UNITY AND THE FLAG
Sunday was Race Unity Day in the United States, designed to raise awareness of the importance of racial harmony and understanding. As protests, marches and vigils throughout the country and through Western North Carolina following George Floyd’s death have made clear, we are quite aware. Many of us want that unity, once and for all.
So how do we get there?
Sunday was also Flag Day, when we honored the adoption of the stars and stripes as our national flag. Maybe we need to combine the two. Maybe our flag, which has been too often co-opted as a tool of division, should be re-embraced as a symbol of different races and backgrounds coming together in unity and harmony and understanding.
We’re all Americans and that’s our flag. We can all get behind that — or kneel behind it, if need be.
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to take its toll on Western North Carolina, we have seen so many people step forward to help those in need. We want to recognize as many as we can. This week we give a shout-out to Mandi Pittman, Outreach Director at Grace Community Church in Marion, N.C.
“Most people don’t understand how rewarding it is for you to serve others,’’ Pittman told Moe Davis when he visited recently to learn about their program.
Pittman has helped serve the community in McDowell County for years, working to arrange food deliveries and more to those in need. But when the coronavirus pandemic left so many stuck at home, without incomes and desperate for help, the need grew rapidly just as reaching out became much more difficult.
So Pittman and her team created McDowellCares.com, a website devoted to helping people not only in McDowell County, but in Buncombe, Avery, Rutherford, Mitchell and Burke counties as well. Through the website, her team at Grace Community Church is feeding families, helping with bills, delivering prescription medicine to the homebound, providing masks for nursing homes and more.
Pittman has seen the need firsthand.
“I’ve been in a house where all they have is a few eggs and maybe a box of cereal,’’’ Pittman said. “Some of them I’ve been into were dirt floors. People don’t know that. People don’t have a clue.”
Pittman said that before the pandemic, they were delivering about 180 food boxes to elementary schools each week that were distributed to those in need over the weekend. In addition, they were serving 75 to 100 people each Wednesday at their food pantry.
After the pandemic hit, those numbers soared. The weekend food boxes now feed 400 families and the Wednesday pantry now provides food for 100-120 people. In addition, they have a Wednesday delivery to homes that feeds 65-70 families and an extra Saturday pantry that provides food for 175 people.
Members of the Grace Community Church have contributed to meet the need, and Pittman has applied for and received grants, including one that helped her purchase pork and beef. Local residents including former 2020 Republican Congressional candidate Vance Patterson have stepped up as well to help fund the program.
But the more they have, the more they can help those in need. So donations are always welcome. Those who want to contribute can go to McDowellCares.com to see how to help. Or just reach out to Mandi. She would love to talk to you, which is why she is making her phone number and email public: firstname.lastname@example.org, 828-559-5211
“We’re fortunate to have organizations like McDowell Cares and dedicated individuals like Mandi Pittman who are there to extend a hand to folks needing some help,’’ Moe Davis said. “That’s been particularly valuable during this COVID-19 period. Mandi and her team reflect the best of Western North Carolina.”
BROADBAND INVESTMENT NOW
Western North Carolina’s economy is being left behind in large part because of a lack of broadband internet access in rural areas. As much as 40 to 50 percent of those in our western counties do not have adequate access. That not only inhibits business development in the far west, it affects access to telemedicine, which is critical for our healthcare needs particularly during this pandemic.
That’s why we support the House Democrats’ Moving America Forward Framework, a broad plan to invest in infrastructure that includes $80 billion dedicated to expanding broadband access to rural areas throughout the country over the next five years.
WHAT MATTERS MOST
Moe was the featured guest on this week’s What Matters Most podcast by Paul Samuel Dolman and he had this to say about what the election means for our state:
“We’ve got an opportunity to do better and give our kids a better future and make North Carolina that proud, progressive, forward-leaning state that it was when I was growing up. We can be that kind of state again.”
Take some time to listen to the podcast, find out what matters most to Moe and understand why he is the best choice for the 11th District.
Leadership. Experience. Knowledge.
MOE MEETS DESTINY
Actually, he was interviewed by Steven Bonnell, better known as Destiny on Twitch, the world’s leading live streaming platform, and a YouTube personality. Definitely worth your time.
You can watch here. (The actual interview starts at 2:20.)
ASHEVILLE’S FUTURE AS A FOODIE HAVEN
Diverse, locally owned restaurants are among the key attractions for the many tourists who come to Asheville and Western North Carolina year after year. But now our reputation as a foodie haven could be in jeopardy amid the coronavirus pandemic.
We’ve already seen several restaurants close because of restrictions on dining currently in place. How many more will be lost? How will that affect the future of food here?
Those are some of the questions Katie Button can help answer when she joins Moe Talks Live Virtual Town Hall at 12:30 p.m. today on Zoom, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Twitch. Button is a three-time James Beard Award nominated chef and owner of Curate and Button & Co. Bagels. She is also board president of the Asheville culinary festival Chow Chow, which debuted last year.
You can register to watch on Zoom here.
THE FUTURE IS HERE
We want to thank Fletcher Town Council member Preston Blakely (25), former NC-48 State Sen. candidate Cristal Figueroa (26), college student and registered Republican Will Tison (21), Western Regional Director for Young Democrats of North Carolina Dorian Palmer (24) and activist/student Nate Worley (18) for participating in a special Moe Talks! Live Virtual Town Hall dedicated to issues of most concern to young voters. If you missed it, you can watch here.
They are the future and we need to listen to what they have to say.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
“Moe Davis is a true American hero, someone who steps forward to do the right thing always. To many, his heroic stepping away from Guantanamo in protest to the torture, and his principled criticism of anyone who steps away from the rule of law throughout his distinguished military and federal career, mark him as someone who represents all that is good about America and her armed forces. I have known Moe for decades and as a Western North Carolinian know that he is ‘mountain strong’ and will represent us all honestly and openly in Congress.”
—Dr. David Crane, Maggie Valley resident who is the former Chief Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, former Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and served as Commissioner on the North Carolina Commission of Inquiry on Torture.
We know it’s cool to show off your Moe merchandise. But it serves a really important purpose, too.
Every sign we plant and every bumper sticker we display provides an opportunity to introduce Moe to voters in the 11th District and add to and reinforce the widespread support we are gaining during this campaign.
You can help, and it won’t cost you anything. We have yard signs and magnetic bumper stickers available. Remember, yard signs can be displayed on private property at any time; it is only restricted on public property to a time period before an election. (For the general election that time period begins on September 15th.)
Please send your name and address to email@example.com and let us know where you want them delivered. We will get them to you as soon as we can.
JUNE DONATIONS MEAN MORE
Thanks to all who have made donations over the last seven months. Your support has enabled Moe to assemble a first class team of strategists that will lead him to victory on November 3rd. Whether you donated $1 or have already maxed out, know that every donation is very much appreciated by Moe and his campaign staff.
If you are planning to donate money to the campaign — either an initial donation or another donation — please consider doing it this month. Donations now could mean better support down the road. That’s because the FEC quarterly reporting period ends at the end of June. The dollar figure we can produce now will help convince others that we have a strong campaign that can compete with a Republican opponent who will be financed by corporations and dark money. And as you know, Moe is not accepting corporate PAC money.
A large donation total through June may also help sway the DCCC (the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee – the campaign arm of Democrats in the House of Representatives) to dedicate much needed funds and resources to help elect Moe.
Now is the time for us to prove our fundraising strength. So now is the time to donate. If you haven’t given before, and you can, please do. If you’ve given before, and you plan to give more, please do now. And if you know of others who support Moe, and have the capacity to give, share this newsletter with them now. Thank you in advance.