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Articles

Progressive Voices Top Story

NC is making a big mistake by failing to prepare for the next recession

We aren’t in an economic downturn yet, but economists who find themselves marveling at the historic duration of the current national expansion are urging policymakers to prepare for one now. Key to that preparation will be smart public investments that minimize the harm to communities and families and, in turn, the long-term growth trajectory of the economy.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Gentrification: What it really means and how we must respond

Downtown Raleigh recently made the front page of the New York Times as an exemplar of gentrification – the process that dislocates traditional low-income residents, typically people of color, and changes the social fabric of a neighborhood. South Park, the historically Black Raleigh neighborhood near Shaw University...

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

The General Assembly’s obsolete press rules are limiting public access to information

Just under sixteen months ago in an essay entitled “Darkness descends on the General Assembly,” I explored and lamented the shroud of secrecy that had overtaken the state legislature in recent years. Things haven’t gotten much better in 2019 and this situation hasn’t been helped – either symbolically or practically – by the decision of state Legislative Services Officer Paul Coble...

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Billy Ball Commentary Top Story

Lawmakers misfire with plan to expand NC’s ill-conceived voucher program

“Governor Cooper is failing when it comes to helping minority students. Don’t let him take away your Opportunity Scholarships,” reads the Raleigh billboard, the latest conservative spittooning of the Democratic governor. Sounds heinous, if true, but the truth is truly, extraordinarily, squishy in this instance.

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Original Commentary Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at the rising tide of school segregation

Last Friday was the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in Brown v. Board of Education – the decision that struck down the noxious “separate but equal” concept that had undergirded America’s legally segregated public schools. Most of us are familiar with the foot-dragging and obstructionism with which that ruling has been met down through the decades...

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

Judicial nominee Farr joins GOP defense team in redistricting litigation

It appears that Thomas Farr is back in the game – the North Carolina redistricting game, that is. The recent Trump nominee for a federal judgeship in North Carolina's Eastern District filed paperwork last week to appear in court on behalf of the GOP legislative defendants in Common Cause v. Lewis, a challenge to the 2017 legislative map on grounds that it violates the state constitution as an extreme partisan gerrymander.

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Higher Ed Top Story

Delay in ‘Silent Sam’ decision reflects divided UNC leadership while spurring suspicion, concern in community

At its meeting next week, the UNC Board of Governors was scheduled to unveil a new plan for the future of the Confederate monument known as “Silent Sam.” But late Tuesday afternoon, board Chairman Harry Smith released a statement saying the board has decided to again postpone it.

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Education Top Story

Republicans, education advocates square off again over expanding private school voucher program

You can hear the anger rising in Yevonne Brannon’s voice as she talks about the state’s controversial school voucher program. Brannon, a spokeswoman for Public Schools First N.C., a K-12 advocacy organization, thinks it’s outrageous that a family with an annual income of more than $71,000 could receive state tax dollars to help pay for private school tuition.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

A gun in my classroom? No thanks.

I am a public school teacher in Forsyth County. As a special education teacher, I work with students at the middle school level and help them manage learning disabilities, ADHD, and other factors keeping them from performing on grade level. I love my job, but would leave it in a heartbeat if given the opportunity to carry a gun in my classroom.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Tax cuts doing nothing to rouse NC’s sluggish economy

As most everyone who knows the North Carolina legislature will tell you, regardless of their political allegiances, the coffee there is terrible. A cup of the bitter and watery stuff is more apt to produce irritability than alertness, a fact that becomes increasingly evident as a legislative session drags on. Inadequate caffeine may be behind some of the head-scratching policy coming out of Raleigh in the last few years...

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

Five quick takes as the legislative session passes its symbolic midpoint

North Carolina lawmakers sped past their self-imposed crossover deadline last week – the date by which many bills must pass at least one house to remain alive for the session. Here are five quick takes on where things stand: #1 – GOP bulldozer downsized to a Bobcat – Traditionally, and especially during the last several years of conservative rule, the crossover deadline has served...

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News Top Story

GOP Rep. Patrick McHenry takes on ‘Auntie Maxine’ in Congress

WASHINGTON -- Rep. Patrick McHenry has been representing western North Carolina in the U.S. House since he was 29 years old. The 10th District Republican, now 43, has long been considered a rising star among House GOP lawmakers. He’s worked in leadership as Republicans’ chief deputy whip, and he’s often labeled as an aspiring Speaker of the House. He’s got a lifetime rating of 93 percent from the American Conservative Union. Now, he’s got a new platform...

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Environment Top Story

Monday numbers: 2,624 years and counting, a bald cypress tree in North Carolina has survived all manner of natural and human-made disasters

For 2,624 years, a bald cypress tree in southeastern North Carolina has endured the gamut of planetary upheavals, both natural and human-made: hurricanes and heat waves, floods and drought; the Little Ice Age, the Year Without a Summer — and now, global warming.

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