News

Deutsche Bank “unwilling” to expand in North Carolina because of anti-LGBT law, freezes 250 jobs

Deutsche-Bank-LogoDeutsche Bank becomes the latest corporation to announce it is cancelling jobs planned for North Carolina following the signing of House Bill 2.

The global financial services provider announced Tuesday morning that the decision was based on legislation that invalidated existing protections of the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens and prevents municipalities from adopting such protections in the future.

“We take our commitment to building inclusive work environments seriously. We’re proud of our operations and employees in Cary and regret that as a result of this legislation we are unwilling to include North Carolina in our US expansion plans for now. We very much hope that we can re-visit our plans to grow this location in the near future,” said John Cryan, Co-Chief Executive Officer of Deutsche Bank.

Just last September Deutsche Bank confirmed plans to add 250 jobs in Cary by the end of  2017. The company had planned to invest $9 million in Wake County by the end of this year, according to a news release issued by the governor’s press office.

Last week PayPal announced plans to cancel 400 jobs in North Carolina because of the legislation signed by Governor Pat McCrory on March 23rd.

Commentary, News

As supporters, opponents of House Bill 2 square off, Jimmy Buffett says “stupid law” should be repealed

MONTAGE2Governor McCrory’s decision to sign House Bill 2 continues to be  a lightning rod for controversy.

Monday at noon supporters of the so-called “bathroom bill” gathered on the Capital Building grounds. Across the street,  opponents of House Bill 2 voiced their opposition to the discriminatory law.

On both sides there were signs that indicated the legislation passed in a one-day special session in late March  was hurting North Carolina’s business climate.

Those hoping to see the law repealed in the short session found support from singer Jimmy Buffett on Monday. Buffett announced while he would keep his upcoming concerts in Raleigh and Charlotte in April, future performances would “definitely depend on whether that stupid law is repealed.”

Here’s more from Buffett’s official statement:

220px-Jimmy_Buffett_1As a traveling musician for 40 years, I played many shows years ago, in many states where you could go to prison for 20 years for smoking a joint. It was a stupid law based on stupid assumptions. Time has fortunately reversed a lot of that way of thinking. But now another stupid law, based on stupid assumptions, has sprung up like kudzu in North Carolina, where we are scheduled to play shows next week in Raleigh and Charlotte.

North Carolina was there for me as a performer in the early days and I have always felt a loyalty to fans there that goes deep. Rightly so, a lot of people are reacting to the stupid law. I happen to believe that the majority of our fans in North Carolina feel the way I do about that law. I am lucky enough to have found a job in the business of fun. These shows were booked and sold out long before the governor signed that stupid law. I am not going to let stupidity or bigotry trump fun for my loyal fans this year. We will be playing in Raleigh and Charlotte next week.

That said, as for the future of shows in North Carolina, it would definitely depend on whether that stupid law is repealed. That is up to the good people of North Carolina and there are many, and I am confident that they will see that the right thing will be done. As Forrest said, “Stupid is as stupid does.”

Fins Up,
Jimmy Buffett

Buffett’s decision comes just days after Bruce Springsteen cancelled a show in Greensboro telling fans he was “raising my voice in opposition to those who continue to push us backwards instead of forwards.” Organizers estimate the loss of that event cost the city at least $100,000.

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Springsteen cancels North Carolina show in a fight against “prejudice and bigotry”

Bruce Springsteen, one of rock’s biggest icons took a stand against House Bill 2 on Friday, cancelling Sunday’s planned concert in Greensboro.

Here’s the official statement:

As you, my fans, know I’m scheduled to play in Greensboro, North Carolina this Sunday. As we also know, North Carolina has just passed HB2, which the media are referring to as the “bathroom” law. HB2 — known officially as the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act — dictates which bathrooms transgender people are permitted to use. Just as important, the law also attacks the rights of LGBT citizens to sue when their human rights are violated in the workplace. No other group of North Carolinians faces such a burden. To my mind, it’s an attempt by people who cannot stand the progress our country has made in recognizing the human rights of all of our citizens to overturn that progress. Right now, there are many groups, businesses, and individuals in North Carolina working to oppose and overcome these negative developments. Taking all of this into account, I feel that this is a time for me and the band to show solidarity for those freedom fighters. As a result, and with deepest apologies to our dedicated fans in Greensboro, we have canceled our show scheduled for Sunday, April 10th. Some things are more important than a rock show and this fight against prejudice and bigotry — which is happening as I write — is one of them. It is the strongest means I have for raising my voice in opposition to those who continue to push us backwards instead of forwards.
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band’s Sunday April 10th show is canceled. Tickets will be refunded at point of purchase.

The Greensboro News & Record reports the anti-LGBT law signed by Governor Pat McCrory March 23rd has led to a major economic blow for the city:

Roughly 15,000 tickets were sold for the event, half of them to people living outside of the city.

