Commentary

Population control group responds to PW commentary

[Editor’s note: The following post was submitted by Lauren Salmiery, National Field Director for the Population Connection Action Fund in response to an essay published by Policy Watch on Nov. 20 entitled “A 1960s population control organization rebranded in 2002. Now it’s recruiting UNC students.”]

In response to “A 1960’s population control organization rebranded in 2002. Now it’s recruiting UNC students.

Recently, NC Policy Watch published an article regarding the history of Population Connection without requesting a comment from a representative of the organization. We’d like to clarify our progressive values as an organization, which were misconstrued.

First and foremost, at Population Connection and its sister organization, Population Connection Action Fund, which runs the #Fight4HER campaign, we firmly believe in the right of every individual to make their own reproductive decisions, including the right of women to have as many, or as few, children as they desire. We work to ensure that every person, regardless of where in the world they live, has access to the resources they need to make their own health care decisions. We fight every day to lift harmful restrictions on U.S. aid that unjustly curb access to crucial reproductive health services in countries around the world, and we are grateful to have the platform to do so.

We also acknowledge that billions of people around the world are struggling to meet their most basic needs. Around the world:

  • 1 billion people lack access to safe water;
  • 3 billion don’t have basic sanitation;
  • 820 million people don’t get enough food to live a healthy, active life;
  • 15,000 children under age five die each day—more than half of them from preventable and easily treatable diseases

It’s no coincidence that people living in countries experiencing higher rates of population growth, in addition to a myriad of connected systems, including colonialism, income inequality, government corruption, racism, sexism, and misogyny, face the most serious challenges. We know that efforts to guarantee reproductive autonomy and investments in reproductive health programs save and improve lives, and that these investments bring returns to their communities and the world at large.

Of course, it is vitally important to understand that the population movement has a tumultuous history. We have condemned, and will continue to condemn, the troubling history of forced sterilization that touched far too many lives in the United States and around the world. While Population Connection (formerly Zero Population Growth) never advocated for coercive population control policies, we know that we must recognize these past injustices to move forward in our fight to ensure access to reproductive health care for everyone, everywhere.

We fiercely support a wide range of progressive issues, including reproductive justice, environmental justice, LGBTQ+ justice, immigration justice, and racial justice. We condemn the efforts of ecofascists to use population as a veil for their racist, nativist, and xenophobic agenda.

We appreciate the author’s clear dedication to ensuring that people are able to make reproductive choices free from coercion, barriers, and judgement. In an era of near-constant attacks on reproductive rights and freedom in North Carolina, the United States, and around the world, this devotion is all the more imperative. We look forward to continuing the fight for these shared values as we work to lift barriers on access to comprehensive reproductive health care around the world.

NC Budget and Tax Center, News

STATEMENT FROM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR RICK GLAZIER: Tricks with no treats for North Carolinians

RALEIGH (October 31, 2019) – The NC General Assembly leadership voted to leave Raleigh today after once again voting to slash taxes for big corporations while failing to give teachers and state employees the raises they deserve, leaving hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians without Medicaid coverage and failing to invest in thriving communities across the state.

Legislative leaders’ refusal to put forward a comprehensive final budget that addresses North Carolina’s ongoing needs puts our state on worse footing for the future.

After a session that saw underhanded sneak votes and the rejection of broadly popular policies to extend health coverage and improve public education, legislators are leaving many North Carolina families and communities behind.

Ignoring dramatic need and widespread popular demand, the legislature refused to expand Medicaid, leaving hundreds of thousands of low-income North Carolinians without coverage and threatening the survival of many rural hospitals.

This Halloween, the Republican leadership was all tricks and no treats.

By moving forward with legislative proposals, like the franchise tax cut that failed in House Finance but was revived by leadership late last night, legislative leaders have once again demonstrated their priority is big business, not everyday North Carolinians.

Bucking their prior stance against subsidizing the film industry, they moved to allow large film and television production companies to receive even more lucrative grants.

Despite rising public health concerns around vaping and the potential of parity in the taxation of these tobacco products at similar levels as cigarettes to address some of those concerns, legislative leaders listened to the tobacco industry and refused to act.

By expanding sales taxes on online purchases and not making up for it with other tax law changes, legislative leaders voted to keep our tax code upside-down.

