The Campaign Trail


Justice Center Says Bill That Would Increase Penalties For Rioters Would Curb First Amendment Rights PDF Print E-mail
The Campaign Trail
By Donna Martinez   
Wednesday, 01 September 2021 08:39

HB805, the anti-Black Lives Matter, anti-protest legislation intended to curb the First Amendment rights of North Carolinians — which passed the House in May and the Senate last week — returned to the House today for a concurrence vote in which the House voted to accept proposed changes made in the Senate. This harmful bill, a direct assault on our democracy, is now one step closer to becoming law. 

While HB805 was originally purported to be a bill combatting “riots,” lawmakers have become increasingly explicit in saying the bill is a direct response to last summer’s protests and calls for racial justice and police accountability. The bill is a clear attempt to suppress free speech and the right to assemble. It also leaves the definition of a “riot” intentionally vague, thus granting police and prosecutors immense power to target Black, brown, and indigenous communities. By standing up for racial justice, those communities will be most hurt by the subjective legislation.  

Many of our partner organizations throughout the state have been working tirelessly these past few months to stop HB805 from advancing. The Justice Center was honored to sign on the letter developed by our partners at Emancipate NC, ACLU of NC, Democracy NC, and others. Thanks to everyone's advocacy, every Senate Democrat and all but two House Democrats voted against the bill, but there is still more work to be done to ensure HB805 does not become law.  

“There is no question HB805 is an attack on the struggle for Black liberation and other social justice movements that challenge the oppressive status quo,” said Laura Holland, Director of the Fair Chance Criminal Justice Project at the North Carolina Justice Center. “This bill is not an anti-riot bill, but an attack on our right to assembly and protest. It proposes to again use the criminal code as a tool to maintain dominance and control over Black and brown bodies, by punishing dissent with the risk of a felony conviction.”

The result of such convictions can have disastrous consequences. “In North Carolina (and nationwide), a felony conviction can debilitate an individual by locking them out of meaningful employment, affordable housing, higher education, and other opportunities to meet their essential needs,” said Holland. “We call on Governor Cooper to veto HB805.”

This legislation is exactly what it appears to be: part of a divisive and transparent attempt to criminalize standing up for racial justice. We must work to ensure it is not signed into law.  

 

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Budget & Tax Center Releases County-By County Economic Profile PDF Print E-mail
The Campaign Trail
By Administrator   
Wednesday, 01 September 2021 08:34

The latest economic data for counties throughout North Carolina is clearer today with the release of county-by-county data from the  n an easy-to-use format. Data is available for all 100 counties in North Carolina. These snapshots include data from prior to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as more recent indicators that show how the pandemic has affected local economies.

The Economic Snapshot is an annual publication that lists key economic and social indicators at the county level in North Carolina, providing an overall picture of how well-being varies through the state. This data profile includes indicators on employment, poverty and income, affordable housing, health, education, and supports for working families — all of which come from a variety of credible sources.

Key statewide findings include:

*             The richest 5 percent of North Carolina households have an average income that is 28 times greater than the poorest 20 percent of households.

*             Rent is unaffordable for many in NC. Some 47 percent of North Carolina renters are putting put more than 30 percent of income toward their rent, and 23 percent of North Carolinians are spending more than 50 percent of their income on rent.

*             Over 30 percent of North Carolinians had low annual incomes in 2019, meaning incomes under two times the federal poverty level ($50,200 for a family of four). In nearly every county, people of color and children are more likely to be living in poverty.

*             Poverty rates are generally higher in counties where the population is declining. In counties where the population is growing, educational attainment and earnings are significantly greater.

“An inequitable economy meant that many communities across the state were facing hardship for years before the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Logan Rockefeller Harris, Senior Policy Analyst with the NC Budget & Tax Center. “This data can help us assess how disparities between counties are shifting and growing, and guide the state’s public investments so that every county and North Carolina resident can thrive.”

 The nonpartisan Budget & Tax Center is a project of the NC Justice Center, which works to eliminate poverty in North Carolina by ensuring every household in the state has access to the resources, services and fair treatment it needs to achieve economic security. 

 
NC Democrats Run TV Ad Critical Of GOP Legislators PDF Print E-mail
The Campaign Trail
By Administrator   
Tuesday, 13 December 2011 15:14

RALEIGH - The North Carolina Democratic Party says it's started running a television ad criticizing Republican leaders at the General Assembly for passing laws that hurt women on issues from abortion and child care to Medicaid and the public schools.

 

The state party said Tuesday the 60-second commercial is running on cable TV in the Charlotte and Raleigh markets. A party spokesman declined to say how much money is being spent on the ad. An email sent to party supporters asked for more donations to keep the ad running.

 

The ad features Governor Beverly Perdue, state legislators and former Cabinet secretary and longtime party activist Betty McCain, who said "the GOP has declared war on women." The ad includes footage of Republican House leaders Thom Tillis and Paul Stam.

 
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