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Other Voices

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Featured Articles Progressive Voices

A brief lesson on the reality of immigration and the lives of immigrants in North Carolina

Immigration is one of the most contentious issues of our time. Debates on the matter — both generally and with respect to the specifics of various proposals surrounding it — are pervasive in homes, schools, workplaces, television and social media. Given this backdrop, I probably should not have been surprised when I received an email recently (see below) that was purportedly from a North Carolina fifth grader. But I was. And I was sad to see unauthorized immigrants painted in such negative light – even by such a youngster.

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I. Beverly Lake (Image: WRAL.com)
Featured Articles Progressive Voices

Iconic North Carolina conservative: Why I’ve changed my mind about the death penalty

I’ve always been known as a tough-on-crime, pro-law enforcement individual, and I still am. During my years as a North Carolina State Senator, I vigorously advocated for the death penalty. As a superior court judge, I presided over trials where the death penalty seemed like the only suitable punishment for the heinous crimes that had been committed. Finally, as a Justice, and then as Chief Justice, on the Supreme Court of North Carolina, I cast my vote at appropriate times to uphold that harsh and most final sentence.

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Featured Articles Progressive Voices

On HB2, warning signs abound, but state leaders just keep on driving

As the fallout from HB2 continues to pile up, one bad news story at a time, I am reminded of the time a friend of mine drove from Washington, DC to Birmingham, Alabama, unintentionally by way of Miami, Florida. (In case anyone is wondering, Miami is not exactly on a direct route, being about 10 hours further south than one needs to drive when traveling to west Alabama from points north and east).

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Featured Articles Progressive Voices

More ill-conceived tax cuts and MIA investments: Why the House budget proposal comes up short

The $22.225 billion budget proposal that the state House of Representatives released for the upcoming 2017 fiscal year reflects the limited aspirations for North Carolina that the House and Senate leadership have agreed on. Legislative leadership used a flawed formula to set a low budget target — even lower than the Governor’s $22.33 billion proposal — that has no basis in economic realities or community needs and leaves $127.4 million on the table unspent.

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lynch
Featured Articles Progressive Voices

Loretta Lynch and HB2: U.S. Attorney General teaches fellow North Carolinians about compassion and tolerance

Take heart, fair-minded North Carolinians. The state’s not-always-pristine but still vaguely operative image as a place where “the weak grow strong and the strong grow great” is in the process of being dragged through the mud by cynics ...
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Featured Articles Progressive Voices

How North Carolina got in the fiscal fix it is in

As state lawmakers work to prepare budget adjustments for the new fiscal year that commences July 1, it’s increasingly clear that there in no way that they can provide the kind of pay raises our long suffering teachers ...
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Featured Articles Progressive Voices

Legislative budget proposal would lock in a formula for failure

Just a few weeks into the 2016 state legislative session, North Carolinians already are seeing how limited policymakers’ aspirations are for the future of the state’s communities and families. First, the Governor proposed a state budget that fell ...
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Voting-freedom
Featured Articles Progressive Voices

Voter suppression gets a pass

Judge sees no problem in inconveniencing a fundamental constitutional right

A federal judge’s ruling that upholds changes in North Carolina election laws, despite their effect of making it harder for some citizens to vote, seems to rest on his conclusion that, well, there’s no reason to get all upset about a little inconvenience.

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Featured Articles Progressive Voices

Selling mediocre

Governor McCrory’s attempt to spin North Carolina’s economic performance comes up short Governor McCrory is trying to convince everyone that, thanks to his team’s leadership, our economy is in great shape. In defending a largely status quo budget ...
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wb-shift
Featured Articles Progressive Voices

North Carolina’s big “tax swap” is coming up short

Tax Day 2016 is upon us and it’s clearer than ever that North Carolina’s recently re-formulated tax code is failing to fulfill its purpose of ensuring that every community can thrive. Rather than collecting the badly needed revenue to meet the growing—and changing—needs in communities across the state, policymakers instead chose to shift the tax load onto everyday North Carolinians and reduce available dollars for educating every child, stewarding our natural resources and jumpstarting economic development.

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Featured Articles Progressive Voices

North Carolina mom: What I’m scared of (Hint: It’s not the transgender woman in the next bathroom stall)

I’m a North Carolina mother of a 5-year-old daughter, and I’m scared.

I’m not scared about the things the North Carolina General Assembly and Governor Pat McCrory apparently think I should be scared of, upon reading their statements regarding HB2 (North Carolina’s new all-purpose discrimination law). But I am scared.

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Featured Articles Progressive Voices

Special interest assault on judicial independence is harming NC, democracy in general

There are a lot of disturbing indicators these days about the future of American democracy and the growing power of a narrow class of one-percenters. For a classic, close-to-home example, however, North Carolinians need only to take a good look at what’s been happening to the state’s judiciary in recent years as conservative political forces and the politicians under their control have moved to assert more and more control.

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Photo from flickr user familymwr (https://www.flickr.com/photos/familymwr/6277787834/), (CC BY 2.0, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)
Featured Articles Progressive Voices

Yet another study confirms the huge benefits of investing in early childhood education

  On Tuesday of this week, early education workers and thought leaders joined together at the North Carolina Child Care Coalition’s annual Early Education Forum in Raleigh. Among their top objectives: to discuss some of the ways to ...
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Featured Articles Progressive Voices

An open letter to state lawmakers: Make clean energy your legacy

Months before the opening day of the 2016 legislative session, the names of those legislators planning to retire or pursue other interests started to trickle out. As their time in office draws to a close, I surmise that many of them are wondering what their legacy will be in North Carolina’s history.

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Photo courtesy Phil Fonville
Featured Articles Progressive Voices

A half-baked, poorly vetted and mean-spirited law

Yes, it was a pretty neat trick — one bill that manages to expose many vulnerable North Carolinians to unfair, hurtful treatment, that threatens to put a dent in the state’s economy, and that subjects this state to ...
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