Sunday, March 20, 2016

Some North Carollina Writers/Some North Carolina Heroes

Awfully proud to see so many well-known NC writers, including friend Margaret Maron, stepping up to the plate about what's been happening to a once socially progressive state. One that had an education system that was tops in the country. We have fallen far. Thank you for taking a stand.

Dozens of well-known North Carolina writers gathered at the state Capitol on Saturday to protest Republican policies they say are hurting public education, access to health care and voting rights.

The group included bestselling authors Clyde Edgerton, Allen Gurganus and Margaret Maron. They read a statement calling for “a new governor and a new government” so the state will have “a far, far better story for itself and its people than the one that has been rolling out of Raleigh in recent years.”

The statement called the state’s current story “a sad tale of recklessness, rapaciousness and cruelty.”

Read the rest of the article here:

THIS from Bland Simpson's Facebook page - 

A Gathering of North Carolina Writers, State Capitol Grounds.

At 2 p.m. today, March 19th, 2016, 45 North Carolina writers from across the state gathered on the Capitol grounds in Raleigh to call for a new governor and a new government for the Old North State, and for a return to the progressive course that for decades made North Carolina a beloved beacon across the South and the nation; 64 more N.C. writers supported this statement in absentia. Please READ MORE:

WE who are gathered here today are among the many North Carolinians entrusted by both publishers and the people to tell the stories of our time and our place -- in prose, in poetry, and in song. We live all over this great state, and our individual works are as different, any one from any other, as the New River in Ashe County is different from the New River in Onslow, and as the Nantahala River in the mountains is different from the Neuse River that flows to the coast.

Different though the voices with which we speak in our works may be, we stand here together today, speaking with one voice, totally and strongly unified in this belief:

North Carolina needs -- and deserves -- a far, far better story for itself and its people than the one that has been rolling out of Raleigh in recent years, which is, taken all in all, a sad tale of recklessness, rapaciousness, and cruelty. To change the story, indeed, is to change the course of the Old North State’s evolving democracy:

North Carolina must have a new governor and a new government.

We need a governor and a government that will see our people insured for health care to the greatest extent possible, using the major funding that is guaranteed by the federal government, which we all already trust to pay – and which does pay -- for North Carolina’s national parks, national forests, national wildlife refuges, national seashores, our citizens’ social security, medicare, Medicaid, and veterans’ benefits and our state’s second largest economy, the military forces and bases across eastern Carolina. Half a million of our fellow citizens, one in twenty among us, need and deserve the basic right of access to health care that the expansion of medicaid will, at long last, give them;

We need a governor and a government that will respect and support, across the board, in word and deed, the teachers in our public schools, by rescinding the half-billion dollar tax giveaway for the wealthy among us and raising the remuneration of our educators, which is now very near the bottom for the entire nation; raising the investment in our students – in our children – which is also very near the bottom for the entire nation; and absolutely ending the unconstitutional use of public funds for private schools;

As everyone in North Carolina has a constitutional mandate to protect our fertile lands and forests, our many waters, and our temperate air, and as no one has the right to profit from actions that degrade these precious natural resources, we need a governor and a government that will enforce ARTICLE XIV, Sec. 5 of the North Carolina Constitution and vigorously protect and conserve our natural heritage, our common wealth, just as this final article of the state constitution directs us all to do. We need a governor and a government that will end the preferential, if not deferential, treatment of defilers of our natural resources and that will instead penalize them to the full extent of the law. We need a governor and a government that will end the headlong rush toward hydraulic fracturing and all its wastefulness and dangers, and that will oppose the next rush – should it re-occur, as it has twice now -- toward offshore drilling in the most turbulent, storm-tossed waters of eastern America, with drilling proposed from floating platforms in waters known and feared the world over as “the Graveyard of the Atlantic.”

We need a new governor and a new government that will end such other practices of the current regime as: 1/ gerrymandering our legislative and congressional districts, which has occurred to such an astonishing, illegal extent that federal courts have found two districts unconstitutional and sent them back to the General Assembly for redrafting, resulting in a new map as bad as the old, and an ongoing electoral mess; 2/ suppressing the vote, attempting to stifle the fullest possible participation by citizens in our democracy in various methodical ways and calling this stifling a campaign to end voter fraud, in an honest state where there is virtually none; 3/ placing higher taxes on all manner of repairs and services, regressive taxes that will hit hardest those among us with the lowest incomes; 4/ interposing political, ideological judgments between women and their physicians; and the list, quite unfortunately, does go on.

