Difference between revisions of "North Carolina"

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**To learn more about Raise the Age and sign the petition, visit [www.raisetheagenc.org Raise the Age NC].
 
**To learn more about Raise the Age and sign the petition, visit [www.raisetheagenc.org Raise the Age NC].
  
== [[File:Taxthewealthy.png | left | 50px |Tax Cuts for the Wealthy | link= ]] Tax Cuts for the Wealthy ==
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=== Income Tax ===
 
=== Income Tax ===
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== [[File:megaphone.png | left | 50px | Organizations | link= ]] Organizations ==
 
== [[File:megaphone.png | left | 50px | Organizations | link= ]] Organizations ==
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'''Find state/local chapters of national organizations [https://www.resistancemanual.org/People_and_Organizations#Organizations_with_State.2FLocal_Presences here].'''
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*[http://www.acluofnc.org/ ACLU of NC] works to preserve and defend the guarantees of individual liberty found in the North Carolina Constitution and the US Constitution, with particular emphasis on freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom of religion, equal protection under law for all people, the right to privacy, the right to due process of law, and the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure.
 
*[http://www.acluofnc.org/ ACLU of NC] works to preserve and defend the guarantees of individual liberty found in the North Carolina Constitution and the US Constitution, with particular emphasis on freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom of religion, equal protection under law for all people, the right to privacy, the right to due process of law, and the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure.
 
*[http://nc-democracy.org/ Democracy NC] "is a nonpartisan organization that uses research, organizing, and advocacy to increase voter participation, reduce the influence of big money in politics and achieve a government that is truly of the people, by the people and for the people." They are a statewide organization dedicated to protecting voting rights. They advocate for early voting, recruit and train poll watchers, and support voter registration.
 
*[http://nc-democracy.org/ Democracy NC] "is a nonpartisan organization that uses research, organizing, and advocacy to increase voter participation, reduce the influence of big money in politics and achieve a government that is truly of the people, by the people and for the people." They are a statewide organization dedicated to protecting voting rights. They advocate for early voting, recruit and train poll watchers, and support voter registration.

Latest revision as of 20:39, 18 March 2017


Updates
Updates
[edit]

  • 2/27/2017: North Carolina's law making joining facebook a felony for former sex offenders is under review by the United States Supreme Court [1]
  • 2/21/2017: Governor Roy Cooper andAttorney General Josh Stein move to discharge lawyers representing NC in an appeal of last year's ruling by the US Fourth Circuit court that overturned the state's 2013 voter ID laws. The court ruled that these voter ID laws targeted African American voters in order to limit their participation in elections. NC currently has a request for the US Supreme Court to review this ruling, but Gov. Cooper and AG Stein's notice is the first step in ending that request.[2]
  • 2/14/2017: The NC Supreme Court reinstated a block on the legislature's plan to restructure the state elections board and ethics commission. The GOP plan would have merged these two bodies to form an "eight-member board to oversee elections and consider ethics complaints and issues," four of which would be appointed by the governor and the other four by the legislature. Previously, five-member election boards were appointed by the governor and comprised three members of the governor's party and two members of the other major party.[3]
  • 2/1/2017: Democrats in the NC Senate have filed a clean bill to repeal HB2. Sponsors are Jeff Jackson (D-Mecklenberg), Angela Bryant (D-Halifax, Nash, Vance, Warren & Wilson) and Floyd McKissick (D-Durham & Granville).[4].
  • 1/27/2017: The proposed 2017 state budget reduces the K-3 class size cap from 24 to 19 to 21. However, the budget does not provide additional funding to hire additional teachers. Many schools are considering eliminating arts and PE programs to pay for additional personnel. Rep. Craig Horn of Union County admitted the bill was “not as fully thought through with regard to unintended consequences.” Another bill has been proposed to allow for flexibility in class sizes in order to retain these programs.[5]
  • 1/23/2017: Following a protest against former governor Pat McCrory, Sen. Dan Bishop (R) of Charlotte will introduce a bill that would “make it a crime to threaten, intimidate, or retaliate against a present or former North Carolina official in the course of, or on account of, the performance of his or her duties.”[6]

Actions Taken by the State Government
Actions Taken by the State Government
[edit]

Legislative Actions[edit]

Legislation that Supports Equity and Justice
Important bills proposed by North Carolina lawmakers this legislative session that should be supported:





  • Citizen Review Board Established (HB 165) Authorizes the use of citizen review boards to investigate allegations of certain police misconduct and requires that certain training be provided to members of neighborhood crime watch programs established by counties and cities.
    Billtracker.png


  • Ban the Box (HB 233) Legislation to require fair assessments of persons with criminal histories applying for public employment.
    Billtracker.png






Harmful Legislation
Harmful bills proposed by North Carolina lawmakers this legislative session that should be opposed:



  • HB 249 would criminalize protests that block traffic and force protesters to pay the costs of protests.
    Billtracker.png



See also the main policy pages for federal legislative tracking.

