Progressive Voices

Progressive Voices

Defending Democracy Original Commentary Other Voices Progressive Voices Top Story

Lawmakers have the tools to safeguard voting rights and fair elections; all they need is the will

Congress and the G.A. can build on the the success of the 2020 election by passing three important bills Voting is the right by which all our other rights are protected, to paraphrase Thomas Paine. Equal access to the ballot box is the bedrock foundation of our democracy and vital to the health of our nation.

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Chauvin trial shows that justice requires diverse, inclusive juries

No one should have been on the edge of their seat about the verdict in Derek Chauvin’s trial. He was caught on video kneeling on George Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes as Floyd begged for his life. But this is America, where police are almost never held accountable, so we held our breath and prepared for Chauvin to be acquitted. 

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NC pastor: The legislature’s plan to expand school vouchers must be rejected

While the attention of most North Carolina parents and educators remains focused on getting children back inside classrooms as safely and quickly as possible, the General Assembly is, unfortunately, trying to push through yet another expansion of the Opportunity Scholarship school voucher program.

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If you like being vaccinated, thank the U.S. government

In his response to Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz’s recent State of the State address, Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka said we have former President Donald Trump to thank for the rapid deployment and distribution of vaccines that are saving us from the pandemic.  Although it seems appalling to give credit to the 45th president, whose reckless disregard for human life was evident throughout his presidency, Gazelka isn’t wrong exactly. 

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Virginia just abolished its deeply racist death penalty; North Carolina must follow suit

Last week, Virginia became the first southern state to abolish the death penalty. At the signing ceremony, Gov. Ralph Northam and other speakers repeatedly referenced the racist history of the Virginia death penalty as a prime reason for its abolition. It is not a coincidence that Virginia, the birthplace of American slavery and the capital of the Confederacy, has been at the forefront of the American death penalty.

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Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

Trans Day of Visibility offers chance for community to stand in solidarity and support

Visibility within the transgender community is often a Catch-22, especially for trans people of color, or those living in rural, conservative areas. Hiding one’s identity can be a damaging experience and increase feelings of isolation, stigma and shame. But standing out as a trans person can make someone a target for discrimination or violence.

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Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

GOP senators push absentee ballot bill to address their top fear: Too many votes

With Republican lawmakers throughout the land making “election integrity” a favorite cause and rallying cry, it likely was just a matter of time before some of their North Carolina counterparts got on board. Lo and behold, along came the sterling piece of legislative statesmanship known as Senate Bill 326, filed on March 18 and entitled the "Election Integrity Act."

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Must read: Education reform advocates respond to state’s proposed plan to comply with the Leandro mandate for NC public schools

News item:  Yesterday, the state defendants in the long running Leandro school finance case submitted a comprehensive plan to Judge David Lee that details how North Carolina proposes, at long last, to comply with the state Supreme Court’s 1997 ruling that every student in the state has a constitutional right to a “sound basic education.”

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Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

It’s time to end gerrymandering for good in North Carolina

RALEIGH – It was 209 years ago this month that “gerrymandering” was coined, and our nation has paid the price ever since. In 1812, Massachusetts Gov. Elbridge Gerry soiled his reputation by approving a ploy to redraw the state’s voting districts to unfairly favor his party in that year’s election.

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Newly discovered innocence cases show how old problems still haunt the N.C. death penalty

Last month two men were newly added to the list of innocent people who had been sentenced to death in North Carolina. Anthony Carey was to be executed for a murder he took no part in, based entirely ...
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Other Voices Progressive Voices Top Story

Will NC allow Trump’s lies to give rise to renewed voter suppression?

Perhaps it’s the pandemic that offers a fitting analogy to the condition of our politics as Americans try to recover from the trauma of Jan. 6 – when we came dangerously close to the onset of an anti-democratic Trump-ocracy. The loss of more than 500,000 of our fellow citizens, their lives snuffed out by COVID-19, has been a cataclysmic shock to the nation, an epic of sorrow and suffering.

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Other Voices Progressive Voices Top Story

Chump change: Romney-Cotton minimum wage proposal leaves 27 million workers without a pay increase

Those who had high hopes for a serious minimum wage proposal from the Republican Party will be disappointed: The recent proposal released by Sens. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) would not even increase the minimum wage to 1960s levels, after adjusting for inflation. It is a meager increase that fails to address the problem of low pay in the U.S. economy.

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Even on Death Row, there’s no escape from racism and discrimination for Black women

When the State places its noose around a white woman’s neck, the world cries foul. On January 13, Lisa Montgomery, a white woman, was led to the death chamber. The federal government used its weapon of choice, lethal injection, to kill her. She was the first woman executed by the federal government in 68 years. Widely condemned, her execution was seen as a tragic killing of a victim of horrific sexual and physical abuse.

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Other Voices Progressive Voices Top Story

NC legislators waste little time in trying to further privatize state’s public schools

As state legislatures have started their sessions, anti-public school legislators have wasted no time introducing “school choice” bills that would divert public funds to privatization schemes. In the first three weeks of January alone, 34 bills to expand private education options had been introduced in 15 states.

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Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

North Carolina is torturing thousands of prisoners. It needs to stop.

The cruel reality of solitary confinement ought to shock all caring and thinking people One night in January of 2014, two prison guards at the Colorado State Penitentiary walked a man in handcuffs and an inmate’s uniform down the prison hallway and deposited him in a solitary cell designated "R.F.P. Ad. Seg.: Administrative Segregation, Removed from Population. Solitary confinement."

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Professor of Education: North Carolina teachers can’t do it alone

Teacher burnout was already a big problem prior to COVID, and without policy changes, it's about to get a lot worse Public school educators in North Carolina continue to manage the immediate needs of students under shifting instructional conditions and an uncertain future as the debate around in-person and remote schooling dominates policy discussions.

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