More than 10,000 individuals and 50 organizations have signed a petition asking Governor Cooper to revoke the world’s largest wood pellet manufacturer’s flawed air quality permit in Richmond County. At […]
Yesterday, the Senate unveiled a revised version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act. According to a report from our friends at the North Carolina Justice Center the changes, and their […]
“Biomass” may sound like a clean idea, but it actually means cutting down and turning trees into fuel pellets to be burned for energy — creating more carbon pollution than […]
Presented with a new state budget that, whatever its occasional virtues, is mainly about easing tax burdens on the well-off while grinding opponents of legislative Republicans into the dirt, Democratic […]
Late yesterday afternoon the Congressional Budget Office released their score of the Senate’s proposed health care plan and the numbers are extremely troubling. As our friends at the North Carolina […]
Members of the United States Senate have released their proposed health care plan, all 142 pages of the “Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017” developed in secrecy, with a score […]
By now the strategy is familiar – the strategy used by the N.C. General Assembly’s Republican chiefs to try to make a fundamentally flawed state budget appear, well, not that […]
For more than two decades, the NC Council of Churches has called for access to health care for all. The score from the Congressional Budget Office makes it undeniably clear […]
Plenty of analysis is already happening around the 2018 budget proposal out of the White House. The Washington Post provides two helpful graphics here and here. More is being written […]
So, the question as always comes down to one of vision. The elected chieftains who decide how much money North Carolina’s state government will spend, what it will be spent […]
By George Reed, Retired Executive Director [The deadlines for the introduction of most new bills have now passed, and we are in Crossover Week. By the end of the week, […]
By George Reed, Retired Executive Director [For the latest committee referrals and re-referrals, go to the General Assembly website www.ncleg.net. There you can also find the texts of bills, procedural […]
By George Reed, Retired Executive Director Newly Introduced Bills BUDGET AND TAXES H 540, Teachers & State Employees Pay Raise, would give annual raises of $2,400 to teachers and other […]
North Carolina’s failure under Republican leadership to improve low-income residents’ access to health care via the Medicaid program has been like a persistent, throbbing pain in the state’s civic and […]
By George Reed, Retired Executive Director Bills are being introduced at a rapid pace as the Senate’s deadline for new bills has passed and the House’s deadline on non-money approaches. […]
Every state legislator should be required to listen to the stories shared at a press conference organized this week by North Carolina advocates for health care. Anyone opposed to Medicaid […]
Thank you for every call, email, and letter to Congressional leaders that led to today’s decision to pull the American Health Care Act without a vote. Those committed to a […]
The budget blueprint for 2018 released by President Trump on Thursday cuts a wide swath through programs that serve women, people of color, those of low income (for poor women […]
By George Reed, Retired Executive Director Newly Introduced Bills CRIMINAL AND JUVENILE JUSTICE H 233, Ban the Box, would govern how state and local governments could use criminal histories in […]
Around the release of the alt-health plan currently making its way through Congress, several elected leaders have gone where elected leaders sometimes go – blaming the poor for being poor. […]
Despite evidence that the Affordable Care Act is more popular and more needed than ever, some Republicans in Congress have proceeded with partisan plans to repeal Obamacare while dismantling Medicaid […]
The political situation at the national level has occupied the time and attention of many faithful progressives. Each day has brought with it more reasons to be concerned for our […]
Our friend Rob Schofield over at Policy Watch wrote a column on Tuesday that was as vitally important in its truth-telling as it was hard to read for the future […]
At another time in my life, I would not have spent most of Saturday occupying my tiny square of personal space in the heart of Washington DC, literally shoulder to […]
Groups at the state and national level continue to mobilize around concerns about President-Elect Donald Trump’s stated policy objectives and choices for cabinet posts. The NC NAACP, Interfaith Power & […]
Looking ahead to 2017, there is much more work for the Council to do than we ever imagined. Please join us. Your financial support helps us continue what began in […]
We are living in unsettling times. Progress we once thought inviolable now feels threatened. One constant is the NC Council of Churches and our commitment to a more just, united, […]
Why are health care premiums steadily going up? Gallup polls at the end of 2015 found that 74% of Americans say the amount they pay in premiums had gone up […]
Registration for 2016 Critical Issues Seminar workshops is now available online. If you have not yet registered, please use the form below to do so and include your selection for […]
Health Care for All NC and the NC Council of Churches have received a grant from the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust. The $25,000 grant from the Trust will allow […]
The proverbial elephant labored and, against all hopeful expectations, brought forth a mouse. The “elephants” who run the Republican-controlled General Assembly labored and now have brought forth, if not a […]
A recent article in Raleigh’s News and Observer focused on the F-35 jet. The American Friends Service Committee calls this weapon system the “plane that ate the budget” and puts […]
The North Carolina Council of Churches celebrates today’s Supreme Court decision upholding the Affordable Care Act. For decades, the Council has supported universal health care, and while the current version […]
The Council of Churches’ Legislative Seminar – its top-profile public event of the year – is meant to inform, and it’s meant to inspire. We’re not too bashful to say […]
The mission of the NC Council of Churches extends into many areas that highlight the links between faith and public policies. And of the various events and activities sponsored by […]
Join us on April 14 at Greenwood Forest Baptist Church in Cary for the Council’s 2015 Legislative Seminar. Held every two years, the Seminar equips people of faith with the […]
Our faiths call us to work for justice and show compassion for the “least of these.” Justice issues can also make such good economic sense that we cannot afford not […]
Apparently I scare Civitas. Maybe it’s my upbringing. I was raised by a single mom (my parents divorced when I was a toddler) who was fortunate to have a solid […]
The Council’s 2014 Advent Devotional Guide is now available as a free download. Each year, Council staff take a social justice theme as a focus for these guides to be used during […]
What do Tuesday’s elections mean for North Carolina? How can people of faith in the state continue to affect positive change? Join the staff of the North Carolina Council of […]
A 12-year study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health found that Americans improved their eating habits slightly over the years, but that was not the case for America’s […]
I had the pleasure of serving on the North Carolina Institute of Medicine’s (NCIOM) Task Force on Rural Health, which was charged with creating a roadmap for better health in […]
Please join the North Carolina Council of Churches at the 2014 Faith and Health Summit, which will be held on Friday, October 10, 2014 at Ardmore Baptist Church in Winston-Salem (501 […]
UPDATE: After this blog was posted, the final budget was unveiled and passed by the House and Senate. The large reductions in Medicaid reimbursement rates mentioned in the blog below […]
Healthy North Carolina 2020 is a health improvement plan for our state. It addresses a wide range of issues that impact our health, such as tobacco use, physical activity and […]
In recognition of our faithful call and of this time in history, the Council’s annual Lenten guide focuses on poverty and the ways we can respond to our sisters and […]
A group of Presbyterian clergy have prepared and circulated A Pastoral Letter to their colleagues. It is a fine statement, noting that “[a]n enduring principle of our discipleship is the […]
Economic circumstances too often define us. How much we do or do not earn can put us on a path that either buffers our failures or tempers our successes. The people who make the least amount of money have the fewest opportunities to succeed, no matter how much they work or how hard they study.
For Christians, the biblical calls to justice and to providing for the least of these are foundations of our faith. At the same time, we as a nation mark this year the 50th anniversary of the war on poverty. Under different circumstances we might celebrate the milestone, but there is still too much to be done.
