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The issues we care about are decided by the people who will be elected in November. You can make a difference! Join us in standing up for fair policies that support all North Carolinians.
TAKE ACTION! Tell President Obama to protect Central Americans fleeing violence
President Obama has the legal authority to protect Central Americans fleeing violence in their home countries.
The President—through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security—has the legal authority to designate El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala for Temporary Protected Status (TPS), potentially benefiting 1.2 million undocumented immigrants. TPS provides protection from deportation and employment authorization for undocumented immigrants who cannot be safely returned to their country.
Legal experts aruge that TPS designation would likely be immune to the type of legal challenges that have stalled the President’s expansion of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents. Congress established TPS as a tool for responding to humanitarian emergencies like those in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, also known as the Northern Triangle countries.
Take action! Tell President Obama to protect undocumented immigrants and designate El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala for Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
Take Action! Tell Governor McCrory we need a real Carolina Comeback!
As we celebrate Labor Day, too many working North Carolinians are still waiting for their paychecks to experience a “Carolina Comeback.” And too many are locked into low-wage jobs that don’t pay enough to afford the basics even though they’re working full-time.
Raising the minimum wage makes work pay and helps working people afford the basics—food on the table, gas in the car, a roof over their heads, and daycare for their kids. When North Carolinians can afford these essentials, businesses see bigger sales and higher profits—benefits that vanish when wages decline.
That’s why dozens of studies have shown that raising the minimum wage helps businesses and grows the economy in a way that works for everyone.
And now it’s time for Governor McCrory to lead on this important issue.
Take Action! Tell Governor McCrory to support raising the minimum wage.
Take Action! Tell your legislators to raise North Carolina’s minimum wage!
Too many North Carolina workers are locked into low-wage jobs that don’t pay enough to cover the basics, even though they’re working full-time or more. This is stifling our state economy— as working people struggle to afford necessities, they spend less money at businesses in their communities.
The General Assembly had several opportunities during the 2015-2016 legislative session to raise North Carolina’s minimum wage from the current federal minimum of $7.25 an hour. Yet legislative leaders refused to act.
Take Action! Tell our lawmakers you’re counting on them to do right by North Carolina’s working families, and pass legislation to raise North Carolina’s wage floor.
TAKE ACTION! Thank legislators for supporting SB 570 and ask them to support second chances moving forward
Over the course of the legislative Short session, many of you reached out to members of the General Assembly to promote second chances. We appreciate your dedicated efforts to communicate your support for legal reforms that would reduce barriers to reentry. Our efforts generated momentum and progress that we can build on in the long session.
During the session, we collaborated with Rep. Leo Daughtry (R-Johnston), Rep. Pricey Harrison (D-Guilford), Senator Fletcher Hartsell (R-Cabarrus), Senator Angela Bryant (D-Halifax), Senator Floyd McKissick (D-Durham), and Senator Tamara Barringer (R-Wake) to amend Senate Bill 570 to:
- Reduce the wait time for expunction of a first-time nonviolent felony conviction from 15 years to 10 years;
- Reduce the wait time for expunction of a first-time nonviolent misdemeanor conviction from 15 years to 5 years;
- Allow for expunction of all dismissed and “not guilty” charges if an individual has not been convicted of a felony offense;
- Provide District Attorneys and law enforcement electronic access to certain expunctions ordered after Dec. 1, 2016;
- Treat a conviction expunged after Dec. 1, 2016, as a prior record if the person re-offends;
- Establish a uniform, more accessible procedure for filing expunction petitions.
These amendments were fully supported by the North Carolina Conference of District Attorneys. Unfortunately, the NC Administrative Office of the Courts (“AOC”) raised concerns of the court system’s technical inability to provide electronic access of certain expunged records to district attorneys and law enforcement officials. During the break between sessions, members of our Alliance will meet with legislators and officials from the AOC and Conference of District Attorneys to craft a compromise reform intended to be introduced in the long session.
