Inflation boosts cost of living in N.C. by 12%, higher than national average

People line up for gift cards and info on inflation at Charlotte event. Photo provided by Ciara Kennedy-Mercer of the LIBRE Initiative.

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  • Hispanic conservative grassroots group, LIBRE Initiative, handed out gift cards at a grocery store in Charlotte to highlight the struggle of N.C. families to make ends meet under history inflation.

The LIBRE initiative, a conservative national organization dedicated to engaging the Hispanic community on civic issues, hosted a grassroots awareness event as part of a campaign titled, “The True Cost of Washington,” in Charlotte recently.

The True Cost of Washington campaign aims to bring awareness to harmful federal policies
driving up costs of everyday goods.

To demonstrate the costs of inflation, LIBRE’s event organizers emphasized that high inflation has caused the average household’s annual grocery costs to go up by about $430. LIBRE also gave out gift cards during the event in the amount of $28.67, the average cost of inflation for two days.

Citing statistics in North Carolina, LIBRE also drew attention to the cost of inflation in the state
as a whole, which is higher than the national average, costing families 12.1% more to live.

Carolina Journal spoke to Charlotte resident Kyle Luebke at the event, and he applauded LIBRE
for its efforts while also highlighting other issues facing the city of Charlotte.

“I really appreciate LIBRE being out here to focus on the reality that is most people’s lives in Charlotte and the impact inflation is having on them,” he said. “We are out in front of a grocery store because grocery prices have been significantly increasing, not just in Charlotte, but around the country. It’s not just groceries that are increasing. Gas prices, restaurant prices, and movie ticket prices are also increasing. Gas prices are going up and yet we are facing a bus driver shortage in Charlotte and our public transportation system is not effective. There has been no actual push by those in leadership on city council to ensure our bus system works for working-class people. When gas prices go up, working-class people can not depend on our bus system.”

Jeffrey Baldwin, who serves as the Charlotte-area grassroots engagement director for LIBRE in
North Carolina, spoke to CJ during the event about his involvement with the organization and
its outreach goals.

“We are seeking to engage and educate the Hispanic community,” he said. “Our main goal is to
empower the Hispanic community so that they can achieve their full potential. When I
researched the LIBRE Initiative, I felt like it was the right time to get involved. I noticed that the Hispanic community was not engaged in public policy but was being affected by the public
policies that are being passed.”

Baldwin added that raising awareness is one of many goals LIBRE hopes to achieve. “We are
trying to create awareness about the issue of inflation. The ways in which we propose inflation
could be reduced is twofold. One is we have to cut government spending as it devalues our
currency. We also need to cut burdensome government regulations that are preventing
businesses from producing more goods,” he said.

LIBRE hosted the event at Sav/Way Foods in the Darby Acres Shopping Center in Charlotte,
which was an ideal location according to Baldwin.

“We approached a business that is dedicated to the Hispanic community and we strive to make sure they understand the effects of inflation and most importantly how to stop it.”

Baldwin said there are many avenues people can take to help LIBRE in their mission of raising

“One way people can become more involved is by becoming a volunteer. We are always looking for volunteers. LIBRE hosts events all across the state of North Carolina, trying to promote awareness of good policies.”

According to their website, The LIBRE Initiative is dedicated to empowering the Hispanic community to reach their full potential by promoting and fighting for freedom-oriented solutions at the state and federal level. The organization says they leverage the strengths of the Hispanic community to transform lives and policies by partnering with community leaders, activists, faith groups, and entrepreneurs to drive legislation that breaks down barriers to opportunity.