Weekly Briefing

Weekly Briefing

NC Poverty Research Fund
Featured Articles Weekly Briefing

“Radicalized concentrated poverty”

Disturbing new report on NC’s largest city is a must read for those who care about our state and its future

The city of Charlotte – bustling with activity, rapid growth and construction cranes and soon to be within shouting distance of a million residents – may seem an odd place to feature in a new report on poverty. The authors of “Economic Hardship, Radicalized Concentrated Poverty and the Challenges of Low Wage Work: Charlotte, North Carolina” acknowledge this truth right up front in their just-released study.

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Featured Articles Weekly Briefing

Making our state and nation “safe again”

Despite claims in some corners, big talk, limiting rights and ever more killing machines are not the answer

The recent horrific episodes of murder and violence that have struck the western world have clearly sent shockwaves through the body politic. Whether it’s in the United States, France or any number of other nations, millions of people are rightfully horrified at the senseless killing and understandably fearful that they or someone they love might somehow fall victim – be it to a law enforcement officer with a racial or ethnic bias or a suicidal killer with a twisted worldview. Add in the festering divisions of race, religion and politics that afflict our society these days (and that the killings have helped accentuate) and it’s no surprise that so many people feel a profound sense of anger and sadness and a deep desire for normalcy and “safety.”

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Featured Articles Uncategorized Weekly Briefing

Missing a chance to send a message at a time of national crisis

Governor McCrory swings and misses on the police violence issue

The phenomenon of brutality and misconduct by law enforcement officers toward average Americans (especially young African-American men) is, of course, nothing new in the United States. For a tragically high percentage of people of color, regular confrontations with police are a regular and often terrifying fact of life. In some large American cities, there are so many cases of police misconduct that some lawyers devote their entire practices to representing victims or defending police. And needless to say, the phenomenon of law officers being targeted by criminals goes back to the beginning of civilization.

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Featured Articles Weekly Briefing

Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse

The NC Senate pushes a bevy of last minute constitutional amendments to lock in the state’s decline

The conservative revolution in North Carolina: It’s been such a whirlwind for so long now that it’s easy to lose track of how far and fast we’ve fallen and how extensive the damage has really been.

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Featured Articles Weekly Briefing

How North Carolina is REALLY doing

Why we need to rethink how we measure success and progress

With the 2016 election campaign in full swing, much of the political debate in North Carolina right now centers on how the state is faring economically. According to the conservative politicians currently in power and their defenders in the right-wing advocacy groups, the picture is rosy and getting better all the time.

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Featured Articles Weekly Briefing

McCrory vs. Obama

Much of the current political debate in North Carolina boils down to competing views of the Governor and the President There’s a well-known maxim used in many walks of life that “victory has a thousand fathers, but defeat ...
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Featured Articles Weekly Briefing

Encouraging signs of life in the movement for sane gun laws

The gun lobby still rules, but its decline is increasingly easy to envision

For the millions of Americans who spend their days online or monitoring their smart devices, the arrival of news alerts regarding “active shooters” or “multiple victims reported shot” have become so commonplace in recent years that they sometimes produce scarcely a raised eyebrow. That is unless, of course, the alert recipient has some reason to feel a connection to the venue of the shooting or the people impacted.

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Featured Articles Weekly Briefing

The HB2 of state budget and tax policy ideas

If you think things are bad now for NC, wait till you see what might be coming next at the General Assembly

The damage to North Carolina’s economy, brain power and overall wellbeing from HB2 is rapidly spreading and accumulating. What started out as a handful of canceled entertainment events is fast becoming a bona fide all-purpose disaster for North Carolina that will impact the state for years to come. As one astute commentator noted last week in Raleigh’s News & Observer:

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Featured Articles Weekly Briefing

Locking in North Carolina’s decline

Gov. Pat McCrory, Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore love to boast that North Carolina is in the midst (or, perhaps, on the cusp) of a rousing economic “comeback.” Hardly a day goes by anymore in which one or more of these men isn’t issuing some kind of release claiming that conservative fiscal policies have somehow turned around the state’s economy and “unleashed the private sector” to create all sorts of new jobs and development. Recently, the mantra has been all about how North Carolina was rated the third best state in the country “for business” by yet another “CEO” magazine. Never mind that it won virtually identical (if not more glowing) plaudits throughout the Perdue and Easley administrations and even during the Great Recession.

