Picketers demonstrate at stores owned by N.C. budget director - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Picketers demonstrate at stores owned by N.C. budget director

Picketers sought to draw attention to Pope and the “extremist and regressive legislative policies he supports,” according to a NAACP press release. Picketers sought to draw attention to Pope and the “extremist and regressive legislative policies he supports,” according to a NAACP press release.

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – Protestors organized by the NAACP picketed Monday afternoon in front of two stores owned by N.C. Budget Director Art Pope. Their aim was to draw attention to the "extremist and regressive legislative policies he supports," according to a press release.

The pickets at the Wilmington Roses and Carolina Beach Maxway were part of a statewide NAACP campaign targeting stores owned by Pope's Variety Wholesalers Incorporated, which has discount stores in more than 65 North Carolina communities.

The NAACP argues that Pope's stores are largely located in working class and minority neighborhoods, but that he "has not been a good neighbor or friend to these communities."

The civil-rights organization is calling on Pope to support their request for a "Special Redemption Session" of the N.C. General Assembly to address Medicaid and unemployment benefits.

"We hope that [Pope] will have compassion in his heart and realize during this holiday season that some of the things that he has put in place are very restrictive on average North Carolinians," said Deborah Maxwell, president of the NAACP's Wilmington Chapter.

Pope and close family members gave more than $450,000 to the Republican Party and GOP candidates in the last two election cycles, according to the NAACP.

"As a private citizen, he's used the profits from Roses, Maxway, Super Dollar, across the state to fund that agenda, to place people in more of an economically disadvantaged situation," Maxwell said.

During a recent exchange with William Barber, state president of the NAACP, Pope said that more than a third of his employees are African American. He also pointed out that unemployment has decreased during Gov. Pat McCrory's administration.

Copyright 2013 WECT. All rights reserved.

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