Author: Julie F

He Who Dares Wins?

Common Cause Challenges the Constitutionality of the December 14-16, 2016 Special Session On February 21, 2018, a three-judge panel heard oral arguments in the case of Common Cause v. Forest. This lawsuit was filed to dispute the constitutionality of the special session held by the General Assembly December 14-16, 2016, which was reported widely in the national news as a power grab by the NCGOP before newly elected Governor Cooper’s inauguration. As part of that special session, the General Assembly enacted two pieces of legislation that, among other things: Combined the state Board of Elections and the Ethics Commission;...

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Doing the Hard Work to Overcome Bias

As I pulled into the gas station, I noticed the car in the handicapped spot with its placard hanging from the mirror. I pulled into a different spot nearby. As I was reaching for my purse, I noticed a woman who did not show visible signs of disability walk out the door and toward the car with the placard. As she got in and started the car, I could feel my frustration growing. “Ugh,” I thought to myself, “she sure doesn’t LOOK disabled.” Approximately two seconds later, when I realized what had just gone through my head, I felt...

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Why Is the Partisan Gerrymandering Ruling a BFD?

Legislative maps, judicial maps, congressional maps – North Carolina has been in the national news for all of these lately, and not in a good way. While we are waiting to hear what will happen with legislative maps newly drawn by the Special Master, Nathaniel Persily (fixing several racially gerrymandered North Carolina House and Senate districts), and while we are pushing back against allowing this General Assembly to draw new judicial maps (that could disproportionately affect rural districts and black judges), the most recent development is that North Carolina’s congressional maps have been deemed unconstitutional, skewing our representation in...

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Spotlight: Love Wins Community Engagement Center

When most people think about helping people experiencing homelessness, they think about donating money, food, clothes, or time to homeless shelters. While shelters serve a vital need, fewer people realize that most shelters require their residents to leave each morning and don’t allow them to return until later that evening. For someone experiencing homelessness who cannot work, or someone who does work but perhaps works shifts and doesn’t have a predictable schedule, this creates a lot of hardship. “People experiencing homelessness don’t have places to go during the day, and especially not places to go that are happy and...

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The US Census: Population Tracker or Political Tool?

With all the controversy over drawing congressional districts and gerrymandering, it’s easy to forget that there’s an even bigger issue that drives the redistricting in the first place – the US Census. But why is the census such a big deal? Here are some facts about the census to help explain why the census is so important, and why it’s even more important that the census remain a non-political operation – something that’s in danger of changing under President Trump. What is the census, exactly? The US Census is a constitutionally mandated count of the population of the country...

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