What's Happening

WRAL: Make North Carolina count by completing the census

By Alanna Joyner | September 21, 2020

The deadline for the 2020 Census is fast approaching and approximately 4 million North Carolinians still need to fill out the census. There’s roughly $16 billion of federal funding at stake for North Carolina if citizens do not participate by the September 30 deadline — in addition to state funds. Our response is critical as…

After fourth COVID-19 cluster students, prominent faculty and medical experts call for UNC-Chapel Hill to go online

By Alanna Joyner | August 18, 2020

Just a month ago, current and former faculty from across the UNC system sent a letter to top UNC System leadership and the UNC Board of Governors, urging them to join other university systems in making online instruction the default for the coming Fall semester as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Despite their concerns, the BOG…

Trump’s attacks on voting-by-mail and the Post Office

By Alanna Joyner | August 17, 2020

In a long list of false claims and furious objections to voting-by-mail, Trump admitted on Thursday that he’s willingly blocking proposed federal aid for the U.S. Postal Service in an attempt to make it harder to expand voting by mail. For years, the Postal Service has struggled to stay afloat, and with Louis DeJoy, a…

The Hill: Senate adjourns until September without COVID-19 relief package

By Alanna Joyner | August 17, 2020

Last Thursday, the Senate adjourned until September 8, without reaching a deal for the next round of coronavirus relief legislation. The lack of a deal leaves millions of Americans in financial peril, as the $600 per week federal unemployment benefit, the nationwide moratorium on evictions and the window to apply for Paycheck Protection Program small…

NPR: Census Cuts All Counting Efforts Short By A Month

By Alanna Joyner | August 12, 2020

Last week, the U.S. Census Bureau announced that its ending all counting efforts, including door knocks, responses by mail, over the phone and online, for the 2020 census on Sept. 30 — a month sooner than previously announced.  The last minute change imposed by the Trump administration, could threaten the accuracy of population numbers, especially…

WRAL: Relief packages should be about helping Americans, not just boosting Trump’s reelection

By Alanna Joyner | August 10, 2020

On Saturday, Trump signed three memoranda and one executive order at his exclusive New Jersey golf resort, ahead of any stimulus bill agreement between the House and Senate. In an attempt to appear to come to the nation’s rescue, Trump’s measures would provide $300 per week in federal unemployment assistance with another $100 a week…

Congress leaves town without a coronavirus stimulus deal, allowing $600 unemployment benefit to end

By Alanna Joyner | August 3, 2020

Another round of coronavirus relief package talks began today, as Congress adjourned for the weekend without coming to any deal on the program or a larger emergency stimulus package. The $600 weekly unemployment benefit that helped 32 million Americans stay afloat, officially ended on Friday — leaving unemployed Americans in limbo while Congress continues to…

Port City Daily: The Covid-19 safety nets are gone. Now a flood of evictions is here.

By Alanna Joyner | August 3, 2020

Last week marked the end of statewide eviction moratoriums in more than 30 states, including North Carolina, that had protections for renters in the CARES Act. More than 40 million Americans may lose their homes — almost four times the amount seen during the Great Recession. In North Carolina, Gov. Cooper mandated a months-long statewide…

The News & Observer: With weekly $600 gone, NC unemployment benefits alone are not enough, workers say

By Alanna Joyner | July 29, 2020

As Congress debates how to shape the next phase of coronavirus relief, the extra $600 federal unemployment benefits that were legislated through the CARES Act have now expired for millions across the country.  The last payment rolled out this past weekend, as the House and Senate are considering different economic stimulus packages.  Instead of extending…