Call to Action: NC Supreme Court Primary

Urgent Call to Action: NC Supreme Court Primary on June 7, 2016

urgent

We need for all Randolph County Democrats to vote for Michael R. Morgan for NC Supreme Court in the June 7th primary.  Pete Glidewell, our Democratic candidate for the 6th District US House is running unopposed, and will not appear on the June 7th primary ballot, but it is critical that all Randolph County Democrats vote so we can ensure that we have a fair, unbiased state Supreme Court.  It is time for the incumbent candidate who supported the 2011 partisan redistricting in NC to leave office.  This seat is crucial to return our highest state court to fair representation, and the elected winner will stay in office for eight years.  Michael R. Morgan has been a Superior Court Judge since 2005, and served as a District Court Judge and an Administrative Law Judge for fifteen years before that.  He deserves to be our next NC Supreme Court Justice.

We need you to help us educate other voters.  Please tell everyone you know.  

It is critical that all Randolph Democrats vote in the June 7th Primary.  You can vote in one of three ways:

1. In person at your precinct on June 7th, 2016. If you will be out of town on that Tuesday, you can still vote in one of the remaining ways.

2. You can participate in early voting at the Randolph County Elections Office located at 158 Worth Street in Asheboro. 

Early voting hours are

Thursday, May 26 through Friday, May 27 from 8:30 am to 5 pm  

Tuesday, May 31 – Friday, June 3 from 8:30 am to 5 pm  

Saturday, June 4 from 8:30 am to 1 pm.

There will be no early voting during the extended Memorial Day weekend from Saturday, May 28 through Monday, May 30.

3. If you cannot vote in person on June 7 or during early voting, you can still vote in this primary by absentee ballot.  You must request an absentee ballot by May 31, 2016.  Ballot request forms are available at the Board of Elections Office on Worth Street or you can print one from their website at http://www.co.randolph.nc.us/elections/absentee.htm. Once your request has been received, an absentee ballot will be mailed to you.  

If you are returning an absentee ballot in person, it must be hand-delivered to the BOE Office on Worth Street before 5pm on June 7, 2016.  If you are mailing your absentee ballot in, it must be postmarked by June 7, 2016.

 

 

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What does our legislature have in store for NC’s environment this year?

We know that our Republican-run legislature is hellbent on rolling back environmental regulations. Rest assured they have some special gifts for us in the hopper for this upcoming session.

“Ahead of the session several joint House and Senate committees have been preparing potential legislation. Last week, the Environmental Review Commission, the legislative committee that acts as the main gatekeeper for environmental policy, voted on a dozen prospective measures.”climatecartoon2

“At the meeting commission members said that the aim of the election year session is to be efficient and not to delve to deeply into policy. All the bills the commission considered would weaken existing protections. Environmental advocates say some of the proposals represent major changes to the state’s approach to water quality and other protections.”

The Clean Water Act is on the chopping block with a draft bill that would remove on-site stormwater controls as a possible source of downstream pollution. It would also require that the N.C. Environmental Management Commission change water quality rules to reflect the weakened water quality standards.

“The commission also wants the department (Department of Environmental Quality) to submit written comments this year to the Army Corps of Engineers while it reviews its general permit on stream dredging and filling. The bill would require the department to ask the Corps to double the threshold for requiring mitigation for the loss of intermittent and ephemeral stream bed to 300 linear feet.”

Other draft bills require the DEQ to study how well nutrient management is working and whether to adjust the size of riparian buffers for intermittent streams.

Rep. Jimmy Dixon, R-Duplin, Commission Co-chair, suggested doing away with NC’s electronics recycling program and removing the ban on electronics, including television sets, from landfills.

“Rep. Pat McElraft, R-Carteret, said she agreed, but suggested lifting the ban only for televisions.”

“Dixon’s provision passed, despite objections from co-chair Rep. Chuck McGrady, R-Henderson, but Dixon later asked for the vote to be rescinded.”

(Emphasis mine.) “Dixon said the landfill ban proposal will likely be taken up during the discussions on a regulatory omnibus later in the session. “

And this is just legislation pertaining to our environmental protections.  I can only imagine what else they’ve got up their sleeves. So brace yourselves, folks. It is going to be a bumpy ride. It is more important than ever that we work to replace these legislators, who are laying waste to our environment for the price of a campaign contribution.

