This post appears here courtesy of the John Locke Foundation
. The author of this post is Brian Balfour
Yesterday it was announced
that Attorney General Josh Stein "awarded 12 Triangle area leaders with Dogwood Awards. These awards are given annually to honor North Carolinians who are dedicated to keeping people safe, healthy, and happy in their communities."
One of the recipients of the award is a radical leftist protestor who was arrested in 2017 at the toppling of a confederate soldier statue, and who heads an organization whose state taxpayer funding has been cut in recent years because of their frivolous and harmful tactics: Peter Gilbert.
Gilbert, as detailed at MappingTheLeft.com
, was "arrested in 2017 in Durham at a protest-riot that turned destructive. He was one of the protesters that tore down a statue commemorating confederate soldiers who had died in the Civil War."
He was granted the Dogwood Award for his legal work with an organization called Legal Aid
— an organization that receives substantial financial support from the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, perhaps North Carolina's largest contributor to left-wing causes.
Legal Aid cites is mission
as providing "free legal services in civil matters," including stopping "illegal evictions" and fighting "housing discrimination."
Their services, however, are not free to North Carolina taxpayers. Legal Aid had for years received millions in taxpayer dollars, but they've seen that amount reduced in recent years. "Legal Aid NC and two other similar groups had already seen their state funding cut to $2.7 million, down from $6.3 million, eight years ago . The 2017 budget provided further cuts to $1.1 million,"
The reason for the reductions, as cited by House Speaker Tim Moore, was that Legal Aid and similar groups were hurting "mom and pop" landlords by filing frivolous motions and other legal tactics that would allow non-paying tenants to remain in a dwelling for longer periods of time.
Moreover, Gilbert also currently serves
on the Board of the far-left Southern Vision Alliance (SVA). You may recall that the SVA is the group providing the infrastructure for the socialist coalition called NC United for Survival and Beyond
, a group that — among other things — advocates for
- a "push for everyone to be released" from prisons and jails
- refuse to honor ICE detainers
- expand Medicaid to illegal immigrants
- a waiver for all tenants from rent and utilities
- providing a permanent universal basic income of $1,200/mo. to all residents (regardless of age) — including illegal immigrants
- One of the SVA's statements is particularly troubling: "We reject the right of the state to decide what is, and what is not, legitimate protest."
Translation: "We are the mob. We make the rules. If we want to destroy property in the name of 'protest,' we will."
Why is the state's "top cop" Josh Stein handing out an award to the leader of a group openly calling for violent and destructive protests?