NC JUSTICE NEWS, June 2: Together NC, Immigration, Health Choice, Paid Sick Days, Education, Juneteenth
TOGETHER NC: Cuts alone would devastate North Carolina's families
Closing North Carolina's budget gap with cuts alone will devastate families and communities across the state, the groups say, and will deepen and prolong the recession as well. A balanced approach that includes strategic tax increases along with judicious cuts is the best way to protect working families and avoid prolonging the recession.
"Unfortunately, because of the current budget crisis, all we've been hearing is about how we need to slash vital programs," said George Reed of the NC Council of Churches. "This one-sided approach isn't going to work, and it will set back decades of progress. Now is the time for our lawmakers to show courage and leadership by raising the revenue our state needs to prosper."
Together NC, a broad and diverse coalition of non-profit organizations, service providers, and professional associations, is joining with newly allied organizations and supportive individuals to call for smart revenue solutions that preserve vital programs.
The news conference took place amidst a series of Together NC town hall discussions held across the state. After hearing countless stories from North Carolinians about the importance of public programs and services, Together NC wants elected officials to hear from people in communities across North Carolina so that legislators can make budget decisions that support communities and families and do not undermine the state's economic recovery. The next events will be held in these locations:
NC Central University Campus
H.M. Michaux, Jr. School of Education Auditorium
The Children's Home (Edwards Building)
1001 Reynolda Road, Winston-Salem
Pittsboro Campus of Central Carolina Community College
Building 2, Multi-purpose room
Edgecombe Community College Auditorium
225 Tarboro Street
- ASSOCIATED PRESS : "Groups say cuts alone would devastate "
- DAILY REFLECTOR : "The long view: economic health hinges on tax reform"
- ACTION ALERT: Take action on the state budget crisis
"Imagine being separated from the people you love most in the world, your family," said Sister Attracta Kelly, an immigration attorney with the NC Justice Center. "Imagine this separation taking years, even decades to resolve. Sadly, many people my colleagues and I at the Justice Center work with every day don't have to imagine."
Currently, the outdated system denies a common-sense process for immigrants to come to the United States legally or gain legal status. This tears apart families and undermines key protections for workers. Comprehensive immigration reform would help North Carolina communities take advantage of contributions immigrants make to our society and economy.
Speakers also cited the economic benefits of immigration, which would only be enhanced by creating a clear path to citizenship.
One in twenty workers in the U.S. workforce -- 5.4% -- are undocumented. They are vulnerable to employers who seek unfair advantage over their competitors by not paying workers minimum wage or by ignoring labor rights protected by law.
"There is a broad national consensus that the immigration system is broken, unfair, and in urgent need of reform," said Dani Martinez-Moore, Coordinator of the NC Network of Immigrant Advocates at the NC Justice Center. "Congress and the President must reform immigration to unite families, to boost our economy, and to create a lasting solution that is fair to everyone."
So far, the Reform Immigration FOR America efforts in North Carolina have involved American Friends Service Committee's Project Voice, Latin American Coalition (Charlotte), NC Council of Churches, NC Justice Center, El Pueblo, and other North Carolina residents who care about these issues. Today is a first step in launching the campaign, and the groups are inviting more organizations and individuals to join in working together for positive changes in federal law.
- If North Carolina freezes enrollment in North Carolina Health Choice for Children the state will surrender $15 million in federal funds over two years. For every state dollar North Carolina spends on health insurance for children, the federal government spends three dollars to help fund our state’s program.
- When the state temporarily capped Health Choice enrollment in 2001, the number of children in the program declined rapidly and continued to drop even when Health Choice was reopened.
- From 2007 to 2009 the number of uninsured in North Carolina increased 22.5 percent – the largest percentage increase in the nation. Health Choice is a vital safety net program that protects our state’s most vulnerable citizens – children.
- Hear from student speakers about school violence
- Learn about one parent’s struggle to protect their child from bullying
- Join a network of organizations working to protect the rights of all students.
6:30-8:30 p.m., Wednesday, June 11
Unity Fellowship Church
2127 Eastway Drive
Charlotte NC 28205
For more information call (919) 680-0465 or visit www.durhamjuneteenth.com