In response, we shifted gears quickly and worked with Rep. Daughtry, Senator Warren Daniel (R-Burke), Senator Bryant, Senator Hartsell, Rep. Harrison, Senator McKissick, Senator Brent Jackson (R-Sampson), and Rep. John Faircloth (R-Guilford) to amend Senate Bill 570 to expand eligibility for Certificates of Relief from a single misdemeanor or low-level felony conviction to multiple misdemeanor and low-level felony convictions. Thanks to your calls and support, the House Judiciary I Committee unanimously voted to amend Senate Bill 570 Expand Certificate of Relief & Expunction to include this significant reform. Time, however, was not on our side. Within just a few days of these amendments and the Judiciary I Committee’s favorable report, the session was adjourned before Senate Bill 570 could receive the final vote to become law.
While disappointed that we were unable to expand access to these important legal reliefs, we are grateful for the progress we made during a relatively brief short session and the opportunity to build on this progress during the long session. Please take action today to thank the bipartisan coalition of legislators that championed second chances during this legislative session.
SIGN THE PETITION
Sign our petition today in opposition to Senate Bill 817, Senate Bill 607 or any other TABOR-type legislation that reduces accountability and makes it impossible for North Carolina policymakers to take care of our state's priorities.
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Take Action! Tell Governor McCrory and lawmakers to end legal discrimination in NC and repeal HB2
We can all agree that North Carolina should never tolerate legal discrimination against anyone. Unfortunately, Governor McCrory recently signed HB2, legislation passed by the General Assembly that returns North Carolina to an era where businesses can discriminate against customers and employers can discriminate against workers.
Under the North Carolina Constitution, the legislature has the authority to determine what local governments can and cannot do. For decades, however, the General Assembly has provided our municipal and county governments freedom to regulate private businesses in a limited way, including prohibiting discrimination and boosting the wages of the employees of public contractors. The City of Charlotte recently used this authority to pass an important ordinance preventing public and private discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Yet HB2, which was introduced, passed, and signed into law in just 12 hours, permits just this kind of discrimination. Specifically, the bill would:
- Ban local governments from prohibiting businesses from engaging in any type of discrimination. The draft would effectively overturn Charlotte’s new ordinance, permit private businesses to discriminate against gays, lesbians, and transgendered residents, and prevent local communities from regulating other types of discrimination by private businesses.
- Enact sweeping new restrictions on the ability of governments to protect workers and raise wages. Public contracts with private businesses have been an important tool used by local governments to raise wages and ensure basic job standards in their community. In an unprecedented overreach, the bill prohibits local governments from considering wages, benefits, and basic job safety standards when awarding public contracts—in effect telling local governments what they can and can’t do with their own money.
- Eliminate state law remedies for employees who are fired based on their race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex or handicap. Specifically, section 3.2 of the bill ended an employee’s private right to sue an employer who fires him or her for any one of these discriminatory reasons. As a result, this leaves employees who are fired simply because they are black or a female or Christian without any effective protections under state law. North Carolina now joins Mississippi as the only state without any state law protecting private sector employees from workplace discrimination
This legislation is bad news for North Carolina’s economy. It empowers businesses to discriminate and weakens the ability of local governments to raise wages—policies that will do nothing to create jobs or grow an economy that works for everyone.
Take Action! Tell the General Assembly to stop discrimination and repeal HB2!
SIGN THE PETITION! Tell NCGA that cuts to unemployment insurance have hurt NC families and communities
After the changes enacted in 2013, North Carolina’s unemployment insurance is providing too little for too short a period to too few of North Carolina’s jobless workers.
- TOO LITTLE: North Carolina ranks 46th in the nation in its average weekly benefit amount of $233 which monthly would leave a North Carolina family with one adult, one child more than $1,800 short in meeting their basic needs.
- TOO SHORT: North Carolina ranks last for its average duration of unemployment insurance of just 11 weeks. It is the only state to allow a maximum of just 13 weeks for all jobless workers.
- TOO FEW: North Carolina ranks last for the number of jobless workers who receive unemployment insurance. Just 11 percent of jobless North Carolinians receive unemployment insurance.
Tell the North Carolina General Assembly that they must rebalance the unemployment insurance system so that it supports families and communities with too few jobs to ensure that all can work.
SIGN THE PETITION TODAY!
SIGN THE PETITION
The NC Senate has approved putting arbitrary formulas and restrictions into our State Constitution that would make it impossible for lawmakers to respond to the priorities of North Carolinians for quality schools, healthy communities, and vibrant main streets.
Sign our petition today in opposition to Senate Bill 607 or any other TABOR-type legislation that reduces accountability and makes it impossible for North Carolina policymakers to take care of our state's priorities.