NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Updated: 12 min 19 sec ago

EPA’s weak response to environmental racism complaints in focus at Friday public hearing in RTP

Tue, 01/12/2016 - 12:40
Though polluters and their apologists on the Right love to bash the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a bastion of leftists running roughshod over innocent businesses, the truth is quite frequently the opposite. Indeed, the agency is often guilty of bending over backwards to dismiss the complaints of pollution victims. This is particularly true for ...

Open letter from teacher takes Dan Forest to task on charter schools

Tue, 01/12/2016 - 11:06
West Forsyth High School teacher Stuart Egan has penned another open letter to a prominent state official on the subject of public education in North Carolina. This time, the letter is directed to Lt. Governor (and State Board of Education member) Dan Forest and relates to Forest’s recent comments regarding the North Carolina Charter School ...

A teacher runs for the N.C. General Assembly

Tue, 01/12/2016 - 10:06
Mr. Nixon goes to Raleigh, perhaps. In yesterday’s Washington Post, there was an interesting feature on Rich Nixon, a Clayton history teacher who, this fall, will be challenging for the District 26 seat in the N.C. House of Representatives. Nixon, a Democrat and a Hillary Clinton volunteer, will be seeking the seat long held by powerful ...

Terrorism comes to North Carolina

Tue, 01/12/2016 - 08:00
It may not meet the definition typically associated with the word these days, but there should be no mistake that “terrorism” came to Lumberton, North Carolina yesterday. Amazingly, however, it barely made a ripple in the news cycle. Raleigh’s News & Observer devoted all of a 130 words in a few buried paragraphs from A.P. ...

Policymakers should be wary of most policy proposals discussed at the Kemp Forum on Poverty

Mon, 01/11/2016 - 16:13
2016 may be the year that families working in low-wage jobs get the spotlight that they deserve from policymakers. Policymakers and candidates on both sides of the political spectrum are finally discussing economic policies that they purport will improve the lives of people who work hard to provide for their families but struggle to afford ...

Separate and unequal: Grassroots group takes on inequity in Charlotte schools

Mon, 01/11/2016 - 15:15
To hear Carol Sawyer describe it, Charlotte social worker Barry Sherman was at his wit’s end when he phoned her in June. Sherman, who worked at the primarily low-income Bruns Academy in Charlotte, phoned Sawyer because she was already an outspoken advocate for students in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS). With a student population of more than ...

Immigrants become the punching bag of broken immigration system

Mon, 01/11/2016 - 13:52
If we thought that 2015 was a bad year for immigrants living in North Carolina and elsewhere in the U.S., the start of 2016 has not fared much better. Those seeking refuge from persecution, arguably the most vulnerable types of people coming to our country, continue to be scapegoated as threats of terrorism by local ...

Magistrates who jumped the gun on same-sex marriage recusal law want Supreme Court review

Mon, 01/11/2016 - 12:41
Two state magistrates who resigned from their jobs rather than perform same-sex marriages, citing religious objections, have asked the state Supreme Court to bypass the Court of Appeals and directly review a trial court order dismissing their lawsuit against the Administrative Office of the Courts seeking reappointment and damages. The magistrates, Thomas Holland of Graham County and Gerald ...

Sigh…Kay Hagan signs on with big money lobbying firm

Mon, 01/11/2016 - 10:35
According to the D.C. news insider The Hill, former Senator Kay Hagan is following the well-worn path blazed by countless other former members of Congress to become a K Street lobbyist. Among the “prominent” clients of Hagan’s new firm — an establishment law firm known as Akin Gump — listed in the article: “AT&T, the ...

Editorials blast Forest for blocking report on charters

Mon, 01/11/2016 - 07:39
Add the Wilmington Star News and Raleigh’s News & Observer to the list of community voices that are rejecting Lt. Gov. Dan Forest’s absurd and revealing attempt to squelch the truth about charter schools. Here’s the Star News from over the weekend: “The theory is that, let loose from red tape, charters can experiment and ...

