Progressive Voices

Progressive Voices

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NC legislators waste little time in trying to further privatize state’s public schools

As state legislatures have started their sessions, anti-public school legislators have wasted no time introducing “school choice” bills that would divert public funds to privatization schemes. In the first three weeks of January alone, 34 bills to expand private education options had been introduced in 15 states.

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North Carolina is torturing thousands of prisoners. It needs to stop.

The cruel reality of solitary confinement ought to shock all caring and thinking people One night in January of 2014, two prison guards at the Colorado State Penitentiary walked a man in handcuffs and an inmate’s uniform down the prison hallway and deposited him in a solitary cell designated "R.F.P. Ad. Seg.: Administrative Segregation, Removed from Population. Solitary confinement."

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Professor of Education: North Carolina teachers can’t do it alone

Teacher burnout was already a big problem prior to COVID, and without policy changes, it's about to get a lot worse Public school educators in North Carolina continue to manage the immediate needs of students under shifting instructional conditions and an uncertain future as the debate around in-person and remote schooling dominates policy discussions.

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During National School Choice Week, the case for anti-racism in North Carolina’s educational system

Unless we acknowledge and address the racist history of school choice, we will perpetuate it.

It's National School Choice Week. Following a year of reinvigorated examination of the history and current role of racial oppression in American institutions, like policing and elections, this week provides all parents, educators, administrators and advocates a worthwhile opportunity to likewise reflect upon the historical role of race and racism in the school choice movement. 

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Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

New energy report could yield a win-win for climate and pocketbooks

COVID taught us a lot about living in crisis mode. The biggest lesson: address crises early enough to avoid complete disruption of our lives. Let’s start with the climate crisis. If we cannot slow climate change before certain tipping points are reached, changes will accelerate of their own accord and disastrous consequences will mount. There will be worse weather extremes, food shortages, mass migrations of people escaping rising seas and extinction of an estimated one-third of all species by 2050.

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Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

Don’t rely on the ABC Science Collaborative study to inform school re-opening decisions

As schools begin spring semester classes, local leaders in North Carolina face the weighty decision of whether to offer in-person instruction. Local leaders have been handed no favors from federal and state officials who have abrogated their responsibility to establish objective criteria for in-person instruction that would apply to all schools, public and non-public alike.

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Hard year’s signposts in quest for justice

Even for those of us who found a measure of joy during the year whose end we now mark – taking delight from a child’s birth, perhaps, or from a marriage, a graduation, success at work – Americans will remember 2020 chiefly as a showcase of conflict and sorrow. It brought of course the rampage of the coronavirus, costing upwards of 330,000 lives with many more in the balance.

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The death penalty in NC: A call for truth and reconciliation

This month, I watched the federal government execute two Black men in two days, Brandon Bernard and Alfred Bourgeois. In an unprecedented and spiteful move, Trump’s lame-duck administration has undertaken a spree of executions after a 17-year hiatus. If all goes as planned, thirteen people will be killed before Joe Biden, who has pledged to end the federal death penalty, takes office. Six of the last seven will be Black men.

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Why I will fight for reproductive freedom in the 2021 General Assembly

State lawmaker says NC leaders must prioritize health care, especially reproductive health care, during the pandemic and beyond After enduring an election cycle unlike any other, North Carolina legislators are turning our focus back towards the critical work ahead of us in 2021. During my reelection campaign, I talked to many constituents who were concerned about their healthcare.

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Other Voices Progressive Voices Top Story

We have disabilities, Mr. Cawthorn – it’s ok

A disability rights advocate reaches out to one of NC's newest members of Congress Maybe I’m strange for my age, or perhaps it’s because I have a background in history, but I always feel excited during election season. No matter who’s running, there always seems to be a surprise. This election, there was a particularly big surprise in the mountain region of North Carolina where Madison Cawthorn was chosen to represent the 11th congressional district.

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On PFAS contamination, Sen. Tillis should keep his word to military families

I spent much of my adult life proudly serving this country as a United States Marine. The most sacred duty of any leader is keeping their word to their subordinates so they know you will always have their back. Sen. Thom Tillis had been a champion in Congress for legislation to clean up toxic chemical contamination of drinking water in North Carolina and nationwide. But in June, he went back on his word – at least when it comes to protecting members of the military and their families.

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Other Voices Progressive Voices Top Story

NC election results show progressives still have a lot of work to do

North Carolinians who stood against our soon-to-be ex-president’s rancid politics of grievance, contempt and division, fueled by a gusher of falsehoods, are heartened by the nation’s clear choice of Joseph R. Biden Jr. to be our next chief executive. At the same time, Biden’s happy supporters must reckon with this uncomfortable fact: half of the Tar Heel electorate wanted to see Donald Trump occupy the White House for another four years. 

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Veteran columnist: Angry mob boss Trump orders up hit and Georgia senators carry it out

It was a mob hit, pure and simple.  An angry mob boss, Donald Trump, ordered the hit; two of his henchmen, Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, carried it out. Without warning, without cause and without apparent guilt, the two U.S. senators stabbed Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in the back this week and left their fellow Republican to bleed, pretty much ending his political career.

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Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

How you can help veterans every day

As the nation celebrates our 17 million living veterans, it is also important to know that the number of these heroes who are ending their own lives prematurely is rising. In the general population, suicide is the 10th most common cause of death, but among veterans with PTSD, it’s fourth.

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Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

The troubling consequences of rugged individualism in a pandemic

Americans can be a selfish lot. Not everybody, of course. But too many people couldn’t care less about taking the necessary steps to keep deaths and infections from COVID-19 at bay. It’s not that hard: Stay at home as much as possible. Wear a mask out in public and in buildings. Wash your hands. Avoid situations where you can’t stay at least six feet apart.

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Original Commentary Other Voices Progressive Voices Top Story

Grounds for optimism: NC’s election machinery is doing its job

With North Carolinians on track to cast eye-popping numbers of votes in advance of Election Day, Nov. 3, perhaps it’s time to breathe a cautious sigh of relief. A system that could have buckled under the strain of massive early voting, both by mail and in person, amidst the coronavirus pandemic may have creaked and groaned but so far looks to be meeting the challenge.

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