Category Archives: do your job

Town Halls Around NC – #SaveRoe and #SaveSCOTUS – August 2018

The threat to overturn the historic Roe v Wade decision, as well as threat to women’s basic health care in general, has increased since the election of 45, the nominations of both Neil Gorsuch (now seated on SCOTUS, Supreme Court Of The United States) and Brett Kavanaugh. We must stand firm and fight for the preservation of reproductive rights and the sanctity of #SCOTUS.  Make plans to attend any town hall meetings near you to show your support for Roe and SCOTUS. These town halls are hosted by Progress North Carolina, NC NOW, Naral Pro-choice North Carolina, Equality NC, Action NC and more organizations.

Upcoming events:

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Action: Stop #SCOTUS Nomination – Save Roe, Save America!

Senator Thom Tillis is sending out emails asking constituents to sign a petition in support of #SCOTUS nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh! Tillis sent out at least two emails about this petition already – one last Friday (the 13th) and one on 7/16/18, the same day of Trump’s #TreasonSummit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki. Read more about Kavanaugh and take action here.

The truth is that Kavanaugh has made some very shocking rulings and has very surprising ideas (like that a sitting president is above the law). You can read this two page summary from Yale Law Students, Alumni, and Educators Regarding Brett Kavanaugh’s previous rulings, and the original letter with signatures is on googledoc here.  (I know not everyone can access googledocs.) The Yale letter summarizes itself as follows.

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Peeples: Why is Evidence Ignored in Storage and Thrown Away?

NC may have the most untested rape kits in the nation (15,160 reported from 92% of law enforcement agency reports submitted). It is clear that too many rape kits are going unprocessed in NC and the NC General Assembly is not providing money to test or to track them, even in the face of this astounding backlog. It is also significant that none were reported from any universities (according to the report from Attorney General Josh Stein’s office). But when rapes are reported in NC, the state is falling down on the job – not processing the evidence and actually sometimes throwing away the evidence. Ignoring the evidence causes more damage in the long run, allowing rapists to run amok in NC and move on to other states. And there are many advantages of testing them as soon as possible.

“Every $1 spent on the analysis of a kit returns $81 from averted future assaults.”

The 81 to 1 savings is according to an article reviewing the research of two Stanford University professors published “Analyzing approaches to the backlog of untested sexual assault kits in the USA,” 3/5/18, Journal of Forensic Science. The article also states that the $81 may be a conservative estimate and it could go as high as $3,000 for every $1 spent. The professors estimate that there are around 400,000 untested sexual assault kits in the backlog in the U.S.A.

Sexual Assault Kits on display at NC NOW State Conference in 2017. Photo Credit: Catherine Evangelista

Their reviews of police data for jailed perpetrators suggest that the average number of assault victims per assailant is around 26. The cost of testing a kit ranges from $700 to $1500.

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NC NOW Legislative Update, 4 Jun 18

NC NOW Legislative Update #3 of the Short Session, 4 Jun 18 talks about the budget as the most controversial in modern history—not for what it contains, but for the process it went through. The process was explained in detail in NC NOW’s Legislative Update #2 for the Short Session, 28 May 18. This week, people learned more about some inappropriate recipients of taxpayer money, and some of the things the budget did and did not do. 

“The budget did not expand Medicaid coverage or provide adequate funding for education, including supplies and teacher salaries. No money was allocated to begin testing and tracking the backlog of untested rape kits, even though Attorney General Josh Stein requested $2,000,000 for this purpose.”

Actual rape kits used in NC. Displayed at the NC NOW State Conference in Oct 2017. We heard the story of how Fayetteville made the rape kit inventory happen! Photo Credit: Catherine Evangelista

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Pro-choice Signature Ad Packets Delivered on 6/4/18

NC NOW members delivered the pro-choice signature ad packets to all of our representatives in the NC House and NC Senate on Monday, 6/4/18. The packets included a copy of the pro-choice signature ad that we ran in Indy Week in January (as we do every year), and a letter from NC NOW. 

NC NOW Members Deliver Pro-Choice Signature Ad Packets on Jun 4, 2018. Photo Credit: Gailya Paliga

This year the letter was somewhat focused on the terrible budget process which blocked input from all Democratic lawmakers and maybe some Republican ones as well. The letter also talked about inappropriate uses of taxpayer money in the budget. See the letter below.

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$1.55 Million in Taxpayer Money Going to CPCs in NC Budget

Information and Actions to take!

The NCGA is giving taxpayer money away to Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPC). They gave $1.3 million away in the 2017 budget, and have increased the amount in the 2018 budget. The money is going to 3 CPC umbrella organizations! These clinics are not health clinics, and they are often tied up in religion. Actions to take are at the end.

The 2017 NC state budget gave away $1.3 million to a Crisis Pregnancy Center (CPC) parent organization, Carolina Pregnancy Care Fellowship, an anti-abortion group that operates 8 clinics in North Carolina. The NC legislature gave away this money with no strings attached and no milestones or controls on services provided. The legislative majority had planned to give $1.3 million away to CPCs two years in a row.