Atkinson: “We have used the facts” about charter schools

Fri, 01/08/2016 - 17:16
Expect very little to change in the state’s controversial demographic assessment of North Carolina’s burgeoning charter school population if N.C. Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson has her way. Atkinson told Policy Watch Friday that, despite Lt. Gov. Dan Forest’s objections this week to a report on the increasingly white charter population, her office has a ...

This Week’s Top Five on NC Policy Watch

Fri, 01/08/2016 - 14:30
1. A weak defense of a weak performance The Governor tries and fails to put a positive spin on 2015 With the 2016 political year underway, it’s no surprise that elected leaders have been attempting to put a positive spin on the state of North Carolina’s economy and government (and their own roles in producing ...

Banking at the post office? Law professor makes strong case for its return

Fri, 01/08/2016 - 13:35
The idea of the United States re-instituting postal banking has, happily, received some attention from presidential candidate Bernie Sanders in recent months. The simple and straightforward idea: provide Americans (especially low-income Americans) with an alternative to the bottom feeding payday lenders, finance companies, check cashing outfits and pawn shops that have filled the gap in ...

With the start of the New Year, some will lose food aid across parts of North Carolina

Fri, 01/08/2016 - 12:03
For some of North Carolina’s poorest adults living on the edge, the New Year is not bringing cheers or hopeful expectations. For these folks, the year kicked off with the return of a policy that could push them further into material and economic hardship regardless of their efforts to find work. More than 100,000 of ...

Don’t miss chance to hear nation’s leading progressive economist January 21

Fri, 01/08/2016 - 10:12
From the good people at the North Carolina Budget and Tax Center: Don’t forget to RSVP for a special keynote address and conversation with national policy expert Jared Bernstein. From Recovery to Prosperity: What North Carolina Needs to Build an Economy for All January 21st at 11:30 am McKimmon Center at NC State University 1101 ...

Editorial blasts “oblivious” McCrory for Duke meeting

Fri, 01/08/2016 - 08:14
Be sure to check out this morning’s editorial in Raleigh’s News & Observer on the latest controversy swirling around Gov. Pat McCrory and his former long-time employer, Duke Energy. The headline and subtitles do a good job of summarizing the content: “Gov. McCrory numb to the appearance of hosting Duke Energy -Is Gov. Pat McCrory ...

McCrory taps new Budget Director, Revenue Secretary (video)

Thu, 01/07/2016 - 17:50
Saying “change is tough” Gov. Pat McCrory announced the departure of state Budget Director Lee Roberts and Revenue Secretary Lyons Gray on Thursday. Gray will move to the N.C. Utilities Commission where he replaces Commissioner Susan Rabon, who retired at the first of the year. Roberts, who replaced Art Pope as the state’s budget director ...

ACT Against Coal Ash: Citizens group demands clean-up, responds to McCrory-Duke meeting

Thu, 01/07/2016 - 16:05
A statewide citizens group formed last year to demand stronger state environmental protection efforts to combat coal ash pollution is decrying the new state rankings attached to the state’s coal ash ponds and the closed door meeting between Gov. McCrory and Duke energy officials that came to light this week. Here are some excerpts from ...

Not the conversation you read about in today’s paper

Thu, 01/07/2016 - 13:23
The 2016 Economic Forecast Forum held signs that the policy discussion may be starting to take the long-term economic challenges facing the average North Carolinian and poor communities more seriously. Hosted by the NC Chamber of Commerce and NC Bankers Association, the annual forum is not always the first place you expect to hear arguments for ...

Powerful new infographic connects tax policy to the nation’s raging inequality

Thu, 01/07/2016 - 12:21
As the good people at the great website Too Much Online regularly point out, U.S. inequality is now hitting astounding levels. Consider the following from the group’s recent newsletter: “You can’t really appreciate how phenomenally unequal the United States has become until you take a gander at America’s peer nations. Consider the UK, for instance. ...

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