Unite on budget
Instead of continuing the partisan back and forth on the budget, we need to engage in good faith negotiations that focus on what is best for all North Carolinians.
Our focus needs to be on education and healthcare, two of the main driving factors of a strong economy.
We need to properly invest in our teachers and schools to provide our children the resources and skills they need to move our economy forward.
We should capitalize on today’s historically low interest rates to pass a school bond to help build new schools in a fiscally responsible manner.
We need to give our teachers competitive pay to keep the best and brightest in North Carolina.
I believe our budget should include closing the Medicaid coverage gap, which would give nearly 600,000 North Carolinians access to the healthcare coverage they need.
Expanding Medicaid would also stimulate our economy by bringing 40,000 jobs to the state, many created in rural areas that need stable well-paying jobs. This can all be accomplished with no additional taxes.
It’s time for General Assembly leaders to come to the table, work with Gov. Cooper, and find a budget that works for all North Carolinians.
NC Sen. Sam Searcy, Raleigh
We cannot pledge allegiance to a president who is responsible for an agency that reports the detention center in Clint, Texas to be in compliance with standards.
If Henry Moak, chief accountability officer for Customs and Border Protection, believes that hungry children in overcrowded detention centers without beds and with infestations of lice is standard care for infants and children in the custody of our government then we have reached lower than ever before in our U.S. history.
Separating children from their parents and imprisoning them in deplorable conditions is not only immoral, it is 100 percent un-American.
Sue and Larry Yarger, Raleigh
Pass cellphone ban
“Hand-held cellphone ban, distracted driving bill dead” (July 5) indicated the large majority of the population that was polled believe distracted driving should be addressed by banning the use of cellphones.
This would eliminate the very dangerous practice of texting while driving.
So who wouldn’t want a hand-held cellphone ban to reduce automobile fatalities, to make it safer for their friends and relatives?
Apparently the majority of our representatives in the N.C. House don’t!
A proposed bill addressing this problem did not pass in the N.C. House. The Senate Commerce and Insurance Committee has decided not to bring it up for consideration.
Shame on the members of the N.C. legislature who are opposed to enhancing highway safety, considering it does not cost north Carolina anything to do this.
Who wouldn’t want to get rid of our representatives that are not representing us properly?
Charles Ritter, Cary
Tragedy for voters
The Supreme Court’s recent decision to allow political gerrymandering was a death blow to the African American community.
The decision not only strips African American communities of political power, but allows the long legacy of voter suppression and racial gerrymandering to continue.
Thirty years ago the high court expanded the 1965 Voting Rights Act to prohibit the spreading of minorities across voting districts by creating majority-minority districts. These districts allowed minority voters to elect candidates of their choice.
Republican lawmakers found a way to exploit this by packing minorities into a single district through the disease of redistricting.
So here we are again, doing what was prohibited 30 years ago.
Gerrymandering reduces the political power of African Americans. It expands voter suppression, decreases the influence of African Americans in white dominated districts, and confuses voters with new district lines.
It also decreases democratic representation.
What a tragedy for a nation that considers itself the moral centerpiece of the world.
Rev. Dr. Earl C. Johnson, Raleigh
Regarding “Durham architect of African-American history museum dies” (July 10):
Phil Freelon is not gone. While we grieve his transition,we have only to view his amazing icons to get a glimpse into the man’s soul.
Where there was darkness, he punched a hole to allow light.
His creations of shapes, colors, and balance inspire us. His design of the African-American History Museum in Washington portrays the mighty struggle, as well as the dream of forward movement and hope.
I met Phil while emceeing an event at which he received a prestigious award. I was taken with his calm dignity and how his eyes sparkled when I mentioned his wife Nnenna, the noted jazz artist.
Our community and the nation have been blessed by the genius of Phil Freelon.
Charlie Gaddy Raleigh