• JOINT STATEMENT FROM NC NAACP & DEMOCRACY NC IN RESPONSE TO REDISTRICTING CRITERIA ADOPTED BY NCGA REDISTRICTING COMMITTEE

    DURHAM – The North Carolina NAACP and Democracy North Carolina issued this joint statement following the meeting of the Redistricting Committee of the North Carolina General Assembly, which is under federal court order to remedy by September 1, 2017 the unconstitutional, racially-gerrymandered maps that brought the legislature to power.  Today, the committee adopted, along party lines, nine criteria for legislative redistricting, which include prohibiting the consideration of race in the drawing of new maps, while permitting precincts to be split for partisan advantage, the protection of incumbents, and “political consideration” of election results data.

          “During the most recent hearing in the federal redistricting case Covington v. North Carolina, the three-judge panel rebuked the leadership of the General Assembly in open court for failing to take seriously the egregious harms caused by their illegal racial gerrymander,” said Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, president of the North Carolina NAACP.  “Today, the General Assembly made it absolutely clear that they are not serious about remedying the grave constitutional harm they have wrought.  They refuse to repent for their unconstitutional, racially-gerrymandered maps, and are instead flagrantly engaging in a remedial process that will result in discriminatory maps and subvert the will of the people.  The General Assembly is acting in bad faith — it is time for them to stop this sham process and show us and the courts their maps.”

         “The criteria that the Redistricting Committee adopted today blatantly disregards the mandates of the Voting Rights Act, which requires lawmakers to give race proper consideration when drawing district lines,” stated NC NAACP Attorney Irv Joyner.  “We need to remember that the leadership caucus of this legislature came to power in the first place by using illegal maps that devalued and diminished the power of black voters, and then spent over half a decade wielding that power to hurt people of color, women, the LGBTQ community, workers, and the sickest and poorest among us.  The same people who were responsible for the first racial gerrymander are at it again.  Refusing to consider race at all in drawing remedial maps is illegal under federal law, and the NC NAACP will continue to monitor and challenge any efforts by the General Assembly to disempower and disenfranchise black voters.”

         “Today’s Redistricting Committee Meeting to determine criteria for redrawing racially-gerrymandered districts illustrated just how invulnerable the Republican leadership feels, and how far they’ll go to rig the system for partisan control,” said Bob Hall, Executive Director of Democracy North Carolina.  “This charade approved previously struck-down standards for voting districts that rejects interests of voters of color and elevates partisan politics in the process. It also continues the pretense that N.C. House and Senate district maps aren’t already drawn by the GOP’s go-to gerrymanderer, Thomas Hofeller. For too long, this racist and partisan gerrymandering has diluted and manipulated the power of North Carolina voters and led to costly court battles. Nothing we saw today suggests these maps will be any different. We’re demanding these lawmakers drop the act and show us their maps.”

  • THE STENCH OF SB599 – RALEIGH KNOWS WHY WE HAVE A TEACHER SHORTAGE. THEY CREATED IT.

    Reposted from Stronger NC.com  Posted by Stu Egan | Jun 29, 2017 | Opinion

    “The overall premise of this bill is to ensure that we have a proper teacher pipeline going into the schools.”

    – Rep. Jeffrey Elmore, R- Wilkes, in response to questions about SB599 on House floor in Raleigh on June 26.

    Senate Bill 599 is the bill (as Alex Granados from EdNC.org reports), that,

    “allows organizations other than universities to operate educator preparation programs in North Carolina. The measure includes private, for-profit organizations. And while the bill passed the full House, it did not survive without debate”(https://www.ednc.org/2017/06/26/educator-preparation-bill-passes-house-returns-senate/).

    What that means is that for-profit outfits can make money fast-tracking teacher candidates in a rather precarious preparation programs.

    The original bill was introduced by Sen. Chad Barefoot who has shown himself to be the most recent poster child of the privatization movement in North Carolina’s public education system.

    Granados further states,

    Elmore explained that the bill was intended to increase the number of teachers coming into North Carolina schools. Schools of education in the state experienced a 30 percent drop in enrollment between 2010 and 2015.

    So Rep. Elmore is explaining that we have a teacher shortage as seen by the drop in teacher candidates in our teacher preparation programs in the last 5-7 years?

    Whatever or whoever could have put North Carolina in a situation that would create a teacher shortage in our public schools?

    The answer is easy: the GOP majority in the North Carolina General Assembly.

    The shortage of teacher candidates that schools of education have experienced is a symptom of a deeper problem. A bill like SB599 is a thinly veiled attempt to further allow for-profit companies like Texas Teachers of Tomorrow to take North Carolina tax money and place pseudo-qualified candidates into our classrooms.

    Another jab at de-professionalizing a profession that the GOP majority in the NCGA has already de-professionalized to a large extent.

    Read More………..

  • Repost from the .com

    If you were Thom Tillis, but without his paycheck, would you think the Senate Republican health plan is a good idea?

    Let’s say you were 60 years old, just four years older than Tillis, and from Mecklenburg County, as he is. If you made $40,000 and purchased a Bronze plan on the Affordable Care Act exchange, you’d pay about $1,100 in premiums after tax credits. Under the Republican health plan – the Better Care Reconciliation Act – you would pay $5,420, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation analysis. That’s an increase of 393 percent.

    Read more

     

     

  • The Impact of the AHCA on Veterans: State-by-State Breakdown

    A new analysis by the Center for American Progress finds that 441,300 veterans would lose Medicaid coverage by 2026 under the plan of President Donald Trump and House Republicans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

    Veteran patients wait for a dental exam in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, March 9, 2017.

    Veteran patients wait for a dental exam in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, March 9, 2017.

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  • U.S. Supreme Court agrees NC legislative districts were illegally gerrymandered based on race

    From

    The U.S. Supreme Court is sending a clear message to North Carolina lawmakers: racial gerrymandering is unconstitutional.

    The nation’s highest court handed down its third decision in three weeks regarding a North Carolina racial gerrymandering case — North Carolina v. Covington. This time, justices affirmed that 28 state House and Senate districts were unconstitutionally racially gerrymandered when Republicans drew new maps in 2011 but sent back to the lower courts a remedial order for special elections to be reconsidered.

    Republicans have been put on notice that they cannot pack black voters into districts, but they won’t necessarily have to hold a special election later this year – though that decision will ultimately be in the hands of the lower court. [Read more…]