Tag Archives: poverty

NC NOW Legislative Update #16 – targetting the poor (food stamps, education programs)

NC NOW Legislative Update #16 of 2017 is available. This legislative update includes the latest on the Senate budget, like proposed slashes to food stamps program, and how the House is going to try address some of the outrages of it. 

“Last week the Senate passed its budget in a rushed process that allowed for
only limited debate and less than 72 hours of public availability before passage.”

“This week the process of sorting out what the budget contains beyond
appropriations and cuts continues. In addition to budgetary items, the budget
also includes new policies. Including policies in a budget bill is a way to bypass
the normal legislative process and pass controversial matters with little or no
public notice or debate. N. C. Policy Watch has identified twelve significant
policy changes buried in the Senate budget.” See
http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2017/05/17/12-significant-policy-changesburied-nc-senate-budget/, 5/17/17.

“One of the most disturbing provisions of the Senate budget is a policy change concerning eligibility for SNAP, the program that used to be called food stamps, that would effectively cut off 133,000 people from receiving nutritional assistance. The move was not motivated by saving the state money because the program is paid for entirely with federal funds and costs the state nothing.” See http://www.wral.com/senate-budget-would-cut-off-food-aid-to-133-000/16703663/, 5/15/17.

And there is more, because thank goodness that “[t]he House is working on its version of the budget which is expected to correct some of the outrages in the Senate version. “

Plus, see the updates and the bill tracking that are included in all of this session’s legislative updates. 

See NC NOW Legislative Update 16.

Feminist 5K Run and Walk – Jun 17, 2017

The current wave of progressive activism is a continuation of the long fight for equal dignity for all, and an affirmation that if you show up to participate in something larger than yourself, you belong – and that our visibility matters.

If you’ve ever been to a 5k, fun run, or any road race, you have seen support and inclusion in action. Even when you are at the back of the pack (speaking from experience here), everyone wants you to succeed and they cheer you on. If you show up to participate, you belong.

The Feminist 5k in Raleigh on June 17, 2017 is an opportunity to run or walk with sisters and brothers in the cause, and to increase the visibility of feminism in our culture. You can sign up at www.feminist5k.org. Proceeds benefit the Women’s Center of Wake County. There is a $5 discount for NC NOW members. Use the Promotion Code “NC NOW.” Kids 12 and under are free.

Come run/walk/roll with us.

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Alfonso: I came out feeling empowered..

I learned so much from a man I knew so little about, that man’s name was Gene R. Nichol. I went not knowing what to expect, I came out feeling empowered knowing that there’s someone out there who cares. For 2 hours it felt as if I was constantly being punched in the back by Mike Tyson, and kicked by Bruce Lee.

Professor Gene Nichol, Alfonso Cristobal, and Gailya Paliga Photo Credit: Alfonso Cristobal

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LTE: What else women need from Governor Cooper, by Paula Wolf

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

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Stacking the Deck Against Tarheel Women, on Economic Security

Economic security was one of the topics covered in the morning of NC NOW’s state conference on Oct 10, 2015.  Tazra Mitchell, Policy Analyst at NC’s Budget and Tax Center (BTC), spoke on economic security in NC, especially for women, due to changes in state budgets and policy.   Mitchell’s work at BTC includes analysis of poverty, income inequality, and state fiscal policy.  

Photo Credit: NC Budget and Tax Center

On the problems North Carolinians face, Mitchell pointed out that there are not enough jobs for people who want to work.  91 counties have more jobless workers than job openings.  And the share of NC workers earning poverty wages is substantial, up from 2000.  According to the Economic Policy Institute’s Analysis of US Census Bureau data, in 2013, 31.3% of workers earned poverty wages (versus 25.6% in 2000).

Mitchell is also the Second Vice President of NC Women United, a coalition of progressive organizations committed to achieving full equality and empowerment for women.  Slides from her presentation are available on NCWU’s website at http://www.ncwu.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Broken-Economic-Model-and-Policy-Keep-Economic-Security-Out-of-Reach-for-Many-Tar-Heel-Women.pdf

Mitchell wrote about the NC NOW Conference on behalf of NCWU at http://www.ncwu.org/nc-nows-annual-conference/

Read more on the state conference “NC NOW Conference Focuses Feminist Power

Note: This post was written on Oct 22, 2015, but didn’t get posted until March 2015.  Still completely relevant today.

