Other Voices

Other Voices

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

The spiritual practice of grocery shopping

After a few months of unemployment I was going stir-crazy so I got a job as a cashier at a local grocery store, one of many in the region. I learned several lessons of the grocery business: Remember the code for bananas (4011) even if you forget all others. Keep one hand scanning the soup can while you pick the second up from the cart so things go faster. Remember the Thursday 5% senior discount or there’s hell to pay. Multi-task or die—you must be socially engaging while keeping your hands moving as fast as physically possible. I was great at the social engagement but stumbled on codes and scanning. One day a customer gave me flowers because, he said, I clearly was having a bad day. I was trying so hard that I didn’t even know it.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

The N.C. Supreme Court must stop racism in jury selection

The evidence that racism is infecting the selection of juries in North Carolina is clear and unmistakable, despite the federal law that says it’s illegal. On February 3, 2020, the North Carolina Supreme Court heard argument in two cases that provide the state a historic opportunity to remedy its longstanding failure to enforce civil rights law barring race discrimination in jury selection.The question now is whether the Court will act on the cases before it and begin to fix this problem.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Leandro funding recommendations: Much lower than reported, readily affordable

Despite the alarm and denial with which they have been greeted in some circles, the recent recommendations of a national education research group to the presiding judge in North Carolina's 26-year-old Leandro education finance lawsuit are quite reasonable and within the state's capacity to readily implement. Indeed, according to national experts, North Carolina doesn’t have to break the bank in order to finally begin meeting its constitutional obligation to provide every child with a good education.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Allegations of electronic eavesdropping at Department of Public Instruction deserve to be taken seriously

Allegations are swirling that unknown persons at the Department of Public Instruction intentionally monitored personal text messages of a retired director.  If true, the activity could constitute a violation of North Carolina’s statute governing interception of electronic communication.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

One in seven NC drivers has had their license suspended. Many of them don’t even know it.

In North Carolina, 1.25 million people – one in seven adults – has a suspended driver license. That alone is a massive public problem. After all, driving is “a virtual necessity for most Americans,” as the U.S. Supreme Court has noted, and there are few communities where a resident can get to work, school, or everyday errands without a car. But what is even more troubling is that many of these people may not know it.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

These are the people who suffer because of NC’s stubborn refusal to expand Medicaid

Two weeks ago, the North Carolina General Assembly returned to Raleigh for what was supposed to be a special session on health care. Unfortunately, rather than addressing the lack of health coverage that is hurting our working families and advancing solutions that will help our rural hospitals, legislative leaders instead focused (unsuccessfully) on overriding Governor Cooper’s seven-month-old budget veto. The failure of our lawmakers to create a solution to close the coverage gap, is simply unacceptable.

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Other Voices Progressive Voices Top Story

47th anniversary of Roe v. Wade – A tipping point away from reproductive freedom?

As we commemorated the 46th anniversary of the historic Supreme Court decision Roe v Wade last year, our thoughts were on what may happen at the U.S. Supreme Court. Two thousand nineteen was the first full year of a high court firmly stacked with justices ideologically opposed to abortion, two of whom were appointed by a president who sees overturning Roe v Wade as a key to his re-election.

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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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Progressive Voices Top Story

Five ways NC lawmakers can make a down payment on a better decade

North Carolina’s legislative leaders return to Raleigh next week with the opportunity to make a down payment on the obligation they have to North Carolinians, an obligation to smooth the pathway so we can all move forward over ...
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Progressive Voices Top Story

Why are there so few stories about Trump’s health and sexual harassment scandals?

In the past few days, President Trump may have stumbled into a war with Iran and was accused by yet another woman of sexual harassment. If you haven’t heard about the former, you can quickly remedy that by ...
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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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Progressive Voices Top Story

The Leandro report is out. The future of public education in North Carolina starts this week.

For over two decades, North Carolina has systematically violated the constitutional rights of its children by failing to ensure the universal opportunity to a sound basic education enshrined in the now-famous state Supreme Court ruling inLeandro v. State. On Tuesday, a non-partisan expert report was released identifying the state's current education shortcomings and policy solutions, presenting a once-in-a-generation opportunity for all of us – students, teachers, parents, advocates, and policymakers – to do right by kids in North Carolina.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

After Silent Sam settlement, UNC has lost the benefit of the doubt

Last December I condemned the UNC–Chapel Hill Board of Trustees (BOT) proposal to literally enshrine the confederate statue “Silent Sam” on campus. Defying belief, a year later I’m now condemning UNC’s $2.5 million payment so that the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) can do exactly that.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Trump administration’s destructive cuts to food assistance will harm 700,000 Americans

The Trump administration recently revealed how it is going to take away food from nearly 700,000 Americans. This is the first time the administration has succeeded in three attempts to downsize the food stamp program. Food Stamps, also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) offer benefits to 39 million...

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Other Voices Progressive Voices Top Story

Sen. Phil Berger sidesteps an inconvenient truth about NC teacher pay

Despite having voted to expand the economics and personal finance curriculum in the state’s high schools, North Carolina Senate leader Phil Berger fails to apply basic principles of these subjects when touting supposed accomplishments in teacher pay in his November 25 op-ed in Raleigh’s News & Observer, “Yes, Republican tax policies are working in North Carolina.”

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