Last week in North Carolina In Review

Following is a weekly round-up of news clips and opinions of importance to North Carolinians from around the state, as reported by various statewide news sources.

Week of September 17th, 2017
Nixing Labels, Young Lead Surge in N. Carolina Unaffiliateds
Thanks in part to young adults, unaffiliated voters have reached a milestone in North Carolina by becoming the second largest bloc of voters in the state, surpassing Republican registration.

…(Two) freshmen at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill deliberately chose to register as unaffiliated voters, joining a rapidly growing and youthful segment of the state’s electorate that has officially rejected partisan labels. Both said their views don’t fit fully into either major party’s platform.
Unaffiliated voters reached a long-expected milestone this month in North Carolina when they became the second largest bloc of voters in the state, exceeding Republican registration for the first time.
There were 2,056,294 unaffiliated voters last week, about 550 more than Republicans, with each group covering roughly 30 percent of the state’s 6.8 million registered voters, according to state election board data. Democrats still have the most voters with more than 2.6 million, but that number is basically flat since 2008 and their overall share has declined from 45 percent to 39 percent. Libertarian registrants have grown but remain a distant last.
Unaffiliateds — sometimes called independents — comprised less than 10 percent of the electorate in the mid-1990s. Their numbers have more than doubled since 2004. Eighty percent of the nearly 1 million new registered voters in the nine years ending in May registered as unaffiliated, an analysis by Democracy North Carolina says.  Read more …

Click on the photo to view the 5-minute video, worth listening to…

“If statues come down, racism can still be up.” Reverend William J. Barber, II sets the record straight on systemic racism and white supremacy in America.  “People in this country want to deal with race real quickly.  We never want to probe it and deal with it; we just want to say ‘That’s them’.  But one of the things I think you have to do is understand it.


New federal data: The ACA works, but would work better if NC expanded Medicaid

The U.S. Census Bureau released state-level health insurance data that prove once again that the Affordable Care Act is working. In a year that has been filled with the White House working to sabotage the ACA and the GOP’s efforts to repeal and replace the ACA, lawmakers now have even more evidence that the ACA has led to significant coverage gains across the U.S.
Nationally, the uninsured rate for the entire year of 2016 is 8.8 percent — down from 9.1 percent in 2015. North Carolina has the same downward trend as the uninsured rate dropped from 11.2 in 2015 to 10.4 percent in 2016. When looking at longer trends in health coverage data, we see that since 2013, 5.2 percent more North Carolinians have health insurance coverage. Considering these historic health coverage gains, lawmakers in Washington need to stop reviving “zombie repeal bills” and focus on market stabilization and strengthening the ACA.
While these data from the Census Bureau give us good news, they also highlight how North Carolina lags behind many other states concerning its uninsured rate. That is because state lawmakers have failed to support bills that would increase access to Medicaid. The state-level data show that the uninsured rate for states that expanded Medicaid is 6.5 percent in 2016 compared to 11.7 percent in non-expansion states.   Read more …

Changes in NC principal pay could create big pay cuts, school upheaval
Veteran principals could see pay cuts of $10,000 or more because North Carolina is changing the way it pays them, prompting concerns that some of the state’s most experienced school leaders will retire early to avoid a smaller salary.
As part of the Republican-led General Assembly’s efforts to change public education, this year the state changed from paying principals based on their education experience to giving principals bonuses based on how their students do on exams. Many younger principals will see raises this year, but veteran principals could see pay cuts down the road.
Supporters say the new plan provides a needed increase for underpaid principals while putting a focus on improving how students perform. But critics worry the change will discourage principals from working at struggling schools and lead to veteran principals retiring. …Lawmakers agreed to make sure that no principals saw pay cuts this school year. But that “hold harmless” budget provision expires at the end of June.  Read more …

Josh Stein plans to speak out against gerrymandering.
Josh Stein, North Carolina’s attorney general, has delegated oversight of his office’s defense of state redistricting maps to two career attorneys so he can speak out publicly against partisan gerrymandering.
…In North Carolina, which has been described by New York University’s Brennan Center as one of the most gerrymandered states in the country, there have been at least five lawsuits filed in state and federal court challenging redistricting done by the General Assembly since 2011.  Stein delegated his oversight authority and responsibility for the state Department of Justice’s defense of the maps to Grayson Kelley, chief deputy attorney general. Kelley will oversee the department’s representation and supervise its attorneys.  “To avoid any questions about the professionalism of the department’s representation of the state in cases involving claims of political gerrymandering, I have delegated my oversight authority for the Department’s defense of those cases to career attorneys,” Stein said. “I have taken this action because this is no ordinary disagreement over policy. As Attorney General, I have defended and will continue to defend laws without regard to whether I agree with them as a matter of policy. But partisan gerrymandering goes to the heart of the health of our democracy, and I will speak out publicly on this critical issue.”  Read more …

