Grassroots and community organization is as old as our country. The American Revolution, abolition, social reform, women’s suffrage, and civil rights all started out as organic movements sprouting from the community. In 1912, Indiana Senator, Albert Jeremiah Beveridge, said of the newly formed Progressive Party that "This party has come from the grass roots. It has grown from the soil of people's hard necessities." That’s what it means to be grassroots. A need germinates in the hearts of the people to the point where the people can no longer sit back and be silent. Something needs to happen and somebody, some people, need to step up to the plate. That’s what gives birth to change. That’s what Action NC is all about.
Action NC is a membership organization dedicated to helping and creating grassroots campaigns to advocate for the disenfranchised here in North Carolina. They’re dedicated to assisting the communities of North Carolina to grow in power and leadership and help get things done to improve education, immigration policy, and other issues which afflict the marginalized and impoverished peoples of our state.
Winning change through mobilization, organization, and education, Action NC assists in tackling the root causes of poverty. Additionally, through voter participation and civic engagement, they encourage people to take action and break political deadlock on issues affecting working class families.
In Charlotte, for example, there has been an effort to outlaw small businesses serving meals from food trucks. In 2008, Charlotte instituted several restrictions that caused many food trucks, a vital source of income for working class people in the area, to lose business and shut down. To numerous people, this felt like a direct attack on low-income communities and, in particular, racially targeted at Charlotte’s Latino community. So, in response, Action NC organized and implemented an online petition to save the Charlotte food truck industry.
In Durham, when Congress was considering making cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, Action NC sponsored a meeting gathering many of those in the community who would be affected by the cuts to voice their concerns. Then again in Charlotte, when the neighborhood of Stonewall Jackson Homes threatened their tenants with unjust and sudden eviction, Action NC organized a rally as part of the Occupy Charlotte movement to protest and eventually succeeded in helping those residents keep their homes.
Action NC has assisted in creating very real change for those who would otherwise have been neglected in North Carolina. As a group with chapters in three of NC’s major cities, they’re making the voices of the ignored heard throughout the state.