Elected Officials
Elected Officials
[edit]


Statewide[edit]

Governor: Roy Cooper (D)

Lieutenant Governor: Dan Forest (R)

Attorney General: Josh Stein (D)

Secretary of State: Elaine Marshall (D)

Key Upcoming Elections
Key Upcoming Elections
[edit]

Click here to find out if you're registered to vote. Register to vote here. The deadline is 25 days before Election Day. Bring proof of identification the first time you vote. No document is currently required to vote.[7]

Federal Elections[edit]

State Elections[edit]

  • In November 2016, a federal court ordered North Carolina to hold special elections with redrawn districts. 28 of the state's legislative districts were found to be illegal racial gerrymanders. Legislators have until March 15 to redraw districts, with a primary scheduled for August or September and a general election in November 2017.[8]
  • On January 10, 2017, the US Supreme Court put the federal court order on hold while they consider a Republican appeal. A decision was expected around January 19, but has not yet been announced. If the Supreme Court upholds the appeal, the next state elections will take place in 2018, as previously scheduled.[9]

Local Elections[edit]

Mayoral Elections[edit]

  • Charlotte's Democratic mayor, Jennifer Roberts, is up for re-election on November 7.[10]
  • Durham's mayoral election will take place November 3. Mayor Bill Bell is running for re-election. Bell has been mayor of Durham since 2001.[11]
  • Greensboro mayor Nancy Vaughan is up for re-election in 2017.[12]
  • Raleigh mayor Nancy McFarlane is running for re-election in 2017.[13]

School Board Elections[edit]

Prosecutor Elections[edit]

Cumberland County: Billy West was first elected as the Cumberland County (Fayetteville) DA in 2010.[14] 37.9% of the county's population is Black, yet West has been consistently unjust to Black people.

  • For example, DA West only relied on Officer Aaron Hunt’s account of his fatal shooting of Nijza Hagans, a young Black man, during a traffic stop, and concealed the fact that two likely fatal shots “entered through [Hagans’s] back and rear shoulder.” (Hunt was not charged.)[15]
  • A white cop arrested Chris Beatty, another young Black man, for allegedly resisting after he was accused of public intoxication for drinking an Arizona iced tea near a liquor store. The incident was filmed and received 1.5 million views on YouTube. Beatty’s case was only disposed of after DA West agreed to a plea for misdemeanor trespass and resisting a public officer.[16]
  • DA West extends his injustice to Black kids, as when he charged two Black 16-year-olds, who were dating, with for sending "sexually explicit" photos of minors (themselves)—they were consensually "sexting."[17] Instead of dropping the charges, he agreed to a misdemeanor plea deal for both of them.[18]
  • DA West shows contempt for the homeless. He instructed his prosecutors that anti-panhandling enforcement was a priority for the city council. When interviewed by the local paper, DA West concluded that he “noticed that [panhandling is] dangerous."[19]

Sheriff Elections[edit]

County Commissioners Elections[edit]

City Council Elections[edit]

  • Charlotte's city council elections will take place November 7.[20]
  • Durham's city council elections will take place November 3.[21]
  • Greensboro's city council elections will take place in 2017.[22]
  • Raleigh's city council elections will take place in 2017.[23]

Obamacare / link=
Obamacare / ACA
[edit]

  • North Carolina was one of the states that failed to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, foregoing billions of dollars in federal funding that would have provided health insurance coverage for more than half a million uninsured people.[24] Upon taking office in January 2017, Democratic Governor Roy Cooper attempted to expand Medicaid in the state but was blocked by lawsuits from Republican state legislators.[25] This is a current and ongoing legal battle.
  • If there is a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act, 554,000 people in North Carolina (or 5.5% of the population) are estimated to lose coverage, whereas 1,025,000 people (or 10.2% of the population) will lose coverage with a partial repeal. (Retrieved 1/29/2017 from ACA Repeal Impact, state-by-state.) This is because with a full repeal, premiums will not increase the way they would under a partial repeal, since insurance companies will be able to discriminate on the basis of preexisting conditions and won't be required to provide essential health benefits.[26]
  • North Carolina is a non-expansion state, which means the only reason more people aren't losing coverage is that the state chose, for political reasons, not to take the free money offered to it by the federal government to help expand Medicaid to more of its low-income citizens.[27] This decision also disproportionately disadvantaged Black citizens.[28]
  • The number of uninsured people in North Carolina is predicted to be 1,190,000 by 2021 under the ACA. Without the ACA, that number is expected to rise to 1,981,000, a 66.5% increase.[29]
  • North Carolina is among the many states that lost the ability to place lifetime limits on coverage, because that practice is banned by the ACA; those limits are likely to be reinstated under a full repeal.[30]
  • Prior to the ACA's ban on gender-rating, women in North Carolina could pay up to 47% more for the same coverage, compared to men; an ACA repeal could bring back that coverage gap.[31]
  • Given that a repeal of the ACA would also change payment structures and subsidies, 76,000 jobs could be lost in North Carolina in the event of repeal. When federal funding is cut, it creates a ripple effect that affects local and state revenue, thus creating losses in economic activity and employment.[32]
  • Under the ACA Repeal-and-Delay strategy, young adults in North Carolina could pay $1,070 more in 2018.[33]

