Think Big. Act Local.
Latest Issues Blog!
North Carolina has long been identified as a beautiful, forward thinking, progressive state. But under Republican leadership, our reputation has been severely tarnished and our beauty is being threatened with environmental policies that border on the absurd. Enough is enough. It is time to take our state back.
We all want our children to have the best education possible. Under Republican leadership, public education is being assaulted at every turn. Per pupil spending has been cut. Our teachers are paid less than almost every other state in the nation. Scholarships encouraging the brightest and best of our students to become teachers have been eliminated. State funding is being redirected to private schools. And these private schools are not subjected to the same regulation and interference our legislature has mandated over our public schools.
"Fast-track" approval is being given to the fracking industry. Environmental regulations protecting our water, air and land have been weakened or outright eliminated. Polluters have been given a "slap on the wrist" and a wink when dumping coal ash and chemicals into our rivers and lakes.
Under Republican leadership, budgets are being balanced on the backs of those least able to afford it as new taxes are appearing on everything from mechanical services, to food, to cell phone services and entertainment.
In a blind effort to fight anything introduced by President Obama, NC Republicans refused to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. This has hurt the most vulnerable among us, and has proven to be the death of too many of our state's rural hospitals and clinics.
In a state where manufacturing has suffered steep declines, especially in rural areas, families have lost good paying jobs. Families, suddenly unable to support themselves have relied upon support of the Social Services system until new work could be found. And often any new jobs are part-time and pay minimum wage. NC Republicans have hurt these families by reducing the amount of time allowed to draw unemployment while seeking work, and cutting benefits designed to help these families survive. Ralph Hise, has even introduced a bill to stop families from receiving food stamps if they are receiving other forms of assistance.
And they do not want their hold on power to be disturbed. Since gaining majority in both the NC House and Senate, they have:
- Unlawfully gerrymandered districts to make certain they are Republican controlled.
- Unlawfully passed voting restrictions designed to keep minorities, college students and poor people from voting.
- Unlawfully changed the composition of local election boards to give themselves control.
- In an effort to stop losing court battles over voting restrictions, they have changed the Governor's ability to appoint judges, and reduced the number of them to maintain a Republican majority on the court.
- Passed a law that takes away the Governor's and the State Attorney General's rights to challenge in court over any laws passed by the legislature.
- In cities like Asheville, who elect representatives on an "at large" basis, the NC Legislature is requiring them to establish districts of the LEGISLATURES' design (not local design) for future elections. Once again, gerrymandering those districts for Republican control.
We have better ideas. We can have a great educational system that can prepare our children and grandchildren for every challenge the future may throw at them. We can do a much better job of being good stewards of this earth that God gave us, and can do it in ways that do not diminish our competitiveness in the world's economy. We can spend our tax dollars wisely for the good of ALL the people instead of simply for those who sponsor our politicians. We can have a healthcare system that is affordable and cares for all equally - even the "least of these." And we can do it without breaking the bank. We can be compassionate to our neighbors and friends whose employers have closed their doors and left them searching for good, well paying jobs. We can see to it that every child does not have to worry about where their next meal is coming from. And we can guarantee the voting rights of ALL citizens, instead of seeking ways to keep those with whom we disagree from voting.
We can do better. Elect us, and we WILL return NC to the values that make us strong.