Asheville-Buncombe County NAACP News – March 2017

Ms. Carmen Ramos-Kennedy Photo: Bruce Kennedy

Ms. Carmen Ramos-Kennedy
Photo: Bruce Kennedy

by Carmen Ramos-Kennedy –

Asheville-Buncombe County Branch NAACP, along with Branches across the state, visited local congressional offices with letters from the NC State Conference of NAACP and constituents demanding that representatives:

  • stand against repeal of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare)
  • oppose legislation or executive orders calling for sweeping deportation of the immigrant community
  • restore the full protection of the Voting Rights Act
  • renounce lies about voter fraud and oppose the widespread voter suppression happening across our state and nation
  • support the NAACP’s call for living wages and union rights

Over 1,200 people and 38 Branches participated.

We plan to continue to hold our Members of Congress accountable. Stay tuned for other actions. Follow us on Facebook at

Working with the new grass-roots citizens’ group Health Care CPR led by Chris Pelly, Beth Jezek, and Vijay Kapoor, our local Branch helped organize the Health Care Town Hall Meeting at Highland Brewery attended by approximately 325 area residents. Senators Burr and Tillis and Representatives McHenry and Meadows were invited to attend, but did not do so. After an informative panel discussion on the advantages of the ACA, and what it would mean for it to be repealed, attendees shared their stories of what having ACA has meant for them.

Asheville-Buncombe County NAACP Criminal Justice Committee, chaired by Dee Williams, made a presentation before the City of Asheville Public Safety Committee about no-cost/low-cost solutions which can be used by local law enforcement to reduce disparities in traffic stops. Ian Mance, Staff Attorney of the Southern Coalition for Social Justice and Code for Asheville, created the data on these stops, which disproportionately affect African American drivers in Asheville. There were also policy change recommendations made.

The N.C. Policing Tool captures all traffic stop data that is submitted, not just those where a citation is issued. The General Statute 143B-903 mandates that all traffic stops be reported by all law enforcement agencies in the state which serve populations over 10,000 people. The Public Safety Committee recommends public safety policy direction in areas of interest including police, fire, EMS, and emergency management services.

Our Branch will be at the table for the regional minimum wage coalition meeting on March 16. This meeting is for organizers and leaders of groups in the western region of the state interested in working on, or participating in outreach surrounding a statewide effort to raise the minimum wage.

For more on this effort go to


Carmen Ramos-Kennedy is the President of the Asheville-Buncombe County NAACP Branch #5363. For questions and membership information, call (828) 255-4453, or send an email to Asheville Buncombe NAACP, PO Box 2881, Asheville, NC 28802.

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