Policing
Policing
[edit]

Two high-profile officer-involved homicides have taken place in Charlotte, NC, over the last five years.

  • The case of the 2013 shooting of Jonathan Ferrell by Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer Randall Kerrick ended in a mistrial.[34]
  • The September 20, 2016 shooting of Keith Lamont Scott by CMPD officer Brently Vinson sparked protests in Charlotte; in that case, the district attorney's office declined to file charges against Vinson.[35]

The Facts

  • 142 people have been killed by police in the state of North Carolina from 2013 through 2016.[36]
  • 41% of the people killed by police were black.
  • Durham Police Department has a homicide rate of 26.28 for all people, and 32.51 for black people. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department has a homicide rate of 16.41 for all people, and 35.71 for black people. Winston-Salem Police Department has a homicide rate of 13.07 for all people, and 25.62 for black people. Greensboro Police Department has a homicide rate of 11.12 for all people, and 9.24 for black people. Raleigh Police Department has a homicide rate of 9.90 for all people, and 25.87 for black people.[37]

Immigration
Immigration
[edit]

The Facts

  • In 2013, North Carolina had 749,426 immigrants, making up 7.6% of the population.[38]
  • There are estimated to be 350,000 undocumented immigrants in North Carolina, making up 3.4% of the population.[39]

Rights of Non-Citizens[edit]

  • North Carolina does not allow undocumented immigrants to get drivers’ licenses.[40]
  • North Carolina does not allow undocumented immigrants to attend public college at the same in-state tuition rate as legal residents and citizens.[41]
  • In 2012, President Barack Obama signed an executive order (DACA) that defers deportation for children who were brought to the country as children. The action allows them to work lawfully but does not create a pathway to citizenship or give them legal status in the United States. In North Carolina, 44,932 individuals have benefited from this executive action.[42]

Deportation[edit]

The Facts

  • 8.7% of K-12 students in North Carolina had undocumented parents in 2014.[43]
  • Undocumented immigrants in North Carolina made up 5.0% of the labor workforce in 2014.[44]
  • If all undocumented workers were removed from North Carolina, the state would lose $14.5 billion in economic activity.[45]
  • Undocumented immigrants paid $253.1 million in state and local taxes in North Carolina in 2012.[46]

Policy

  • Five North Carolina counties (Cabarrus, Gaston, Henderson, Mecklenburg, Wake) allow local law enforcement to act as federal immigration enforcers.[47]

Sanctuary Policies[edit]

  • North Carolina does not currently have any cities or counties with sanctuary policies.[48]
  • In October 2015, then-Governor Pat McCrory signed a bill into law outlawing "sanctuary cities" in North Carolina. This nullified the policies of cities including Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and Durham, which "instruct[ed] law enforcement and other officials not to ask the immigration status of people with whom they come into contact or even ignore deportation orders in some cases." The law contained an exemption for agricultural workers who were in the state illegally. McCrory's law was opposed by the NAACP, ACLU, and Latino groups, who criticized the exemption as sending a message that immigrants were not welcome unless they were "working in our fields." Additionally, the law—officially called the "Protect North Carolina Workers Act"—included a provision that limited food assistance to unemployed North Carolinians, and was criticized by the AFL-CIO.[49]

Refugee Resettlement[edit]

  • In 2016, North Carolina ranked seventh in refugee resettlement, with 3,342 refugees resettled.[50]
  • The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services offers services to refugees.[51]

Voting Rights
Voting Rights
[edit]

  • North Carolina has been at the center of recent voting rights battles, with Republican legislators explicitly targeting African American voters.[52]
  • In 2013, then-Governor Pat McCrory signed a massive voter ID law that required photo ID to vote. It also imposed restrictions that limited the early voting period, prohibited people from registering and voting on the same day, stopped ballots cast in the wrong precinct from being counted, and forbade teenagers from preregistering before their eighteenth birthday.[53]
  • In July 2016, a federal appeals court struck down the voter ID law, arguing that "intentionally targeting a particular race’s access to the franchise because its members vote for a particular party, in a predictable manner, constitutes discriminatory purpose."[54].
  • The court also ruled that the law was explicitly racist, concluding that it was designed to “target African-Americans with almost surgical precision.”[55]

