The Civic Group: Voting a Priority: Educate, Organize, Mobilize

by April 5, 2017
peter grear

By Peter Grear

Last month I wrote about the Eastern North Carolina Civic Group’s (the Civic Group) long and storied history.  Going forward I will cover the Civic Group’s efforts to lead Black communities in efforts of voting, education and economics as critical issues that demand immediate, unrelenting attention.

Black Americans have endured voter suppression, education deprivation and economic exploitation for more than 400 years.  Of course, these are but a few of the many abuses Blacks have suffered in their centuries-long pursuit of freedom and equality.

Following the November 2016 General Election defeats that many believe represents a generational setback for issues important to Black people, many of our leaders seem to have been stunned and defeated.  However, the Civic Group has recognized the need to get up off the floor and fight another round.

The Civic Group is expanding its outreach and efforts to reach Black elected and community leaders like never before.  It recognizes that the historical aspirations of Black communities must be pursued in good times and in bad times.  I attended its March 10, 2017 meeting in Elizabeth City and heard a lot of anxiety being expressed about what is perceived as a political dilemma unlike anything we’ve seen in the last 50 years.

By voluntarily stepping into the void created by inactivity, the Civic Group acknowledges that leadership groups like the NAACP, Democracy NC, the African-American Caucus of the North Carolina Democratic Party (AACNCDP), and Advance Carolina need help and recognizes that it is a part of its historical commitment to community service to offer their help and challenge others to join in.

The legislation being passed in the North Carolina General Assembly and Congress serves as strong reminders that while Black people are sleeping, historical exploitations continue unabated.  The unrelenting attacks on voting rights and Obamacare serve as constant reminders that precious progress that has been made through the years is under a serious threat of reversal and that if Black people remain on the sideline their children will pay the price for inactivity.

The Civic Group meets in different counties around northeastern North Carolina to make it as convenient as possible for supporters from different counties to attend meeting without always having to travel long distances.  In discussing community outreach there are many that are expressing a desire to establish a more aggressive communication system that would notify all Black elected officials, preachers and other community leaders in the 1st and 3rd Congressional Districts.

There was much discussion about saving Obamacare accompanied by broad support for calling NC Congressional officials and expressing the desire of Civic Group members to repair Obamacare instead of trying to repeal it.  Contact information for congressional officials was provided and the audience expressed overwhelming support for joining the efforts to save Obamacare.

In addition to support for Obamacare, the Civic Group voted to contact Governor Roy Cooper and ask him to appoint Judge McKoy-Mitchell to the upcoming vacancy expected on the NC Court of Appeals.

The discussion of the judicial vacancy included discussions about the efforts by Republicans in the General Assembly to change the authority of the Governor to fill vacant judicial seats from the Governor to the General Assembly.  Another of the General Assembly suggestions is to reduce the number of judges serving on the Court of Appeals so that the expected vacancy would not have to be filled.

Advance Carolina is a 501(c) 4 that has regular attendance or representation at Civic Group meetings, it is attempting what many Blacks have tried through the years.  It has recently released the “Isaiah Plan” Isaiah 65:17-25, a plan that seeks to empower historically unserved or underserved communities through various education and mobilization initiatives that it is leading.  As does the NAACP, Advance Carolina, Democracy NC and AACNCP need substantial community support from all segments of our population.  For more information about Advance Carolina see link # 1 below.

As we reported last month the Civic Group was presented with a proposal to unite many of the counties that it serves with an online news (communication) service produced by Greater Diversity News (GDN).  The response has been overwhelmingly positive.  There is a clear recognition that knowledge of Civic Group news and projects that are available to its members that reside in both the First and Third Congressional Districts, will greatly enhance the value that the Civic Group has historically provided to its communities.

To that end, Greater Diversity has established GDN NorthEast Online that is linking many counties that support the Civic Group and that have been historically unable to engage in the type of region wide communication that is important to promoting community engagement and empowerment.   For more information on GDN NorthEast Online see link # 2 below.  For more information on the NC NAACP and AACNDP see links 3 and 4 below.

At upcoming Civic Group meetings GDN will, with the group’s permission, continue to discuss various aspects of GDN NorthEast Online publication and invite public feedback from presently targeted communities and other communities that want to be included.

There are ongoing discussions about inviting all Black elected officials from the 1st and 3rd Congressional Districts to all future meetings.  This brings additional unique value to many of our communities that are unable to remain updated on many current issues that are important to their communities.

As has been reported, the issues of concern by the Civic Group are very similar to issues of concern by other Black leadership organizations like the NAACP.  Some are communication/media; criminal justice; economic development; environmental affairs; housing; international affairs/immigration; local, state, and national legislation; veterans’ affairs; voting right; youth work and civil rights.

Following are future meeting dates.  These dates are subject to change and it is therefore important for supporters to register to receive meeting notices and changes by sending their email addresses to enccg1@gmail.com

The ENCCG Meeting Schedule:

April 8, 2017    Dare County      
May 20, 2017    Craven County                         
June 10, 2017    Northampton County
July 8, 2017    Perquimans County
Aug.12, 2017    Carteret County

Greater Diversity covers news that is vital to social justice, unrepresented and underserved communities.  We need your financial support to help us remain viable.
Peter Grear, Esq. writes for Greater Diversity News with a primary focus on political, social and economic justice.  To support our efforts, to unite our politics and economics, please “Like” and follow us at www.facebook.com/greaterdiversitynews, “Share” our articles and post your ideas and comments on Facebook or at our website www.GreaterDiversity.com. He is available for radio commentaries upon request. Follow Peter on twitter @gdnunites.  Finally, please ask all of your Facebook “Friends” to like and follow our page.

Links:
No 1 http://advancecarolina.org/
No 2 http://greaterdiversity.com/homepage/gdn-home-page/gdn-northeast-online/
No 3 http://www.naacpnc.org/
No 4 http://www.aac-ncdp.org/ •

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