 

To read the article in full visit: Bills to Weaken Protections Are Ready

See a recent Lunch & Learn presentation by Randolph County Democrats on River Basins in Randolph:  Two River Basins Run Through It: Randolph County Water

Visit our Presentations page to view other environmental presentations from RCDP: Lunch & Learn Presentations

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The worst legislature in living memory

Opinion Column by Jim Meredith, Randolph County Democratic Party Chair. Published in the Courier-Tribune, Asheboro, NC April 22, 2016

Thoughtful North Carolinians, regardless of party, consider this the worst legislature they can remember. What a track record. What a travesty.check your rights

Not since the establishment of Jim Crow over a century ago has a North Carolina Legislature been so mean-spirited, so cynical, so lacking in conscience, so devoid of moral authority. Never before has a North Carolina legislature been so oblivious to the tide of history. Never has a Legislature been so careless, so irresponsible, and so heedless of the impact of their actions on the well-being of our state and its citizens.

Although I am a well-known active Democrat, I have lived most of my life in Randolph County and I have no shortage of Republican friends and relatives. Some of those Republican friends and I have found ourselves agreeing about HB2. People of both parties want their LGBT friends and relatives treated with kindness and respect. People of both parties are using phrases like “mean spirited”, “legislative overreach”, “intrusive”, and “authoritarian.”

As a Republican acquaintance told me, “This is, in no way, small government.”

The high profile “bathroom” provisions of HB2 have generated most of the national outrage. That may be what our legislators intended. They may have cynically assumed that the majority of North Carolinians had gut-negative attitudes toward the LGBT community and wouldn’t pay attention to the rest of the bill.

In 12 short hours, they ran roughshod over democratic principle and due process. The rushed schedule prevented people from having time to adequately review and challenge the law. The result was a law that prevents employees who are unjustly fired from filing claims of discrimination in state courts.

It takes away power to set non-discrimination policy from local governments, regardless of the will of the citizens who live there, and it prevents local governments from setting local minimum wage policies.

Across the nation, we see cities taking matters into their own hands when state governments are unwilling to tackle problems at the state level. North Carolina legislators clearly do not trust democracy and are making sure that local officials, answerable to local voters, do not have the rights they have in other states.

There are other examples of arrogant, dictatorial rule by our legislature. In previous legislation, they have denied local governments the power to restrict or regulate “fracking” in their jurisdictions, even if local citizens wish their governments to do so. The legislature has also passed laws to confiscate local resources, developed and paid for by local governments, such as the Asheville water system and the Charlotte Municipal Airport.

Our legislature, for ideological reasons, cut education spending and denied Medicaid expansion that was already paid for by North Carolina’s taxpayers. For political reasons, they would rather have our tax money subsidize health care in other parts of the country than help North Carolina citizens in need, or reap the local economic benefits that would have resulted if we had accepted those federal dollars.

A Republican friend told me this is the worst North Carolina legislature in history. I agree with him.

How can our legislators be so fearless and arrogant?

It’s simple. They believe they are untouchable. They feel safe and secure in gerrymandered voting districts. However, it is possible to override the effects of gerrymandering if enough people turn out to vote and I hope that is what happens this fall.

I should also mention that the Randolph County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution earlier this month in support of HB2. It was not a unanimous decision. One member was absent and one member voted against it.

I don’t believe the commissioners thought through the implications of their resolution before passing it. Although, Randolph County is relatively conservative, its citizens still want economic growth and the jobs that come with it. They want tourists to visit and spend their dollars here. They want businesses to move in and young families to take up residence.

By claiming that Randolph County supports HB2, the commissioners are advertising an unwelcoming and intolerant attitude that will discourage tourism and dissuade businesses, families and young people from moving here. That cannot have been their intent and it is my hope that in May, the commission will have second thoughts and rescind their harmful resolution.

web1_Jim-Meredith-mug-2015-web201642116023411_0* Jim Meredith is a member of The Courier-Tribune’s 2016 panel of guest columnists. An information technology manager at Replacements Ltd. in Greensboro, he and his wife, Beverly, live near Liberty with their children, Suzanne, Tia and Wilson. He is also chair of the Randolph County Democratic Party. Contact:[email protected]

Read this article at Courier-Tribune

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Community Cleanup POSTPONED – April 30, 2016

THE COMMUNITY CLEANUP AND COOKOUT HAS BEEN POSTPONED DUE TO INCLEMENT WEATHER.

We will inform participants of the new date and time very soon. Thanks for all who were planning to participate. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Church St.Asheboro Litter Pick-up

To cap off the end of Earth Month, we are sponsoring a litter pickup in downtown Asheboro followed by a free cookout for all volunteers.  It all takes place on Saturday, April 30, 2016.  We will start from our headquarters (118 North Church Street) at 3:30 pm, and work our way south lead by Bob Langston of Keep Randolph Beautiful.  The cookout at Memorial Park begins at 5:00pm.  We need volunteers to help with the litter pickup, work on the cookout crew, and donate desserts.  
 
Sign up for this event
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