Mass Incarceration
Mass Incarceration
[edit]

  • Black people are incarcerated at a rate 4.5 times higher than whites in North Carolina in proportion to the general population, and Native Americans are incarcerated at a rate 2.6 times higher than whites.[56]
  • In 2012, the NC Department of Corrections noted that there were 39,678 prisoners housed in 66 prisons across the state; of those prisoners, 57% were black and 35% were white.[57]
  • From 1980 to 2014, North Carolina's prison population nearly tripled. There were 1,228 prisoners serving life without parole, including 83 juveniles.[58]
  • The death penalty is still constitutionally legal in North Carolina, and there are 150 offenders on Death Row.[59]
  • North Carolina is one of two states that continues to charge 16- and 17-year-olds as adults. The other state is New York. Advocates are working on introducing a bill that would raise the age of juvenile jurisdiction in the state to 18. As of now, a 16- or 17-year-old charged in the adult system will always remain an adult and cannot have those convictions sealed. The North Carolina Commission on the Administration of Law and Justice (NCCALJ) recommended that the age of juvenile jurisdiction in the state be raised to 18 years.[60] Bipartisan support for raising the age is growing, and the NC Sheriffs’ Association recently endorsed the Commission’s recommendation. However, The NC Conference of District Attorneys has withheld support, indicating that they want the law to give prosecutors the ability to decide whether juveniles ages 13 to 17 charged with Class A through E felonies would be transferred to the adult system without any judicial review.[61]
    • To learn more about Raise the Age and sign the petition, visit [www.raisetheagenc.org Raise the Age NC].

Benefits / Tax Cuts
Benefits / Tax Cuts
[edit]

Income Tax[edit]

The Facts

  • North Carolina residents who face a tax increase under Trump’s plan: [62]
    • Households: 267,000
    • Adults and children: 778,000
    • Children: 456,000

Policy

Public Entitlements[edit]

The Facts

  • In 2015, an average of 803,495 households and 1,646,202 individuals received Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits (SNAP, formerly called Food Stamps) in a given month in North Carolina.[63] In 2011, approximately 16% of the population of North Carolina was receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits (SNAP, formerly called Food Stamps).[64] The average monthly benefit per North Carolina household was $260 per household and $126 per person in 2016.[65]
  • In 2016, an average of 28,682 households, including 15,758 families and 25,023 children, received Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), which is direct financial assistance, in a given month.[66] The average monthly benefit for a single parent with three children residing in North Carolina was $272 in 2014.[67] Average benefits in North Carolina have fallen in value by 34.4% since 1996.[68]
  • In 2016, an average of 58,484 women received funds from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) in a given month.[69]
  • In December 2015, there were 18,181 Social Security recipients in the "aged" category[70] who received $282.10 per person on average, for a total of $5,129,000.[71]

Housing/Infrastructure
Housing/Infrastructure
[edit]

Housing[edit]

The Facts

  • 281,500 low-income families spent more than half of their income on housing.[72]
  • In 2014, North Carolina had 30 units (less than the national level) of affordable and available housing for every 100 households categorized as “extremely low income” (at or below 30% of area median income.)[73]
  • In North Carolina, there were 9,559 homeless people in 2016.[74]
  • Of the homeless population, there were 1,041 families, 888 veterans, 432 unaccompanied young adults (18-24), and 1,184 people experiencing chronic homelessness.[75]
  • North Carolina received $792 million in federal rental assistance funding in 2014.[76]
  • In North Carolina, more than 138,000 families relied on federal rental assistance in 2014.[77]
  • Nearly all North Carolina households using federal rental assistance included children, elderly people or disabled people.[78]

Infrastructure[edit]

The Facts

  • North Carolina's infrastructure received a score of C from the American Society of Civil Engineers in 2015.[79]
  • This study gave the state a “good” score for energy, and identified aviation and dams as being in “poor” condition.[80]
  • In 2013, the Department of Transportation found that 30.5% of North Carolina's bridges were structurally deficient or functionally obsolete, and 45% of North Carolina's roads were in poor or mediocre condition.[81]
  • Driving on these roads leads to an additional $241 per motorist per year in increased vehicle repairs and operating costs.[82]

Women's Rights/Reproductive Justice
Women's Rights/Reproductive Justice
[edit]

Planned Parenthood[edit]

The Facts[83]

  • North Carolina has nine Planned Parenthood centers.
  • In 2015, three centers were in rural, medically underserved, or health-provider shortage areas.
  • On average, there is one Planned Parenthood for 221,556 women of reproductive age.