Recently, I received a notice from a local community garden organizer about a grant opportunity sponsored by a fertilizer company. I shared it with my e-mail group and found one […]
A cross-section of North Carolinians and progressives from other states flooded downtown Raleigh on Saturday as part of HKonJ 2014. Longtime activists from across the state walked with college students, parents […]
Join the NC NAACP, the North Carolina Council of Churches, and coalition partners for this weekend’s Moral March on Raleigh and HKonJ People’s Assembly. Events include: A Mass Meeting and […]
At the close of a momentous year for politics and public policy in North Carolina – a year that challenged many people of faith to act on their beliefs — […]
The NC NAACP has endorsed an open letter to Gov. McCrory about the state’s decision to deny certain unemployment insurance benefits and expanded Medicaid coverage to hundreds of thousands of […]
The political stakes and motives are plain to see. President Obama and his Democratic allies on Capitol Hill are locked in a desperate struggle with the Republicans who control the […]
The impact of Moral Mondays continues to extend beyond North Carolina. Two recent articles and an editorial in “The New York Times” are reaching a national audience. One of the […]
Participating in Moral Monday impressed me with a sense of fraternity and hope in the face of policies and legislation that seem increasingly unjust and discriminatory, besides being detrimental to […]
NCCC Volunteer Program Associate Sandy Irving was arrested at the June 24 Moral Monday. Thirty-five years ago today, I became a mother—and in these last 35 years, I’ve spent a […]
A funny thing happened to House Bill 998, the Tax Simplification and Reduction Act, on its way through the state Senate. It got simplified. House Republicans had approved the bill […]
A person’s health is not only determined by genetics, their level of physical activity or how many fruits and vegetables they consume, but also underlying factors like poverty, education and […]
The Coalition on Human Needs is sharing sequester impacts and challenging people of faith to raise their voices for the less fortunate. Real cuts are harming our most vulnerable children. We […]
In keeping with its mission of supporting peace, unity and social justice, the Council recently has signed on to three letters involving issues being addressed at the federal level. We […]
With the passage of deadlines for the introduction of most bills, there’s been a flurry of new legislation. This issue of Raleigh Report will cover some of these new bills, with others to come in the next issue.
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 […]
Partners in Health and Wholeness, in partnership with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of NC Foundation, recently conducted a webinar for places of worship interested in the new Healthy Eating […]
If you are following the actions of the 2013 NC legislature, you know that the idea of accepting federal funds that will cover health insurance for hundreds of thousands of […]
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation and The Rensselaerville Institute are looking for individuals with project ideas for creating a healthier Wilson County. Projects will be implemented over the next 6 months and must focus on increasing physical activity and/or access to and consumption of fresh produce.
Selected Community Sparkplugs and their teams will receive the following: a $3,000 grant (simple application process), individualized help to create an action plan and set project results, support and coaching over the next 6 months, and an opportunity to become part of a growing network of Community Sparkplugs across North Carolina.
Congress is overwhelmed with lobbyists for corporations, Chambers of Commerce, AARP, the Department of Defense, etc. But those living in poverty are short on lobbyist as the so-called ‘fiscal cliff’ […]
Partners in Health and Wholeness (PHW), the Council’s faith-based health initiative, is now offering mini-grants to support congregations in your efforts to promote healthy, active lifestyles. In order to qualify, […]
I’ve got critical issue overload. How about you? So probably the last thing you want to hear about is one more issue that really needs to be on our radar […]
Over the past few months, North Carolina Interfaith Power & Light has been a proud part of a coalition of nonprofits and businesses participating in a statewide ad campaign emphasizing […]
The General Assembly leadership is committed to having this short session truly be short, and there’s talk of adjourning by early July. In fact, an adjournment resolution was introduced yesterday with a target date of June 19. This session, which starts in May of even-numbered years, is primarily to tweak the second year of the budget adopted the year before. In addition, certain bills which were introduced last year (mostly ones which passed in one house) can be considered. For a new bill to be introduced this year, it must fit into one of a few specific categories, with most new bills having to do with budgetary matters or coming from a study commission which met during the interim. Finally, pending veto overrides are also thought by the House and Senate leadership to be eligible for consideration.
