NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Updated: 44 min 2 sec ago

Three takeaways from election night

Wed, 03/16/2016 - 07:13
Well, Super Tuesday #2 is in the books and here are a few things stand out on the morning after: #1 – Deborah Ross soars – Perhaps the biggest surprise here in North Carolina was the U.S. Senate race. If someone would have claimed a couple of months ago that Deborah Ross — an almost ...

McCrory issues laughable response to offshore drilling decision

Tue, 03/15/2016 - 16:50
As reported here and many other places this morning, the Obama administration has, after lots of careful consideration, decided to listen to public opinion, science, economics and common sense and say “no” to offshore oil and gas drilling off the coast of North Carolina and other Atlantic states. This is a great victory for our ...

Rep. Pricey Harrison: Coal ash is poisoning our democracy as well as our people

Tue, 03/15/2016 - 14:42
In case you missed it, North Carolina State Rep. Pricey Harrison of Guilford County has a great new essay up on the Huffington Post about the connections between North Carolina’s frightening coal ash mess and the state’s polluted, pay-to-play political culture. This from “The Coal Ash Money Train — North Carolina’s Poisoned Democracy”: “Normally, citizens ...

Plans for drilling off the Carolina Coast off the table

Tue, 03/15/2016 - 12:04
Environmentalists are praising President Obama today following the news that the administration would not proceed with plans to open the Atlantic for seismic testing. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell confirmed the reversal this morning on Twitter as news of the decision was just beginning to filter out: Environmental groups spent months voicing opposition to ...

Panel of educators, activists pan N.C.’s system of grading schools

Tue, 03/15/2016 - 10:35
North Carolina’s controversial method of grading its schools—which includes dishing out “D” or “F” grades to designated “low-performing schools”—failed to find a single defender at a forum of educators, lobbyists and activists Monday night in Raleigh. The meeting, led by the Public School Forum of N.C., a research and policy group in Raleigh, centered on identification of ...

Economist: Persistent unemployment still holding down NC wages

Tue, 03/15/2016 - 09:43
The McCrory administration keeps peddling the idea of a “Carolina Comeback,” but it sure doesn’t feel like it’s happening on the ground. Maybe that’s because despite the regular announcements from the Governor’s office of business start-ups and expansions (sometimes with as few as 10 or 15 jobs), the state continues to suffer from a toxic ...

Friends, admirers remembering and honoring Darryl Hunt

Tue, 03/15/2016 - 07:55
People all over North Carolina and, indeed, all over the world have been issuing statements of remembrance and appreciation for Darryl Hunt during the last 48 hours since Hunt, a gentle soul who crusaded for justice in our criminal system after having been denied it himself for almost 20 years, died this past weekend. Here’s ...

Poll: Voters unhappy with Senate obstruction of Supreme Court nominee

Mon, 03/14/2016 - 13:39
In case you missed it last week in all the electoral hubbub, Tom Jensen at Public Policy Polling has some powerful new numbers on the what even Lindsay Graham has described as the Senate’s unprecedented obstruction of a replacement nominee for Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court. Here’s Jensen: New Public Policy Polling surveys ...

Five things to have on your radar this week

Mon, 03/14/2016 - 12:35
#1 Candidates, candidates, candidates! – With just one day left before the March 15th primary, the presidential hopefuls are blanketing the state hoping to energize their base and win over any undecided voters. GOP Frontrunner Donald Trump started the final day of campaigning in Hickory. In tow with Trump: former presidential hopeful and New Jersey ...

Richard Burr at the center of the most ridiculous (and telling) story of the weekend

Mon, 03/14/2016 - 07:36
Another “you can’t make this stuff up” story came to light this weekend in the saga of North Carolina’s monster voter suppression law. As Lynn Bonner of Raleigh’s News & Observer reported: “U.S. Sen. Richard Burr cast a ballot during the the early voting period for the North Carolina primary after going to a polling ...