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Featured Articles Weekly Briefing

Did the McCrory administration fail to perform the most basic job of government?

Deposition indicates administration officials and Duke Energy pressured regulators to loosen water safety standards, jeopardize public health

There are a lot of serious indictments that can be leveled at a public official. Corruption, ineptitude, disloyalty – the list of potential offenses is a lengthy one. At some basic level, however, it’s hard to imagine a more damning allegation than that he or she knowingly jeopardized the physical health and wellbeing of his or her constituents.

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Weekly Briefing

HB2: Not the only area in which NC will soon trail the field

State lawmakers are preparing to make poor services, crumbling structures and regressive taxes permanent

The ongoing crisis surrounding North Carolina’s embattled governor and his controversial, all-purpose discrimination law (HB2) grew more serious yesterday as state and federal officials turned to the courts to sort out their dispute. What started out two months ago as a skirmish over a public restroom access policy in one city has now morphed into a national (and even international) conflict over LGBT equality.

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Featured Articles Weekly Briefing

Time for McCrory and Burr to shut things down for the year?

Under conservative standards applied to President Obama, they would have no other choice

In case you missed it amidst the hubbub surrounding North Carolina’s new and infamous all-purpose discrimination law, HB2, there was other news in the public policy world last week. One of the more important developments for North Carolina took place on Thursday when President Obama nominated former state Supreme Court Justice Patricia Timmons-Goodson to fill a decade-old vacancy on the U.S. District Court for the state’s Eastern District. If confirmed, Timmons-Goodson would be the first judge of color to ever serve in the Eastern District (a region of North Carolina in which the African-American population is higher than any other) in the history of the federal courts.

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Featured Articles Weekly Briefing

Why McCrory and Berger have already lost the debate over HB2

Regardless of what happens in the new legislative session, North Carolina’s “brand” is badly damaged for the foreseeable future

It’s funny how politics and policy debates work. For five years, politicians with a destructive and reactionary agenda have been taking a wrecking ball to the once forward-looking state of North Carolina to relatively little national note. As was detailed at length last December in the special NC Policy Watch report, Altered State: How 5 years of conservative rule have transformed North Carolina, the list of subjects in which once moderate-to-progressive laws and policies have been razed and reversed is as long as your arm. Taxes, health care, civil rights, the social safety net, environmental protection, reproductive freedom, voting rights, consumer protection, LGBT rights; name the topic and North Carolina has moved backward.

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Featured Articles Weekly Briefing

One local government ordinance that state lawmakers seem unlikely to override

Wake County shows the power of progressive, open-minded local solutions and, for once, the Right goes along

Quick: What do President Obama, the NAACP, the ACLU and a long list of progressive politicians have in common with the Koch Brothers, John Kasich, Georgia’s conservative Republican governor Nathan Deal, and a raft of conservative Christian advocacy groups?

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The good news hidden in the debate over HB 2

Why Gov. McCrory and legislative leaders may be doing the state an inadvertent favor There are a lot of reasons for caring and thinking North Carolinians to feel pretty discouraged these days about their home state and, in ...
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Ayn Rand-Franklin Graham government

A toxic combination of economic and religious fundamentalism is poisoning North Carolina

North Carolina’s latest spasm of state-sponsored bigotry -- the LGBT discrimination law that has once again made the state a national pariah and laughingstock in recent days -- was clearly driven to a great degree by a desire to appease the religious right.

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