Original Commentary

Original Commentary

Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

I represented an innocent man on death row: Here’s why NC must end the death penalty

In September 2014, I was sitting with Henry McCollum at the moment a judge ordered his release from death row for a crime he did not commit. Many folks in the courtroom clapped in celebration. Others embraced out of relief. It had been 30 years since Henry and his brother Leon Brown--two innocent and intellectually disabled children--had been convicted and sentenced to death in Robeson County, North Carolina.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

New federal effort to aid homeless students must include college and university populations

CULLOWHEE – I was elated recently when I read an article by NC Policy Watch education reporter Greg Childress (“$23 million coming to NC to help public school students experiencing homelessness”) detailing U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona’s efforts to support homeless students. The American Rescue Plan’s Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Homeless Children and Youth Fund will assist K-12 students who experience homelessness.

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Other Voices Progressive Voices Top Story

Special to PW: ALEC-inspired bill promoting more campaign finance secrecy should be rejected

Four out of five Americans, across the political spectrum, consistently support transparency when it comes to contributions to organizations that spend money on campaigns. Unfortunately, a growing number of states, now including North Carolina, are advancing so-called "donor privacy" bills to block public access to information about who is spending big money to secretly influence our vote and our government.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

Echoes of Trumpism continue to dominate at the General Assembly

While his serial dishonesty and corruption, criminal negligence in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, and complicity in a failed coup d’état clearly combined to make Donald Trump one of the worst presidents in American history, one has to hand the former chief executive one thing:  the man continues to inspire slavish loyalty from his blinded followers.

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Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

Nothing but racism explains Black women’s higher rate of horrible birth stories

Tatyana Ali, who starred as Ashley Banks on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” from 1990 to 1996, entered Harvard the next year where she double majored in government and African-American studies. In 2016, Ali and her husband, an English professor at Stanford, welcomed their first child, but only after mother and baby were roughly treated by a hospital’s obstetrics team, she testified Thursday to the U.S. House Oversight and Reform Committee.

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Other Voices Progressive Voices Top Story

Health care professionals condemn proposed abortion ban in open letter to legislative leaders

Scores of NC physicians, nurses, clinicians, and counselors say bill racing through state House would foster "environment of fear, stigma, and interrogation" Editor's note: Republicans in the North Carolina House and Senate are once again advancing legislation to restrict abortion access. As Policy Watch has reported here and here, two committees in the House of Representatives have already given approval to a proposal...

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Defending Democracy Other Voices Progressive Voices Top Story

Inside the GOP gerrymander for 2022

WASHINGTON – Republicans are rejoicing and Democrats are dismayed that population losses in the Rust Belt and gains in the Sun Belt, recorded by the 2020 census, will add Congressional seats in key Republican states and may tilt the 2022 elections. But don’t bet just yet on a GOP slam dunk. There’s more to this game than immediately meets the eye.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

NC GOP leaders attempt to gerrymander the truth

If there is a Forrest Gump of the modern North Carolina political right, it would have to be Dallas Woodhouse. No, Woodhouse isn’t a slow-talking simpleton with a big heart. To the contrary, he’s a skilled, colorful and fast-talking political operative with lots of experience in messaging, P.R. and driving the news.

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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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Top Story Weekly Briefing

Steps we must take to begin to stop the killing

There’s no doubt that serving as a law enforcement officer in most parts of modern America is an extremely difficult and often thankless job, or that most of those who serve are good people doing fine work. Unfortunately, this doesn’t change the fact that our nation is mired in a terrible vicious cycle right now in which people of color – usually, but not always, young men – are being repeatedly and wrongfully killed or terrorized by white cops.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

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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Top Story Weekly Briefing

Stop the bleeding: The last thing North Carolina needs right now is another round of big tax cuts

If you’re an American of a certain age, you may remember one of the zanier TV comedy sketches of the late 20th Century in which the great Steve Martin joined some of the early "Saturday Night Live" cast members in the role of “Theodoric of York, Medieval Barber.” If your memory has faded or that was before your time, don’t fret, you can always find it online or catch a more modern iteration (though sadly, not for laughs) over at the North Carolina Genera Assembly... ...

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