NC NOW Legislative Update #1 – 11 Feb 2018
It is difficult to report on legislative matters because so many of the most important developments take place behind in secret and are never documented. As an article in NC Policy Watch summarizes:
“Whether it’s cutting off debate on legislation, holding surprise, late night sessions, regularly ignoring the committee process, burying new and controversial laws that were never previously discussed in omnibus budget bills that cannot be amended, holding an endless series of “special” legislative sessions, refusing to record and archive all sorts of important proceedings, or even directly and blatantly punishing lawmakers who dare to speak up during debate, Republicans have evidenced little shame. Much as has been the case with gerrymandering, legislative leaders have not so much invented new tactics and tricks as they have cynically perfected and expanded the use of old ones.”
This unhealthy pattern continues.
This week the General Assembly reconvened, and legislators lost no time ramming through complex, multi-issue legislation with almost no discussion. House Bill 90 was voted out of the Appropriations Committee and passed the Senate on the same day. This omnibus bill offers a fix for the unfunded class size mandate, takes away the governor’s control of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline mitigation fund, and reorganizes the State Board of Elections (for the third time)–three unrelated issues in a single bill.
View of 2018 HKonJ rally from stage. Photo Credit: Phil Fonville
The Problems with House Bill 90
NC NOW’s annual conference is in Fayetteville this year. Join us on Saturday, Oct 21, 2017, from 9am-4pm. The registration form is in the NC NOW Call To Conference Newsletter. Register online via eventbrite here. We have exciting speakers, including keynote speaker Secretary of State Elaine Marshall. We also have Lillian’s List’s Executive Director, Sarah Preston, getting women ready to run for office. We will hear about what Title IX has been doing for women, how the Trump Administration is threatening to change it.
Local NOW Members you are likely to see at a state conference and a local protest in Fayetteville! NOW members made up about half the protester that day (the rest not in this picture). Photo Credit: Pam Wade
We’re also having two sets of workshops so participants can choose topics to explore. We’re having workshops on problems women face (through legislation, gerrymandering, clinic threats). And tips on programs and legislation via “How to Have Powerful Programs that Pop!” and “Recent Legislative Action on Sexual Assault—Chapter Activism gets Results.”
Join us! You’ll be glad you did! Click to see the conference flyer.
Posted in CEDAW, CPC, empowerment, ERA, feminism, gender wage gap, State interference (NC), Title IX, women
Tagged Courts, Equal Rights Amendment, gender wage gap, protest, reproductive rights, women's rights
In 2011, the U. S. Department of Education issued some guidelines to colleges and universities requiring them to handle rape allegations swiftly and fairly. The problem was being taken seriously at last.
Now in 2017, Betsy DeVos claims that these guidelines have “weaponized the Office of Civil Rights.” Specifically, she maintains that enforcing women’s civil rights under Title IX is unfair to accused rapists. Her own acting head of Education’s civil rights office told the New York times that “90 percent” of campus rapes “fall into the category of ‘we were both drunk’.” Of course, being drunk is no excuse if you injure or kill someone with your car.
It’s time for some of our children and grandchildren to go back to school. Some are going to college, and that can be a very dangerous place for undergraduates. Studies have shown one in five college women and 5% of men have been sexually assaulted (note 1 and note 2). This problem is very real and close to home. On July 21, three N.C. State University (NSCU) students reported being sexually assaulted during a campus party. Raleigh police took this seriously and assigned a team of detectives assigned to the case, but more than 2 weeks later, there have not been any arrests (note 3). One way to protect undergraduates is by warning them and giving them guidance.
To help inform the community and help undergraduates know to protect themselves, Raleigh NOW held a screening of “The Hunting Ground” documentary at NCSU in Raleigh, cosponsored by WomenNC and NCSU’s GLBT Center. One of the main subjects of the film, UNC-CH graduate Annie Clark, led the post-film discussion. Annie Clark survived her assault, and refused to be ignored. She went on to co-found her own organization to combat campus rape, End Rape On Campus. The documentary presents the issue very well, and Annie Clark and her continuing fight to help others and improve the situation was inspiring.
Annie Clark running Q&A at screening of The Hunting Ground, on 8/8/17. Photo Credit: Catherine Evangelista
Posted in campus safety, documentaries, education, male entitlement, Rape, safety for women, Sexual Assault, Title IX, violence against women
Tagged campus safety, documentaries, male entitlement, misogyny, Rape, Sexual Assault, violence against women
NC NOW legislative update #6 includes damage from the Trump administration’s new interpretation of Title IX, lawsuit updates, and bill tracking.
In light of the Trump administration’s new interpretation that Title IX does not allow transgender people to use the restroom consistent with their gender identity, the U. S. Supreme Court refused to hear the Virginia case concerning this issue. The case was sent back to the lower court for reconsideration in light of the Trump administration’s new rule. This non-decision will have the effect of making transgender bathroom rights a state-by-state issue. The issues can still be challenged in federal court on constitutional grounds, but losing Title IX is a serious blow to framing a successful lawsuit. The constitutionality of the new interpretation of Title IX could be challenged, but no suit on these grounds has been filed. This refusal of the Supreme Court to rule in this case will impact both the North Carolina lawsuits and the effort to repeal HB2. For more details, see: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/nation-world/national/article136866748.html
Posted in abortion, Courts, HB 2, immigration, lawsuits, Medicaid, minimum wage, reproductive rights, Title IX
Tagged abortion, Courts, hb2, immigration, lgbt, medicaid expansion, Title IX