INVESTING IN NORTH CAROLINA’S FAMILIES & FUTURE
N.C. Families First believes in making North Carolina the greatest state in the nation to live, work and raise a family. Our state had so much going for it that for decades thousands of new families moved to North Carolina every year. Unfortunately, North Carolina’s family-friendly reputation has taken a hit and over the last few years, state lawmakers have made the task of raising a family demonstrably more difficult.
Today, North Carolinians are working more and making less while facing rising taxes and a shrinking commitment to public education at all levels. Meanwhile, politicians in state government are more concerned with protecting polluters, the wealthy and big corporations rather than protect average families.
Politicians choose to listen to those at the top and ignore families who can’t afford their own lobbyists. Raising a family requires a commitment, not just from parents, but from the community. It’s time for North Carolina to put families first.
North Carolina families lose out when politicians cannot be held accountable to the people. That’s what happens when Raleigh politicians are in charge of drawing their own districts. They get to pick their voters, instead of voters picking them.
Using bizarrely drawn districts that segregated North Carolina voters by race and partisanship, legislators’ have used redistricting to grow their political power. Too many districts in North Carolina are not competitive and heavily favor one party or the other. That leads to more politicians led by ideology and not the will of the people and violates the principle of one person, one vote.
NC Families First supports redistricting reforms that will take legislative map-making out of the hands of partisan politicians. Fair maps will ultimately produce leaders that are accountable to North Carolina’s families, not partisan ideology.
In 2013, North Carolina eliminated the nation’s first public campaign finance program for statewide judicial campaigns. Since that time, the state legislature has mounted a sustained assault on the independence of the judiciary. They made non-partisan races partisan, eliminated seats on the Court of Appeals, tried to gerrymander District and Superior Court maps and have suggested eliminating judicial elections altogether and giving the power to appoint judges to the legislature.
Now they have proposed a constitutional amendment that will appear on the November ballot to give the power to appoint judges in case of a vacancy to the state legislature. That’s just one more step to inject partisanship into the courts.
When judges hear cases from the bench, we want them to prioritize the law and the best interests of North Carolina families. To do that judges should remain independent and impartial from political influence from the state legislature.
When parents think about where the best place is to raise their family, schools are always at the top of the list. North Carolina must recommit to public education from Pre-K to K-12 to post-secondary education. Funding for public schools has dropped.
North Carolina ranks near the bottom in per pupil funding. Teachers are leaving North Carolina classrooms in record numbers. Our commitment to Pre-K has diminished and our world-class university and community college systems have lost some luster.
We support investments in public education, raising teacher salaries and equipping our schools with the most up-to-date technology and curriculum, to make our students competitive with the rest of the world.
A community that singles out any group of people for discrimination cannot be family-friendly.
We oppose all forms of discrimination, including those based on race, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or any other type of division.
The effects of HB2 extended well beyond bathrooms and threatened the economic well being of all North Carolina families.
Whether it’s the mountains, coast, parks, cultural amenities, clean water, clean air, access to fresh foods and good health care options, North Carolina must invest in our quality of life.
Unfortunately, many politicians favor protecting polluters, like big oil and gas companies, that threaten our water supply. Fracking, coal ash, hog waste and GenX threaten to contaminate drinking water and our pristine lakes and rivers. We support an expedient cleanup of coal ash waste that is paid for by the polluters, not electricity ratepayers.
We also support Medicaid expansion and bringing affordable health care options to underserved rural and urban communities.
We support tax policies that ease the burden on working families and give more breaks to small businesses and entrepreneurs rather than large corporations.
We support increasing the minimum wage and protecting workers who are unfairly cheated out of pay and benefits by misclassification.
And we oppose amnesty for polluters and other corporations that threaten the health and safety of North Carolina families.
Saving for college is a difficult task for any family and student debt is a burden on young families trying to buy a first house, save for retirement and achieve financial stability. Fortunately, the state can do a lot to help.
By reinstating tax deductions for 529 plans and keeping tuition low at state colleges and universities, the state can keep college affordable.
By offering options to refinance student debt, the state has an opportunity to help young families gain financial stability faster, buy a home, and begin saving for retirement or college expenses for their children.
For more information, please contact NC Families First at: