For the week ending 14 May 2017
The Senate passed its $22.9 billion budget after 3am on Friday morning. The 800 page document (SB257, Appropriations Act of 2017) was presented during a press conference on Tuesday, May 9, and posted online late Tuesday night. On Wednesday, the proposed budget cleared a series of committees and the required two votes in the Senate began on Thursday and wrapped up early Friday morning. The two votes cannot be held on the same day; therefore, the Senate went into recess after the first vote and reconvened after midnight for the final vote. Amendments offered by Democratic Senators were all voted down, and the budget passed 32-15 in a party line vote.
Phil Berger, President Pro Tempore of the NC Senate, defending HB2, 4/20/16. Photo Credit News and Observer
But in the process, the Republican leadership made a move of unparalleled pettiness and vindictiveness that hits a new political low. Frustrated by the delay created by the budget amendments offered by Democrats, the Republican leadership retaliated by slashing a million dollars in education funds from two poverty-stricken Democratic districts. See: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article150397682.html, 5/13/17.
Read more about the Senate’s budget, which includes a billion-dollar tax cut package, and next steps for the budget, at NC NOW Legislative Update #15. You’ll also find updates on ERA, Lawsuits, and our bill tracking.
Did you go to any of the many tax marches that were around the country on 4/15/17? Buzzfeed captured some great signs. There was wonderful coverage of the Tax March On Raleigh with HUNDREDS of people on many TV stations, including WRAL. See WRAL’s at “Raleigh ‘Tax March’ protesters demand release of Trump’s tax returns.” The News and Observer really low-balled the count in “Protesters say Trump keeping tax returns secret is worrying“, not clear why.
In “Tillis is open to town halls, minus shouting,” 3/6/17, N&O, Senator Thom Tillis alleges that people who go to his town hall meetings shout and call names, so he doesn’t go. In fact, he has not been to a town hall meeting this year (the $25 a head Durham Chamber of Commerce meeting on March 6 does not count, nor does the March 7th phone call he offered with only an hours’ notice on social media). It is natural he does not know what to expect.
Senator Tillis, we have been to two town hall meetings held in your honor, and you’ve got it all wrong.
First, the people there are not scary or menacing. They look like, well, people. You don’t have to take our word for it though, there are lots of pictures online.
Speakers lined up at this town hall meeting to share their concerns and fears. Respectful pictures of Senators Tillis and Burr at front of room. Photo Credit: Sarah Sydney
Posted in ACA, Courts, discrimination, education, hate crimes, HB 2, jobs, lgbt, minimum wage, Obamacare, public education, racism, Supreme Court
Tagged education, HB 2, immigration, Jobs, Obamacare, racism, reproductive rights
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
Photo Credit: Sarah Moncelle
Posted in ACA, do your job, education, immigration, Obamacare, town hall
Tagged ACA, education, immigration, Obamacare, town hall, Wasted money, women
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.
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.
Posted in campus safety, children, do your job, education, hate crimes, lgbt, public education, Sexual Assault, stonewalling, women
Tagged campus safety, education, lgbt, public education, stonewalling qualified candidate, teachers
Political Consultant and Lobbyist (and Past NC NOW Lobbyist) Paula Wolf writes a letter to the editor (LTE) back to Indy Week, a triangle periodical. The whole LTE is shown here. The Indy carried the first 3 paragraphs of Paula’s LTE with some other input. The link to the Indy article is at the end.
With all due respect to the reporter, the “5 Things We Want to See From New Governor Roy Cooper,” 1/4/17, Indy, has some glaring oversights.
Women’s reproductive freedom has been trampled upon by the GOP since they got the majority in 2010. Mandatory scripts for doctors; transvaginal ultrasound; medically unnecessary building requirements; taxpayer funding of medically inaccurate information by anti choice “clinics” and defunding Planned Parenthood’s pregnancy prevention programs, to name a few. Access to healthcare is blockaded by not expanding Medicaid.
