Progressive Voices

Progressive Voices

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Monday numbers: A closer look at mass incarceration

The following numbers come from Smart Justice 50-State Blueprints. The findings are part of a multi-year partnership between the ACLU, state affiliates, and the Urban Institute to examine who’s incarcerated, for what reasons, and for how long.

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New report lays out roadmap for ending mass incarceration in NC

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of North Carolina today released a report that outlines how North Carolina can reduce its jail and prison population by half and save more than $1 billion by pursuing reforms that include....

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As teachers and students return, state and federal lawmakers are still failing to address school safety

School has started again for most North Carolina children. And last week, Betsy DeVos’s Department of Education was debating whether schools could use federal funds to purchase guns for teachers.

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North Carolina’s principal pay plan does more harm than good

When school buses start to roll across the state this month for the beginning of school year 2018-19, North Carolina principals will begin their second year of a performance-based compensation system. Under the new system, principals are no longer compensated based on years of experience, given longevity bonuses or paid a higher rate for advanced degrees they’ve earned.

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Death penalty attorney, 15 years after watching her client executed: “I still talk to him sometimes”

I watched him die 15 years ago, and I still talk to him sometimes. I talked to him a lot in the weeks after he was killed and thought maybe I was going a little crazy. And then I thought, it’s probably normal to go a little crazy when you see somebody killed 10 feet in front of you, somebody you knew really well and cared about and tried so hard to save.

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UNC: A community reckoning with its history

In 1965, UNC student Al Ribak wrote a letter to the editors of the Daily Tar Heel entitled, “Silent Sam Should Leave.” Fifty-three years later, Silent Sam is gone – brought down by over 250 UNC students, alumni, and community activists. It was just a year ago that a similar sight could be seen in Durham, where protesters brought down the Confederate monument in downtown Durham...

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Must Reads Progressive Voices Top Story

New report details racial inequality, poverty and gentrification in Durham

From infant mortality to life expectancy, race predicts outcomes in the United States. Racial inequities, created and sustained through the policies and practices of governments and other institutions, have long-lasting and cumulative impact. In Durham, North Carolina, the revitalization and subsequent gentrification of its downtown has brought these racial fault lines...

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A Justice Kavanaugh would all but assure the demise of American abortion rights

When Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement from the highest court in the land this past June, Donald Trump received his second opportunity to appoint a justice to an increasingly conservative Supreme Court. Making good on his campaign promise to gut Roe v. Wade and re-criminalize abortion...

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Will courts block legislative leaders’ desperate power plays?

A summer of hectic twists and turns has made it increasingly clear: The North Carolina General Assembly’s ruling Republicans have been driven by desperation. They must be desperately worried that their lease on unbridled power is about to expire. So, while they still have the chance...

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New national poll: Consumers overwhelmingly reject Trump’s financial industry deregulation

A decade ago, the entire nation suffered through a financial crisis that led to the brink of a global financial collapse. While Wall Street reckoned with its risky practices, America’s families suffered lost wealth of nearly $2 trillion, half of it coming from communities of color who were targeted for high-cost and unsustainable mortgages. Now a new poll finds that even with the passage of a decade, consumers still support financial regulation and related enforcement.

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Defending Democracy Progressive Voices Top Story

How things got to where they are: The November ballot power grab explained

The drive by Republicans who control the General Assembly to enhance their already formidable power, often at the expense of Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper, has been relentless. Why is this a problem? Because legislative power for the past several years has been used to further an agenda in which the needs and concerns of many ordinary North Carolinians, so far as government might be able to address them, scarcely matter.

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It’s past time for North Carolina to make rape kit testing a priority

About 30 years ago, my sweet, elderly aunt for whom I was named was brutally beaten and raped in the country church where I was baptized and where five generations of my ancestors are buried. She had gone there on a Saturday morning to practice the organ selections for the next day.

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Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

Kavanaugh nomination reminds us that religion and politics can be a toxic mix

God is dead. Well, almost. We know that God is on life support because recent polls say so. He, She or it has been around a long time, always, theologians say. But the number of people who believe that is rapidly diminishing.

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Defending Democracy Other Voices Progressive Voices Top Story

A constitutional amendment worth celebrating (and enforcing)

This month marks the 150th anniversary of the 14th Amendment, a landmark to be celebrated July 28 by the N.C. Commission on Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Criminal Justice System. In recalling the amendment’s essential role in enabling the “new birth of freedom” Lincoln envisioned at Gettysburg, it’s worth remembering that its interpretation has not always lived up to its promise.

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Mountain Valley Pipeline’s expansion into N.C. not worth the risk

In April, Mountain Valley Pipeline announced a proposal to build a pipeline extension that would run through Rockingham and Alamance counties in the Dan and Haw River watersheds. This 24-inch diameter pipeline would cut a 100-foot swath through private lands during construction.

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Reflections on life in the Neo-Gilded Age

Like so many people in this state and across this country, I have not gotten over my funk regarding the rise of Trump and the subsequent train wreck of his presidency.

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