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A busy week at NC Policy Watch

Here’s a brief recap of the issues that the folks at NC Policy Watch have been following this week.

Chris Fitzsimon reports on two committees, the Joint House and Senate Finance Committee and the Governor’s Budget Reform and Accountability Commission, that met Thursday in his column “The more things in Raleigh change, the more they stay the same.” Despite the challenges facing the state budget, it doesn’t look like we can expect any innovative reforms in this election year.

Fitzsimon also reports on Governor Perdue’s road show in his column “Perdue reboots agenda.” Perdue is traveling across the state this week laying out her plans for the next three years.

Rob Schofield highlights why immigration reform should be part of our national recovery in his Weekly Briefing entitled “A new and improved “us”.”

Making reference to a popular T.V. game show, Schofield takes a jab at conservative lawmakers who refuse to acknowledge the impact of global climate change in his Setting the Record Straight commentary entitled “Wanted: “Lifeline” for conservative lawmakers.

Chris Fitzsimon also takes on the conservatives in his column “The repetitive right-wing rhetoric rolls on.” Repeating statements to the contrary does not change the fact that government stimulus is helping lift the economy out of recession.

This week’s edition of “Monday numbers” is reminder to all of us why we are celebrating the life and contributions of Dr. Martin Luther King. Many activities are planned throughout the Triangle starting Friday and continuing through Monday. Please check the community calendar on the NC Policy Watch home page (just below the main article) for a list of events.

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Resolutions, budgets and buying elections

Rob Schofield suggests ten New Year’s resolutions for progressivives in his Weekly Briefing commentary “Building momentum for change.

Chris Fitzsimon gives state lawmakers a wake up call in his column “Lawmakers can’t ride this one out.” The state budget will be in serious trouble when federal stimulus money and temporary tax increases run out later this year unless lawmakers make changes.

In his latest commentary, “The wrong measuring stick,” Fitzsimon reminds readers that the Senate primary race is likely to be decided by big-money donors rather than voters. Not exactly what our forefathers of democracy had in mind.

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Starting off a new year at NCPW

Chris Fitzsimon attends another Wake County School Board meeting and reports on the undemocratic actions of the new board members in his column “The clear MO of the Wake County Gang of Five.”

In his weekly feature “Monday numbers,” Fitzsimon takes a unique look at the North Carolina Legislature.

Progressive Voices commentator Adam Linker argues “It’s time to fix the state health plan.”

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Reflecting on 2009 Legislative Session

Today, NC Policy Watch republished Rob Schofield’s Weekly Briefing “Several important accomplishments.” Originally written at the conclusion of the 2009 legislative session, this column is worth re-reading today as you reflect of this past year and think hopefully about the future.

Schofield’s commentary is a good reminder that while our state was faced with many adversities, our legislative leaders successfully raised nearly a billion dollars in revenue essential to preserving our pubic health and public education systems and passed numerous bills benefiting both workers and consumers.

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Golden anniversary of the Civil Rights Movement

2010 marks a significant milestone in the Civil Rights Movement. It is the 50th anniversary of the Southern sit-in movement, the emergence of the National Civil Rights struggle, and the founding of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), which took place here in Raleigh in April, 1960.

This year also marks 30th year that the Raleigh Martin Luther King Committee has organized and promoted the annual King holiday celebration. The committee has planned several very special events for this golden anniversary celebration, which you, together with your family and friends, will want to attend. All programs  are free and open to the public in cooperation from area businesses, corporations, churches and civic organizations. Here is the schedule of events: 

FRIDAY, JANUARY 15, 2010

6:00 PM The 2010 Martin Luther King Wreath Laying Ceremony
Martin Luther King Memorial Gardens

SATURDAY,  JANUARY 16, 2010

9:00 AM The 2010 MLK Gang & Youth Assistance Town Hall Meeting
Marbles Museum – Venture Hall, IMAX Theater

3:00 PM Obama NC: The Path To History Movie Screening
Hargett Street YWCA, 554 East Hargett Street

MONDAY,  JANUARY 18, 2010

8:00 AM The 30th Annual Martin Luther King Triangle Interfaith Prayer Breakfast
Sheraton Imperial Hotel, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina

8:30 AM 5th Annual Martin Luther King Community Day Of Service
Various Projects Located Throughout Triangle Area

11:00 AM  30th Annual Martin Luther King Holiday Memorial March
Departs from State Capitol Building, Edenton Street Side

12:00 PM 30th Annual Martin Luther King Noon Ecumenical Observance
Raleigh Memorial Auditorium, Progress Energy Center For The Performing Arts

5:30 PM 30th Annual Martin Luther King Evening Musical Celebration
Raleigh Memorial Auditorium, Progress Energy Center For The Performing Arts