WASHINGTON (NNPA) – In last week’s State of the Union Address, President Barack Obama declared, “…Our success should depend not on accident of birth, but the strength of our work ethic and the scope of our dreams.” The operative word was “should.” A recent study by a team of Harvard University and University of California-Berkeley researchers and others confirm that the birth lottery still rules the day. The report states, “Contrary to popular perception, economic mobility has not changed significantly over time; however, it is consistently lower in the U.S. than in most developed countries. It also said two studies found, “Upward income mobility varies substantially within the U.S. Areas with greater mobility tend to have five characteristics: less segregation, less income inequality, better schools, greater social capital, and more stable families.”
While planning to address issues of concern and writing vision statements, the single most important question is what your particular issue or concern will look like at a given point in time. Of course this is important because when you describe what you’d like to see in the future, your action plan necessarily contains action items required to achieve your concern or vision. You’re allowed to pick any point in time and ask the question. So it is with our campaign to defeat voter suppression. As the efforts to defeat voter suppression move forward we are constantly evaluating the three components of our mantra; (1). What should the education component of our campaign look like? (2). what should the organizational component of our campaign look like? (3). what should the mobilization component of our campaign look like? However, the more strategic question that we address in this week’s editorial is, what will North Carolina look like politically on Tuesday, November 5th, 2014?
More good news keeps coming for consumers in early 2014. On the heels of new mortgage rules that took effect on January 10, the following week four banks making payday loans pulled their products from the market. Announcing a halt to their triple-digit interest rates were Wells Fargo, Regions, Fifth Third and US Bank. Together, these lenders have combined assets of $2.1 trillion, serving customers through 30,000 branches and more than 21,500 ATMs across the country.
EDUCATE, ORGANIZE AND MOBILIZE: Voter ID laws require voters to present in most instances, some type of state issued photo identification in order to vote. It is important to note that most voter ID legislation is coming from Republican controlled states and being justified as necessary to address voter fraud. To date, as shown in the Pennsylvania case, the evidence presented proves that among other things voter fraud is rare or non-existent. This week we’ll look at the laws in several states as examples of how these laws came about and are being received in courts and in the court of public opinion. I believe that the best Internet site for a concise overview of voter ID in the United States is one of the sources I’ve used and relied upon for this article. John Holt
What do North Carolina and Wisconsin have in common? On the surface of it, perhaps not much: one has subzero winter temperatures and the other sweltering summers with off the charts humidity. But more and more people are seeing parallels between the tar heel and badger states, particularly the power of unregulated big money in politics. As more and more North Carolinians come to the state capitol every week protesting cuts to unemployment insurance, tax cuts for the state’s wealthiest citizens, loosening of environmental regulations, and threats to voting rights,
The bad back that awakened me at 6:00 a.m. on this birthday morning and that spurred unpleasant thoughts of growing old dissipated in an instant with an email alert that our long-awaited decision in the voter ID had issued. I didn’t have the opinion, but I had the result – we won! Thousands of hours of hard work in collaboration with my fantastic colleagues had not been a total waste. And that adrenaline rush only increased when I read the opinion. “Disenfranchising voters ‘through [no] fault of the voter himself’ is plainly unconstitutional,” (p.43), wrote the judge, echoing something I’d been saying for two years. The judge agreed with virtually every argument we made in concluding that this law didn’t promote any valid governmental objective while disenfranchising hundreds of thousands of eligible voters.
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