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.             


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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NC NOW’s 20th legislative update is available for members

NC NOW’s twentieth legislative update is available for members. This update is for the week ending June 20th. All updates include a list of bills that NC NOW is tracking. This summary and report were written by Robin Davis.  There is some additional information in the postscripts, added by Gailya Paliga.

NC NOW’s Legislative Update #20 Summary – June 20, 2015

Senate’s Budget differs greatly from the House’s Budget
The Senate released its budget last Monday and passed it on Thursday.  As expected, it is very different from the House budget.  The House, anticipating continued economic improvement and increased revenues, passed a $22.2 billion budget—a 5 percent spending increase.  The Senate proposes a $21.47 billion budget—only a 2 percent spending increase.  Senate leaders point out that their budget is close to the Governor’s $21.52 billion budget.  However, the Governor made his budget proposal in March when the economy was more sluggish and there was a projected revenue shortfall.  Today there is a budget surplus of $419 million.

Various articles have summarized the fiscal differences between the House and Senate budgets.  Here is a good overview:  http://www.wral.com/budget-differences-could-lead-to-long-legislative-summer/14724805/ If you want to get down into the weeds, you can start here:  http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/under-the-dome/article10333277.html.

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Silent Sentinel Vigil for ERA on 4/21/15 at 2pm

Equal Rights for Women
NC4ERA and NC NOW recently held a “Silent Sentinel” Vigil for the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). The vigil was quite successful in raising awareness. We are expecting coverage of those efforts in upcoming articles by the AP and the Indy Week.

Photo Credit: Roberta Waddle

We will stand sentinel again this Tuesday, April 21 at 2:00 pm, immediately following Women’s Advocacy Day activities at the NC Legislature, 16 W. Jones St. in Raleigh, NC. The hour long vigil will take place outside Office Rm. 1013 in the Legislative Bldg. This is the office of Rep. Darren Jackson, Vice Chair of Judiciary 1 Committee. The ERA Bill, H166, is sitting in Judiciary 1 Committee. We are advocating that the bill be passed out of committee favorably.

Please let us know as soon as you can if you plan on participating.We are expecting media coverage again at this event.

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Intent vs. Impact, speech on anti-abortion language in JVTA and blocking qualified women

Trust Women Press Conference at Federal Building, 310 New Bern Ave,
8 Apr 15, Raleigh, NC

Intent versus Impact

My name is Gailya Paliga and I am the president of NC National Organization for Women.

I am glad to be here at this Trust Women Press Conference today to show that political games are hurting too many citizens, and way too many women and girls.  The best way to look at the situation is intent versus impact.

You are hearing about the anti-abortion wording that was added into what had been a broadly supported, bi-partisan bill that would help victims of trafficking, mostly women and girls, in the US Senate.  Senate Bill 178 is the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act (JVTA).

The anti-abortion wording in this bill goes beyond the ‘Hyde Amendment.’  The Hyde Amendment already prohibits federal dollars from funding abortion, mostly through Medicaid, but also through Medicare and from military women at home and abroad.  The Hyde Amendment has been attached to appropriations bills (bills that ‘must be passed’) as a rider since 1976.


I think of the Hyde Amendment as a giant painful barnacle on the belly of Health and Human Services funding.

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TPP and how trade agreements can hurt women especially

Over the past 20 years, free trade agreements have served to disadvantage American workers and undermine domestic food safety in the US, but they have also stolen jobs and caused communities to fall apart in developing countries. When communities fall apart, it only gets worse from there.  People may hear about the effects of instability in general (mass immigration to the US to escape violence and poverty in Central America, for example), and not realize instability can be especially worse for women.

21 years ago (2014), the US, Canada and Mexico enacted NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement. A new trade agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), has been in the works for years, and is now coming to a head.  TPP is a regional NAFTA-style trade agreement which would grant even greater privileges to transnational corporations.  TPP involves possibly 12 or more countries.  However, problems caused by the first and much smaller NAFTA have not been addressed yet, and are very telling as to what TPP could cause for workers, communities and women in developing countries and other countries involved in TPP.

These trade agreements have been great for corporations but terrible for workers. NAFTA has caused major problems for farmers, communities, and more violence against women. Here are some examples.

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