Archives by: Yanqi Xu

Yanqi Xu

About the author

Yanqi Xu, Courts, Law and Democracy Reporter, came to Policy Watch in December of 2020 from the Investigative Reporting Workshop in D.C., where she combined data and reporting to cover public accountability issues. Yanqi graduated with a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri in 2019. Her multimedia work appeared in PolitiFact and the Columbia Missourian, and was featured on the local NPR and NBC affiliates. Originally from China, Yanqi started her career producing newscasts to tell people what’s going on around the world.

Yanqi Xu's articles and posts

Law and the Courts Top Story

Ambitious criminal justice reform agenda spurred by George Floyd murder makes little headway in NC

The murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May of 2020 and the demonstrations that ensued in scores of communities helped spur efforts across the nation during the months that followed to reassess systems of policing and criminal justice. North Carolina State Sen. Mujtaba Mohammed, D-Mecklenburg, says the Floyd murder illustrated an injustice in policing that is both “frightening” to a lot of people in the country and badly in need of attention...

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts News Top Story

Monday numbers: a closer look at the election turnout rates of white and Black voters

As U.S. Senate Democrats united behind a bill dubbed the "Freedom to Vote Act" that would expand voter registration, promote nonpartisan redistricting and designate Election Day a federal holiday, experts at the Brennan Center for Justice have identified gaps in voter turnout that warrant stronger protection for non-white voters.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts News Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at mass incarceration in NC, and the implications for redistricting

Last week, the Prison Policy Initiative published a report – "States of Incarceration: The Global Context 2021" – which compared the incarceration rate of each state in the U.S. to other countries' rates. The research think tank used U.S. and United Nations crime and incarceration data (including figures from the Census Bureau, Bureau of Justice Statistics and the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting program) to illustrate a stark contrast between America and other countries.

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Law and the Courts Top Story

NC just enacted ambitious criminal justice reform legislation. Here’s what it does.

Gov. Roy Cooper signed a comprehensive criminal justice reform package (Senate Bill 300) into law last Thursday. The law became effective immediately. The bill, originally sponsored by Republicans with input from Democrats, gained bipartisan support – though not universal acclaim.

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COVID-19 News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

PW special report: A treatment for COVID-19…and a giant information gap 

Many North Carolinians who could benefit from a COVID-19 therapy lack information and access Treatment with special proteins called monoclonal antibodies is keeping some COVID-19 patients out of hospitals and is likely saving some lives. But North Carolina has huge information and delivery gaps to fill before many people who might qualify for the therapy know about it and can get it.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

Advocates seek to make ‘communities of interest’ an important consideration in NC redistricting

For the first time, the North Carolina General Assembly is considering the characteristics of various communities as it redraws voting districts based on the latest census numbers. In so doing, lawmakers will examine geographic areas in which individuals have a commonality of shared interests that could affect legislation and should therefore be grouped together.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

PW special report: Demystifying the redistricting process

As lawmakers move forward with drawing new maps, experts explain the tricks of the trade, how we can do better, and why gerrymandering is so hard to eradicate State lawmakers voted to approve the new criteria for redrawing congressional, state House and Senate districts last week. Operating under the new criteria, legislators still have a lot of leeway, and it remains to be seen how the process plays out./p> ...

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Law and the Courts News Top Story

Bill to abolish state pistol permit passes, but a veto is likely

By a 27-20 party line vote, the North Carolina Senate passed a bill (HB 398) Wednesday that would repeal the state's pistol purchase permit requirement. The measure had passed the House in May after a heated debate, as Policy Watch previously reported.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts News Top Story

Republican legislators reject Democrats’ proposal to include racial data in redistricting

State lawmakers in the House and Senate have unveiled the rules for drawing new voting maps, as a new round of redistricting begins. As Policy Watch previously reported, the U.S. Census Bureau released new population and racial data on Thursday. Shifts in population require new district maps for local and state elections that will be held in 2022.

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Law and the Courts Top Story

Biden Administration moves to tighten hospital price transparency regulations

Democratic and Republican officials agree that hospitals must make "standard charges" easily accessible to consumers For years, North Carolina hospitals hid the prices for their services. Now under a federal rule, they are required to disclose the listed prices and insurance-negotiated rates, but some are doing it slowly and secretly.

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