Policy Solutions/Issues

Abortion[edit]

The Facts[84]

  • There were 37 abortion providers in North Carolina in 2015.
  • In 2014, 29.6 out of every 1,000 women of reproductive age in North Carolina had an abortion. The national abortion rate is 14.6.

Policy Solutions/Issues[85]

  • There is a 72-hour waiting period required after mandatory counseling.
  • Parental consent is required for minors.
  • Ultrasound requirements exist.
  • Abortion is prohibited after 20 weeks except in cases of life or health endangerment.
  • Mandated counseling includes misleading information.
  • Medical abortion is limited.
  • Private insurancee coverage is limited.
  • State Medicaid does not fund most abortions.
  • TRAP (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) laws exist.

Women and Wages[edit]

The Facts[86]

  • In North Carolina, 16.2% of women live in poverty. 42.4% of single mothers live in poverty, as do 11% of women age 65 and older.
  • For every dollar made by men, women are paid $0.86, which is six cents above the national average of $0.80.
  • African American women are paid $0.64 for every dollar paid to white men, while Latina women make $0.48 for every dollar made by white men.

Domestic Violence[edit]

The Facts[87]

  • In 2013, there were 108 domestic-violence related homicides in North Carolina.
  • In 2014, 860 domestic violence victims found refuge in emergency shelters or transitional housing provided by local programs.


LGBTQ Issues / link=
LGBTQ+ Issues
[edit]

Religious freedom law[edit]

Religious freedom laws protect people's right to practice their religion and limit laws imposing on that right, and were intended to protect religious minorities. However, after same-sex marriage was legalized, conservative states have attempted to enact similar laws with provisions that allow discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals.[88] The North Carolina State Religious Freedom Restoration Act, introduced in 2015 and still pending, could be used to claim that the rights of individuals or business owners are violated if they are not allowed to deny service to LGBTQ+ people.

Nondiscrimination Laws[edit]

North Carolina lacks nondiscrimination laws protecting LGBTQ+ people from discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, education, adoption, foster care, insurance, credit, and jury selection.[89] North Carolina's HB2 overrules local ordinances forbidding discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Parenting laws[edit]

North Carolina also lacks laws protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination in parenting, including second-parent adoption, surrogacy, foster care, parental presumption for same-sex couples, and consent to inseminate; however, it does have laws in place for de facto parent recognition.[90]

Hate crime laws[edit]

North Carolina does not include LGBTQ+ people in its hate crime laws as a protected group and doesn't have required reporting of hate crimes against LGBTQ+ people.[91]

Youth laws[edit]

North Carolina does not have certain laws protecting youth, including transgender inclusion in sports, protection from conversion therapy, laws to address LGBTQ+ youth homelessness, LGBTQ+ inclusive sex education laws, and LGBTQ+ inclusive juvenile justice policies.[92]

Health and safety laws/House Bill 2[edit]

  • In early 2016, the Charlotte City Council passed an ordinance that would allow transgender people to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity. In response, the North Carolina General Assembly met in a one-day special session and passed House Bill 2, which established that people were required to use the bathroom that matches the sex on their birth certificate, and declared that cities and counties could no longer pass their own laws "regulating workplace discrimination, use of public accommodations, minimum wage standards and other business issues."[93]
    • In response, the NCAA and ACC moved seven championships scheduled to be held in North Carolina, including the ACC Championship football game, to other venues, and the NBA moved its upcoming All-Star Game from Charlotte to New Orleans.
    • Other economic fallout includes the cancellation of a proposed PayPal expansion in Charlotte; the cancellation of concerts from artists including Bruce Springsteen, Demi Lovato, Pearl Jam, and Maroon 5; and travel bans and advisories from other state and national governments.
    • In December 2016, the Charlotte City Council voted to overturn the original ordinance on the condition that HB2 be repealed before the new year. In a subsequent special session, the NCGA failed to repeal HB2. Governor Roy Cooper has stated that he is still pushing for a repeal of the law, and State House Speaker Tim Moore has indicated that the General Assembly will likely "take another look" at it.[94]
  • North Carolina does have laws that discriminate against LGBTQ+ people in ensuring their health and safety, such as sodomy laws and laws that criminalize HIV/AIDS.[95]
    • HIV criminalization laws are those that make it illegal for an HIV-positive person to “knowingly expose” another person to HIV—in some states, this means that it is illegal not to disclose HIV-positive status to a sex partner, but many laws criminalize behaviors that are unlikely to lead to transmission.[96] Because the laws focus on disclosure, not actual transmission, they serve no real purpose. All states have other, non-HIV-specific laws that can be used to prosecute transmission of HIV, so these laws just needlessly single out and stigmatize HIV-positive people and reinforce the image of them as “dangerous.” It also allows the saliva or blood of an HIV-positive person to be classified in court as a “deadly weapon.”[97] HIV criminalization laws also disproportionately target people of color, mainly Black people, and gay men.[98][99][100]

