State Government
Cooper Calls On Legislative Leaders To Work Together In Recovery PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Tuesday, 27 April 2021 17:03
Governor Roy Cooper's State of the State address speech highlighted North Carolinians’ resilience throughout the pandemic and reinforced the need for legislators to work together to help the state rebuild from the pandemic even stronger by expanding Medicaid, raising teacher pay, investing in workforce training and solidifying the state’s infrastructure.
“I believe that North Carolina is Strong, Resilient and Ready to face the challenges of the future,” said Governor Cooper. “I believe that we will rebuild from this pandemic to be even stronger than before. And I believe that we can roar into the future together, creating a shared recovery that ensures our best days lie ahead.”
North Carolina is one of few states that has not expanded Medicaid. Now, with even more federal dollars available, the governor urged both parties to work together and get this done. Medicaid expansion would provide billions of federal dollars to cover over 500,000 North Carolinians, help rural hospitals, provide mental health services and keep working people healthy. 
Governor Cooper also pushed for more workforce training to ensure students and adult workers can find fulfilling, good-paying jobs, as more companies from all over continue to bring new jobs to the state. 
The Governor called on legislators to invest in K-12 and higher education, teacher pay, infrastructure, high-speed internet, clean energy economic development for a stronger and more prosperous future. 
“In a year of hardship and loss, we owe it to ourselves and each other – and, as leaders, we owe it to the people who elected us – to build a state that is truly more educated, equitable, healthier and prosperous,” said Governor Cooper.
Throughout the speech, Gov. Cooper recognized North Carolinians who have supported their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, including:
Felecia Young, Salisbury; Sixth Grade Math Teacher at Knox Middle School
Dr. Karen Smith, Raeford; Provider at Independent Family Practice
Cecil Conrad, Lexington; Owner of The Bar-B-Q Center
Cassandra Brooks, Clayton; Owner of The Little Believers Academy
Natesha Fields, New Bern; Nurse at CarolinaEast Medical Center
Chris Morris, High Point; President, Custom Contract Furnishings
Lexine Merrill, Monroe; Critical Care Nurse
Lieutenant Colonel David Walliser, Raleigh; Lieutenant Colonel, North Carolina National Guard
Anderson “Andy” Warlick, Gastonia; CEO, Parkdale Mills 
Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 April 2021 17:16
$500,000 In Grants Made Available For Vaccine Outreach PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Thursday, 22 April 2021 10:49
Healthier Together, a public-private partnership between North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and NC Counts Coalition, is releasing a Request for Proposals for community-based organizations to apply for grants ranging from $5,000 - $20,000 (or up to $50,000 for collaborative proposals). Grants will support groups that will help North Carolina achieve its goal of delivering equitable access to vaccines.
Healthier Together, the Health Equity Action Network, will award $500,000 in grants for short-term vaccine equity initiatives ending August 31, 2021. Funds will go to organizations supporting NC communities that experience health inequities to ensure that individuals from Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and other historically marginalized populations are able to access vaccines. Grants will fund activities to conduct vaccine outreach and education efforts, help people schedule appointments and arrange transportation, coordinate local vaccine events at trusted and accessible locations, provide on-site interpretation services and help ensure people get to second dose appointments. The application period opens Tuesday, April 27 and ends Friday, May 14 at 11:59 p.m.
“We are building a community-based strategy by investing in state, regional, and local partners led by and serving historically marginalized populations,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D. “Healthier Together brings together the expertise and relationships of trusted organizations with the policy tools and resources of state government to create a new partnership model to address vaccine equity.”
Interested organizations can participate in an informational online webinar with the NC Counts Coalition on Monday, April 26, 2021, from 6:30–7:30 p.m. The webinar will be available in Spanish, American Sign Language (ASL) and closed captioning, and will be recorded for later viewing. Potential grantees can register for the webinar at
In addition to providing grants to community-based organizations, the Healthier Together initiative will hire regional health equity teams to support community-based organizations in their outreach and education efforts, use data on vaccination efforts to inform planning and investment of resources, and help match vaccine providers with community-based organizations.
Healthier Together will implement strategies to drive demand and increase access to vaccines to BIPOC and other historically marginalized populations. This RFP process and the subsequent grants to community-based organizations is a crucial part of those strategies. This program is funded by federal COVID-19 dollars.
Additional information regarding the RFP process can be found at
For specific questions about this RFP, please contact Tandra Byrd ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) at the NC Counts Coalition.
Bill Would End Shackling Of Women Prisoners While Giving Birth PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Thursday, 22 April 2021 10:40

A broad, bipartisan coalition introduced House Bill 608 which would add protections and support for pregnant women in North Carolina’s prisons and jails and their babies. The bill was introduced by Reps. Kristin Baker (R-Cabarrus), Kyle Hall (R- Rockingham, Stokes, and Surry), Donna White (R – Johnston), and Ashton Wheeler Clemmons (D- Guilford ).