Destigmatize Abortion, NoGagRule Rally on 4/10/18 Photo Credit: Karen Ziegler

In 2018, the Republicans who wrote the state budget behind closed doors raised that amount –  they are now giving away $1.55 million, and they’ve made some changes to the taxpayer money recipients. This money isn’t going to health care for low income women, it isn’t expanding Medicaid to help low income women and men. Taxpayer money is being delivered to three CPC parent organizations, as follows.

  • $1 million to the Carolina Pregnancy Care Fellowship (same one that benefited last budget)
  • $300,000 to “The Human Coalition” which describes itself explicitly as opposing the “abortion industry.”
  • $250,000 is going to a third anti-abortion pregnancy clinic, Mountain Area Pregnancy Services in Asheville.

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You Can’t Believe this Terrible NC State Budget

Even just the titles of the listed articles give you an idea how terrible this state budget is. This is the state budget for which the NCGA leadership subverted the process so there can be no amendments or discussion on it. NC NOW Vice President of Legislation Robin Davis described how this was done and why  in the NC NOW Legislative Update for the Short Session #2. When she wrote it, most people, including Democratic lawmakers, had not even seen the budget yet! Now more people have seen it and many are angry and upset! These articles explain a few of the major issues being discovered in this budget that was written behind closed doors, and delve in if you dare!

There have been some amazingly scathing articles on the legislative leadership (Senator Phil Berger & Rep. Tim Moore) circumventing the normal budget process. Berger and Moore and their buddies are shutting out the voices of citizens and other lawmakers. Here are 2 of my favorites.

Rally on “Real Money For Fake Women’s Clinics”. Photo Credit: Michael Eisenberg

Cut from the NC budget: Democracy,” News and Observer, 5/26/18, at http://www.newsobserver.com/article211879774.html.

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NC NOW Legislative Update, 28 May 18

First and foremost, the NCGA Short Session budget machinations.  “The Republican leadership has devised a plan to pass their budget bill without going through the normal appropriations process and blocking any amendments. ” And some response to this underhanded and hypocritical move, including an action you can take.

See more at North_Carolina_NOW_Legislative_Update_Short_Session_2.28_May_2018

“I am 28 years old and my mom is still buying my school supplies!” On orange sign.

Senators Burr/Tillis – Stop Senate Judiciary Confirmations NOW!

Indictments are disqualifying

I have followed Senator Burr’s refusal to allow a hearing to fill the long-vacant seat on the Eastern NC District Court. Senator Burr denied the chance of a Senate hearing to fill the position from two highly-qualified female African-American nominees for that important position.

Retired NC Supreme Court Justice Patricia Timmons-Goodson has held important federal positions as well. Photo Credit: CSPAN

Yet when North Carolina’s chief defender of voter suppression was nominated by President Trump, both of our NC Senators, Senator Burr and Senator Tillis, approved this man’s nomination without hesitation. This is wrong. Federal Prosecutor Jennifer May-Parker and Retired NC Supreme Court Justice Patricia Timmons-Goodson should have gotten their chances first, and actually May-Parker should have gotten her hearing years ago, before this vacancy became an emergency. May-Parker had been recommended by Senator Burr in the first place. Timmons-Goodson was blocked by Senator Burr when the judicial position had been vacant for 10 years!  

I am offended that President Trump nominated Thomas Farr, the chief private attorney who defended North Carolina redistricting maps and a voter identification law authored by Republican state legislators that got struck down. Farr is much less qualified than Federal Prosecutor Jennifer May-Parker and Retired NC Supreme Court Justice Patricia Timmons-Goodson.

Now there is a move to rush more of President Trump’s judicial appointments through. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s indictments of key Trump associates demands that all action to confirm Trump nominees must cease until the investigation is complete. The chance that the sitting president will be charged with conspiracy against this nation is too great to comply with. He must not be allowed to appoint the judges who will impact our law for generations. Stop the confirmation process now.

Sincerely,

-Gailya Paliga
President, NC National Organization of Women

Take Action Against The 20 Week Abortion Ban!

On October 3, 2017, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a 20-week abortion ban— a major effort to limit access to abortion on a federal and state level. As the bill moves to the U.S. Senate, we can take action to stop it! Reproductive rights are under attack, let’s raise our voices NOW to stop abortion bans. Below are action steps to #StoptheBans, because we want #NoAbortionBan.

First, contact your US Senators Burr and Tillis and demanding they vote “NO” on the 20 Week Abortion Ban. Take the first action at National NOW Actions, and it will route emails to your Senators and also gives you their phone numbers. That is at http://bit.ly/2xeESPX!

But we can do more! Get samples of what you can say, email, text and tweet, at Take Action on 20 Week Abortion Ban

Some of the messages and tweets you can use, from Take Action on 20 Week Abortion Ban follow!

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