Rob Thompson hesitated for a moment, standing at the podium and looking about the room with a frustrated expression. Behind him stood 20 supporters of his organization, The Covenant with North Carolina’s Children, who held a press conference to protest state budget cuts to Medicaid and Smart Start.
The problem was—no one showed up.
The crowd behind the podium preached before an audience of two—with a couple reporters walking in halfway through the press conference. Still the spokesmen delivered their speech—lamenting budget cuts and advocating for childhood services “not based on an efficiency model.”
Admittedly, it was a bad day for protests; with the Racial Justice Act, Gas Tax Cap discussion, and Perdue Campaign Indictments dominating the headlines, not only was the protest poorly attended—it barely received any press coverage.
Buried at the bottom of Raleigh News & Observer’s “The Dome” blog was this:
Push for pre-K
The Covenant with North Carolina’s Children is holding a news conference this morning to push for additions to the state budget for pre-kindergarten, Medicaid and other spending matters.
Republican leaders have shown no interest in adding more pre-K slots, despite persistent calls to do so. GOP leaders have promised to take care of a Medicaid shortfall estimated at $139 million, but have not offered specifics on how to do it.
It was truly an “all dressed up with no place to go” moment. The Covenant should have a talk with their Communications Director for that rather embarrassing event.
The Covenant is a liberal childcare advocacy group run by members from organizations like Smart Start, the Justice Center, and Action for Children.