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AUGUST 2020 NEWSLETTER

The Progressive Alliance of Henderson County has merged the energies and aims of its grassroots forerunners: PWH, POW, Hendersonville Huddle and Silent Vigil for Immigration Reform.


Informed Progressive Goes Virtual

On Wednesday, August 12 from 2:00 to 3:30, the Progressive Alliance of Henderson County (PAHC) Informed Progressive Series will feature Judge Mack McKeller, District Court Judge for District 29B (Henderson, Transylvania, and Polk Counties). Judge McKeller will speak on the role of the district court in our judicial district and how a district judge impacts the community.

Please click on this link to attend the meeting.
 https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84994059929?pwd=Y25rWXo3MzVIM09qcktuZWxiZVZ6dz09

Mack McKeller’s website:                     https://www.judgemackmckeller.com/

 

Postcard Parties

Postcard Parties will be VIRTUAL until further notice.  

Postcard Parties will PERSIST – but they may not be “in-person” at Oklawaha Brewery (renamed from Sanctuary Brewing), still at 147 1st Ave. E, Hendersonville.  We will post weekly suggestion sheets on our FB page, website and in emails.

This week's full postcard Suggestion Sheet can be viewed below or downloaded at our website.
Political Debating 2020

This guide (origin uncertain, possibly 2017 Indivisible.org) has been re-circulating recently and 
is full of helpful ideas, I think. 
  1. Don't use his name; EVER (45 will do).
  2. Remember this is a regime and he's not acting alone.
  3. Do not argue with those who support him--it doesn't work.
  4. Focus on his policies, not his orange-ness and mental state.
  5. Keep your message positive; they want the country to be angry and fearful because this is the soil from which their darkest policies will grow.
  6. No more helpless/hopeless talk.
  7. Support artists and the arts.
  8. Be careful not to spread fake news. Check it.
  9. Take care of yourselves.
  10. Resist!
Keep demonstrations peaceful. In the words of John Lennon, "When it gets down to having to use violence, then you are playing the system’s game. The establishment will irritate you - pull your beard, flick your face - to make you fight! Because once they’ve got you violent, then they know how to handle you. The only thing they don’t know how to handle is non-violence and humor."

When you post or talk about him, don't assign his actions to him, assign them to "The Republican Administration," or "The Republicans." This will have several effects: the Republican legislators will either have to take responsibility for their association with him or stand up for what some of them don't like; he will not get the focus of attention he craves; Republican representatives will become very concerned about their re-elections.
 
Are You Ready for 2020 Voting?

We progressives cannot afford any mistakes or oversights for voting in November - many races will be close, and Republicans are actively trying to suppress our votes.  Here is an overview:
  1.  Are you registered to vote?  ARE YOU SURE? Unlike many other freedoms (speech, religion, etc.), the right to vote can be lost through disuse or a change in address.  Check to make sure you are registered at https://www.usa.gov/confirm-voter-registration . If you need to re-register, you can find the form at https://www.ncsbe.gov/Voters/Registering-to-Vote .
  2. You can vote in any of 3 methods (just vote once - this isn't 1930s Chicago, and voting fraud is a felony): in the booth on November 3, at the Board of Elections (BOE) during the early voting period starting in mid-October, or via absentee ballot. 

    If you think there is ANY reason why you may not be able to vote in person, please file for an absentee ballot. You can always decide later to vote in person (and not use the absentee ballot, of course). You can obtain the absentee ballot application and instructions at: https://dl.ncsbe.gov/Forms/NCAbsenteeBallotRequestForm.pdf 

    You must request the absentee ballot by October 27.  But, we recommend that you file the request ASAP, as the BOE may be deluged with requests.  Save a copy of your form to remind yourself to follow up with the BOE if you have not received your absentee ballot by, say, mid-October.
     
  3. If you have any questions, you can find most answers on the BOE website: https://www.hendersoncountync.gov/elections .  Of course, feel free to also stop at the BOE at 75 East Central St. in Hendersonville or call them at 828.697.4970.
 
Bettie Orr
by Lee Stevens


Bettie Orr joined the Progressive Women of Hendersonville at its inception after the 2016 election. She became a regular participant in the postcard parties at Sanctuary Brewing Company, and traveled to Washington, DC last September to participate in the We the People March, having missed both women’s marches due to prior commitments. Her involvement is mostly driven by the fact that Trump and his Attorney General are ignoring the rule of law and are making mincemeat of the judicial system, which will take years to correct. 

“It’s hard to get a handle on the fact that there’s a man in the White House who doesn’t care about any of his constituents except those that can help him get re-elected” she says. “He refuses to take responsibility for anything bad that happens, such as the pandemic, and he uses every crisis facing this country as a way to support his political objectives.”

