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SEPTEMBER 2019 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.


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.

 
WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER.
HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO HELP?
 
Activism is NOT a spectator sport!  Where/how do you see yourself helping?
 
Specific Areas to Assist PAHC
  1. Postcard Party Suggestion Sheets, contact Sissy Owen. Write a weekly Suggestion Sheet of issues for Friday Postcards – work from home, about once a month, a couple of hours.
  2. Postcard Party Address Lists, contact Audrey Stelloh .  Maintain address list of US Cabinet members -  work from home, half an hour when positions retire, get fired, die; several hours required when new President comes into office. Or create and maintain address list of NC State Senators - work from home, half an hour when positions retire, get fired, die; several hours required after election cycles.
  3. Photographer, contact Sissy Owen. Take pictures at rallies, Postcard Parties, Informed Progressive, wherever PAHC has events.
  4. Press releases, contact Liz Agnello.  Person will be part of a team that develops press releases, promotion for events,  articles for newsletters and any other writings needed  to advance and address the needs of PAHC- work from home, amount of time is your decision.

Postcard Parties

NOTE: This Friday's Postcard Party (August 30) will be in the Co-op Community Room (adjacent to the store) from 4:30 to 6pm.

The Hendersonville Community Co-op Community Room
60 S. Charleston Ln, Hendersonville, NC 28792
Food and beverages are available at the co-op.

All other Postcard Parties will be at Sanctuary Brewing Company - 147 1st Ave. E, Hendersonville, NC.

PROJECT DIGNITY AND PROGRESSIVE ALLIANCE OF HENDERSON COUNTY
                   
Project Dignity and the Progressive Alliance of Henderson County are partnering at the Alliance's Friday Postcard Party on September 13th at Sanctuary Brewing Company, 147 1st Ave. E, Hendersonville.  Please drop in anytime between 4:30 to 6 PM.  Postcards, stamps, suggestion sheets and addresses are provided.
 


Silent Vigil for Immigration Reform


The purpose of the Silent Vigil for Immigration Reform is to alert and inform the public about the broken immigration system in our country and the urgent need for new immigration laws that are just, compassionate and humane. This is a particularly relevant issue at this time of ICE raids and cruel practices at our southern border. The Vigil is from 4 pm to 4:30 pm in front of the historic courthouse on the third Friday of the month. The next Vigil is September 20th, 2019.

Informed Progressive Series
Brian CaskeyOn Wednesday, August 13, Lyndsey Simpson, candidate for Hendersonville City Council, spoke on her platform and goals for our town. She stated that she wants to help build a future for Hendersonville that reflects every resident in her community.  She indicated that she can help move Hendersonville toward that goal by bringing balance to City Council with a fresh perspective. 

Lyndsey stated that she wants to 1) preserve the small-town feel while preparing for growth; 2) move Hendersonville toward sustainability; and 3) strengthen the economy and bolster local businesses through affordable housing and by creating a family-centered community for everyone. All will benefit: from retirees to those still working, from couples with kids to singles with and without kids, from young toddlers to the young-at-heart.

Simpson is 32, a mother, a wife, community volunteer and successful local business owner. She loves Hendersonville and while she wasn’t born here, she says, “I got here as soon as I could.”

At 2:00 on Wednesday, September 11, Patsy Keever, candidate running for NC Senate District 48 will discuss her experiences in the NC House of Representatives. She will also discuss issues of concern from citizens such as healthcare, climate change, gerrymandering, living wages, public education, and gun safety.

Donaldson Event Space
1216 6th Ave W, suite 500 (behind the Pardee Urological Building)
Hendersonville, NC 28792

Area Events and News

Partnering with North Carolinians Against Gun Violence

Progressive Alliance of Henderson County partnered with Durham-based North Carolinians Against Gun Violence at Postcard Party #134 on August 16th.  More than 30 people attended to write state and local legislators asking them to vote for common sense gun laws.  Writers encouraged legislators to continue with concealed carry permits and pistol purchase permits, and to enact laws for universal background checks and extreme risk protection orders.

Concealed carry permits (NC’s requirements are: being at least 21 years old; a US citizen; no physical or mental condition that would interfere with safe handling of a firearm; completion of firearms safety training, which includes practice firing handguns & learning about NC gun laws.)

Pistol purchase permits (In NC, you have to go to your sheriff and apply for a pistol permit in order to buy a handgun, no matter where you are buying your hand gun, which includes at gun shows or online.  When you apply for the permit, you get a background check. This permitting system closes the background check  loopholes for private handgun sellers left open by the federal background checks law.)

Extreme Risk Protection Order (Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) legislation is a bi-partisan, common sense solution to reduce both homicides and suicides. ERPOs provide families and law enforcement a way to help ensure that people who state that they plan to hurt themselves or others have their access to guns temporarily restricted.) 

El Centro and Progressive Alliance of Henderson County
                

El Centro and Progressive Alliance of Henderson County hosted a Postcard Party at Sanctuary Brewing Company on Friday August 9th.   About 50 people wrote our legislators about honoring immigrants as humans and wrote Sheriff Griffin against supporting ICE raids in our community.  Lots of items were donated to El Centro, such as school supplies, non-perishable food goods, clothes and cash.

