Other Voices

Other Voices

Progressive Voices Top Story

Final budget fails to strengthen the foundation of North Carolina’s public schools

The final budget that lawmakers have proposed fails to strengthen the foundation of North Carolina’s public schools. While the public schools area of the budget seems to have a lot going on – one could argue that a ...
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Progressive Voices Top Story

State lawmakers expand funding for anti-abortion centers, even as women’s health suffers

Women and their access to health care has been in the news these past few months, as the plan to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) made headlines for, among other things, what it potentially leaves out of women’s health care coverage. Under the bill passed by the U.S. House known as the American Health Care Act, it’s quite possible that insurance companies could revive their old rules that treated sexual assault, domestic violence, postpartum depression, pregnancy, and Caesarean sections as “preexisting conditions,” and thereby charging women who have experienced them more or denying coverage entirely.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Poor, rural schools likely the big losers with lawmakers’ planned cuts to central office staff

Among the elements necessary for a well-functioning school district, central office staff is often overlooked. However, a functioning central office is vital. These professionals ensure that money is spent in accordance with the law, provide technical assistance to ...
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Progressive Voices Top Story

Federal courts: Racial gerrymandering in NC must end

What a relief and cause for celebration it would be if North Carolina’s legislative chiefs collectively slapped their brows and exclaimed, “Oh, now we get it! We’re not allowed to draw voting districts on the basis of race! We’ll get busy right away and fix the problems!”

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Progressive Voices Top Story

How tax cuts in North Carolina undercut North Carolina’s middle class

It appears that our state’s final days of debate over the state budget will have failed to engage with the most relevant data point for North Carolina’s middle class:  The typical worker is paid less each hour today ...
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Progressive Voices Top Story

Understanding last week’s critical redistricting ruling

This morning, in the case of Dickson v. Rucho, the United States Supreme Court ordered the North Carolina Supreme Court to once again review a challenge to the state’s legislative maps. As expected, the Court directed the state court to do so in light of its ruling last week that North Carolina’s 2011 congressional map amounted to an unconstitutional exercise in racial gerrymandering.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Get ready seniors: Conservatives are coming after your healthcare next

Here in North Carolina, through painful experience, we know a thing or two about floods. With a flood, most of the focus – necessarily – is on not being swept away in the turbulent waters. But there’s more than the rushing waters. There’s what’s beneath – who knows what kind of contaminants picked up in the deluge, who knows what kinds of creepy-crawlies lurking beneath. That’s the way it is with Washington these days. The normal trickle of news out of the White House and Congress has turned into a flood of information. Beneath the roiling surface of that flood there are things of which we’d best be wary.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

The Senate budget: Tax cut addiction leaves NC’s civic core crumbling

So, the question as always comes down to one of vision. The elected chieftains who decide how much money North Carolina’s state government will spend, what it will be spent on and how it will be raised must decide not only which programs and services will thrive and which will dwindle. They must decide to what degree the people of this state are truly a community, with an obligation to provide for the common good in the best interests of all.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

North Carolina is not alone: The Right’s nationwide assault on state judiciaries

In the past few months, North Carolinians have seen our General Assembly make national news several times. At least a couple of those times were due to the continuing and shameless partisan assaults on the independence of our courts.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Still on the books and still unjust

Death penalty spree in Arkansas provides sobering reminder that NC’s system remains fatally flawed

Since Arkansas shocked the world by trying to execute eight people in 10 days just to beat the expiration date on its lethal drugs, there has been more talk about the death penalty in North Carolina.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Court fines and fees: Another barrier to North Carolina’s ballot box

How much money do you have to pay before you cast your ballot on Election Day?

For most North Carolinians, the answer might seem obvious: none. As the cornerstone of our democracy, voting is supposed to be fair, accessible – and free. But for an increasing number of North Carolinians, the right to vote can cost anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Kicking a dead mule – why the latest version of Trumpcare falls short

Why anyone would attempt to revive a health care reform bill that sank into the waters of the Potomac just weeks ago is a puzzler.

Why they would revive it and attempt to pass it by making it potentially even less popular is more puzzling still.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

On Workers’ Memorial Day, workplace fatalities in NC remain a woefully under-addressed scandal

On April 15, 2015, Robert Rue died on the job. Rue had been an electrician since graduating from Cary High School in 1971 – coincidentally, the same year the Occupational Safety and Health Administration was formed. Rue was repairing exterior lights outside the Archives building in Raleigh when the lift he was in toppled over. Aged 62, Rue was just over 3 months from retiring to the Outer Banks with his wife, Marlene. They’d planned on moving into a house they built in Belhaven. Now Rue’s widow will be living there without him.

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Progressive Voices

Tax cut fever threatens core services

How many times do we have to say it? Well, it’s worth repeating – especially in the aftermath of recent income tax filing deadlines, when the subject becomes a sore point for many: None of us should have ...
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Progressive Voices Top Story

There’s no time to waste in addressing NC’s self-inflicted class size crisis

To casual observers, the recent controversy surrounding public school class-size mandates in grades K-3 might seem a bit confusing. The traditional roles seem reversed: the Republican General Assembly is advocating for smaller classes next school year against the pleas of public school advocates. When you throw in a bunch of confusing budget terms like allotment ratios, enhancement teachers, and accusations of misspent funds, the issue is muddied further. Please allow me to cut through the muck.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Some hard truths about the North Carolina economy

Several years of tax cuts have not fixed our economic problems, and more of the same won’t either

In a yearly ritual as reliable as weird weather and parents stressing about finding summer camp for the kids, late spring finds some legislative leaders in Raleigh flogging another round of tax cuts, all the while claiming that past rounds of tax reductions have magically “fixed” North Carolina’s economy.

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