Category Archives: civil rights

Why nominee Neil Gorsuch is bad for the US Supreme Court

Please join some of NC’s progressive organizations as we speak out against Trump Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch on Monday, March 20, at 11am, at 310 New Bern Ave, in front of Senator Thom Tillis’ office. See the facebook event for “Media event: Progressives speak out against Neil Gorsuch” at https://www.facebook.com/events/143022306221621/
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NOW Urges that Senator(s) filibuster the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch and, should a filibuster fail, vote “no”.
Main issues described in NOW’s brief.
  1. Republicans do not deserve control of this stolen seat.
  2. Gorsuch has a history of hostility toward all kinds of regular and disadvantaged people seeking protections from the privileged and the powerful.
  3. He tends to rule for billionaire donors and big corporations.
  4. He has a frightening willingness to limit women’s access to health care.
  5. He is extremely anti-abortion based on his writings.

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NC NOW Legislative Update #5 – 5 Mar 17

Governor Cooper introduced his proposed budget for FY 2017-2018 on March 1, 2017. It emphasizes increased spending on education and expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Since Republicans have veto-proof majorities in both houses, it is more aspirational than practical, and it is unlikely that the proposals in this budget will make much progress in the General Assembly. For highlights, see: http://www.wral.com/highlights-of-gov-roy-cooper-s-proposed-statebudget/16560168/

Durham Tech, where Governor Cooper proposed his first budget

Governor Cooper introduced his budget at Durham Technical Community College

There were dueling press conferences in the Legislative Building on the repeal of HB2. Proponents of a full repeal with no strings attached were pitted against supporters or the bipartisan HB186 that would repeal HB2 but also allow opponents of local ordinances to call for a referendum on any proposed ordinance. The Governor weighed in by observing that a compromise bill was possible if proponents of HB186 would negotiate over the referendum provision—which so far they will not do. For a fuller account, see http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/statepolitics/article135420484.html

Senator Norman Sanderson of Pamlico County has filed a draconian bill to crack down on local governments and public universities that don’t comply with federal immigration laws or violate the state’s 2015 law against sanctuary city policies. The bill (S145) would strip funding from state universities that do not comply with the law and deprive local governments of revenue from a wide variety of sources. There are disturbing indications that the Senate leadership may support this bill. A milder bill (H63) is being considered in the house that does not target universities and has a shorter list of state revenue sources that would be denied to municipalities. For more details see: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/statepolitics/article135544723.html

Lawsuit Updates
Since our Republican-dominated General Assembly has been passing law after law that is being or has been challenged in court, in addition to keeping up with new legislation introduced this session, I believe it is equally important to track the status of the various challenges to laws that have already been passed.

See the whole North_Carolina_NOW_Legislative_Update_5 from 5Mar17, including bill tracking.

Update on Women’s Marches in DC and around US on 1/21/17

Organizing a national Women’s March on Washington in Washington DC has been an adventure. First, let us recognize that there is a lot of interest in protesting in DC. Asheville NOW filled a bus in less than a week. Charlotte NOW is filling one now. And there are about 20 buses from North Carolina alone. At first the organizers didn’t realize they absolutely needed permits, where to send the buses, etc. Then, when Alice Cohan, of Feminist Majority (formerly of National Organization for Women/NOW) jumped in to help get permits, they found out many groups tried for permits for that date and those places, and they were working through the process. Then things changed and all protesters were being blocked from using normal rally/protest sites like large sections of Pennsylvania Avenue, as well as the Washington Monument, the National Mall and the Lincoln Memorial! Now there is an update from that – we finally have a site. But here is some background on the process. Never discount a bunch of angry women!

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Picture from the March for Women’s Lives in 2004. Raleigh NOW delivered 3 buses and Mandy Carter of SONG delivered another from Durham. Our 4 buses traveled together to the national march.

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Activist Mandy Carter being honored again

It has been my honor and my pleasure to introduce long time activist and my friend, Mandy Carter at past events. NC National Organization for Women (NOW) claims her, but her work and interests reach beyond women’s issues. Carter has spent her adult life as an activist working for women, on lesbians and gay issues, for African Americans. She works to better our lives and has founded organizations to continue and formalize work on these issues.