El Centro of Henderson County is a grassroots non-profit organization whose mission is to create a more inclusive community for Latinos.  El Centro’s vision is to create a welcoming and just community where everyone is treated with dignity, and is valued and respected.
Volunteers are needed who speak Spanish to answer the phones, or perform bookkeeping duties, or update and maintain their web page.   Any help for a couple of hours each week would be much appreciated.

ElCentro.lac@gmail.com
828-290-7134
508 N Grove St., Hendersonville, NC

FYI
Sanctuary Brewing will be opening a restaurant soon.   Once it is open, dogs will be allowed on the bar side but forbidden from entering on the restaurant side because of NC Sanitation laws.  Please respect Sanctuary’s need to abide by restaurant laws. Of course, there is no reason why you and your dog can't write postcards on the bar side. 

 
By  Lee Stevens

 
Chris Walters

Chris WaltersChris Walters builds things - from his home, which he started in the 1970s and modeled on log cabins he saw in Foxfire books, to political consensus around local issues that are important to him. His first foray into activism in Hendersonville centered on stopping the Clear Creek Connector in the 1990s. At first, he was one of a few people who weren’t happy about the five-lane highway planned to go from Interstate 26, cutting a path next to Patton Park, and emerging on Asheville Highway after demolishing the Beverly Hanks Center. As word spread, opposition to the Connector grew and focused on electing Londa Murray to the Hendersonville City Council. Meeting attendance swelled to 300 or more, Londa was elected, and the Connector was defeated with her vote.

“I learned from that experience how important it is to attend meetings, do the research, read everything you can, and be focused on your goal,” he explains. “The supporters were saying the Connector would be only two lanes. But we looked at the actual plans, and learned it would be five lanes.”

Chris’s dedication to local politics is reinforced by the fact that he has been in Hendersonville since 1956, growing up with his 11 siblings in a house on 4th Avenue. He attended Immaculata Catholic School in Hendersonville, and the now-defunct Asheville Catholic High School, and credits his Catholic schooling with helping him develop a social conscience. He quit college after two years and took an eight-year break to work construction jobs, hitchhike around the country, live in Mexico, and work on the Alaska Pipeline, where he learned about unions and how well workers can be treated. Once he returned, he finished college, bought land and started building his house, and began a 34-year teaching career. 

Chris has always been interested in local politics, writing letters to the editor on forest management issues, social and race issues, and environment and land conservation. But he never formally aligned with a party until 2013 when he joined the Democratic Party. That was after Republicans took over state government and began an attack on public schools. Then Trump was elected.

A more recent local issue that Chris was involved in was the proposed shooting range on the Blue Ridge Community College campus by the new Innovative High School. It was an issue without a constituency, and not much opposition until people, particularly members of POW and PWH, stepped up and attended meetings. Emphasizing the critical role of involvement in local issues, Chris also stresses the need for people to read a wide range of sources. The Hendersonville Lightning, for example, sounded the alarm about Sheriff McDonald’s militaristic approach to law enforcement, and was key in keeping McDonald from being re-elected.

Since Chris retired from teaching four years ago, he has been able to step up his involvement in issues that matter most to him, such as education reform, voter suppression and gerrymandering. He is on the Leadership Committee of the Progressive Alliance, and is heavily involved in the Rally Committee. He sees the need for healthcare, redistricting reform, voting rights and education funding as the most critical state issues at this time. The pathway to that is to replace State Superintendent Mark Johnson with Jen Mangrum in education, and to re-elect both Governor Roy Cooper and Attorney General Josh Stein.

When Chris is not focused on local and state political issues, he plays the piano, and reads on a wide variety of subjects. He also meditates, having learned Buddhist meditation in the 1980s and 90s. “Meditation provides me with the space to stay involved without getting overwhelmed by the frenzy,” he describes. “I try to see it as a drama I participate in as a player, without being so attached to results.” 
 
 
Your Input needed for “Write, Then Unite for a Bite”
 
What do you think about our recent “Write, Then Unite for a Bite” after-postcards casual dinner outings? So far, we’ve tried The Amazing Pizza Company, Two Guys Pizza, and 305 Lounge and Eatery.  After the very-well-attended August 9 Postcard Party #133, about 18 Alliance friends showed up at 305 Main, where the menu is eclectic and affordable, management approachable, and ambiance casual. 

Shall we continue these outings?  If so, how often, and which other eateries (with progressive ownership, please!) do you suggest?  Would you be interested in joining Sheila Clendenning and Laura Miklowitz to help plan/implement future social Progressive Alliance activities?  Let us hear from you! We welcome your ideas and input!

 
Citizen Advisory Committees

We can do these things, please apply for an advisory board position.  We have the applications or get them online.


ANNOUNCEMENT
On Aug. 2, 2019 Neil Brown, one of our members, was appointed by the City Council to a position on the Environmental Sustainability Board. 
Some people don’t look.
Some look, but don’t see.
Some see, but don’t act.
Some people act.
. . . Anon
 
The PAHC core leadership group (currently Liz Agnello, Chris Berg, Nancy & Neil Brown, Lucy Butler, Sheila Clendenning, Julia Luellen, Laura Miklowitz, Sissy Owen, Audrey Stelloh and Chris Walters) 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 © *2019* *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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