Category Archives: do your job

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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No Shouting Yet in Town Halls Without Burr, Tillis and Holding

In “Tillis is open to town halls, minus shouting,” 3/6/17, N&O, Senator Thom Tillis said “he would host town hall meetings with constituents, but only if they were done without shouting or name calling.”  Some friends and I have attended 4 town halls between us in the past few weeks. All four town halls have all been orderly events filled with people who really want to talk about their concerns, or share their stories. We’ve heard no shouting in any of them, although three of the four were ones with absent elected officials – Congressman Holding and Senators Burr and Tillis were refusing to hold them. Congressman David Price held the fourth (actually Price is holding a round of town halls), and by many accounts, his constituents left feeling heard. But even if people do actually shout at a town hall meeting, it is part of Tillis’ job to face the consequences of his actions!

The coverage of the town hall meetings has been interesting. When CBS affiliate WNCN covered a town hall meeting in Apex absent Congressman George Holding, they covered it with the title “North Carolina congressmen avoid facing angry town hall crowds in person,” and showed people in larger town halls elsewhere sounding off. However, the Apex Town Hall meeting on Feb 23, 2017, was more than civil. The organizers allowed everyone to speak who wanted to speak. We heard from over 70 concerned constituents on a wide range of issues. Most people were from Apex. There were great energy and ideas flowing in the room! The coverage of people at the Apex town hall was accurate, but the framing of the story (starting with the title) may have been misleading

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Photo Credit: Sarah Moncelle

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“Advocacy 101: The Basics” – 3/28/17

NC NOW is working together with League of Women Voters of Wake County, the ACLU-NC and Paula Wolf on a second presentation of Advocacy 101 training. Learn or review some basic skills for the Citizen Advocate with us on Tuesday, March 28, at the NCAE building in Raleigh. The “Do Your Job” theme must be reinforced with all levels of elected officials, especially Legislators (NC House and Senate), and Congress (US House and Senate). Click on the flyer below to get tickets or go directly to eventbrite

Note: the first Advocacy 101 event we held filled up in the first 3 days it was posted (filled up in January for showing on 2/16/17)! 

We Will Be Heard! Burr/Tillis Town Hall on 3/5/17.

Community members in the Triangle area will be holding a Citizens Town Hall to gather and make our voices heard. We will speak out about issues that concern North Carolinians, and send our comments to US Senators Burr and Tillis if they do not attend. They were invited.

This non-partisan event is being held at a church. Umstead Park United Church of Christ (UCC), 8208 Brownleigh Dr, Raleigh, North Carolina 27617.

Senators Burr and Tillis were part of the group of representatives refusing to do regular town hall events during the Congressional Recess last week (2/18/17-2/26/17). Constituents around the country held their own events for US Senators and Congressmen and Congresswomen who refused to hold their own town halls. The town hall in Cary last week held 250 people, and had to turn away at least 50 more people, according to “Angry Constituents Vent To Cardboard Senators in Cary,” 2/22/17, ABC11. Women, including two Women’s March On Raleigh organizers, led a town hall for constituents of Congressman George Holding in Apex on 2/23/17. See more on that one at “North Carolina congressmen avoid facing angry town hall crowds in person,” 2/24/17, CBS.

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Line outside the Cary Town Hall meeting Photo Credit: Shana Becker

The facebook event is at https://www.facebook.com/events/1660911020876876/

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Paliga: Burr and Tillis – “F” for FAIL

I am outraged that Senators Burr and Tillis’ votes for Education Secretary nominee Betsy DeVos have thrown North Carolina’s children under the bus – the school bus. Senator Tillis even served as PTA President for his daughter’s High School, but that didn’t stop him from putting in office an unqualified – but filthy rich – nominee who many believe is hostile to public education. And let it be made clear this is not proof of supporting women in leadership – both Tillis and Burr have blocked well qualified African-American nominees like Loretta Lynch, Jennifer May Parker and Patricia Timmons-Goodsen.

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DeVos has no personal experience in public education, not as student, parent, teacher or administration. In fact, she has worked to undermine public education, spending more than two decades promoting taxpayer-subsidized vouchers for private and parochial school tuition and promoting publicly funded but privately run charter schools. She also tried to strip teacher unions of their influence. 

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National Followup to Women’s Marches – action and education!

Now that women (and men) have found their voices, we need to use them to influence the future of the United States at the hands of the new administration. We need to let everyone know that it wasn’t an isolated event! We need to keep pressure on Congress and the US Senate.

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Women’s March On Raleigh, 1/21/17. Photo Credit: Ashley P.

House and Senate Republicans are going on a joint “retreat” this Wednesday (1/25/17) to Friday (1./27/17) “to sort our their priorities ” and they need to hear from you a.s.a.p.  Send them off to their party’s discussions reeling from the calls to their DC and state offices.  