Bettie was raised in Austin, Texas by a mother who worked for the Austin Independent School District and a father who was a high school world history and civics teacher. In high school, she worked on the school newspaper, became editor her senior year, and was urged by the newspaper sponsor to continue on a path toward a career in journalism. She went on to major in journalism at The University of Texas at Austin. While she was not involved in politics in college, she minored in history and government, having been influenced by her father’s academic interests. She received a BA in Journalism in 1970.

Her first job was Director of Communications for the new Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at UT Austin. From there she went west, moving to California with her former husband and working for the University of California Davis School of Medicine in public relations. After that, the two crossed the country to Washington, DC, where he went to law school and she began working for Congressman John J. LaFalce (D-NY) during his first term in 1975. Though he’s retired now, Cong. LaFalce keeps up with local, state, and national politics daily and corresponds with all his former staff members through Facebook. 

After her stint on Capitol Hill, she began working in public relations for medically related nonprofits. Her last position in the DC area was Director of the National Coalition for Adult Immunization, which was funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Coalition was housed in the offices of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID), and it was there that she met Dr. Anthony Fauci in the early 1990s when he was one of NFID’s award recipients. 

In 1998, Bettie returned to Texas with her current husband, Charlie, and settled in San Antonio where he worked as a computer systems analyst for USAA. She was a grants writer for the local YMCA and other nonprofits, having received a Management Certificate in Fundraising Administration from George Washington University in the mid-80s. She retired in 2003.

The journey to Hendersonville began in 2005 when she and Charlie bought a 40-foot motorhome, sold their house in San Antonio, and hit the road full-time for three years. In 2007, they began looking for a retirement area since Charlie wasn’t keen on retiring in Texas due to the heat and small hills; he wanted the mountains. They already loved the Asheville area, so they began looking around here, first building a home in Flat Rock in 2008, and then moving to the Saddlebrook subdivision in Hendersonville seven years later where they are today.

In addition to her work in resistance to the current political leadership, Bettie is also concerned with the treatment of the elderly, especially how families, often adult children, ignore their parents and relatives who are left in assisted-living facilities and nursing homes and are seldom, if ever, visited.  She saw this firsthand when she made weekly visits with her late dog, Buddy, to two local facilities. As a result, she tries to visit or call older persons living alone in her neighborhood on a regular basis. 

Other activities that fill Bettie’s life include: 
  • Serving on the Saddlebrook Homeowners’ Association Board of Directors; 
  • Chair and Newsletter Editor of Hendersonville Precinct 3 of the Henderson County Democratic Party; and
  • Founding member and volunteer at Books for Good (BFG), an all-volunteer nonprofit in Fletcher that sells books, CDs, and DVDs for the benefit of more than 100 mostly local nonprofits. Since opening in August 2014, BFG has raised more than $148,000 for donor-specified charities. Visit booksforgood.net to learn more.
She is also an active member of the Episcopal Church of St. John in the Wilderness, the family genealogist, and the guardian of a one-year-old mini goldendoodle male being raised for breeding. 
 
Informed Progressive

On Wednesday, July 8, we held a virtual Informed Progressive meeting with Sailor Jones as our featured speaker. Sailor is the Campaigns Director of Democracy North Carolina. Democracy NC is a nonpartisan nonprofit that works to build political system that works for all North Carolinians. Sailor provided a very informative discussion in which he updated us on the ways COVID-19 is impacting our elections as well as election rule changes and court cases that resulted.  He went into detail about HB 1169 (the only COVID related elections legislation to advance this session). Governor Cooper signed the bill into law on June 12.

Sailor stressed the importance of early voting, stating that it is essential to: reduce long lines at the polls, offer more opportunities for all voters, offer one stop problem solving for voting issues and help to bring in more voters.

He indicated that in order to win strong early election plans, we should have a goal for “good” plans, understand how decisions are made (especially the county Board of Elections members) and show up – take action together.

If you were unable to attend the meeting, please click on this link to view the recording: 

https://us02web.zoom.us/recording/detail?meeting_id=t60SkIzYQEy0LN19376UZg%3D%3D

Postcard Virtual Party #184       July 31, 2020

SUPPORT THE UNION ORGANIZING FIGHT BY REGISTERED NURSES AT MISSION HOSPITAL IN ASHEVILLE

Registered Nurses (RNs) at mega-hospital company HCA Healthcare’s Mission Hospital in Asheville have been organizing for many months to obtain a National Labor Relations Board election on whether nurses there shall be represented by a union.

