Are you upset about the Kavanaugh debacle and ready to elect a qualified woman to the NC Supreme Court? Order Anita Earls postcards for only the cost of shipping! They're sent directly to you, pre-addressed and stamped, for mailing in mid- October. Curious about absentee voting, especially if you're in an area affected by the hurricane? Here's a guide; more about voting post-hurricane voting here. Stamp NC Blue supports the progressive values of NC's Democratic candidates.
Brett Kavanaugh spinning in the national news cycle took up most of of the bandwidth this week; at least mine. I suppose that's a good thing, because that means there weren't any crises in North Carolina big enough to eclipse that. But that doesn't mean there isn't news.
One piece of North Carolina news is, in fact, related to the most recent nominee to the Supreme Court. Last week before Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee, a set of Facebook ads ran, targeting women in North Carolina, exposing and criticizing several state legislators' support of Kavanaugh. Though those legislators in Mecklenburg and Wake counties have become silent since Dr. Blasey Ford's testimony, they have not recanted.
Yesterday the NCGA convened a special session to discuss hurricane Florence relief. In a rare show of bipartisanship, they unanimously passed two bills which would match federal aid, ensure employees of closed businesses are paid, and forgive closed schools up to 20 days of missed instruction. They also extended the voter registration deadline by 3 days, which isn't as long as the NC NAACP asked for. According to Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger, they have preliminarily agreed on several more provisions, including outreach to displaced voters. The current session was only a day long, but they are expected to convene again on the 15th. It's also possible that they could reconvene multiple times over the next few weeks, as more reports of hurricane damage flood in. If the NC GOP didn't have a history of using special sessions to force through unrelated and damaging legislation, I'd take Senator Berger at his word. But since they don't, I'm not. Keep an eye on the NCGA over the coming weeks, folks.
Longleaf Politics recently published a handy explainer that details why the disaster recovery process is so slow, and why, aside from general Republican recalcitrance, it takes so long for money to filter down to those who actually need it. Short answer: bureaucracy. Hopefully they can streamline the process for Florence.
In Robeson County, two Lumbee brothers are fighting back against the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, which was approved around this time last year. Related, the Lumbee tribe still needs our help, being in one of the most heavily damaged counties in the state. Click the bar at the top of this page to donate.
A record number of voters-- 800,000!-- registered to vote on National Voter Registration day last week. This isn't limited to just North Carolina (I wish!) but it's a pointed reminder of how much the midterms matter. In every state. WRAL hosts an op-ed that offers several solutions to help get even MORE people-- hurricane victims-- to the polls. Some of these may be worth calling your reps about.
The start of early voting is 14 precious days away and people are getting their election guides in the mail. The texts of the 6 constitutional amendments upon which we'll all vote are there, but there isn't a whole lot of explanation and description about what these amendments mean in plain language, or what kinds of effects they'll have for North Carolinians. That was, of course, by design. We're dedicating next week to a series of posts explaining exactly this in detail. Before then, check out bythepeoplenc.com, a collaborative effort by the NCACLU, the NC League of Conservation Voters, and Democracy NC. This is a handy (and very shareable!) resource with concrete steps you can take to help illuminate the darkness in which the NC GOP has purposefully kept us. Share this link far and wide and talk to your people about these amendments.
More good news this week: a federal court officially ruled that HB142-- the bill that replaced HB2--does NOT bar trans people from using bathrooms that match their gender identity. This isn't the end of the battle for equal rights for LGBT+ folks in North Carolina, but it's a step in the right direction and a victory well-won.