Fayetteville NOW joins protests against HB465 in May 2015. Hb465 is the bill that added tracking of women’s personal medical records and tracking of doctors to NC law. Roberta Waddle is speaking. Photo Credit: Hannah Osbourne
Posted in abortion, education, families, health care, reproductive rights, taxes, voting, women
Tagged abortion, education, poverty, reproductive rights, voting, women
The 2016 NC NOW State Conference is where we elect our state officers, and also where NOW members and other feminists gather to get organized and motivated to do the work that we do, work that we love to do! Education on issues! Getting people to Vote for their interests! Organization and Activism!
2016 marks the 50th anniversary of the National Organization for women. This exciting year, we celebrate a woman candidate for President of the United States, Hillary Clinton. The NOW PAC is delighted and excited to endorse this extremely well qualified candidate. See NC NOW PAC’s endorsements here. We celebrate the first woman Attorney General, Loretta Lynch. We celebrate our progressive newswomen, like Rachel Maddow. And we celebrate our working champions, like NC State Auditor Beth Wood. Our theme, “Women Making History NOW” celebrates these women and others who made history, and we celebrate the 50th anniversary of NOW.
Posted in abortion, ALEC, economic justice, education, Equal Rights Amendment, HB 2, immigration, minimum wage, racism, voting, women
Tagged abortion, education, Equal Rights Amendment, HB 2, Jobs, medicaid expansion, public education, reproductive rights, women's rights
I am inspired by some of President Obama’s speeches, but appalled at his Operation Border Guardian which directs Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to take children (18 years old) and throw them in jails, sometimes private jails (even worse). In implementation, ICE is grabbing these teenagers on their way to school, off school buses, and out of stairwells at school – cases of these known in Wake and Durham counties. Our state conference included a workshop on what it took a Durham school community to save (or at least give a chance to) teenager Wildin Acosta (also one on racism). Read about the community effort at “In Defense Of Wildin Acosta,“9/26/16, northcarolinanow.org.
Durham Community Rally to free Wildin Acosta. Photo Credit: ABC
We cover more about what is being done to these teens at “One saved, one lost of the NC 6 plus more,“9/26/16, northcarolinanow.org. The most heinous case I know came out of Durham County (probably because the Durham Community is fighting this). Here are some of the Durhamites fighting this!
Posted in children, education, immigration, public education, racial justice, teachers, women
Tagged collapse of communities, education, immigration, racial justice, teachers, women
What does the National Organization for Women mean to you? And did you enjoy the conference?
Here are a few stories from attendees at NC NOW’s state conference on October 1, 2016 where we celebrated NOW’s 50th anniversary. Our theme was “Women Making History NOW” for obvious reasons, with an excellently qualified woman on her way to the White House, an African American woman as Attorney General, and more.
NC NOW State Conference Logo for T-shirt. Click here to order an anniversary celebration t-shirt.
Here’s a story from a mom of high school teens who organized one of the workshops.
“NOW meant so much to me as a young woman. Even when I was in elementary school my friend and I were so impressed with “the Women’s Lib”.
Posted in ALEC, education, ERA, history, immigration, sexism
Tagged ALEC, education, immigration, voting, women, women's rights
Acosta’s Durham community managed to keep his case alive in the hearts and minds of his Durham school community, city community, and in the news. Their work gives him a chance to plead his asylum case, keeps the ICE raids and deportations in the news, and keeps attention on the terrible way that the United States is treating children, families and individuals.
Wildin David Guillen Acosta’s school community worked very hard to keep attention on his situation. One of the teachers who helped him sent NC NOW a list of articles that the Riverside High School students and teachers wrote.
The effort began in Durham. “As Acosta’s deportation looms, Riverside students ask for Durham’s help,” 3/18/16, by Riverside High School Student Morgan Whithaus, at http://www.newsobserver.com/opinion/op-ed/article66949102.html. Whithaus includes the danger that Acosta is facing as well as other damage the immigrant raids and detainments are causing for the school.