Educational Justice
Educational Justice
[edit]

The Facts

  • North Carolina is ranked 43rd in per-pupil spending as of 2013, with an average expenditure of $8,390 per student.[101]
  • As of 2013, North Carolina ranked 47th in teacher pay, with teachers earning an average of $45,947 per year.[102]
  • 89% of students in North Carolina attend public schools. As is the case in other states, students who attend private schools come from wealthier families, with private school families earning an average 83% higher income.[103]
  • As of 2014, public charter school enrollment accounted for 3.9% of total public school enrollment.[104]
  • North Carolina's overall graduation rate is 84%, just above the national average. By subgroups, four-year graduation rates in North Carolina are as follows:
    • White: 87%
    • Latino: 77%
    • Black: 80%
    • Asian/Pacific Islander: 91%
    • American Indian: 79%
    • Economically Disadvantaged: 78%
    • Limited English Proficient: 52%
    • Students with Disabilities: 64%[105]

Policy Solutions/Issues[edit]

Achievement Gap[edit]

  • The Innovative Education Initiatives Act of 2003 established a wide variety of "innovative schools," including a virtual high school, cooperative initiatives with institutes of higher learning (early colleges), and other flexible forms of instruction, with the stated goal of closing the achievement gap.[106]

School Funding[edit]

  • In 2015, the NCGA cut funding for around 14,000 teacher assistants. K-3 class sizes are currently capped at 24 students.[107]
  • The level of "effort" spent on public school funding dropped in North Carolina between 2008 and 2012. Effort is defined as "as the ratio of state and local education spending to economic productivity—or the state’s gross domestic product." Between 2011 and 2012, North Carolina's effort decrease was the largest in the nation.[108]

Charter Schools[edit]

  • The Republican-controlled legislature passed a law in 2011 that eliminated the cap on charter schools. Since then, the number of charter schools in NC has increased to 169.[109]
  • 10 charter schools in North Carolina have closed since 2012, displacing more than 1,100 students, according to the state Office of Charter Schools. Four of them closed during their first year of operation. According to NC Policy Watch, "most closed because of financial problems, but some also closed because of academic failings or improper governance—or all three."[110]

Teacher Pay[edit]

  • In 2016, then-Governor Pat McCrory and the Republican-controlled legislature touted their efforts to raise teacher pay to an average of $50,000 per year. This figure is technically correct, as it is determined by adding up the annual salary of a teacher at each step of the salary scale and dividing by 35; it does not account for teacher turnover, distribution of experience, or disparities in local supplements.[111]

Teacher Rights[edit]

  • In 2012, the NCGA eliminated employees' ability to pay membership dues to professional organizations through payroll deduction.[112]
  • A 2013 law eliminated career status over a five-year period and required that all teachers be employed by contract. Teachers in their first three years of certification were already on year-to-year contracts. A previous law had established a definition of "inadequate performance" for teachers: failure to perform at a proficient level on any standard of the Department of Public Instruction's teacher evaluation instrument or otherwise performing in a manner that is below standard. This established the procedure for placing teachers on mandatory "action plans" and re-evaluating at the end of that period.[113] [114]

School Performance[edit]

  • A 2010 law authorizes the state board of education to approve a local board of education's request to reform any school in its administrative unit that the state board has identified as one of the continually low-performing schools in NC. The state board may authorize the local board of education to adopt one of the following models in accordance with state board requirements: (1) transformation model, (2) restart model, (3) turnaround model, (4) school closure model.[115]

Consumer Protections /Worker's Rights
Consumer Protections/Workers' Rights
[edit]

The Facts

  • North Carolina has a minimum wage of $7.25.[116]
  • North Carolina has no state law for paid sick leave.[117]
  • North Carolina has no state law for paid family leave.[118]

