STATE NEWS BRIEFS FOR 12-26-19
STATE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE DROPS TO 3.8%
[RALEIGH] The decrease was only 0.2 of a percentage from the previous month of October, but the helped to drop November’s North Carolina’s unemployment rate to 3.8 percent. However, that is still 0.1 percent higher than a year ago. The NC Dept. of Commerce says 7,892 more people were employed in November than in October.
FORMER NC JUSTICE PATRICIA TIMMONS-GOODSON FILES FOR HOUSE SEAT
[RALEIGH] When the filing period for 2020 legislative elections closed on Friday, Dec. 20th, one of the most surprising was in the race for House District 8 between Republican incumbent Rep. Richard Hudson of Concord, and former NC Supreme Court Associate Justice Patricia Timmons-Goodson, a Democrat from Fayetteville. Justice Timmons-Goodson was nominated by Pres. Barack Obama to be a federal judge in the Eastern District in 2016. Previously she has served as an appellate judge of the state Court of Appeals; a district court judge in the 12th District, and an assistant detract attorney.
FORMER GOV. MCCRORY HAS SIGHTS SET FOR THE 2022 U.S. SENATE RACE
[CHARLOTTE] Even though he was leading at least one poll to run again for governor, former Gov. Pat McCrory has announced that he is preparing himself to run for the U.S. Senate in 2022 to takeover the seat currently held by the outgoing fellow Republican Sen. Richard Burr. That means McCrory will mot likely face-off against outgoing Sixth District Congressman Mark Walker, who recently announced that he, too, will seek Burr’s seat in 2022. No Democrats have announced their candidacy for en. Burr’s seat as of press time.
GOV. COOPER VOWS TO ANSWER
NEED FOR MORE BLACK TEACHERS
By Cash Michaels
It’s an age-old question still seeking a viable answer, and recently, Gov. Roy Cooper said he intends to help in the search.
On December 10th, Gov. Cooper issued Executive Order #113 “…that establishes a Task Force focused on matters of equity and inclusion in education.”
Cooper also wants North Carolina’s Teaching Fellows program expanded to every HBCU (historically black college and university) in North Carolina in order at help cultivate more black teachers.
“Diversity at the front of the classroom improves student success across the board and helps our state fill a significant gap in the number of qualified teachers we have versus how many we need,” Gov. Cooper told those gathered at the DRIVE Summit: Developing a Representative and Inclusive Vision for Education, co-hosted by the Office of the Governor, the North Carolina Business Committee on Education (NCBCE), and The Hunt Institute at N.C. State University.
According to Executive Order 113, “…for the 2017-2018 school year, 48% of the public school student population in North Carolina was White, 25% Black, 18% Hispanic/Latino…[and] during the 2017-2018 school year, only 20% of the public school educator workforce was comprised of educators of color…”
Meaning that 80% of public school teachers in North Carolina are white.
EO #113 goes on to talk about the need for a “diverse educator pool” for “..improving student learning, assessment outcomes and quality of life, particularly in school and school districts with majority-minority student populations, and thus, the need for the creation of a task force”…in pursuit of making North Carolina a top ten educated state by 2025…,” and thus, the DRIVE Task Force was established, charged with advising the Office of the Governor on strategies that would address matters of equity and inclusion within education.
As recent reports have found, it is possible for a black NC public school student in the state to go from kindergarten to 12th grade, and never have a teacher who looks like them.
Research also shows that black teachers can and do make a difference in the lives of African-American students academically. The state’s Teaching Fellows program was a key instrument in recruiting candidates of color to become tomorrow’s educators, but the Republican-led state legislature shut the program down in 2011, only to bring it back in 2017 at just five North Carolina campuses, none of them an HBCU.
According to published reports, for the past two years, 80 percent of students selected for the program were white (most were white women).
Gov. Cooper says he’s pushing state lawmakers to expand the program to HBCUs (asking for $1.8 million to fund a pilot project to increase recruitment) , and is encouraging chancellors at HBCUs to aggressively pursue application.
The DRIVE Task Force is required to submit a report on it’s progress by January 1, 2021. The task force expires on December 31, 2021.
REP. ALMA ADAMS
NC DEMOCRATS VOTE
TO IMPEACH TRUMP
By Cash Michaels
It is no surprise that only three out of North Carolina’s thirteen-member congressional delegation voted two impeach Republican Pres. Donald John Trump December 18th.
And it is also no surprise that those three were Democrats - First District Rep. G. K. Butterfield; Fourth District Congressman David Price and Twelfth District Congresswoman Alma Adams.
No Republicans in Congress voted to impeach the president.
History will record that all but three House Democrats in Congress voted to impeach Trump on two articles - one on abuse of power, the second on obstruction of Congress - both related to the president’s July 2019 phone conversation with the president of Ukraine, and Trump’s alleged attempt to bribe the official to announce an investigation into likely political rival former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden over unfounded charges of corruption.
All three North Carolina Democrats voted in the affirmative for both articles of impeachment along with the majority of their Democratic colleagues - 230 versus 197 to ratify abuse of power, and 229 versus 197 on obstruction of Congress.
North Carolina’s two black congresspeople - Adams and Butterfield - explained why their historic votes were so important.
“After reviewing hours of testimony, countless pieces of evidence, and the Administration’s own words and actions, I believe the case has been made that the President abused his power and obstructed Congress from fulfilling it’s constitutional duty,” Adams said in a statement prior to her “yes’ vote.
“The evidence shows that the President put his interests above those of the country,” she continued. “We must act quickly because President Trump’s behavior poses a clear and present danger to our democracy. His words and actions show that he is actively looking to interfere in next year’s election by any means necessary. We cannot stand for that kind of misconduct in our country’s Chief Executive.”
Adam’s North Carolina Democrat colleague, Rep. G. K. Butterfield, was just as resolute.
“Since taking office nearly three years ago, President Donald J. Trump has consistently and intentionally divided this country. President Trump has repeatedly solicited foreign interference into our elections. In the case of Ukraine, he attempted to condition military aid and a White House meeting with the President of Ukraine in exchange for then announcement of investigations that would benefit President Trump’s reelection. When Congress is presented with evidence such as this, blatantly undermining our elections and putting the security of the Americn people at risk, it is our Constitutional duty o act. No one is above then law - not even the President,” Rep. Butterfield said, concluding, “ “Based on the evidence before us, I voted in favor of both Articles of Impeachment against Donald J. Trump. No one is above the law.”
Some NC Republicans, like Rep. Greg Murphy, decried the democrats impeaching Trump, saying, “This is a tragic day in our nation’s history. We have individuals that hate this president more than they love this country. Our country needs prayer, and not this destructive partisanship.”
But Rep. John Lewis, Democrat of Georgia, captured the spirit of House Democrats when he spoke on the House floor in favor of impeachment, saying, ““For some, this vote may be hard. But we have a mission and a mandate to be on the right side of history.”