Commentary

RSVP today for lunch with one of America’s top pollsters

N.C. Policy Watch presents the first Crucial Conversation luncheon of 2016:

A conversation with Tom Jensen of Public Policy Polling

Click here to register

With the 2016 election campaign already well underway and early voting for the March 15 North Carolina primary scheduled to commence March 3, this is an excellent time to get fully up to speed on where things stand and what’s likely to happen. Please join us as we discuss these issues and more with one of America’s premier pollsters, Tom Jensen of Raleigh-based Public Policy Polling.

jensen

Tom is the Director of Public Policy Polling and oversees its day to day operations. During his time at PPP he has been a frequent guest for television and radio stations across the region and has been called on for expert analysis by publications including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Christian Science Monitor and U.S. News and World Report. He writes for PPP’s blog and Twitter account in addition to crafting the content for most of its surveys. He is an honors graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, where he wrote his senior thesis about black candidates for statewide office across the country in the early 21st century.

Don’t miss this very special event!

Click here to register

When: Wednesday, January 27 at noon — Box lunches will be available at 11:45 a.m.

Where: Center for Community Leadership Training Room at the Junior League of Raleigh Building, 711 Hillsborough St. (At the corner of Hillsborough and St. Mary’s streets)

Space is limited – pre-registration required.

Cost: $10, admission includes a box lunch.

Questions?? Contact Rob Schofield at 919-861-2065 or rob@ncpolicywatch.co

Commentary

Immigrants in NC: Is the current hostile atmosphere the new normal?

The best answer to the question in the headline above, of course, is “Let’s fervently hope not.” Unfortunately, recent events indicate that there’s reason for concern. As Professor Julie Weise of the University of Oregon made clear in an excellent column in Raleigh’s News & Observer last week critiquing Governor McCrory’s transformation since his days as Mayor of Charlotte, political opportunism is a pernicious drug for people in public office.

“Though the governor claims he has always supported legal immigration but not illegal, Charlotte’s economy thrived and his career benefited from policies that welcomed immigrant labor whatever its status. Under McCrory’s watch, the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office instituted a policy to check the immigration status of anyone arrested for any reason, but the Charlotte Police Department declined to do so, preferring to retain the trust of the immigrant community – in other words, the very type of ‘sanctuary city’ policy McCrory has just outlawed. The welcome mat was out, the immigrants came with or without papers, and the city flourished economically.

Paradoxically, it was this very economic ‘revitalization’ of Charlotte, bolstered by Latinos, that allowed McCrory to nurture statewide ambition. Setting his sights on North Carolina’s Executive Mansion, McCrory turned his back on Latinos around 2005. That year, he appointed an Immigration Study Commission to provide political cover for his growing ambivalence on the issue, and by 2006 he was openly speaking out against Latino immigration.

Fortunately, there continue to be lots of opportunities for people who want to promote sane and humane policies toward immigrants to learn, educate and speak out. There will be another such event next Wednesday here in Raleigh at the final N.C. Policy Watch Crucial Conversation of the year. Here are the details:

Immigrants in North Carolina: Where do things stand? Where do we go from here?

Featuring Patrick McHugh of the N.C. Budget & Tax Center and Raul Pinto of the N.C. Justice Center’s Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project

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Read more

Commentary

RSVP today for November 30 Crucial Conversation with the mother of Len Bias

Don’t miss the next N.C. Policy Watch Crucial Conversation luncheon:

Closing the health coverage gap for North Carolinians living with substance use disorders
Featuring Dr. Lonise Bias of the Len and Jay Bias Association and Jeff Matkins of Insight Human Services.

Click here to register

North Carolina, along with every other state, has an unprecedented opportunity to expand health coverage to its most vulnerable residents. Currently, 30 states plus the District of Columbia have broadened Medicaid eligibility with financing available from the Affordable Care Act. So far, legislators in North Carolina, along with the Governor, have blocked these federal funds from expanding access to health care, boosting the state’s economy and bolstering rural hospitals.

Closing the health insurance coverage gap in North Carolina would provide better access to medical services and treatment for 500,000 working poor families. Many of the people locked out of the system have treatable, chronic diseases. An estimated 150,000 are living with substance use disorders. Millions in our state are in long-term recovery from addictions and need ongoing support to remain healthy.

Join us as we discuss these and related issues with two very special experts on the subject:

Dr. Lonise Bias

Dr. Lonise Bias is the Founder and President of the Len and Jay Bias Foundation. Through her pain at the loss of two sons, Dr. Bias has created youth and family programs to reclaim the community and has inspired thousands. She will share her story with us about her son, Len Bias’ tragic death of cocaine intoxication in June 1986 just two days after being drafted by the Boston Celtics.

Jeff Matkins

Jeff Matkins, Chief Operating Officer of Insight Human Services (formerly known as the Partnership for a Drug Free NC), works with colleagues in 60 counties to provide substance use prevention, intervention and treatment. Jeff will discuss how sound policy decisions such as Medicaid expansion would help provide access to care and improve the lives of thousands of North Carolinians.

Click here to register

When: Monday, November 30, at noon — Box lunches will be available at 11:45 a.m.

Where: Center for Community Leadership Training Room at the Junior League of Raleigh Building, 711 Hillsborough St. (At the corner of Hillsborough and St. Mary’s streets)

Space is limited – pre-registration required.

Cost: Thanks to a generous donor, admission is FREE and includes a box lunch. Donations, however, are welcome.

Questions?? Contact Rob Schofield at 919-861-2065 or rob@ncpolicywatch.com

Click here to register

Commentary

Join us for lunch November 17 – The problem of race-based policing: Can we finally overcome it?

NC Policy Watch presents a very special Crucial Conversation luncheon

Featuring Professor Frank Baumgartner of UNC Chapel Hill, Orange and Chatham County Public Defender James Williams and Fayetteville Police Chief Harold Medlock

Click here to register

Black lives matterA recent front page article in the New York Times once again shined a bright light on a troublesome and longstanding problem in North Carolina – discriminatory policing that targets people of color for unfair treatment.

According “The Disproportionate Risks of Driving While Black: An examination of traffic stops and arrests in Greensboro, N.C., uncovered wide racial differences in measure after measure of police conduct,” people of color are disproportionately stopped and searched by police “even though they found drugs and weapons significantly more often when the driver was white.”

Since the release of the Times article, responses have been mixed. Many, including major newspapers and civil rights advocates, have called for new reforms and policy changes. Others, including some political leaders, however, have rejected the article’s findings and denied that change is necessary.

Please join us as we explore this vital issue with three of North Carolina’s leading experts on the subject.

Frank Baumgartner is the Richard J. Richardson Distinguished Professor Political Science at UNC Chapel Hill. Prof. Baumgartner has conducted extensive research and written at length about the issue of race with particular focus on the death penalty and on traffic stops.

James Williams has served as the Public Defender for Orange and Chatham Counties since 1990. He has helped lead multiple efforts in and out of government to address the issue of racial bias in the justice system.

Harold Medlock is the Chief of Police in Fayetteville. Since assuming office in 2013, he has effected a transformation in how his department conducts business in an effort to end discriminatory targeting of people of color.

Click here to register

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

Where: Center for Community Leadership Training Room at the Junior League of Raleigh Building, 711 Hillsborough St. (At the corner of Hillsborough and St. Mary’s streets)

Space is limited – pre-registration required.

Cost: $10, admission includes a box lunch.

Questions?? Contact Rob Schofield at 919-861-2065 or rob@ncpolicywatch.com