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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

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More North Carolinians need help

In his column “A vital helping hand,” Chris Fitzsimon sites a new report by The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, which found 39 million Americans have benefited from the government’s economic recovery act. More government help is needed in the form of jobs creation to keep struggling families out of poverty.

The economy is adversely affecting many families but others struggle with a different type of hardship. Rob Schofield describes the challenges facing many people with developmental disabilities and mental illness in his Weekly Briefing “Fundamental questions.” Schofield makes the connection between a lawsuit filed this week by the nonprofit group Disabilities Rights North Carolina and the larger systemic problems within the state’s mental health/developmental disabilities/substance abuse system.