To make matters even worse, legislative leaders passed tax cuts for big businesses while cynically claiming we couldn’t afford more healthy raises for educators. Leadership kept teacher pay raises far short of what is needed to retain and attract talent, undermining our children’s access to quality education. The proposed raise leaves teacher pay below its modest pre-recession levels, leaves teachers with a giant pay deficit compared to equally educated professionals in different jobs, and tries to pit teachers against other vital needs in the state budget.

The General Assembly has prioritized tax cuts for big business even as they have failed to enact a comprehensive final budget which creates a pathway to a stronger North Carolina. Once again, legislative leaders placed ideology and the demands of wealthy corporations over the needs of everyone else in the state.

Commentary

During hurricane season, luncheon will examine the future of NC’s shorelines

Join NC Policy Watch  Thursday, September 17 for a very special and timely Crucial Conversation luncheon:

Managing North Carolina’s increasingly vulnerable shorelines – now and in the decades ahead

Featuring Prof. Rob Young of the Western Carolina University Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines

Click here to register

It’s hurricane season yet again and only time will tell what havoc this year’s expected onslaught will bring to North Carolina’s fragile coastal communities. One thing that is clear, however, is that merely following the standard procedure of trying to constantly “re-nourish” beaches by pumping in large quantities of sand from offshore is not a viable, long-term solution.

Indeed, in some (if not many) instances, coastal communities would be much better served to buy up vulnerable beachfront properties rather than trying to protect and/or repeatedly rebuild them. That’s the conclusion of a recent report from scientists at the Western Carolina University Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines, entitled “Coastal Hazards & Targeted Acquisitions: A Reasonable Shoreline Management Alternative – North Topsail Beach, North Carolina Case Study.”

Join us on Tuesday, September 17 as we hear from one of the authors of the report and the director of the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines, Prof. Rob Young.

Click here to register

When: Tuesday, September 17 at 12:00 noon — Box lunches will be available at 11:45 a.m.

Where: Junior League of Raleigh Center for Community Leadership – 711 Hillsborough St.

Space is limited – preregistration required.

Cost: $10 online, $15 at the door — admission includes a box lunch — scholarships available.

PLEASE NOTE – Online sign-up page will list the “pay at the door” option as “free,” but the actual, event-day cost is $15

Questions?? Contact Billy Ball at 919-861-1460 or billy@ncpolicywatch.com

Seats are sure to go fast – don’t miss this very special event!

Commentary

Justice Center raffling two tickets to tomorrow’s big hockey game in Raleigh

The North Carolina Justice Center is raffling off two front row tickets to tomorrow’s Carolina Hurricanes playoff game.

Each entry is $25 and can be purchased through 11:59 PM tonight (April 30).

The winner will be selected on Wednesday, May 1 by 10 AM.

Each $25 entry gives you a chance to win two seats, a $880 value!

Proceeds benefit the work of the NC Justice Center.

News

NC Policy Watch claims multiple NC Press Association awards

The North Carolina Press Association held its annual awards dinner last night and the NC Policy Watch team took home several awards for its work in 2018. Policy Watch was awarded second place in the prestigious “General Excellence” category for online publications. First place went to Coastal Review Online and third went to Carolina Public Press.

Other winners in General Excellence for  traditional newspapers included the Winston-Salem Journal, Fayetteville Observer, the Wilson Times, the News Reporter (based Columbus County), and the State Port Pilot (which is based in Southport).

In the individual award categories, PW journalists received the following recognition in the Online Division:

First place for “News Feature Writing” – Lisa Sorg

First place for “Election and Political Reporting – Billy Ball

Second place for “Photography, General News” – Lisa Sorg

Second place for “Serious Columns” – Rob Schofield

Second place for “Election and Political Reporting” – Melissa Boughton

Second place for “Beat Feature Reporting” – Melissa Boughton

Second place for “Education Reporting” – Billy Ball

Second place for “Editorials” – Rob Schofield

Third place for “News Enterprise Reporting” – Joe Killian

Third place for “News Feature Writing” – Lisa Sorg

Third place for “Investigative Reporting” – Billy Ball

Third place for “Editorials” – Billy Ball

Policy Watch Education Reporter Greg Childress was also recognized for his work last year for Raleigh’s News & Observer and the Durham Herald-Sun prior to joining the PW team with a First Place award in the category of “Deadline News Reporting.”