Organization Trends

Action NC: The New Doses-to-Door Vaccine Salesman

Action NC is a left-leaning nonprofit that is helping President Joseph Biden vaccinate North Carolina. What began as door-to-door outreach and education on the COVID-19 vaccine has turned into a manufactured grassroots campaign to vaccinate adults in North Carolina. Action NC even gives out bribes incentives in the form of $25 gift cards to individuals who decide to get vaccinated on their own doorstep.

Who Is Action NC?

Action NC lists Action Institute NC, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization barred from partisan political activity by its tax status, as a “controlling” organization on its 2018 Form 990. On the form, Action NC also reported giving $267,021 in cash for “general support” in 2018. Action NC and Action Institute NC share office space in Charlotte, North Carolina. They also share their executive director, Alexander Pat McCoy—also listed as Pat McCoy and Alexander P McCoy. Action Institute NC became a nonprofit in 1975.

Large left-leaning foundations fund Action Institute NC and Action NC. In 2019 alone, Action NC brought in $1.2 million in revenue, while Action Institute NC brought in $700,000. The Z Smith Reynolds Foundation, a left-leaning foundation based in North Carolina, gave $450,000 to Action Institute NC between 2003 and 2014. Action NC and Action Institute NC have also received funding from other left-leaning organizations, including the Ford Foundation, Sixteen Thirty Fund, NEO Philanthropy, and Needmor Fund.

Action NC’s stated mission is to “reduce the root causes of poverty . . . and inequality” in the United States by organizing individuals from “poor and working-income communities.” Without dressing up its motives just to look nice on paper, Action NC involves itself in opposing election integrity reforms and decreasing regulations on illegal immigration.

Action NC and the Left

Along with Democracy North Carolina, NAACP North Carolina, Greenpeace, and the North Carolina Association of Educators, Action NC was a primary backer of the Moral Monday protests in North Carolina in 2013. Moral Monday protests were civil disobedience protests on issues including election integrity reforms, cuts to social programs, and increased regulation of abortion. The protests started in North Carolina and eventually spread nationwide. While Action NC did not disclose its affiliation with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) even in its Form 990, the North Carolina GOP (NCGOP) reported that SEIU made payments to support Moral Monday protests by using its funds for T-shirts, office supplies, and video production expenses.

SEIU gave $1.5 million to Carolina Workers Organizing Committee in 2014, according to the NCGOP report. Carolina Workers Organizing Committee went on to pay Action NC $1.2 million in 2014 for payroll services. In 2013, Carolina Workers Organizing Committee paid Action NC just over $200,000 for payroll services. Action NC admitted in its response to the report that it has “a contract with SEIU to provide back-end payroll and HR services to the staff of the Carolina Workers Organizing Committee.”

Action NC is a member of Blueprint North Carolina (Blueprint NC), a left-leaning coalition of organizations in North Carolina that promotes Democratic candidates and left-of-center policies such as voter mobilization and “structural racism.” Action Institute NC has received $60,000 in funding from Blueprint NC between 2014 and 2018. Other left-leaning members of Blueprint NC include the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina, NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina, the Sierra Club, and Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

In 2013, a Blueprint NC memo detailing plans to attack Republican elected officials was leaked. The memo included plans to cripple Republican leaders, “eviscerate [Republican] leadership and weaken their ability to govern,” “pressure [Gov.] McCrory at every public event,” “slam him” whenever he contradicts a campaign promise, and employ “private investigating and investigative journalism, especially in the executive branch.” Yet many of the members in Blueprint NC are 501(c)(3) nonprofits and are not allowed to engage in any political campaigns or make any verbal or written statements in opposition to any candidate or political official.

When it was still an active organization, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) had the same executive director (Pat McCoy) and mission statement as Action NC does today. Action NC spokesman Kevin Rogers claimed that Action NC is not a reincarnation of ACORN, although no one would expect Action NC to confess its relation to the scandal-ridden ACORN.

Before public controversies about voting fraud and embezzlement led to its collapse in 2010, ACORN focused on a variety of political issues like opposing Ronald Reagan’s presidency, mobilizing homeless citizens to illegally occupy empty houses, helping enact higher minimum wage laws, and opposing election integrity legislation.

Door-to-Door Vaccines

Action NC is following in its predecessor’s footsteps by bringing COVID-19 vaccines door-to-door to help reach President Biden’s “70 percent vaccinated” goal, which he announced earlier this summer. Biden said that the plan was to “to go to community by community, neighborhood by neighborhood, and often door to door—literally knocking on doors—to get help to the remaining people.”

At first, Action NC answered the president’s call by going door-to-door to spread information on the vaccine and convince unvaccinated adults to get vaccinated at their local pharmacy or vaccine distributor. Action NC has knocked on more than 30,000 doors in North Carolina since its campaign started in May.  When that campaign was not successful enough, Action NC began administering vaccines at the door. Action NC volunteers go door-to-door speaking about the vaccine. When they find someone willing to get the vaccine, the volunteer calls an on-site medical professional to administer the vaccine.

According to Robert Dawkins, political director at Action NC, the only difference between Action NC’s door-to-door campaign and doses-to-door campaign is the presence of a Mecklenburg County Health Department vehicle and volunteers who can administer the vaccine on site. Dawkins also told that Action NC “get[s] people that will say ‘yes I will get the shot,’ but the follow-up has always been the issue.” Having a volunteer on hand to vaccinate any willing individuals makes it easier and more efficient for Action NC to reach its goals.

Michael Regan, Biden’s choice for the administrator of the Environmental Protective Agency (EPA), spoke to Action NC volunteers and thanked the volunteers for their targeted outreach. He told volunteers that to reach President Biden’s 70 percent goal, “it’s going to take every single one of us.”

COVID-19 Canvassing and Obamacare Outreach

Action NC’s canvassing plan is similar to campaigns launched to support and promote Obamacare. In 2013, Capital Research Center reported that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services made grants totaling $67 million to 105 organizations “to help sell and explain Obamacare to individuals.”

Obamacare “navigators” spoke with individuals and promoted Obamacare and then helped them sign up for health care coverage. Champion of Coverage groups vowed to promote “enrollment [in Obamacare] by emailing its members, hanging posters or giving out fact sheets and brochures, [and] holding conference calls.”

Similarly, Action NC volunteers are educating individuals about the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccines and then helpfully getting them vaccinated at their own doorsteps.

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