North Carolina politics are a bit of a mess at the moment. The state has been politically hijacked by the Chamber of Commerce and corporate interests who have shaped the rules and districts to suit themselves with little to no regard for the people of North Carolina.
Here are the things that concern us the most:
Art Pope: a junior David Koch who is seeking to use money to buy control of North Carolina politics. He is responsible for 90% of funding to the state’s leading conservative think tanks and advocacy groups, and if you follow the money, most of North Carolina’s current problems can be traced back to him.
HB2 and fair wages: North Carolina House Bill 2 has been the subject of heated debate throughout the country over the past year. We want to emphasize that this bill was never really about bathrooms. HB2 was a clever political trick to get people riled up and to distract from what it was really about: minimum wage and the rights of individuals to have legal protection from workplace discrimination.
Disenfranchisement of black voters: this is happening on two fronts in North Carolina. First is the passage of voter ID laws, which a federal judge said disenfranchised black voters “with almost surgical precision”. Second is racially motivated gerrymandering. Republicans in North Carolina have taken a hacksaw to districting, chopping up and redrawing district lines as they please.
Court packing: State Supreme Court Justice Robert Edmunds, the Justice responsible for okaying the racially segregated districting, was unseated with the election of Justice Mike Morgan and the balance of the court has swung. In response Art Pope, through his elected minions, has threatened to add two more seats to the court and to attempt to appoint the new justices themselves.
Voting is the biggest issue on the docket at the moment - if people do not have access to the political process, they do not have the access to fix economic, social, environmental, and racial injustice. As it stands elected officials in North Carolina have failed to actually represent their constituents. We hope that their gross neglect of democratic principles will push the state to redraw its districts and hold a special election this fall. Alas this all depends on whether or not the Supreme Court decides to hear an appeal from state Republicans hoping to overturn the call for redrawing districts. North Carolina, we’re watching. Now go reclaim your democracy.