Help Get Out the Progressive Vote - it's even more important after  the recent Supreme Court ruling refusing to intervene in partisan  gerrymandering! Stamp NC Blue (SNCB) is looking for dedicated volunteers  to support our  postcard campaign to get out the vote leading up to the  2020 election. You'll find details and answers to LOTS of your  questions here - be sure to read the FAQs and check out the links!! PLEASE SHARE THIS  widely. Round up some friends, gather some colored pens, and get ready  to STAMP NC BLUE IN 2020!

Yesterday, NC-03 held its runoff election to choose the Republican to succeed the late Walter Jones. In its final weeks, the race between Drs. Greg Murphy of Greenville and Joan Perry of Kinston has boiled down to who would “best carry the conservative mantle”, which unfortunately has become synonymous with “parrot the Trumpian GOP.” That dubious honor goes to Dr. Greg Murphy, who won the election by around 60 points. The general election is September 10th.

Meanwhile, NC-09 is crackling with Republican candidate Sen. Dan Bishop’s latest sensationalist ad. In it, he accuses Democratic candidate Dan McCready of maintaining a shameful silence on “key issues” like what Bishop calls “the migrant crisis”. While McCready has not bullhorned his stance on immigration like Bishop has, he’s not mum. Our friends at UNC Fact Check address Bishop’s claims and expose them for what they are: a lot of bluster, and little substance: exactly what Bishop condemns McCready for. The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

Fair districting advocates and Democratic lawmakers are still reeling from the Supreme Court’s disappointing ruling on partisan gerrymandering last month. There are more questions than answers at this point. Common Cause v. Lewis is preparing to move through the state court. Also up in the air is whether the infamous Hofeller files—so far used to expose the partisan depth and origins of the citizenship question proposed for the 2020 census and connected with this case too—will be used in that and perhaps other cases. We will be watching Common Cause v. Lewis carefully—the court date is this coming Monday July 15th—because even if SCOTUS’ ruling doesn’t change the political topography for 2020, a ruling in our favor by the state court might. Fingers crossed.

Gary McFadden, sheriff of Mecklenburg county, made national news for his refusal to cooperate with ICE in the repeated arrest and release of an undocumented individual this year. The day after he was sworn into office, he officially ended voluntary cooperation with ICE, saying it violated the Constitution because ICE’s detainer requests required him to hold someone who has met a judge’s conditions for release without probable cause. He’s right, and hopefully the other newly-elected sheriffs in North Carolina plan to make good on their campaign promises and follow his example. You can help by contacting your state senators and telling them to oppose HB370 and HB135.

Now more than ever, especially since the Trump administration is hellbent on getting the citizenship question on the census in 2020, we need to send a message to everyone in North Carolina that they are welcome, and we do not govern by terror.

Thanks in part to Governor Cooper’s veto of the budget (which did not include any mention of Medicaid expansion), HB655 has passed an NC House committee vote, and now it must come to the House floor. HB655 is not pure Medicaid expansion; this bill is the Republican version of expansion, which means it has a work requirement. Its fate in the Senate is uncertain and this bill is far from perfect, even according to its primary sponsor Rep. Donny Lambeth, but at least it starts the conversation lawmakers desperately need to have: what to do about the approximately 1 million North Carolinians without health insurance.

Gov. Cooper is trying his best to work with Republicans on a budget deal after he vetoed the one they gave him last week (including allowing some pork that the Republicans tossed Democrats to gather their votes). But Berger has no interest in meeting Gov. Cooper anywhere resembling the middle. He refuses to entertain Medicaid expansion at all. Democrats had the votes necessary yesterday to protect Gov. Cooper’s veto… as long as nobody had to go to the bathroom.

Fortunately, the Democrats held it. The NCGA adjourned yesterday without overriding Gov. Cooper's veto; the GOP will instead try to pass a stopgap funding measure (without Medicaid expansion) this week.

In a somewhat surprising turn of events, good news abounds this week: the NC Senate passed SB683, which would sew up some of the loose ends around absentee ballot voting and restore the last Saturday in early voting. It goes onto the House. You know what to do: contact your representatives and urge them to support this bill.

This week environmental justice in North Carolina took huge step forward. The Department of Environmental Quality has released a beta version of its Community Mapping Tool, which “allows users to easily view and analyze environmental, racial, ethnic and health data” anywhere in North Carolina. City planners and developers could use the tool to view permit zones and save time and money. Advocates, environmental groups, and regular citizens can use the tool to advocate for or against a plan, establish better environmental regulations, support their causes, and hold their leaders accountable. The period for comment ends today (July 10th.) If you'd like to send a comment, here's how:

Tags: (ICYMI, NCGA, NC-03, N-09, gerrymandering, environmental justice, budget, medicaid expansion)

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