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Women’s Advocacy Day – Reception and Main Event

SPEAK OUT NOW!  KEYNOTE – DREAM hAMPTON

Don’t forget to pre-register. Links below.
The NC General Assembly (NCGA) is back in session, and it’s more important than ever for women to speak up against the Carolina ROLLBACK.  As veteran teachers continue to be short-shifted, and attacks on the UNC public university system are rampant! With this bi-annual Women’s Advocacy Day event, we’re making it easy to speak your mind, including some training to help you make your points.

More information on keynote speaker: 
Writer, film-maker and social justice organizer Dream Hampton is going to keynote the Women’s Advocacy Day event next Tuesday, but also will speak at an associated reception on Monday night. Hampton has written about music, culture and politics since 1990.  Read more about Hampton at http://www.dreamhampton.com/bio/

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Interactive presentation on support for same sex marriage – 12/2/14, 7:30pm

Things are legally changing fast for same-sex marriage – what does it mean and how do we reach more people?

Two or maybe three more states were added to the marriage equality map just 2 weeks ago (by 11/24/14).  What is the best way to reach the people who are still against same-sex marriage/marriage equality? Is there are similar problem with women’s rights?  Marriage Equality USA has a plan!

Join us at the Raleigh NOW meeting on Tuesday, Dec 2, at 7:30pm for the Heart of What Matters presentation to learn about how to reach groups with mixed feelings on a topic, and see it in action.  This topic is marriage equality.

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Show Me The Money, by Mary Sheridan

North Carolina’s disastrous budget fiasco is getting some much needed attention

What our State Office of Budget and Management called ‘disappointing’, Sabra Faires, in the N&O article on May 6, 2014 termed a ‘Budget Disaster of Gigantic Proportions’. That says it all, NC policymakers really made a terrible budget. Faires is a former assistant secretary for Tax Administration at the NC Department of Revenue – the woman knows whereof she speaks.

A de facto ‘Plan to Fail’ has been designed. The budget slashed taxes for wealthy individuals and profitable corporations who aren’t in need of the state’s largesse, at the same time burdening the working class (low and middle wage earners). Thanks to this bad budget and other laws passed in 2013, the unemployed, many of our children, the elderly, and the disabled of all ages are already faring worse (lost programs, thousands of teachers and teacher assistants laid off before school year, more leaving for greener pastures after school year began, slashed unemployment benefits, etc). Far from creating a budget that works, our legislators have created a short fall of $445 million by June 30, 2014, according to the Fiscal Research Division and the Office of Budget and Management figures released last Friday, May 2, 2014. Show us the money indeed, and its unfair appropriation.

According to Faires, this structural deficit “is the result of the 2013 tax law changes that reduce expected revenues below expected expenses.” And there are short-term and long-term problems with the budget. Worse, the budget does not plan for predicted growth, like growth in education employment, teacher and state employee raises, growth in Medicaid, plans for repairs and maintenance.

To add insult to injury, our elected officials have chosen to shorten the ‘Short Session’ by one third — they will meet for four weeks, rather than the usual six weeks. There is as much time to make a difference as there is to do more damage. What will the people we elected do? What should they do?

We would like to suggest that in those four short weeks they could remedy a great many of the problems they created in their cutting and slashing march across the state budget. Some of those are

* Restoring the Earned Income Tax Credit enabling working families to provide the basic necessities for themselves.
* Raising teachers’ salaries to a respectable level, rather than leave them at the deplorable 46th in the nation position they are now. Invest in public schools by replacing teacher assistants and other staff, and providing textbooks, and other resources.
* Return the $11 million in private school vouchers to public education. That $11 million allocation is for the 2014-2015 school year alone.
* Restore the Personal Exemption tax, and the former calculation for determining how much of a retired person’s Social Security is taxed.

These all affect women to a great degree – single women, teachers, mothers with families to feed and clothe, older women on fixed incomes.

