Progressive Voices

Progressive Voices

Defending Democracy Progressive Voices Top Story

What GOP efforts to dominate the federal courts are really about

Talk from Republican senators about "rules" and "precedent" is nothing but a smokescreen U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has used his leadership position to exercise raw political power in shaping the federal judiciary for many decades to come, and he’s been enormously successful. The death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has brought McConnell to the zenith of that power.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Students with disabilities have unique needs, should not be short-changed during pandemic

For many parents and caregivers, seeing their child struggle through virtual learning can be both frustrating and heartbreaking. However, for those with children who have disabilities, they may also be witnessing a violation of their child’s civil and educational rights.

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COVID-19 Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

Congress must pass robust COVID relief; failure is not an option

There has never been a more urgent time for Congress to step up and pass a relief package that acknowledges the breadth and depth of the hardships that North Carolinians and millions across the country are facing. Last week, after months of stalled negotiations, the U.S. Senate put forth a COVID relief bill that cut in half what Senate leaders had agreed to spend as of early August. It was, in effect, an almost empty gesture toward the need for aid to address hunger, job losses, the risk of eviction, and more.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

“Diaper need” and “period poverty” are among the hidden and destructive impacts of the COVID-19 recession

As unemployment has climbed and household budgets have been stretched thinner and thinner, more families and individuals have been forced to make impossible decisions about how to spend limited financial resources.

As unemployment has climbed and household budgets have been stretched thinner and thinner, more families and individuals have been forced to make impossible decisions about how to spend limited financial resources. Do I pay rent, or do I buy diapers? Do I get dinner, or do I buy tampons?

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COVID-19 Progressive Voices Top Story

GOP COVID relief bill fails to help people in need — here’s how

In HB 1105, General Assembly leadership acknowledges that North Carolina families and communities face enormous hardships, but makes only token gestures to help people survive the COVID-19 pandemic North Carolina can and should allocate the remaining federal COVID-19 relief funds to meet the pre-existing needs that have been exacerbated by the pandemic.

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COVID-19 Progressive Voices Top Story

Duke researchers: We must protect meat packing workers to combat community spread of COVID-19

Early in the COVID-19 epidemic, urban centers like New York city led the nation in COVID-19 burden. Yet, even before shelter-in-place orders were expiring, many of the places with the most cases per capita were small cities and rural communities in the Midwest and South. By mid-May, counties with or near meat packing plants had almost twice the rate of known COVID-19 infections as the national average.

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COVID-19 Progressive Voices Top Story

UNC reopening hampered by lack of diverse leadership

This is a difficult and painful time for students, staff and faculty at UNC-Chapel Hill as students move out of campus housing and quickly switch to remote instruction. To be sure, this is a constantly changing and very ...
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COVID-19 Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

Holden Thorp: Trump COVID-19 advisor spreads misinformation

In its latest attempt to confuse the public about the science of COVID-19, the Trump administration has added Dr. Scott Atlas to the team advising the president. Although Atlas may be capable of neurological imaging, he’s not an expert in infectious diseases or public health —and it shows. He’s spreading scientific misinformation in a clear attempt to placate the president and push his narrative that COVID-19 is not an emergency.

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Supreme Court ruling shows why NC must end its racist death penalty

Last week, the North Carolina Supreme Court broke new ground for a state court in the South. Not only did the justices nullify a death sentence poisoned by racism, they also spoke directly to the death penalty’s “egregious legacy” of racially discriminatory application. “The same racially oppressive beliefs that fueled segregation manifested themselves through public lynchings," the court wrote, "the disproportionate application of the death penalty against African-American defendants, and the exclusion of African-Americans from juries.”

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What would a new Trump health care plan look like?

President Trump is promising again to release a comprehensive health care plan to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). If he actually releases a health plan as promised, what would it be likely to provide? At this point, no one knows all the details of the president’s plan. Nevertheless, there are three things that we already know for sure. First, a Trump health plan would promise to protect people who have preexisting medical conditions, but it would not really protect them.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Concerns about police misconduct should spur reform, funding for civil commitment process

The plague of police misconduct has rightfully been in the public spotlight in recent months, but there’s an important aspect of this problem and source of frequent conflict that still needs much more attention: the challenge of enforcing civil commitment laws. Involuntary civil commitment is a well-established and necessary system under which judges have the authority to order needed treatment for persons with mental illness who are considered dangerous to themselves or others.

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Defending Democracy Progressive Voices Top Story

Souls to the polls? How churches and other nonprofits can help North Carolinians vote

It’s pretty obvious why the N.C. Council of Churches and its allies on the faith-and-justice spectrum hope to see plenty of like-minded voters turning out for the elections this fall. Much is at stake, from who will serve as the nation’s chief executive during perilous, challenging times to who will decide how public schools are expected to operate while the coronavirus still threatens.

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COVID-19 Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

The reopening picture at this UNC campus is not a pretty one

As with the other UNC System campuses, students began to return to Appalachian State this week, and the circumstances surrounding their arrival ought to give all North Carolinians cause for concern. Despite an outbreak of COVID-19 cases on the Boone campus just last week, thousands of students from across the country moved in to either off-campus apartments or small, shared dorm rooms on campus.

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NC must diversify its teaching corps. Here’s one obvious and proven tool to use.

I am a white woman, educated in Durham, by mostly white teachers. From preschool to high school, my classrooms were led by people who looked like me, talked like me, disciplined me like my parents did, and held me to high expectations. I skated through school with ease and “success.” After becoming a teacher myself and studying education policy at the graduate level, I now realize that my peers of color did not receive the same benefits of having a teacher that looked like them, and I didn’t have the opportunity to learn from adults with lived experiences different from my own.

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Still white after all these years: One woman’s battle with racism and white supremacy culture

In 1986, I was a recent seminary graduate and working with Oakland’s interfaith community. I was earnest, liberal and definitely not “woke.” One evening, I met with Black church leaders to organize a city-wide event. Where would publicity go? We listed a few: the Oakland Tribune and church bulletins. Someone piped up “the Black Chamber of Commerce.” I knew it was somehow wrong to say, “the White Chamber of Commerce” so I blurted out, “And the normal Chamber of Commerce.”

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Progressive Voices Top Story

The virus and the vulnerable

The image of a perfect storm conveys a rueful irony – the storm whose components are so intertwined, so synchronized, so mutually reinforcing as to make it “perfect” in its destructiveness. Perfect storm, meet COVID-19. The overall dynamic is as simple as it is terrible: The coronavirus endangers people who come into contact with others who may be infected. People retreat into their homebound bubbles.

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