The NCGA returns to session on Nov 27 to decide the details of voter ID and who knows what else. There's a press conference that day at 10:30am, with plans to pack the gallery at 12:00 noon. Please plan to be there for all or part of that day if you can. We need the public to show up to send a message!
The midterms are behind us. Whew.
We have a lot of work still ahead of us, but we have a lot to celebrate. Last Friday's post is a great recap-- thanks, Patti-- and a springboard for those of y'all who are looking for our next steps.
The NCGA's website hosts a live, searchable document tracking the (still unofficial) NC House election results. I searched by the word "recount" and found a few very close races, including Erica McAdoo (D) vs. Stephen Ross (R) for District 63 and Rachel Hunt (D) vs. William Brawley (R) for District 103. We've been watching these races carefully, especially since the H-103 race was one of the most expensive in North Carolina history.
The ever-vigilant Gerry Cohen provides us with a telling list of counties that voted fully one way or another on all 6 constitutional amendments. Well done, Durham county!
As Monday's post elaborated, the NCGA is convening a one-day session after Thanksgiving to take up voter ID legislation. This lame duck session may also include... well, who knows what else. As we've seen, the NCGOP loves to slip strange and unusual things into its agenda. Their drive to pass all the legislation they can will be doubled now, since they will not have a veto-proof supermajority come January.
There will also be another one day session on January 9th "solely to elect officers, adopt rules, and otherwise organize the session". Keep both of these sessions on your radar, folks, and call your reps the whole time to remind them how bad we North Carolinians know the voter ID amendment-- and the other three that passed-- are for our state.
Lots of pixels are being spilled over what the political power shift means for North Carolina's future. No matter your lean, you're likely to see some good and some bad. That's pretty much exactly what this podcast delves into. It's about a 45-minute talk between a progressive Democratic senator, the chairman of a conservative thinktank, and a nonpartisan analytical firm. I listened to the whole thing over the course of my workday today, and without spoiling anything, I'll just say it's well worth your time.
Several people question if what happened last week was actually a blue wave or not, and if it was, why it wasn't bigger. Most of us agree gerrymandering played a big part. Andrew Dunn of Longleaf Politics offers a different answer. There was, at least, a blue swell, and Mr Dunn opines, in an article exquisitely titled and complete with real-news facts, why.
Though North Carolinians rejected the constitutional amendment damaging the NC judiciary, we're not out of the woods yet. NC Policy Watch analyzes a report by the North Carolina Poverty Research Fund claiming that through the passage of laws micromanaging court fees, the NCGA has seriously undermined the independence of the judiciary and effectively criminalized poverty.
Take heart; in what may be my favorite piece of evidence for a blue groundswell, the seven largest counties in North Carolina elected black sheriffs, and five more did so for the first time. Each of them will replace incumbent whites, many of them career Republicans. Racial inequality and tensions are still-- and will likely remain-- high around the relationships between police and the people they're supposed to protect and serve, but I consider this a momentous step forward, and I'm proud of us for making it.
On a more personal note, this election cycle arrived for me like the world's worst anniversary: a memorial of what is still one of the worst days of my life. But it's been two years, and I, like most of us, have done quite a bit of growing. To that end, I wrote this piece on what it means to be a citizen of the United States. Spoiler alert: it means you're an activist too. Saddle up!