“You would have had thousands of people coming from other parts of the state and from all over the East Coast,” said Andrew Brown, a spokesman for the coliseum, who estimated that it would lose roughly $100,000 because of the cancellation. “Where we lost revenue is from people coming into the building — from parking, concessions, that kind of thing. It’s a major concert. It would have been one of our biggest events of the year.”

News & Observer editorial cartoonist Dwayne Powell captured the news this way:

Powell_SpringsteenFor those who had hoped to see the Boss and the E Street Band this weekend, we leave you with a couple classics:

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Commentary, News

This Week’s Top Five on NC Policy Watch

wb-405b1. Ayn Rand-Franklin Graham government
A toxic combination of economic and religious fundamentalism is poisoning North Caroli
na

North Carolina’s latest spasm of state-sponsored bigotry — the LGBT discrimination law that has once again made the state a national pariah and laughingstock in recent days — was clearly driven to a great degree by a desire to appease the religious right. So-called Christian conservatives like Rev. Franklin Graham and Lt. Gov. Dan Forest were among the new law’s chief champions two weeks ago when state leaders took it from a back-of-the-envelope rough draft to state statute in less than 12 hours and the allies of these men have been among its staunchest defenders ever since.

That said, it’s important to point out that House Bill 2 was, like so many other acts of North Carolina’s political leaders in recent years, a lot more than a mere bone tossed to social issues crusaders. It was also the kind of proposal that could warm the hearts of Koch Brother-funded economic fundamentalists and followers of a famous libertarian/atheist icon as well. [Continue reading…]

mc-seal2. McCrory still under siege two weeks after signing sweeping anti-LGBT bill
In case you are wondering how things are going for Gov. Pat McCrory two weeks after he signed a sweeping anti-LGBT bill that has prompted widespread outrage and opposition from more than 120 CEOs of major corporations, his visit to Wilmington Wednesday afternoon is a pretty good barometer.

McCrory came to town to crown the 2016 Azalea Queen, though his office announced the visit publicly only a couple of hours before the event.

An account in the Wilmington Star-News picks things up from there. [Continue reading…]

Bonus video: Greensboro passes formal resolution opposing anti-LGBT HB2

McCrory_teacherpayproposal2016-23. McCrory’s teacher pay proposal draws skepticism, cautious optimism

State’s education leaders await specifics in governor’s budget

Many of North Carolina’s political leaders may still be roiling over the backlash to the state’s broad anti-LGBT law this week, but Gov. Pat McCrory wants to talk about public education.

On Tuesday, the governor offered a snapshot of his upcoming education budget proposal to the legislature, calling for a 5 percent average pay increase for North Carolina teachers as well as one-time, $5,000 bonuses for some of the state’s most experienced educators. [Continue reading…]
7-economy4. Seven things you might not know about the alleged Carolina Comeback

Here is something about Gov. Pat McCrory’s alleged Carolina Comeback that you don’t hear every day.

Most of the jobs created in North Carolina in the last few years would have been created anyway, without the policies of McCrory and the General Assembly—the tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy, the drastic reductions in unemployment insurance for laid off workers, and the dismantling of state regulations that protect the environment.

That’s not liberal spin.

That is the conclusion of a prominent conservative commentator in a recent column extolling the virtues of those regressive policy decisions in the last few years and painting a rosy picture of how the state’s economy has fared with Republicans in charge.[Continue reading…]

Photo from flickr user familymwr (https://www.flickr.com/photos/familymwr/6277787834/), (CC BY 2.0, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)5. Yet another study confirms the huge benefits of investing in early childhood education

On Tuesday of this week, early education workers and thought leaders joined together at the North Carolina Child Care Coalition’s annual Early Education Forum in Raleigh. Among their top objectives: to discuss some of the ways to use research, policy, and advocacy to address some big problems — most notably, the high cost of early education and the challenges that confront the professionals employed in the early care and education workforce.

Those concerns are substantiated in a new Economic Policy Institute report that details the high cost of child care in every state. In the new report, “It’s time for an ambitious national investment in America’s children,” the authors outline the benefits of public investment in early childhood care and education (ECCE) – to children, families, society, and the economy. They also propose that lawmakers undertake critical public investments, including: [Continue reading...]

News

Greensboro passes formal resolution opposing anti-LGBT HB2 (video)

Greensboro City Council has passed a formal resolution opposing House Bill 2. The resolution, approved on an 8-1 vote Tuesday evening, condemned the state legislation that removes local control and opens the door to discrimination against LGBT individiuals.

Council Member Sharon Hightower criticized the law signed by Governor McCrory for the negative economic impact it has had, and noted the debate was never about bathrooms or public safety.

“We should not feel afraid, because honestly, there’s nothing to really be afraid of, except the people who put this forward,” said Hightower.

Here’s more from the Council’s resolution:
gboro_resolution

Watch an excerpt from Tuesday’s City Council meeting below:

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