Are you worried about health care and need to keep Obamacare in place? Read So What Would Happen If We Repealed Obamacare, The Hill, 1/4/17, to give you some ideas why it matters.

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Senators Burr and Tillis and the Politics of Obstruction

This op-ed went from the Asheville Citizen-Times on 5/27/16 to USA-Today!! The USA-Today link is here!

“North Carolina’s two Republican senators say they have no interest in considering President Barack Obama’s nomination” of Judge Merrick B. Garland to the US Supreme Court, according to Citizen-Times article, “Burr, Tillis say they won’t consider high court nominee,” 3/16/16.

In this, both NC Senators are stubbornly refusing to do their jobs. I refer to the US Senate’s job of advice and consent. Under the Constitution, presidential nominations for executive and judicial posts take effect only when confirmed by the Senate. The Senate’s job is to make sure the nominee is qualified, and if so, vote yes. If not, that will come out during the hearings.

Yet Burr and Tillis are refusing to allow hearings on the US Supreme Court nomination. According to “Supreme Court Vacancies in Presidential Election Years,” (2/13/16), there have been several nominations and confirmations of Justices during presidential election years. Clearly the hearings are the valid and constitutionally sanctioned place and time to find problems with nominees. Why are they blocking the process?

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Back to NC. Judge Garland is not the first nominee for important federal positions that Burr and Tillis have blocked. They both voted against NC native Loretta Lynch when she was nominated for US Attorney General.

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Senator Burr Blocks Another Black Female From 10 Year Judicial Vacancy

This is the full article NC NOW President Gailya Paliga had submitted to the News & Observer, 5/11/16, 1:10pm.  Part of it ran as an LTE on 5/18/16.

I was impressed to see that one of NC’s own extremely well qualified former (NC) Supreme Court Justices was nominated on April 28, 2016, to fill a long time vacancy on the federal court bench in Eastern North Carolina. Timmons-Goodson served as an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court of North Carolina from 2006 to 2012. She also served on the North Carolina Court of Appeals and as a District Court Judge.  In fact, Patricia Timmons-Goodson was a judge in North Carolina from 1997 through 2012!

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I was appalled to read that Senator Richard Burr vowed to block her the same day! According to “Burr vows to block Obama nomination to NC federal court seat,” 4/28/16, “The U.S. Eastern District of North Carolina has the longest-running vacancy, a post that has gone unfilled since Jan. 1, 2006 – the day after federal District Court Judge Malcolm Jones Howard semi-retired.”   

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National issues affecting women to consider..

Articles on national issues affecting women to consider.  What do you know about the Hyde Amendment?  You must realize the need for “paid sick leave.” Ever consider the need for “paid safe time”?  Have you heard about the Alabama Judge trying to be the next Kim Davis?  Think about the Supreme Court ruling which opened the door for them – Hobby Lobby.  And more right here.

To Fight Inequality, Support Women’s Work

“Income inequality has been rising in nearly all advanced countries since the 1980s, but the increase in women’s earnings has helped slow its growth. That means work-family policies that help keep women in the workforce—including paid family leave, paid sick days, and access to affordable child care—are some of the most promising and underused policy tools for fighting inequality, both in the present and in the future.”

More on policies that work at “To Fight Inequality, Support Women’s Work” from The Center for American Progress.             

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When we talk about paid sick, family and medical leave please include “paid safe time.” 

“Domestic violence permeates our workplaces. About one in five full-time workers in America have experienced some form of domestic violence. Of those, 96 percent of victims had the crime spill over into work. Contrary to popular belief, domestic violence is not a private crime, and some workers have trouble addressing its aftermath because of the way workplaces are structured. Supportive employers and thoughtful public policy — such as paid safe time — can help these workers meet their needs.”

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Take Action: Tell our Labor Commissioner to DO HER JOB!

Did you see the great investigative series in the News and Observer about the NC Dept of Labor NOT DOING ITS JOB??? Companies are making millions and refusing to pay their employees for the employees work in too many cases. And the NC Dept of Labor is doing almost nothing to fix this – even though THEY HAVE THE POWER.

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We can pressure them to fix that.  Take action now! Tell Cherie Berry: “Don’t let companies steal from their employees!” Tell her to DO HER JOB! This action makes it easy for you to send a letter asking NC Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry to uphold the law and make companies pay their workers!

http://action.ncjustice.org/p/dia/action3/common/public/index.sjs?action_KEY=17610

Just the number from 2014 are shocking, as stated in the News and Observer article, “At NC Department of Labor, little help for unpaid workers.”

Wages investigators found $2.1 million to be owed to 1,521 North Carolina workers in fiscal year 2014.

Roughly 40 percent of the 1,521 workers didn’t get the help they requested. The NC Department of Labor investigators did not collect the $1 million for 617 of the 1,521 workers just in 2014.

See more in the News and Observer article – first in series – at http://media2.newsobserver.com/static/content/multimedia/projects/labor/labor01.html