Policies

  • North Carolina has Right-to-Work laws, which means that the state can prohibit unions that collectively bargain on behalf of both members and nonmembers from requiring union fees for the services they provide to all workers they represent. Such laws are designed to reduce unions' income and power.[119]
  • North Carolina is a state with an at-will exemption.[120] "At-will" means that an employer can terminate an employee at any time for any reason, except an illegal one, or for no reason, without breaking the law.[121] Likewise, an employee is free to leave a job at any time for any or no reason with no adverse legal consequences.[122]
  • North Carolina also has a public policy exemption,[123] meaning that an employer may not fire an employee if it would violate the state's public policy doctrine or a state or federal statute, including refusing to perform an act that state law prohibits (e.g., refusing an employer's request to commit perjury at a trial), reporting a violation of the law (e.g., reporting an employer's fraudulent accounting practices or use of child labor), engaging in acts that are in the public interest (e.g., joining the National Guard or performing jury duty) and exercising a statutory right (e.g., filing a claim under the state workers' compensation law).[124]
  • North Carolina does not allow for implied contract exemptions.[125]. An implied contract can be created in several different ways: oral assurances by a supervisor; or handbooks, policies or practices as written assurances by the employer. This means that if there is no written contract between the employer and employee, that employee may have an exception of fixed term or even indefinite employment based on an employer's statements.[126] As a general rule, courts disregard language promising long-term, lifetime or permanent employment as aspirational and consider the relationship to be at-will.[127]
  • North Carolina does not support the Implied Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing.[128] Courts have interpreted the covenant in different ways, from requiring just cause for termination to prohibiting terminations made in bad faith or motivated by malice.[129]

Climate / Environment
Climate / Environment
[edit]

The Facts

  • North Carolina has 39 sites on the EPA's National Priorities List of hazardous waste sites.[130]
  • In 2015, nuclear energy contributed the largest share of North Carolina's electricity generation—32.6%— as coal's share fell to 31.4%. Natural gas–fired generation contributed most of the rest—28.3%.[131]
  • In 2015, 7.1% of North Carolina’s utility-scale net electricity generation came from renewable energy resources. All of the generation came from conventional hydroelectric power, biomass, and solar energy.[132]
  • Of the 689 public- and private-access biodiesel fueling stations nationwide, more than 18% are in North Carolina.[133]
  • In 2014, North Carolina ranked #23 nationally in the air pollution exposure index, with a score of 47.[134]
  • In 2012, Native American adults were most likely to have asthma, at 12.31%, while Latino adults were least likely, at 3.55%.[135]

Disability Rights
Disability Rights
[edit]

The Facts

  • North Carolina has the 16th-highest percentage of disabled people in America: 13.9% of North Carolina’s residents are disabled, compared with the national average of 12.6%. [2015 US Census American Community Survey, Table R1810]
  • North Carolinians with disabilities have the 14th-lowest employment rate in the country, at 32.2%, compared to the national average of 34.9%. [2015 US Census American Community Survey, Table R1811] People without disabilities in North Carolina have a 75.1% employment rate. [2015 US Census American Community Survey, Table B18120]
  • Approximately 17.0% of eligible voters in North Carolina have one or more disabilities, compared to a national average of 15.71%.[136]
  • Of adults with disabilities in North Carolina, 28.0% live in poverty, as opposed to 13.5% of non-disabled adults. [2015 US Census American Community Survey, Table B23024] The poverty rate for disabled children under 5 is 37.0%, as opposed to 26.5% for non-disabled children. [2015 US Census American Community Survey, Table B18130)
  • In North Carolina, 5.0% of adults between 18 and 64 receive SSI (Supplemental Security Income), compared to the national average of 5.4%.[2015 US Census American Community Survey, Table B19056]

Organizations
Organizations
[edit]

Find state/local chapters of national organizations here.

  • ACLU of NC works to preserve and defend the guarantees of individual liberty found in the North Carolina Constitution and the US Constitution, with particular emphasis on freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom of religion, equal protection under law for all people, the right to privacy, the right to due process of law, and the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure.
  • Democracy NC "is a nonpartisan organization that uses research, organizing, and advocacy to increase voter participation, reduce the influence of big money in politics and achieve a government that is truly of the people, by the people and for the people." They are a statewide organization dedicated to protecting voting rights. They advocate for early voting, recruit and train poll watchers, and support voter registration.
  • Equality NC is "dedicated to securing equal rights and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) North Carolinians." This mission is achieved through lobbying local and state governments, broadcasting LGBTQ content, and addressing issues including marriage equality, parental rights, inclusive anti-bullying policies, employment discrimination, hate violence, privacy rights, sexuality education, adoption, domestic partnerships, and HIV/AIDS. Equality NC led the fight against HB2 and continues to work toward its repeal.
  • Gameplan 2017 was started by State Senator Jeff Jackson with the goal of breaking the Republican supermajority in the NCGA. The initiative aims to get out the vote, recruit strong candidates, build a volunteer base, and promote strategic fundraising. Jackson's focus is the upcoming 2017 special election (see State Elections).
  • LEAD NC recruits and trains equality-minded people to become leaders in their communities.
  • Lillian's List recruits, trains, promotes and supports pro-choice progressive women running for public office in NC.
  • NC-CRED, the North Carolina Commission on Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Criminal Justice System, is dedicated to understanding how racial minorities are disproportionately represented in the criminal and juvenile justice systems. By conducting detailed studies that account for all potential explanations, including socio-economic factors, they draw conclusions on the unfair nature of the system. NC-CRED strives to create recommendations for reform and meets to review research, significant developments regarding race and criminal law, and to discuss collaborative solutions for racial and ethnic disparities in the criminal and juvenile justice systems.
  • North Carolina NAACP aims "to ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and discrimination." It is led by the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, who initiated the Historic Thousands on Jones Street (HKonJ) Peoples Assembly Coalition, a progressive alliance that has put forth "a 14 point anti-racism, anti-poverty, anti-war agenda," and the Forward Together Moral Monday Movement, "a multi-racial, multi-generational movement of thousands for protests at the NC General Assembly and around the state."
  • SAFE Coalition works to build public trust and accountability in NC law enforcement.
  • Southern Coalition for Social Justice is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded in August 2007 in Durham, North Carolina, by a multidisciplinary group, predominantly people of color, who believe that families and communities engaged in social justice struggles need a team of lawyers, social scientists, community organizers and media specialists to support them in their efforts to dismantle structural racism and oppression. Their most notable work in 2016 was the defense of voting rights in North Carolina. The most notable cases involved demonstrating racial discrimination in voter ID laws and racial gerrymandering at the state legislative level.