One key provision of the bill deals with the practice of shackling pregnant women during pregnancy and delivery. This dangerous practice still happens far too often inside North Carolina prisons and jails. The use of shackles can cause injuries to mothers and their babies, including physical trauma due to falls, increased pain during labor from bone separation and muscle tears, blocked circulation, and miscarriage.

Women are the fastest growing population in the state’s prison system. Unfortunately, the unique needs and challenges of this growing population of incarcerated women are often left out of the conversations surrounding criminal justice reform. The bi-partisan sponsors of Dignity for Women who are Incarcerated have recognized the burgeoning crisis of women’s health care in our prisons.

“The underlying principles embodied in Dignity for Women who are Incarcerated empower critical progress in protecting the health and well-being of women and their babies in our justice system, while also protecting the safety and security of all involved” said Rep. Kristin Baker. “The goals of ensuring public safety while maintaining dignity for women are not mutually exclusive, and I am proud to support and advance both goals with this bill which is both pro-family and pro-life.”

Dignity for Women who are Incarcerated would provide guidance to address pregnancy-related needs of incarcerated women. In addition to providing access to prenatal and post-delivery care and support to people who are pregnant and postpartum, training and technical assistance would be provided to correctional staff to ensure compliance. Without proper access and training, incarcerated women will continue to be body searched by male corrections officers leading to further trauma, and children will have less opportunity to visit their mothers who are serving time to ensure a familial bond. This is incredibly important considering that in North Carolina, one in four children will experience the incarceration of a parent before the age of 18.

“I am extremely proud to be a part of the collaborative work that culminates in our filing of this important legislation today,” said Rep. Ashton Wheeler Clemmons. “As a mother, once I heard the stories of women who were pregnant and gave birth while incarcerated, I knew we had to improve. Throughout the session we worked with stakeholder groups to create a broadly supported bill that protects pregnant women and their babies while keeping citizens in our state safe. This process created a bill with support of law enforcement, a wide range of advocates, and the women whose stories started us down this path. I look forward to continuing to advocate for its passage and signature.”

Last Updated on Thursday, 22 April 2021 10:44
Office of Recovery And Resiliency Gets New Chief PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Thursday, 22 April 2021 10:34

The N.C. Office of Recovery and Resiliency (NCORR), a division of the N.C. Department of Public Safety, has named Dr. Amanda Martin as the state chief resilience officer. In her new role, Martin will lead NCORR Resiliency Program efforts to increase North Carolina’s resilience in the face of future natural disasters and climate change. The program supports collaboration between government agencies, non-profits, the private sector and academia, with a goal of developing solutions that strengthen community resilience while protecting the environment.

“North Carolina is committed to rebuilding stronger than before and making sure our state is prepared for future storms," said Governor Roy Cooper. “I am grateful to Dr. Amanda Martin for taking on the role of chief resilience officer and helping us build back better.”

“Dr. Amanda Martin has made a tremendous impact on North Carolina throughout her service to our state,” Public Safety Secretary Erik A. Hooks stated. “I am extremely pleased she has agreed to step into this important leadership role as we continue to build and maintain our resiliency in North Carolina.” 

Martin is a nationally recognized expert with more than a decade of experience in climate resilience, disaster recovery and community development. Her work has focused on building resilience in ways that advance economic prosperity, strengthen housing options and celebrate cultural and natural heritage. In her previous role as deputy chief resilience officer with NCORR, she helped advanced the state’s resiliency efforts through policy advising, stakeholder engagement and technical assistance. 

“Strong partnerships between local, state and federal organizations is a fundamental part of building community resiliency,” said N.C. Emergency Management Director Michael A. Sprayberry, who also serves as director of NCORR. “Dr. Martin has an exceptional ability to foster collaboration among groups with very diverse interests. Those skills are going to be a big asset as she leads the state’s resiliency initiative.”  

Martin holds a doctorate in city and regional planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where her dissertation examined post-disaster home buyouts in North Carolina from the perspectives of resilience, recovery and racial justice. She also holds a master’s degree in city planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University. 
“In North Carolina, there are countless leaders in the public and private sectors who are committed to improving the resilience of our communities,” said Martin. “I am especially looking forward to leading a program that supports these partners through coordination, analysis and strategic support.”

Governor Cooper established NCORR in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence to streamline disaster recovery programs statewide and help communities rebuild smarter and stronger. In addition to the Resiliency Program, the office administers programs that support homeowner recovery, affordable housing, mitigation, strategic buyout, local government grants and loans, and pandemic-related rent and utility assistance. To date, North Carolina has invested more than $3.6 billion in state and federal funding to support recovery from hurricanes Matthew, Florence, Dorian and Isaias. Learn more about NCORR’s programs at

Last Updated on Thursday, 22 April 2021 10:39

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