Some worry politics dictating UNC system board’s actions
Some people in the university system cite recent moves as evidence that the board is making decisions based on politics instead of advancing education.  The 28 voting board members are appointed by the Republican-dominated General Assembly, and roughly three-fourths of the board are registered Republicans.
“I believe that the Board of Governors is being hyper-partisan and is being motivated by politics more than ever in the history of the Board of Governors,” said Wayne Goodwin, chairman of the state Democratic Party.  The Center for Civil Rights represents poor clients free of charge in employment, housing and other discrimination cases, which sometimes results in lawsuits against local governments. Some Board of Governors members who voted to prohibit the center from engaging in litigation said the university shouldn’t be suing other governmental bodies and should focus more on education.
“There’s no hiding that this policy came from a place of ideological opposition to the work that the center does. That’s been plain since the beginning,” said Elizabeth Haddix, a lawyer with the Center for Civil Rights.  Read more …
News from the NC Conservation Network

If Duke Energy gets their way, customers will see an increase in their energy bills.
Duke Energy has asked the NC Utilities Commission (NCUC) for a rate increase to pay for the storage and disposal of coal ash in NC.  The rate hike request is problematic in a number of ways – from rate payers having to pay for their bad business practices to the negative impacts on underserved communities that are likely to bear the biggest burden.  The cost and responsibility for coal ash storage and disposal should not be on rate payers or community members already suffering from coal ash pollution.
If you’re interested in signing their petition, click here.

* * *

For more information or to RSVP, click here



The NC Democratic Party is all about DREAMers!

On Tuesday, September 5th, the Trump administration, led by Attorney General Jeff Session, announced that in six months the Administration will end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.  President Obama’s 2012 program allows undocumented immigrants who arrived in the US as children to be protected from deportation, while also allowing them to work legally, obtain a driver’s license, pursue an education, and contribute to our society.

Following are the talking points which the NCDP recommends we use in defending DACA:

• The president has cruelly decided he wants to remove from our country nearly 800,000 people who want nothing more than a better life and to contribute to our country.
• Trump and Republicans own this. They are forcing almost one million people back into the shadows. These people are our coworkers, our classmates, and our neighbors. This action will only tear families apart and make our communities less safe.
• If Congress does not act immediately, Trump will have dealt a devastating blow to our economy and our national security by heartlessly targeting immigrants who were brought to the U.S. when they were just children.
• Protecting the DREAMers is the smart thing to do for our economy, and it’s the right thing to do for nearly 800,000 of them who live, study, and work here.
– More than 27,000 North Carolinians contribute more than $1 billion to our economy. It’s shameful, and hurts our state’s economy,        to push them back into the shadows.
• It’s time for Congressional Republicans to put politics aside and give DREAMers the opportunity to continue chasing the American dream.
– They represent our country’s future and are already making invaluable contributions to our economy.
– Nearly two-thirds of Americans support protecting DACA and allowing DREAMers to continue going to school, creating businesses, and contributing to our society.
• Democrats believe our diversity is our greatest strength.  We will always fight for hardworking families and a smart, sensible immigration system.

Click on the link at the top of this page to view contact information for our elected representatives in Washington.

Take a moment to let them know where Democrats, and 80% of Americans, stand! 





Senators Tillis and Burr Contact Information

Voice Your Opinion on Facebook

Moore County Democratic Party Facebook

Moore County Economic Snapshot

The economic picture of counties throughout North Carolina is clearer today with the release of the county-by-county snapshots by the NC Justice Center.  It’s more apparent than ever that the economic reality for North Carolinians varies greatly depending on where you live and work; where you live can affect your ability to get ahead.

Click here to learn more…


Recent @mooredemocrats Facebook Activity

What We're Listening To

Subscribe to These Great Podcasts

The Daily Podcast
NPR Politics Podcast
Can He Do That Podcast
Best of the Left Podcast
Politics and More Podcast
We the People Podcast
In the Thick Podcast
NerdCast Podcast
TED Radio Hour Podcast
How I Built This Podcast
This American Life Podcast
Revisionist History Podcast