Vigil tonight for innocence crusader Darryl Hunt

Sun, 03/13/2016 - 15:40
Criminal justice advocates (and justice advocates of all kinds) around North Carolina and the nation were shocked this morning to learn of the tragic passing of Darryl Hunt. As WRAL reported here, Hunt was found dead in his car in Winston-Salem early this morning after having been declared missing yesterday. The Wake Forest University School ...

This Week’s Top Five on NC Policy Watch

Fri, 03/11/2016 - 14:32
1. Black students significantly more likely to face suspension in North Carolina Some question if racial bias behind alarming new numbers “We’re in a state of emergency when it comes to education.” N.C. Rep. Garland Pierce, a Democrat from Scotland County and the chairman of the state’s Legislative Black Caucus, insists he’s not overstating the ...

State borrowing through Connect NC Bond could boost economy – but will the voters approve? (video)

Fri, 03/11/2016 - 09:55
Voters will not just be picking candidates when they go to the polls on Tuesday. They’ll also decide the fate of the Connect NC bond, which if approved would provide $2 billion of infrastructure investments, much of it at campuses in the university and community college systems. Patrick McHugh, an economic analyst with the NC ...

Veteran teacher: We must integrate our schools

Fri, 03/11/2016 - 09:28
In case you missed it yesterday, be sure to check out this fabulous essay by Wake County school teacher Katherine Meeks that was featured on the main NC Policy Watch site. In it, Meeks, who has taught in a high poverty school in Charlotte and a lower poverty school in Raleigh, explains why socioeconomic integration ...

African-American pastor’s op-ed should be “must read” for McCrory, Berger and Moore

Fri, 03/11/2016 - 06:57
There’s a great op-ed in this morning’s edition of Raleigh’s News & Observer that stands in stark contrast to the ignorant and bigoted statements issued of late by state conservative leaders on the rights of transgender persons. According to Governor McCrory, Senate President Pro Tem Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore, transgender person do not ...

Appeals Court holds “Choose Life” license plates are government speech

Thu, 03/10/2016 - 16:05
In a 2-1 decision today, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed an earlier ruling and held that North Carolina’s “Choose Life” license plate constituted government speech not subject to First Amendment scrutiny. The court had previously ruled in 2014 that the state’s offering of a “Choose Life” plate while rejecting an alternative pro-choice ...

YCMTSU: State “solves” drinking water problem around coal ash sites by weakening the rules

Thu, 03/10/2016 - 15:21
From the good folks at ACTAgainstCoalAsh.org Residents Across North Carolina Outraged by State’s Decision to Rescind Do-Not-Drink Orders: ACT Against Coal Ash Demands Solutions for Contaminated Wells at DEQ Public Hearings Across North Carolina, Duke Energy’s neighbors, many of whom have been living on bottled water for over 10 months, as well as Lee County ...

Board of Elections opens up state Supreme Court race

Thu, 03/10/2016 - 14:42
This post has been updated to reflect the filing of an appeal by the state. See below. In the wake of an order entered last week by a three-judge Superior Court panel striking down the judicial retention election law as unconstitutional, the state Board of Elections has opened up a new filing period for candidates wishing ...

Asian Americans fastest-growing demographic in North Carolina, report finds

Thu, 03/10/2016 - 14:11
The Institute for Southern Studies, Southeast Asian Coalition (SEAC), Asian Americans Advancing Justice and the N.C. Justice Center jointly released a report today, noting the Asian American population in North Carolina as the fastest-growing racial group in the state. SEAC is also working with another local civic engagement group, N.C.’s Asian Americans Together, to run ...

Poll shows N.C. residents believe public schools are underfunded

Thu, 03/10/2016 - 11:30
Years of complaints that the N.C. General Assembly has failed to adequately fund North Carolina’s public schools would seem to be resonating with the state’s residents, according to a recent poll commissioned by WRAL. The poll, reported Wednesday by the Raleigh news station, indicated that 66 percent of those surveyed believe K-12 schools in North Carolina ...

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