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Staff

Staff's articles and posts

Must Reads News Top Story

New report: Court fines and fees are criminalizing poverty in North Carolina

Editor’s note: The issue of constantly rising court fines and fees has long been a big problem in North Carolina. Now, a new report released today by the North Carolina Poverty Research Fund at the University of North Carolina documents that it has reached crisis levels. Through a combination of sobering real life stories and a treasure trove of data, researchers Heather Hunt and Prof. Gene Nichol explain how North Carolina is, quite literally, criminalizing poverty through the imposition of burdensome fines and fees that millions of people cannot afford.

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News Top Story

New Year’s numbers (a look back at 2017)

This edition of Monday numbers is a final look at 2017 and includes at least one number from each month of Monday numbers in the past year.

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Defending Democracy Must Reads Top Story

New report shines more light on Thomas Farr’s troubling connections to the extreme Right

Editor’s note: As reported previously in this space, one of Donald Trump’s most disturbing actions during his first months in office has been the nomination of lawyer Thomas Farr to a lifetime appointment as a federal judge in North Carolina’s Eastern District. Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense...

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Events Top Story

Crucial Conversation – The national immigration debate in the era of Trump: Where do things stand? What will happen next?

Join us on Tuesday December 5, as we welcome American Immigration Council Executive Director Beth Werlin to North Carolina and hear her update on (and assessment of) the immigration battles in Washington.

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Other Voices Top Story

Special report highlights Trump judicial nominee in NC who championed voter suppression

Editor’s note: A new report released this week by the Washington, DC-based Center for American Progress shines a new and disturbing light on some of the extreme federal court nominees submitted in recent months by President Trump. The report devotes special attention to Thomas Farr, Trump’s nominee to fill the decade-plus long vacancy on the federal bench in North Carolina’s Eastern District. As Policy Watch has reported previously, Farr’s nomination has drawn passionate opposition from the national civil rights community.

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Events

Crucial Conversation – North Carolina’s independent judiciary: Will it survive the current partisan battle?

Crucial Conversation – North Carolina’s independent judiciary: Will it survive the current partisan battle? Register here There is an unprecedented war underway over the future of the North Carolina’s judiciary. For some time now, conservative supermajorities in the ...
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Defending Democracy Progressive Voices Top Story

Tillis among senators to vote on “repugnant” Trump judicial nominee today

National civil rights leaders call for the rejection of North Carolina’s Thomas Farr [Editor’s note: The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee (which includes North Carolina’s Thom Tillis) meets today at 10:00 a.m. to consider a bevy of President Trump’s nominees to serve as federal judges and U.S. Attorneys. Each of the judicial nominees is being considered for a lifetime appointment. As was highlighted in a July issue of the NC Policy Watch “Weekly Briefing,” none of the nominees on this list has received more negative national attention than Thomas Farr, who was nominated to fill a long-vacant slot on the U.S. District Court for the North Carolina’s Eastern District.

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Events Top Story

Crucial Conversation luncheon: Prof. Bryant Simon discusses his new book, “The Hamlet Fire: A Tragic Story of Cheap Food, Cheap Government and Cheap Lives”

For those too young or too new to North Carolina to remember, the horrific 1991 chicken plant fire at imperial Foods in Hamlet, North Carolina killed 25 workers and injured another 55. Workers were unable to escape the blaze because the plant’s owner, Emmett J. Roe, kept the doors padlocked and the windows boarded because he thought his low-wage workers might steal chicken.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

New national survey results: Program for immigrants arriving as children “unreservedly good” for U.S. economy and overall society

Editor’s note: Recently, there have been strong and troubling indications that the Trump administration may act soon to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, commonly referred to as “DACA.” The DACA program has provided protection from deportation and the ability to work and attend school for more than 800,000 young people, including approximately 28,000 in North Carolina. In response to the prospect of such a cruel and inhumane act, an array of divergent groups is speaking out in loud opposition.

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Must Reads Top Story

New report identifies an obvious and long-neglected way to boost the NC economy

A new report on Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUB) in North Carolina – businesses owned by women and/or people of color – covers the barriers they face, how they have increased in number, and how they can help grow the economy in North Carolina. Businesses owned by individuals deemed to be historically disadvantaged

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