina Cafe and Bakery afterward.