Per the Asheville Citizen Times: “On March 6, 1,600 registered nurses petitioned the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to form a union, a massive organizing push in the country’s second-least unionized state. Whether the crowd gathering two days later at Pack Square Park knew it or not, they were kick starting one of the largest union campaigns in the country today.  While an election date remains unset, labor advocates and experts say a union win of this size could spur further labor organizing across North Carolina.”

From Facing South: “In an Intercept article published in May, Matthew Cunningham-Cook and [Jonathan Michels] revealed how HCA Healthcare used the coronavirus pandemic to delay a union election at the same time the corporation stood to amass $4.7 billion in federal aid relief. While Mission nurses braced for an onslaught of COVID-19 patients, HCA Healthcare continued to send in union busters making $400 per hour to pull the workers off of their units for one-on-one meetings in an effort to turn them against the union.”

Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer published a letter supporting Mission RNs’ exploration of unionization:
https://www.scribd.com/document/450646063/Manheimer-Newman-statement-on-Mission-nurses-exploration-of-unionization#from_embed

Contact the local Mission Hospital CEO and the national company’s CEO to tell them to get out of the way of union organizing at “their” facilities.  Tell them that “Heroes Work Here” is mere opportunistic and hypocritical propaganda to cover up their near limitless willingness to exploit and drain the hospital workforce they are fortunate to have working at Mission Hospital.  

Contact any of our politicians and candidates (Cooper, Burr, Tillis, Edwards, McGrady) to tell them to sign on to Asheville Mayor Manheimer’s letter endorsing the NNU’s drive to organize Mission Hospital’s RNs.

Contact the national office of National Nurses United to tell them you support their efforts and that you would like to know how to help them, if feasible.  If you wish, please ask that NNU forward your message to the local organizer and/or one of the three RNs listed below who have been quoted in news articles as supporters of the union organizing drive.


National Nurses United [national office]                      
8455 Colesville Rd, Suite 1100 
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Attn: Trish Stevenson  Or  Attn: Kelley Tyler   Or  Attn: Jill Rabideau                       

Chad Patrick, CEO                         
Mission Hospital/HCA Healthcare 
509 Biltmore Ave.
Asheville, NC 28801
             
Samuel N. Hazen, CEO
HCA Healthcare
One Park Plaza
Nashville, TN 37203

OTHER CAMPAIGNS ONE CAN WORK ON

CAMPAIGN ZERO
Contact Campaign Zero at https://www.joincampaignzero.org/ to learn more about working toward ending police violence in America.

ERA-NC ALLIANCE Action Alert 
The U.S. House of Representatives passed HR 79 to remove the arbitrary time limit for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment on February 13, 2020.

We have moved to the Senate. NOW is the time for you to contact Senators Thom Tillis, Richard Burr, and Mitch McConnell, Majority Leader. These Senators have not yet indicated their support, and this is national legislation that impacts us all:

Dear Sen.  ________              :
“Please vote ‘yes' to remove the time limit to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment by co-sponsoring and passing SJR 6. I strongly support equal rights for all and appreciate your voting 'yes' to drop the time limit. Thank you so much!!"

Also, please reach out to individual friends/relatives across the country and encourage them to contact their senators!

In addition to social online messaging, you can contact these Senators as below:
Senator Thom Tillis
113 Dirksen Senate Office Bldg. Washington DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-6342
www.tillis.senate.gov/email-me    

Senator Richard Burr
217 Russell Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-3154
www.burr.senate.gov/contact/email    

Senator Mitch McConnell
317 Russell Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-2541
www.mcconnell.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contactform

EAST FLAT ROCK ASPHALT DRUM PLANT
Please go to friendsofeastflatrock.org for more information and to lend support to their efforts to stop the rezoning for an asphalt drum plant.
https://friendsofeastflatrock.org/

Some people don’t look.
Some look, but don’t see.
Some see, but don’t act.
Some people act.
. . . Anon
 
OUR MISSION: 
To connect residents of Henderson County and surrounding areas to civic engagement and activities at the grassroots level.
 
OUR VISION:
The Progressive Alliance of Henderson County (PAHC) compassionately advocates for justice, respect, inclusion and sustainable, healthy communities for all.    


Visit our website for more photos, events, and links to like-minded groups.
The PAHC core leadership group (currently Chris Berg, Nancy & Neil Brown, Lucy Butler, Sheila Clendenning, Julia Luellen, Laura Miklowitz, Sissy Owen, Vikki Schantz, and Paul Weichselbaum) working together diligently to strengthen our impact, has created mission and vision statements for the group.

Please speak to any of us if you can offer your ideas and time about the future of Henderson County. 
 
Copyright © *2020* *Progressive Alliance of Henderson County*

 






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Progressive Alliance of Henderson County · P.O. Box 192 · Mountain Home, NC 28758 · USA

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