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Mandy Carter Reading Reverend Doctor Pauli Murray’s Poetry at the 2016 NC NOW Conference on 10/1/16. Photo Credit: Rachel Goldstein

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Pro-Choice Signature Ad Packets are ready!

Join us to deliver the Pro-Choice Signature Ad Packets to our legislators at their offices in Raleigh on Monday, 5/23/16.  We run our pro-choice signature ad in Indy Week every year to commemorate the Roe v. Wade anniversary.  Later during the year, we deliver packets including signature ads to our legislators to remind them of the many pro-choice residents of our state.

Members from around NC are delivering NC NOW’s pro-choice signature ad packets to all of our legislators on May 23, 2016. Please join us!  This year our packet includes a letter from NC NOW summarizing anti-choice legislation and the harm that HB 2 does, an article about anti-choice legislation signed into law in 2015, as well as an article about how disastrous HB 2 is for women.

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Roberta Waddle speaking out against HB465 on May 8, 2015, in Fayetteville NC. Part of “Don’t Break Your Promise” tour. Photo Credit: Hannah Osborne

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NC NOW Legislative Update #3 for 2016 Short Session

More on HB 2, including bills to repeal it. 

“The battle over the law known as HB2 has escalated significantly.  Governor McCrory responded to a letter from the Justice Department informing that this law violates federal civil rights statutes by filing a suit against the Justice Department asking that a federal court rule on the constitutionality of our state law.  For an in-depth examination of McCrory’s chance of winning this case (slim to none), see:  http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/despite-drawing-conservative-judge-gov-mccrory-faces-long-odds-legal-fight-over-hb-2.  Legislative leaders Phil Berger and Tim Moore filed a separate suit.  It should be noted that the Governor and the legislative leaders are the ones filing these lawsuits because Attorney General Roy Cooper stated that he would not defend a law that he believes is unconstitutional.  The Justice Department responded by filing a counter-suit asking the court to suspend the law while its constitutionality is being determined.  This article contains links to the text of all three complaints and summarizes the background and issues at stake:  http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/politics-government/article76502777.html.

See the whole North_Carolina_NOW_Legislative_Update_3.14_May_2016.

Color Me Astounded! NC’s Hate Bill 2 (HB2)

Surprise developments in the case of the law made from Hate Bill 2 (HB2). Three of NC’s ‘leaders’ have decided to take on the DOJ, Department of Justice. What were they thinking to take on the DOJ? 

Watch NC Governor Pat McCrory trying to explain why NC plans to sue over Hate Bill 2, which blatantly discriminates. This Fox News interview with Chris Wallace was Sunday, May 8, 2016 –  “Gov. McCrory asks court to clarify federal law in HB2 showdown (video).” Fascinating how McCrory feels the DOJ is overreaching since HB 2 is yet another glaring example of the NC Legislature’s overreach!

On Monday, May 9, 2016, Governor McCrory, House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate President Phil Berger all sued the DOJ. The DOJ is not amused!! U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch has already responded! 

Atty General Loretta Lynch vs. Govr Pat McCrory

Atty General Loretta Lynch vs. Govr Pat McCrory. Photo Credit: WXIII2 News

          Photo Credit: WXII2

See “McCrory, lawmakers sue Justice over HB2; feds counter with lawsuit.” The News and Observer article says, 

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HB2 Hurts All Residents – Look NOW!

HB 2 goes way beyond bathrooms and attacking LGBT.  It removes core worker anti-discrimination protections that state law has provided to workers since the 1970s. Also, how disastrous HB 2 is for women needs to be shared!  

Starting with how terrible HB 2 is for EVERYONE.  In”A lawyer’s perspective on why HB2 is a plague infested rat,” 4/28/16, author Sean Herrmann writes,

“[F]or the first time in decades, North Carolina courts closed their doors to those fired because of their race, sex, age, disability, national origin, or religion. Those wrongfully terminated are left with only federal discrimination laws, which are largely inferior to the now defunct state discrimination claims. North Carolina joins Mississippi as the only two states that do not offer their citizens state law protection against the most basic forms of discrimination. “

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Thus, HB2 leaves employees who are fired because they are not white, or because they are female or because they are not Christian (or because they are Christian!) without any effective protections under state law.

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