Halting the second phase of the tax law would allow the state to reinvest and rebuild. Current law dictates further reductions in the personal income tax rate and the corporate income tax rate in 2015, when North Carolina clearly cannot afford these.

Most importantly our elected officials have a responsibility to the people who put them in power to provide balance and fairness in the entire tax structure. The tax structure currently favors wealthy individuals and successful corporations at the expense of the low and middle wage earners. The budget as it stands cannot work – it is not designed to maintain programs for the public good, it didn’t plan for predicted growth.

Our lawmakers need to use the short session to fix this gigantic mess of a budget and get North Carolina on track for jobs, public education, health care, and the public good.

Fighting the anti-marriage amendment

NC NOW is completely against the anti-gay marriage push.

Many NC NOW activists were part of the estimated 500 people at the rally that NC Equality set up outside the North Carolina legislature Tuesday in opposition to the anti-gay constitutional amendment that will be on the ballot in May of 2012. I wanted to share some of the great signs from the rally, many of them handmade.

Did I vote on Your marriage?

Welcome to North Carolina, where you can marry your COUSIN but not your partner.

Keep your STAMp of Bigotry off my constitution.
Note: The STAMp of Bigotry is a reference to Representative Paul Stam, who was involved in much of the anti-woman and anti-family legislation put forth in 2011.

We are including an ACLU-NC fact sheet on how bad this amendment is. They have a paragraph on each of these points and more.
a) This proposed amendment affects much more than marriage – it could ban ALL legal recognition of committed and unmarried couples, both gay and straight.
b) This amendment would TAKE AWAY BENEFITS from committed couples.
c) Our constitution should DEFEND people’s rights and freedoms – NOT DIMINISH them.

I would like to add that this anti-marriage amendment will HURT ALL COUPLES who choose to live together without being married – including younger couples and older people who live together but don’t marry for other reasons.

Also, I wanted to point out news saying that the anti-gay marriage push is being bankrolled by businessman Art Pope. You’ve probably noticed his name a lot this year (local and NATIONAL coverage!), and here he is again. This article is titled ‘Art Pope’s money key to NC anti-gay marriage push’. Read it at http://www.southernstudies.org/2011/11/art-popes-money-key-to-nc-anti-gay-marriage-push.html

We want to help families live together not hurt them. This constitutional amendment would hurt couples and families, not help them.

NC NOW Conference full of ENERGY and ACTION!

NC NOW’s 2011 state conference was full of ENERGY and ACTION! Our conference was November 19, 2011, in Fayetteville. It ran from 9am to 3:30, as planned.

In the morning, we concentrated on NC’s anti-gay marriage push, and the best way for our grass-roots organization to deal with this. It was a great opportunity to meet and hear Representative Rick Glazier, who always defends people so passionately and eloquently. After Representative Glazier spoke and answered many questions, we broke out into smaller groups to work on a conference resolution on this amendment and to brainstorm actions to defeat it.

At lunchtime, our keynote speaker, Representative Diane Parfitt, talked about this crazy contentious legislative session and how the bills are hurting women and families.

In our afternoon session, we broke out into groups to talk more about how women are doing in different areas (jobs, health care, reproductive rights) and what we may do to improve matters in these areas.

Each group had background information provided to it. The information on jobs is at x

The information on reproductive rights attacks is at

The information on health care is at

It was a busy, interesting and productive day. Hope you were able to join us. There will be opportunities to join our regional conference in the spring, and our next annual state conference next fall.

2012 Pro-choice Signature Ad Appeal

Now more than ever, we need a strong pro-choice voice. Add yours by signing on to our pro-choice signature ad.

I was looking through my sent emails from last year (~11/17/10) and noticed one titled “What’s coming down the pipe – things you should know.” Pretty much all of the things I warned about in that email came to pass in NC – much to our shock and dismay.

There is another way to support women and reproductive rights. Support our pro-choice signature ad appeal. I want to thank all of you who faithfully subscribe to the pro-choice signature ad. If you have never subscribed before, there is no better time than this year to begin.