Local News Sources
Local News Sources
[edit]

NC Policy Watch is a project of the NC Justice Center and covers policy in North Carolina.

Relevant City and County Information
Relevant City and County Information
[edit]

Asheville[edit]

Asheville City Council meets on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month at 5 PM in the Council Chamber, located on the second floor of City Hall. The meeting agenda is posted at 3 PM the Friday before the meeting date. Meetings are televised live on the Asheville City Channel, Charter Cable channel 193.

Charlotte[edit]

The Charlotte City Council holds a Citizens' Forum on the first and fourth Mondays of each month at 6:30 PM. This is immediately preceded by a Council Workshop at 5:00 PM; both meetings take place in Room 267, 600 E. Fourth Street, Charlotte, NC 28202. Other meeting schedules are outlined on the Council's website. Meetings can be viewed on the Government Channel (Time Warner Digital 97-2 or 1302 or U-Verse 99 Local PEG—click on the Gov Channel) and are usually available online within 24 hours.

Durham[edit]

Durham City Council meetings are held on the first and third Monday of each month at 7 PM. These meetings are open to the public and are located at City Hall Council Chambers, 101 City Hall Plaza, Durham, NC 27701. Meetings are streamed live and are available on demand from the city's website and can be watched on DTN through Time Warner Cable or AT&T U-verse.

Fayetteville[edit]

The Fayetteville City Council conducts regular meetings on the second and fourth Monday of every month. All of the City Council's regular meetings are broadcast live on FayTV7, the City of Fayetteville's Government Access Channel. FayTV7 is available on Time Warner Cable on Channel 7, and video content is also available for viewing online. The Fayetteville City Council hosts work sessions on the first Monday of every month. The City Clerk's Office maintains meeting minutes from City Council meetings and publishes a schedule of upcoming City Council meetings.

Greensboro[edit]

Greensboro City Council meetings are held on the first and third Tuesdays beginning at 5:30 PM in the Council Chamber in the Melvin Municipal Office Building, 300 W. Washington St., Greensboro, unless otherwise noted. Council meetings, agendas, and minutes are all available online.

Greenville[edit]

Greenville City Council meetings are normally held in the City Council Chambers on the third floor of City Hall, located at 200 West Fifth Street, at 6:00 PM. The meetings are open to the public, and citizens are invited and encouraged to attend. The schedule of these meetings is available on their website. Council meetings held in the Council Chambers are shown live on the Government Access Channel, cable channel 9, and replayed several times in the days following the meeting. Meetings are also shown live and archived on the internet.

Raleigh[edit]

Raleigh City Council meets at 1 PM on the first and third Tuesday of each month and holds evening sessions at 7 PM on the first Tuesday of each month. All meetings are held in the Council Chamber of the Avery C. Upchurch Government Complex, 222 W. Hargett St., Raleigh, NC 27601.

Wilmington[edit]

The City Council generally holds regular meetings on the first and third Tuesday of the month at 6:30 PM in Council Chambers in City Hall. Agendas are available on the Friday prior to Council meetings. Meetings are broadcast live on GTV8, the City's government access channel on Time-Warner Cable.

Winston-Salem[edit]

Winston-Salem City Council meets on the first and third Mondays of each month at 7 PM in Room 230 of City Hall. Meetings are broadcast on WSTV and are archived online through WSTV and on YouTube. Meeting dates for special committees are listed on their website.