The North Carolina General Assembly concluded their regularly scheduled short session at the end of last week similarly to how they’ve done their business over the last decade: back room deals, late-night shenanigans, playing politics, all on the public’s dime. These tactics shou…Read More
On Wednesday the NC House overwhelmingly voted to lengthen the time period during which survivors of child sexual abuse can sue perpetrators for damages. Only 10 House members did not back the measure, which would extend the statute of limitations from 21 to 38 years of age. Those 10 members included Representatives Larry Pittman, Michele Presnell, and Mike Speciale, who have a demonstrated track record of failing to stand with survivors of sexual abuse.
For example, Presnell and Speciale also attempted to block an amendment that clarified legal ambiguities for survivors of what the law defines as “date rape.” Pittman did not vote either way on the amendment, despite being present in the chamber. The amendment, sponsored by Rep. Chaz Beasley, “better protect[s] victims that have been drugged without their knowledge.” No Republicans gave a substantive reason for their attempt to block protections for survivors of rape. Fortunately, Beasley’s amendment, which was inspired by a rape survivor who found the legal ambiguity an impediment to justice, passed despite Republican efforts.Read More
NC Republicans led by House Speaker Tim Moore want to force North Carolina sheriffs to work with the Trump administration’s immigration agents.House Bill 370 would require sheriffs to “comply with, honor, and fulfill” any requests made by Trump’s immigration agents, including requests to detain people without evidence, and would require sheriffs to allow immigration officers access to local jails or detention facilities. In addition, H370 empowers any individual who believes law enforcement is violating these rules to file legal action in Superior Court. If the court agrees, law enforcement officers could incur increasing fines up to $25k per day. With this bill lawmakers are again trying to supersede the will of the voters in N.C. counties who elected sheriffs on their promises to protect all county residents.
Following a significant organized push from concerned citizens, Guilford County Sheriff Danny Rogers, Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker, Durham County Sheriff Clarence Birkhead, and Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden, all Black men, promised to stop complying with Trump’s immigration agents under the 287(g) program. This program allows local law enforcement to act as immigration agents—giving them power to surveil and detain people without evidence. Baker, Birkhead, Rogers, and McFadden were all elected for the first time in 2018, defeating opposition who wanted to sign on or expand the program under the Trump administration. Voters in Wake, Mecklenburg, Guilford, and Durham counties said loud and clearly that they wanted all of their neighbors to feel safe and have held these sheriffs accountable to that promise. Since the election, Forsyth County’s new sheriff Bobby Kimbrough also denounced the Trump administration’s immigration policies.Read More
The NC House voted today on a school safety omnibus bill, but the bill failed to make it to its 3rdand final reading today because Republicans rejected two amendments to the bill that would have improved safety at school for all children.
Rep. Jean Farmer-Butterfield proposed an amendment that would have added “cultural diversity” to the short list of things which school resource officers (SROs) must be specially trained on. Jeff Elmore was the only Republican to vote in favor of the amendment though a few were absent and three chose not to vote. The amendment failed, but earned support from every Democrat present.
A 2018 study found that putting more police in schools doesn’t make them safer and found that the state needs to evaluate and change the “philosophy on policing in schools.” Adding cultural diversity to the list of required trainings for SROs seems like an important step in addressing one piece of the study’s findings-that Black and Latinx students feel discriminated against by officers and less safe in their presence.Read More
Rep. John Sauls is a Republican preacher representing House District 51. He served two terms from 2003-2006 and then retired, claiming to expand his congregation. However Sauls then retired from leading his congregation, handing over the pulpit to his higher-energy son, only to run for the NC House again in 2016. Since 2016 Sauls has served without distinction, sponsoring very few bills and missing many votes due to absences. He recently published Facebook ads listing the wrong district number and is known for being absent from floor votes and committee meetings. However, the votes he has been present for continue the Republican trend of prioritizing corporations and millionaires over the people in their districts.
Read on for more about Sauls’ record.
Professors at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and the University of Texas studied North Carolina traffic stop data back to 2002 and found stark racial disparity in policing at stops. City Lab first reported on highlights of the 20 million stops analyzed by researchers.
There are about one to 1.6 million traffic stops each year in N.C. and about 10 million people living in the state. This means North Carolinians should have a 10 to 15 percent chance of being pulled over each year.
However, when this data is broken down by race, odds of being pulled over were significantly higher for black drivers when compared to white and latinx drivers. On average, black drivers were 60 to 70 percent more likely to have been stopped when controlling for population density. This racial bias is most likely to be underestimating the disparity when taking access and ownership to cars, which is greater in white populations, into account.
That is why researchers gave the most attention to data around who gets searched after a traffic stop as a more clear indicator of racial disparities. When researchers controlled for reason for stop, time of day, day of week, month of year, and specific law enforcement agency they found that young people, men, and people of color are much more likely to be searched after a traffic stopRead More
In this Real Facts Legislator Profile, we focus on Representative Bill Brawley, a Republican from House District 103, first elected to the General Assembly in 2010. Brawley moved to Matthews, N.C. in 1982 and was a Matthews town commissioner from 1989 to 1993.
Brawley is a real estate broker. As a legislator, he supported bills that favor the real estate business over the public. Read more on Brawley here.
Brawley proudly supports private school vouchers that siphon money from our public school system
“I will tell you I’m disappointed in the quality of the education my kids received,” --Brawley said of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. (Charlotte Observer, 1/5/18)
Brawley is a real estate broker. As a legislator, he supported bills that favor the business over people, putting renters and the public at risk.
Governor McCrory intervened on behalf of a donor and friend to extend a private prison contract over the objections of his own prison officials. Here are the facts: McCrory has received $12,000 in campaign contributions from Graeme Keith of The Keith Corporation, his son, and their busine…Read More