Taxpayers and grassroots activists from across North Carolina converged on the state capitol on May 27 to lobby their legislators for lower taxes and less government intervention in their lives.
“Days at the Capitol” have become a tradition in North Carolina. According to organizers with Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE), who spearheaded this year’s event, more than 500 volunteer activists came together to demonstrate their support for the low tax, less government agenda, making this year’s event the largest and most successful ever.
CSE Chairman Dick Armey was present at the event to “rally the troops” and talk about the upcoming 2004 elections. Specifically, Armey discussed making several issues a part of the presidential and other key congressional races. He stressed the importance of grassroots organizing to bring key issues–like scrapping the current tax code and reforming Social Security with Personal Retirement Accounts (PRAs)–to the forefront of the political debate.
“We need to build a strong grassroots team because of the vicious attacks we’re already facing from the big tax and spenders,” wrote Armey in a recent grassroots campaign letter. “Remember that our opponents are well funded by liberal groups statewide.
“During my time in Congress,” Armey wrote, “I fought for lower taxes and less government. However, while serving as the Majority Leader, I came to recognize that it is basic citizen participation that is the most important factor in limiting government intrusion into our lives. All across America, the battle against big government and high taxes continues.”
One of the top priorities of the day, according to organizers of the rally, was to secure legislators’ signatures on a No New Taxes pledge. The pledge signifies a commitment to the taxpayers of North Carolina that no new taxes–including tax and fee increases–will be imposed.
“While signers enjoy the support of more than 23,000 no-tax members in the state, any pledge breakers will be taken to task by the grassroots, and have faced serious political consequences in the past,” said outgoing CSE President Paul Beckner.
Forced annexation, where a community is forced to join an existing city or town and automatically hit with increased fees and new taxes, was another key issue that activists spent much of their day discussing with legislators.
CSE’s “Days at the Capitol” activities attracted major media attention. The Raleigh News and Observer, Cary News, television stations WRAL, NBC17, WTVD, WB-22, and News 14 Carolina, and radio station WPTF covered the day’s events.
Rob Jordan is director of federal and state campaigns for Citizens for a Sound Economy. His email address is [email protected].