North Carolina

Amendment One

Guest Post by Anita Badrock

Amendment One is on the ballot for consideration by NC Voters. It allows local municipalities to issue "self financing bonds" (also known as TIF's--"tax incremental funding") without taxpayer approval. NC is one of only two states that does not currently allow this type of bond to be issued. The amendment has created some unlikely local allies---those in favor of the amendment include Mayor Foy and the Town Council, former Republican governor Jim Martin, former Democratic governor Jim Hunt, and the local Chambers of Commerce. Those opposed include the conservative John Locke Society, the Common Sense Foundation, the Libertarian Party of NC, and our own Dan Coleman.

If Amendment One passes, local governments would be allowed to create special development districts, then issue bonds without voter approval to pay for improvements in these districts — such as streets, water and sewer service and sidewalks — to attract developers.

Would "Learn and Earn" help Orange students?

Guest Post by Terri Buckner

Gov. Mike Easley recently announced a new program designed to provide incentive for high school students to remain in school, earn an associate's degree and prepare them for high-skilled jobs in new and emerging industries. "Learn and Earn" will provide students with the option of a five-year high school program that enables them to earn a high school diploma and a community college associate degree while gaining necessary skills to pursue a career in the new economy.

"Our schools have done a tremendous job providing rigorous course work to prepare students for college," said Easley. "However, for students who plan on entering the workforce, what is needed is a more relevant educational experience that will prepare them to compete in the global marketplace."

Durham is one of the pilot sites this fall, and Chatham will go online next fall.

Both parties agree... North Carolina is a battleground state

The Republicans and the Democrats now agree that NC is an important battleground state because the race for president and state offices is so close. The Republicans just agreed to target our state with additional money from the RNC.

Since Orange County is so heavily Democratic, many folks might be wondering how they can get involved to make sure that Kerry/Edwards and Bowles get elected despite the influx of national Republican money. One great start is to attend a precinct party or to host a precinct party on September 9.

The Orange County Dems are shooting to have at least 30 precinct parties where folks can gather, eat, vent about the state of the nation, and plan next steps for getting out the vote in their neighborhoods and beyond. Already they have 9 parties. Just go to for more info or to sign up to volunteer.

N.C. Blog Gathering

A few folks in Greensboro are putting together an informal gathering to discuss political blogging in North Carolina. They have got local elected officials and prominent bloggers attending from at least Guilford and Orange Counties, we will probably see folks from Wake County and other central parts of the state as well.

It is being modelled on the BloggerCon gatherings that have challenged traditional conference formats. I think the Piedmont Blog Conference should be interesting to anyone who enjoys reading or writing blogs. Y'all come!

What: Discussion of weblogs and politics, weblogs and media, weblogs and...

When: Saturday, August 28, 2004, 9 AM

Where: 620 South Elm Street, Greensboro, NC

Who: Candidates, bloggers, media, readers...moderators include Matt Gross, Ruby Sinreich, David Hoggard, and Ed Cone

How much: Free

Three New Petitions Regarding LGBT Rights

Follows is a petition I am submitting at the Council's March 22, 2004 meeting. The Chapel Hill News gave front page coverage to the petition this morning.

My hope is that the petition is referred to staff for drafting of the requested code and policy changes, and that the second petition is added to Wednesday's public forum on the Legislative Agenda. Also, I hope that this begins a discussion of these important issues in our community. As Mayor Foy says in the CH News, "the silence in North Carolina is deafening."



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