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Today, thousands are expected in Raleigh at the eighth Moral Monday, held at the State Capital. The event has led to nearly 500 arrests so far. This week, activists want lawmakers and their fellow citizens to understand the effects that recent decisions will have on women and families. Among their concerns are recent cuts to education, Medicaid and unemployment.
Kim-Marie Saccoccio, executive director, Women Advance NC, said regardless of one's political persuasion, women are disproportionately affected by the recent decisions in Raleigh.
"These issues affect all women in all different segments of life - this is really not about political parties," she stressed. "This is about providing basic services for women and families across this state."
Gov. McCrory has publicly called the protesters "outsiders," and Sen. Thom Goolsby, representing Hanover County, referred to the event as "Moron Monday." The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill conducted research into who is attending Moral Mondays. They found that 98 percent of those arrested are from North Carolina and more than half are women.
One woman who has been arrested is Carol Teal, executive director, Lillian's List, a group working to empower women in the state. Although lawmakers may not be listening, she said, momentum is growing because her fellow citizens are.
"Moral Mondays have been building strength in North Carolina, as people are starting to pay attention and focus on all the policies that are being pushed through our General Assembly."
Moral Mondays are coordinated in part by the North Carolina NAACP, but are supported by numerous organizations.