Other Voices

Other Voices

Progressive Voices Top Story

Protecting the health of North Carolinians shouldn’t be a game

Durham high school student explains why vaccine lottery could backfire in the long run North Carolina’s vaccine lottery just announced its first two winners. But while the $1 million and $125,000 prizes are going to two very lucky (and admittedly, very deserving) individuals, the lottery itself runs counter to our values as a society and a state.

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Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

The NC Drug Tax is designed to ensnare and penalize people, especially those of color

Damned if you do, damned if you don't: The tax is required, but nearly impossible to pay Last week, I tried and failed to pay the North Carolina Drug Tax. Turns out, failure was inevitable: It’s virtually impossible to pay this tax. So why is it still law?

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Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

A 303-mile hole in claim that the Mountain Valley Pipeline is critical to energy security

After the recent cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline, fossil fuel industry advocates have redoubled their efforts to frame the completion of other U.S. pipeline projects as a critical energy security issue. However, there is a 42-inch wide, 303-mile long gaping hole in this line of argumentation: the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP).

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Progressive Voices Top Story

North Carolina failed Ruby: 15,000 others still wait

Woman’s death highlights Innovations Waiver wait list crisis When I first learned about Ruby Loftin’s unexpected death a few weeks ago, I was heartbroken. Friends describe Ruby as bringing joy to all who knew her. I imagine her sweet spirit and welcoming smile and wish that I had known her.

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Original Commentary Other Voices Progressive Voices Top Story

As climate emergency grows more urgent, Duke Energy seeks to supersize CO2 pollution

Energy giant must halt planned fossil fuel expansion, aggressively embrace renewable energy, storage, conservation North Carolina—and the world—are well into the climate emergency. United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres recently stated that the world “is on the verge of the abyss” if we do not move at lightening pace to decarbonize our economies by 2030.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Some simple truths about critical race theory and the cynical campaign to distort it

The late historian John Henrik Clarke explained the dominant subculture’s preoccupation with manipulating history. Europeans “began manipulating history in the 15th century to justify the slave trade,” said Clarke, a pioneer in Pan-African studies, during an interview with Tony Brown on Brown’s eponymous show in the 1970s. Modern racism incubated during this period, Clarke said.

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Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

The path back to sanity is not so clear: Hate, venom and a former president who seems to think he’s still president

There is way too much hate and way too much misinformation spreading across our political landscape these days. I’ve watched and written about politics for more than 55 years and never seen anything that approaches this mess. At the top of the dreadful heap is a former president who seems to think he is still president and spends most of every day trashing everyone who disagrees.

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Original Commentary Other Voices Progressive Voices Top Story

Memorial Day memories: The courage of war correspondents

I never fought in the Vietnam War. I joined United Press International, a worldwide wire service, in 1975 at the end of that conflict. My heroes were UPI war correspondents — Leon Daniel, Kate Webb and Joseph L. Galloway. Daniel was a friend. He died in 2006. Webb was a role model and later, mentor. She died in 2007. I knew Galloway, interviewed for this piece, from his legendary combat accounts.

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Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

I represented an innocent man on death row: Here’s why NC must end the death penalty

In September 2014, I was sitting with Henry McCollum at the moment a judge ordered his release from death row for a crime he did not commit. Many folks in the courtroom clapped in celebration. Others embraced out of relief. It had been 30 years since Henry and his brother Leon Brown--two innocent and intellectually disabled children--had been convicted and sentenced to death in Robeson County, North Carolina.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

New federal effort to aid homeless students must include college and university populations

CULLOWHEE – I was elated recently when I read an article by NC Policy Watch education reporter Greg Childress (“$23 million coming to NC to help public school students experiencing homelessness”) detailing U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona’s efforts to support homeless students. The American Rescue Plan’s Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Homeless Children and Youth Fund will assist K-12 students who experience homelessness.

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Other Voices Progressive Voices Top Story

Special to PW: ALEC-inspired bill promoting more campaign finance secrecy should be rejected

Four out of five Americans, across the political spectrum, consistently support transparency when it comes to contributions to organizations that spend money on campaigns. Unfortunately, a growing number of states, now including North Carolina, are advancing so-called "donor privacy" bills to block public access to information about who is spending big money to secretly influence our vote and our government.

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Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

Nothing but racism explains Black women’s higher rate of horrible birth stories

Tatyana Ali, who starred as Ashley Banks on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” from 1990 to 1996, entered Harvard the next year where she double majored in government and African-American studies. In 2016, Ali and her husband, an English professor at Stanford, welcomed their first child, but only after mother and baby were roughly treated by a hospital’s obstetrics team, she testified Thursday to the U.S. House Oversight and Reform Committee.

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Other Voices Progressive Voices Top Story

Health care professionals condemn proposed abortion ban in open letter to legislative leaders

Scores of NC physicians, nurses, clinicians, and counselors say bill racing through state House would foster "environment of fear, stigma, and interrogation" Editor's note: Republicans in the North Carolina House and Senate are once again advancing legislation to restrict abortion access. As Policy Watch has reported here and here, two committees in the House of Representatives have already given approval to a proposal...

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Defending Democracy Other Voices Progressive Voices Top Story

Inside the GOP gerrymander for 2022

WASHINGTON – Republicans are rejoicing and Democrats are dismayed that population losses in the Rust Belt and gains in the Sun Belt, recorded by the 2020 census, will add Congressional seats in key Republican states and may tilt the 2022 elections. But don’t bet just yet on a GOP slam dunk. There’s more to this game than immediately meets the eye.

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Defending Democracy Original Commentary Other Voices Progressive Voices Top Story

Lawmakers have the tools to safeguard voting rights and fair elections; all they need is the will

Congress and the G.A. can build on the the success of the 2020 election by passing three important bills Voting is the right by which all our other rights are protected, to paraphrase Thomas Paine. Equal access to the ballot box is the bedrock foundation of our democracy and vital to the health of our nation.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Chauvin trial shows that justice requires diverse, inclusive juries

No one should have been on the edge of their seat about the verdict in Derek Chauvin’s trial. He was caught on video kneeling on George Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes as Floyd begged for his life. But this is America, where police are almost never held accountable, so we held our breath and prepared for Chauvin to be acquitted. 

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