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Moral MondaysWhy I’m being arrested
By Carol Teal, citizen

This is not a decision I made lightly but in the end it’s one I made without hesitation.  Before getting to the essence of why, I had to attend to some practical matters. Did I have the support of my family? – yes. Would it affect my job? – no.  Could I post bail? – yes. 

It’s easier for me to do this than most people. I’m almost 60 years old, nearing the end of my career. I won’t lose my job. This is not a brave thing for me to do – just a necessary thing. 

Why is it necessary? Will this likely have an impact on the legislators making the decisions that I think are so harmful – probably not. Shouldn’t I honor the process of the last election that put all these people in office – absolutely. I do.

The real reason I’m doing this is I need to be a citizen today – in the most profound way possible. And I need to honor Gandhi and Martin Luther King and Jesus and do it in a serious nonviolent way.

What are the decisions this General Assembly has made that I find so troubling that I am willing to stand in front of the chamber doors blocking their way?

There are too many to enumerate here.  For now, I want to just share a few that are personal to me. Read More

Dix campusNow that the legislature’s “crossover” deadline has passed, committees are beginning to schedule bills that have already passed one house. A case in point: the hyper-controversial bill to reverse the Dix Park land deal between the state and the city of Raleigh.

The bill is scheduled for a hearing in the House Judiciary committee 15 minutes after the House adjourns this Wednesday. Looks like the House isn’t expecting that vague bit of public notice to keep interested people away. The notice says that “This meeting may last up to 2 hours.”

LegislatureAnother day on Jones Street, another day of rolling back the 20th Century. Here are just some of the regressive proposals on tap for today along with the names they ought ot be known by:

The Predatory Lending Protection and Expansion Act — The Senate will vote on this proposal to jack up interest rates and fees on consumer finance loans at a time of record low interest rates.

The Erosion of NC’s Commitment to Public Education Act — The Senate will also take up this proposal to create a separate authority to (sort of) oversee charter schools. The new conservative head of the State Board of Education called the proposal unconstitutional this morning. Read More

A North Carolina House Judiciary Committee held its first hearing on the “RECLAIM NC” Act today, an Arizona-style immigration bill sponsored by Rep. Harry Warren and 13 others (including a key member of Speaker Thom Tillis’ leadership team, Rep. Ruth Samuelson). The proposal includes a raft of anti-immigrant provisions, including making it harder for undocumented immigrants to post bond for minor criminal offenses, requiring them to pay for their own incarceration time, and making it easy to seize and impound cars of people caught driving without insurance or a proper license. 

The bill also includes the odd and controversial twist of “requiring” all undocumented immigrants to register for a “restricted driving permit,” which would not the same thing as a driver’s license. Representative Warren claims that the driver’s permit requirement is intended to make all drivers safer by identifying folks who are driving on state roads.  This claim is belied, however, by the fact that bill: a) requires undocumented immigrants to register for a state ID card even if they have no intention of driving at all, and b) excludes many people from obtaining the driving permit at all.

Probably the most telling moment of this morning’s hearing was when the committee discussed the “show me your papers” provision, and Representative Rick Glazier asked  Warren how a law enforcement officer could form a “reasonable suspicion” that someone was in the country without papers. Watch the exchange here:

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As you can see, Read More