Faith leaders in Asheville are adding their voices to those outraged by the actions of NC legislators. Rev. Joe Hoffman, pastor of First Congregational United Church of Christ and an NC Council of Churches board member, is joining his colleagues as well as those from the non-profit community there for a press conference on Monday, May 20. Anyone interested in participating can contact him at email@example.com or on his cell at 828-777-8729.
In addition, he [...]
Continue reading Faith Leaders for a Just Society in Asheville
Pediatrician and author Perri Klass has written a powerful essay on childhood poverty as a disease. She writes in part:
Toxic stress is the heavy hand of early poverty, scripting a child’s life not in the Horatio Alger scenario of determination and drive, but in the patterns of disappointment and deprivation that shape a life of limitations.
What Klass emphasizes, what many of us know, is that investing in our children is vital to their [...]
Continue reading Childhood Poverty is a Disease
As many of you already know, Rev. William Barber and the state NAACP are organizing weekly protests at the General Assembly, voicing opposition to the direction our state is being taken during this legislative session (that direction being backwards). These protests include, for those who choose to take part, nonviolent civil disobedience and arrest. In the last three weeks, nearly a hundred people have been arrested. The call has also been for supporters, people [...]
Continue reading Moral Mondays – Clergy Issued Special Invitation for May 20
The Rev. Joseph Brown, Sr. is Presiding Elder, African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. He is a former Council president and a past recipient of the Council’s Distinguished Service Award. Rev. Brown is based in Fayetteville.
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House Bills Senate Bills Notable Quotes Arizona-like Immigration Bill Introduced
In the wake of failed attempts by Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform, states and localities have increased their own efforts to enforce current immigration laws and to implement new programs designed to reduce immigration. Many of these efforts have created a more hostile environment toward immigrants, with people – both documented and undocumented – living in fear of harassment, arrest and possible [...]
Continue reading Arizona-like Immigration Bill Introduced: Raleigh Report, May 3, 2013
There’s no telling how the tax cookies will crumble by the time the 2013 General Assembly closes shop. But chief bakers in both the House and Senate seem intent on some manner of “reform.” In sync with Gov. Pat McCrory, they’ve signaled their desire to cut income tax rates, and hopefully to replace lost revenue by revamping the sales tax to cover more kinds of transactions.
The concerns here are twofold: 1) whether a realigned [...]
Continue reading Tax Reform Cookies
We are grateful to all who attended the 2013 Legislative Seminar. It was a wonderful day, graciously hosted by St. Mark’s United Methodist Church in Raleigh. From the powerful and prophetic speakers to the opportunity for 200 faithful advocates for social justice to be together, we appreciate your participation.
Over the next several weeks, we will be posting podcasts, videos, pictures and resources from the Legislative Seminar as many of you who took part [...]
Continue reading 2013 Legislative Seminar
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Voter Suppression & Campaign Finance Other New Bills Commentary Tax Fairness Public Education Voting Rights Death Penalty Rush to the Right Continues
From the first days of this legislative session, we’ve seen challenges to many advances our state has made in recent decades. It’s frustrating to watch the Council’s work for prophetic social justice and the common [...]
Continue reading Rush to the Right Continues (Raleigh Report, April 5, 2013)
Gun bills that extend the availability and use of guns flood the General Assembly. [...]
Continue reading Raleigh Report-Gun Bills Flood In
Our state and nation are in a time of civil discord. My own preacher, the Rev. Betty Connette, challenged us a few weeks ago to be Citizens of Heaven and to live out a different set of values patterned after Jesus not Caesar…to serve others rather than lord it over them. Our voices are sorely needed in the halls of government these days, and as Betty told us later, we are called to take up the cross [...]
Continue reading Putting a Face on Legislation
If you are interested in attending, but have not pre-registered, you may call our office at 919-828-6501 on Tuesday, April 9 until 5:00 p.m.
Gene Nichol, Director of the Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity at the UNC-CH School of Law will be the lunch speaker at this year’s Legislative Seminar.The day’s topic for Nichol, who is also the school’s Boyd Tinsley Distinguished Professor, is “It’s Better Not to Be Poor in NC.”
The seminar takes [...]
Continue reading Program and Registration for 2013 Legislative Seminar
After a one-day organizational meeting in early January, the 2013 General Assembly convened in earnest last Wednesday. Bills introduced and advanced during these first two days give a taste of things to come. Note especially the bills affecting the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, weakening the benefits of unemployment insurance, and extending the presence of guns. [...]
Continue reading Raleigh Report – February 1, 2013
You probably know how the phrase “canary in the coal mine” came into being, but it doesn’t hurt to repeat it. Before there were other ways of monitoring for dangerous gases in coal mines, like carbon monoxide, miners took caged canaries with them into the tunnels. If gases were present, they would kill the canaries first, perhaps giving the miners a chance to escape. They were what we might call an early warning system today.
Continue reading Canaries in the School Bus Lane
Laypeople, clergy and organizational leaders can urge Congress to protect programs vital to vulnerable people as well as to protect the country’s economic security by e-mailing their elected leaders or signing on to a letter prepared by the Coalition on Human Needs.
The letter calls upon Congress to promote the common good, protect those in need, and rebuild the economy. It applies four principles to budget decisions Congress will grapple with in the coming months: protecting people [...]
Continue reading Urge Congress to Promote the Common Good, Protect the Vulnerable
At a farmworker camp this past week, sitting on the ground with a plate of rice and tortillas in my lap, I glanced around at the faces of my dinner companions. We were about to begin our theater group’s inaugural performance as a part of Student Action With Farmworkers’ Into The Fields summer internship. During the skit I witnessed the workers’ tired faces dissolve into laughter and recognized that many of these jubilant smiles belonged [...]
Continue reading For Young Farmworkers, No Time for Homework