Archives by: Steve Ford

Steve Ford

Steve Ford's articles and posts

Defending Democracy Progressive Voices Top Story

Souls to the polls? How churches and other nonprofits can help North Carolinians vote

It’s pretty obvious why the N.C. Council of Churches and its allies on the faith-and-justice spectrum hope to see plenty of like-minded voters turning out for the elections this fall. Much is at stake, from who will serve as the nation’s chief executive during perilous, challenging times to who will decide how public schools are expected to operate while the coronavirus still threatens.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

The virus and the vulnerable

The image of a perfect storm conveys a rueful irony – the storm whose components are so intertwined, so synchronized, so mutually reinforcing as to make it “perfect” in its destructiveness. Perfect storm, meet COVID-19. The overall dynamic is as simple as it is terrible: The coronavirus endangers people who come into contact with others who may be infected. People retreat into their homebound bubbles.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Making the 2020 election, safe, fair and efficient: Now is the time to act

Members of the North Carolina House and Senate, resolutely confronting the deadly and disastrous coronavirus pandemic, have offered up shining examples of just what friends are for. Friends are there to rescue you as you are about to commit a major blunder – a blunder betraying long-held principles and maybe even helping some people who aren’t campaign mega-donors. The House, taking its cue from Speaker Tim Moore, agreed it would be a good idea – at least while the virus continues to cut its swath...

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Defending Democracy Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

Now is the time to act to protect the integrity of the November election

When members of the N.C. General Assembly reconvene tomorrow – presumably wearing masks and taking all the other recommended precautions to stay safe and help foil the spread of COVID-19 – they’ll confront an unprecedented tangle of complex and crucial issues. Normally – yes, what we wouldn’t give for some normality – legislators’ main chore this spring would be truing up the proposed state budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1. Even before North Carolina and the rest of Planet Earth got whacked with a viral pandemic, however, that budget exercise was going to be messy. There was no proposed budget to true up because of a legislative standoff with Gov. Roy Cooper.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Courts rightfully unswayed by GOP’s voter ID push

The North Carolina General Assembly’s Republican majority is down to what looks to be its last-ditch defense of the voter ID law it rammed through at the tail end of 2018: Stop complaining because it could be worse! That was the thrust of the argument mounted by GOP legislative chiefs as they tried to fend off yet another lawsuit accusing them of discriminating against African-American voters to gain an advantage at the polls. News flash – it isn’t working. Again.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Federal court is right to keep NC’s discriminatory voter ID requirement sidetracked

A long road remains to be traveled before North Carolinians find out whether they’ll have to show an identification card, with photo, in order to vote in next fall’s pivotal elections. Did we say pivotal? Try crucial, momentous, fateful — take your pick.

But this much now seems more or less certain:

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Other Voices Top Story

The betrayal that is the ‘Silent Sam’ deal

When leaders of the N.C. Council of Churches two years ago adopted a policy statement entitled “Confederate-themed monuments: Time to reassess,” the statue known as Silent Sam still faced north in a prime spot on the Chapel Hill campus of the nation’s oldest public university.

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Other Voices Progressive Voices Top Story

Gerrymanderers: Seeing the light, or scared straight?

Perhaps the Republicans who control North Carolina’s General Assembly have finally gotten the message: their decade-long efforts to rig the state’s legislative and congressional voting district boundaries in their party’s favor simply won’t fly when challenged in the courts. Perhaps they’re starting to take seriously the views of those, including the N.C. Council of Churches, who have called for districts to be drawn via a process less susceptible to partisan abuse.

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Defending Democracy Progressive Voices Top Story

NC could be on a path to fairer maps and better government

If politics can be described as a contact sport, it’s perhaps fitting to say that when the Republicans who control North Carolina’s General Assembly went to court to defend the extreme gerrymandering that has helped keep them in power, they suffered no less than an epic beat-down. Three judges capped years of litigation with an explosive Sept. 3 ruling that scraps the current state House and Senate election district maps and requires them to be redrawn so they treat all voters...

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Guns, the budget and gerrymandering highlight NC’s political dysfunction

It can’t have escaped many folks’ notice – even those, bless their hearts, for whom the really big news involves the onset of football season – that our political systems these days feature a whole lot of wheel-spinning and gear-grinding in the face of epic challenges. Psychopaths toting massacre-model firearms stalk public gathering places and wreak carnage on innocent people who happened to be caught in the wrong place at the wrong time...

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