Two to three million new North Carolinians will be born here or will come here over the next fourteen years – how can we possibly be ready for them then when the state is ill-serving the people who are here now? We who are gathered on the State Capitol Grounds today urge our fellow citizens all across the state to keep the faith and to help write a far better story for the future of the Old North State. We believe that the people can, will and must put North Carolina back onto its progressive course, the course that for decades made our state a beloved beacon across the South and the nation. Let this be one small moment toward that great purpose, and let Tuesday, November the 8th, Election Day 2016, be a much grander one.


Those here assenting to this statement are:

Alex Albright Fountain

Jeffrey Beam Hillsborough

Barb Bennett Chapel Hill

Belle Boggs Pittsboro

Hodding Carter Chapel Hill

David Cecelski Durham

Diane Chamberlain Raleigh

Kim Church Raleigh

Angela Davis-Gardner Raleigh

Jim Dodson Greensboro

Larry Earley Raleigh

Clyde Edgerton Wilmington

Georgann Eubanks Carrboro

Mike Gaspeny Greensboro

Allan Gurganus Hillsborough

Fred Hobson Chapel Hill

Brenda Jernigan Fayetteville

Randall Kenan Hillsborough

Jill McCorkle Hillsborough

Lucinda McKethan Raleigh

Janna McMahan Raleigh

Margaret Maron Willow Springs

Thomas Mills Carrboro

Katy Munger Durham

Gene Nichol Chapel Hill

Elaine Orr Raleigh

Beverly Patterson Chapel Hill

Dan Patterson Chapel Hill

David Payne Hillsborough

Peggy Payne Raleigh

David Perry Carrboro

Tom Rankin Hillsborough

Terry Roberts Asheville

Robert Rubin Fuquay Varina

John Russell Raleigh

Jim Seay Chapel Hill

Ann Simpson Chapel Hill

Bland Simpson Chapel Hill

Lee Smith Hillsborough

Stephen Smith Southern Pines

Chris Stamey Chapel Hill

Harry Watson Carrboro

Kevin Watson Winston Salem

Marsha Warren Chapel Hill

Cat Warren Durham

Those in absentia:

Daphne Athas Carrboro

John Balaban Raleigh

Joseph Bathanti Boone

Margaret Bauer Greenville

Margaret Baddour Goldsboro

Katherine Byer Cullowhee

Wayne Caldwell Asheville

Wiley Cash Wilmington

Diane Chamberlain Raleigh

Mike Chitwood Chapel Hill

Jim Clark Wilson

Noelle Crook Raleigh

Nancy Demorest Hillsborough

Stephen Demorest Hillsborough

Bronwen Dickey Durham

Nina Di Gramont Wilmington

Pam Durban Chapel Hill

David Gessner Wilmington

Therese Fowler Raleigh

Alice Gerard Durham

Philip Gerard Wilmington

Marianne Gingher Greensboro

Judy Goldman Charlotte

Jaki Shelton Green Mebane

Minrose Gwin Chapel Hill

Maria Henson Winston Salem

Marjorie Hudson Pittsboro

Holly Goddard Jones Greensboro

John Kessel Raleigh

Haven Kimmel Raleigh

Richard Krawiec Chapel Hill

Dorianne Laux Raleigh

William Leuchtenberg Chapel Hill

Zelda Lockhart Hillsborough

Michael Malone Hillsborough

Melissa Malouf Durham

Elizabeth Matheson Hillsborough

Michael McFee Durham

Tift Merritt Raleigh

Joe Millar Raleigh

Robin Miura Chapel Hill

Duncan Murrell Pittsboro

Joe Newberry Raleigh

Val Nieman Greensboro

Michael Parker Greensboro

Nancy Peacock Hillsborough

Drew Perry Greensboro

Steven Petrow Hillsborough

Carmine Prioli Hillsborough

Ron Rash Cullowhee

Shannon Ravenel Durham

Celia Rivenbark Wilmington

Ruth Salvaggio Chapel Hill

Sarah Shaber Raleigh

Bill Smith Carrboro

Elizabeth Spencer Chapel Hill

John Jeremiah Sullivan Wilmington

Daniel Wallace Chapel Hill

Susan West Hatteras

Lynn York Carrboro

Lee Zacharias Greensboro

Writers raised in this state and no longer living here who remain loyal followers and

political supporters:

Ben Fountain TX

Charles Frazier FL

Robert Morgan NY

And we wish we could call the names of those great North Carolina voices who are

no longer with us but surely if they were, would be standing here with us today.

Those gathered at the Capitol then sent their thoughts, prayers and blessings toward Nancy Olsen, longtime Quail Ridge Books owner and a very great supporter of North Carolina’s literary life.

The session ended with a unison reading of the state toast:

The North Carolina State Toast



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