Other Voices

Other Voices

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Featured Articles Progressive Voices

Court ruling striking down Obama overtime rules leaves workers high and dry

December 1, 2016 was supposed to be a great day for an estimated 156,000 salaried workers in North Carolina. But thanks to a recent federal court order, the day instead brought disappointment and confusion for most of them.

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Featured Articles Progressive Voices

A big step forward for children with complex needs in North Carolina

Let me tell you about a girl I’ll call O.B. Her story exposes a lot of what’s wrong with North Carolina’s behavioral health system. O.B. has moderate to severe intellectual disability and autism, as well as intermittent explosive ...
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Featured Articles Progressive Voices

This Thanksgiving, fight fear with facts

After this election, many Americans’ Thanksgiving may feature divisive, often uncomfortable, conversations with friends and family who disagree politically. For those of us frustrated by the myths and misinformation that now fuel many such debates, it’s more important ...
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Featured Articles Progressive Voices

A troubling choice, yet glimmers of hope

Those of us aligned with the North Carolina Council of Churches share a political outlook whose priorities include equal rights, equal opportunity, environmental stewardship, ample investment in public services and fair allocation of that investment’s costs.

We believe that the United States must lead by example through sustained efforts to build a just, prosperous and compassionate society, and that those efforts are vital in keeping our nation strong and secure.

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Featured Articles Progressive Voices

Where do progressives go from here?

Four strategic recommendations for dealing with a Trump presidency

We have been somewhere near here before—Reagan in the 1980’s; Bush the Second in the 2000’s. Donald Trump is certainly more crude and cruel than these past presidents, but he is also far less ideological. He has no apparent core values so who knows how much he actually believes all the hateful rhetoric, crazy conspiracy theories, and unrealistic policy proposals he spewed out in his toxic campaign. His instability is certainly cause for grave concern for all of us, especially anyone in vulnerable communities; but that very inconsistency also means that he changes his mind and his message with the winds, and always professes a willingness to make a deal.

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Featured Articles Progressive Voices

How to make Obamacare work better for everyone

It’s not easy to have a nuanced conversation about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) the week before a national election. So it’s no wonder that the recent announcement of average premium increases for plans sold on the health insurance Marketplaces was met with media hysteria and partisan posturing about the so-called demise of the ACA.

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Featured Articles Progressive Voices

Preventing child deaths with paid family leave

I am a pediatrician and a member the North Carolina Child Fatality Prevention Team. Each year we review dozens of cases to see what policy or practice changes could be implemented to prevent future child fatalities. In the past, we’ve recommended strengthening seat belt laws, graduated drivers licenses, and bicycle helmet laws, all of which have led to a drastic reduction in North Carolina’s child fatality rate.

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Featured Articles Progressive Voices

Reproductive freedom: A key to combating domestic violence

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Competing for time with the cause of breast cancer awareness, and this year eclipsed by the final stretch of an extremely high profile presidential election, it may have been easy to miss ...
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Featured Articles Progressive Voices

For many low-income North Carolinians, Matthew’s damage is deeper than broken buildings

As the state begins recovery efforts following Hurricane Matthew, we begin to see unexpected damages. These damages are beyond the ruin of physical structures. These damages are not the effects of harsh winds and high waters. Instead, they are the years old damages – the damages of persistent poverty, underinvestment, and systemic neglect.

But what does poverty have to do with recovery from Matthew? While the hurricane itself did not distinguish between the rich and the poor, the ability of communities and families to recover will depend largely upon just that.

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Featured Articles Progressive Voices

NC’s plummeting commitment to higher ed is a recipe for economic disaster

Access to affordable postsecondary education is important to building a workforce in North Carolina that attracts and retains good-paying jobs across the state. Around two out of every three jobs in the state will require some form of post-secondary education by the year 2020. Our state can meet this challenge, but only if we make sure that more people can access and complete these programs. And the biggest barrier to this remains the unaffordability of post-secondary education.

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Progressive Voices

High school is not enough: NC economy desperately needs a boost in adult education and training

In 2016, the defining political debate in North Carolina is over what it really takes to grow an economy that works for everyone—an economy that creates enough jobs for everyone who wants one and ensures that those jobs pay enough to make ends meet and achieve middle class prosperity. Amidst the hullaballoo over taxes, trade and HB2 in this election season, it’s easy to overlook one of the most powerful avenues policymakers can take to build this kind of economy—growing the number of workers with post-high school education.

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Featured Articles Progressive Voices

Grim anniversary marks 40 years of denying reproductive health care to poor American women

Whether or not some of us are uncomfortable with the word or the current statistic, nearly 1 in 3 American women have an abortion in their lifetime, making the procedure a common secret in the lives of women across this country. Depending on one’s viewpoint, the actual incidence may be more or less common than you believe. What is common is that many people think they don’t know anyone who has had an abortion.

It’s likely we do, but this medical procedure has been so stigmatized and politicized that the people we do know don’t talk about their experience. One reason for this stigma is that abortion is the only medical procedure that is banned from most public insurance funding.

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Featured Articles Progressive Voices

Living while waiting to die: Writings from inside death row

Meet Paul Brown, a man living while waiting to die. He has been on North Carolina’s death row since 2000, awaiting an execution that may never come. He makes no excuses for his crime, and he doesn’t lament his punishment. He began writing a few years ago simply to answer the question: How do I make something of the life I have left?

His essays offer a rare window into death row, one of the most isolated places on earth. His stories offer no simple conclusions; they are the record of a complicated and broken life. Yet, they speak poignantly to what it means to be human.

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Featured Articles Progressive Voices

The cuts keep coming: More damning data on the state of NC public school funding

A recent lead editorial in Raleigh’s News & Observer editorial “NC GOP leaders ignore recession cuts when touting funding increases” makes several good points concerning the state’s declining commitment to funding public schools. As the editorial mentions, legislative leaders’ claims that they have increased spending on public schools are “at once true and deceptive” since they compare today’s spending to the temporary budget reductions implemented in the throes of a historically bad recession.

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Featured Articles Progressive Voices

New school year highlights NC’s ongoing failure to invest in child and community well-being

Every year as students from pre-school through college return to the classroom, North Carolinians have a window through which to see how our collective investments match up to the needs of communities.

Are classrooms crowded? Are children ready for Kindergarten? Do schools have the resources to deliver a 21st century education? Do parents need to provide more and more personal resources to fill the gaps?

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Featured Articles Progressive Voices

Some important truths about the Zika crisis and reproductive freedom

Summer is winding down here in North Carolina, but the heat isn’t going away just yet. And neither are the mosquitoes. In the Southeast, mosquito season can last until November, depending on the timing of the first frost. As Florida has now recorded more than 60 non-travel-related Zika cases, mosquitos are on the mind of many state officials and public health professionals. They will also likely be on the minds of women of childbearing age, who continue to confront the dire warnings about the dangers of a Zika infection during pregnancy.

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