Also in this Raleigh Report: Guns in Church, Gambling, Death Penalty, Boards and Commissions and more.
It was a beautiful day spent at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Winston-Salem on April 19. I was there for the annual NC Council of Churches Critical Issues Seminar; this […]
The 2012 County Health Rankings report, recently released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, points to major disparities in health by geographic […]
The deadline to guarantee lunch at the 2012 Critical Issues Seminar has been extended to April 12. This year’s seminar, Eating Well for Ourselves, For Our Neighbors, For Our Planet, takes […]
Partners in Health and Wholeness is proud to promote the 33rd Annual Minority Health Conference, presented by the Minority Student Caucus at UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. PHW […]
Register for 2012 Critical Issues Seminar — “Eating Well: For Ourselves, For Our Neighbors, For Our Planet”
To register for the 2012 Critical Issues Seminar and to choose your workshops, complete the form below. The Seminar is taking place April 19 in Winston-Salem. This exciting day-long event […]
A new report by the Trust for America’s Health examines how the health of a community affects its ability to attract new businesses and to ultimately stimulate economic growth. Businesses […]
NC Policy WatchIt’s no wonder why our political leaders are scrambling to find solutions, even while bumping heads in the process. Both sides want what’s best for America, but the process through which we work to achieve that has become increasingly contentious and politically charged. And I can’t help but believe that our own personal experiences and beliefs, not the persuasive views of political pundits, ultimately determine on which side of an issue we fall and what we deem worth fighting for.
Let me share a story.
The experiences of landowners in other states indicate that hydraulic fracturing can have profound negative impacts on rural communities. The Rural Life Committee of the North Carolina Council of Churches supports the current ban on hydraulic fracturing in North Carolina. The above concerns need to be addressed with careful attention to landowners’ property, landowners’ rights, and the care for creation’s gifts. Furthermore, we call on our member bodies and faith leaders to share reliable information about hydraulic fracturing with their communities. We believe that we are called by God to be good stewards of the good gifts of community, health, water and soil. Trusting in God, we refuse to trade this bountiful inheritance for the empty promises of energy that may be cheap in terms of dollars but which we know will be costly in terms of our livelihoods.
Faithful Reform in Health Care is urging people of faith to act to protect Medicaid–health care for the voiceless and our most vulnerable citizens. This is our chance to be […]
The focus of this issue is a handful of the most important items currently under consideration at the General Assembly. These are issues that are under challenge by the current majorities in both houses.
New Bills Edition: Attack on Workers Comp by New Bill H 709/S 544 misnamed Protect and Put NC Back to Work.
Budget Edition: Last week the chairs of the House Appropriations Subcommittees started revealing their plans for the 2011-13 budget. Not surprisingly, their plans differ in significant ways from the budget proposed by Governor Perdue. The most important difference is that the House leaders will not approve the continuation of any of the emergency tax increases enacted in 2009.
Friends, We look ahead to 2011 knowing we face many challenges and that our commitment to the work we believe in must be fortified and renewed. The environment in which […]
I was struck, as I listened to remembrances from the past, that we really are seeing progress on issues of social justice. But it happens over a period of years or even decades. The issues we heard about at the Anniversary are difficult ones. They have produced years of frustration and sometimes what looked like complete failure. And yet . . .
The summer’s “short session” of the North Carolina General Assembly convened on May 12, a continuation of the 2009 session. Its primary task will be to adjust the 2010-11 budget adopted last year, though it can also take up bills that made it through one house last year, bills coming from study commissions, and bills amending the state Constitution.
The question of raising the tax on cigarettes appears to pose a conflict between positions taken by the North Carolina Council of Churches in previous years. On the one hand, the Council has warned of the health risks associated with cigarette smoking, supported measures leading to better health and providing more accessible health care, and called for steps to limit youth access to cigarettes. On the other hand, the Council has long supported a more progressive tax structure and opposed regressive taxes.