Women made up 54% of the early voters, according to “NC Nears End of 2014’s In Person Early Voting”, 10/31/14. This is interesting, since women make up 54% of registered voters in NC. I thought the stats for women would be higher, since women’s bodies and support programs and income were targeted in so many legislative bills and laws passed in the last 2 years by this NC General Assembly and Governor.
(Picture of NOW members protesting at the State Capitol in 2013, where Governor McCrory’s office is – see our signs!)
My top concerns for women and families are education, health and reproductive care, and economic security. We have suffered in all of these areas over the past 4 years, with the most damage being done in the last 2 years. Here are some examples of damage done in the last 2 years.
- The state budget cut nearly $1 billion from education funding, deeply impacting NC’s public schools, community colleges and universities.
- The State Legislature refused to expand the number of low income North Carolinians that could be on Medicaid, even though the cost would have been picked up by the Federal Government. About 500,000 people will go without quality health care as a result of this decision, many of them women. (500,000 estimate from NC Institute of Medicine)
- Refusal to expand Medicaid is hurting NC in other ways as well. NC is losing out on an estimated $2 billion each year, and losing out on tens of thousands of jobs in the health care industry. Expanding Medicaid would bring in 25,000 jobs by 2016.
- Low wage earners will do much worse under the new tax code passed in 2013. Under the old tax code, a family of four would begin paying income tax after $23,400. Now, that same family begins paying income tax after $19,400! Getting taxed on less money will make a huge difference to them, and they’ll notice as soon as they do their 2014 taxes.
- Our leaders also put an end to the state Earned Income Tax Credit, which in 2012 alone had helped over 900,000 families, and benefited nearly 1.2 million children.
As you can see, the decisions our elected officials make impact women’s lives (our lives) in very real and personal ways every day. It is extremely important that our leaders know women are paying attention and women matter. If you haven’t voted already BE SURE TO VOTE ON November 4, 2014. If you care about quality schools, or education, or good, well-paying jobs, or about women’s health care, VOTE. Together, we will make a difference.
President, NC National Organization for Women
1. “NC Nears End of 2014’s In Person Early Voting” – http://nc-politics.blogspot.com/2014/10/nc-nears-end-of-2014s-in-person-early.html
2. Running tally of how much money NC is giving up by rejecting Medicaid Expansion – “What You Need to Know About the ACA and NC’s Rejection of the Medicaid Expansion”, 10/2013, at http://www.ncjustice.org/?q=obamacare
3. “North Carolina’s Medicaid Choice, Options and Implications”, a Medicaid Fact Sheet, 3/20/14, http://www.ncjustice.org/sites/default/files/MedicaidFactsheetMarch20.pdf