What's Happening

Amid the pandemic, racism & injustices must not be ignored

By Alanna Joyner | May 28, 2020

The COVID-19 outbreak has taken a toll on the U.S., exposing not only the weakness in the health care system and economy, but the continued inequalities and injustices happening in communities across the country. During a time when the country needs direction and unity, Trump has only spread division and discord, ultimately pandering to an…

WRAL: Bipartisan election bill promised as others fight over NC’s ballot rules

By Alanna Joyner | May 26, 2020

House leaders in bipartisan support, have moved forward with a house bill containing changes to the state’s election rules due to the pandemic. House Bill 1169, contains many measures requested by the State Board of Elections and voting rights advocates to help the state prepare for conducting a safe election for voters during the COVID-19…

WRAL: Long-standing, unmet priorities are even more critical now

By Alanna Joyner | May 20, 2020

Two weeks after meeting to approve a $1.6 billion package that distributed COVID-19 funds from Washington, the North Carolina General Assembly resumed its annual session on Monday.  The N.C. Senate unveiled spending priorities on Tuesday for the coming fiscal year, rolling out more than 18 separate bills. The N.C. House has yet to lay out…

Amid the pandemic, North Carolina needs to guarantee safe and fair elections

By Alanna Joyner | May 14, 2020

In late March, the State Board of Elections asked legislative leaders and Gov. Roy Cooper to make it easier for North Carolinians to vote absentee by mail because of the coronavirus pandemic. The State Board of Elections executive director Karen Brinson Bell, asked for voters to be allowed to request mail ballots through an online…

WRAL: Trump must act, not distract, on COVID-19 to move U.S. forward

By Alanna Joyner | May 5, 2020

COVID-19 cases are approaching 12,256 in North Carolina; 1.2 million in the nation and 3.7 million worldwide. Instead of increasing testing and treatment; providing adequate protection for healthcare workers; and reducing the spread of the virus that is taking a toll on lives and the economy — Trump chooses to dodge responsibility and deny the…

Decades of cuts leaving Eastern North Carolina hospitals vulnerable to financial losses due to coronavirus

By Alanna Joyner | May 5, 2020

North Carolina currently has 49 rural and independent hospitals around the state, but the financial toll caused by the COVID-19 outbreak may strain the remaining hospitals already struggling from decades of funding cuts.  As the pandemic continues to sweep across the state, rural hospitals are set to lose more than $145 million per month. The…

WRAL: EPA won’t further limit air pollution despite coronavirus concerns

By Alanna Joyner | May 4, 2020

On Thursday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it will not enforce regulations that would limit the amount of small particles in our air. This comes after a new study released by Harvard found that people with COVID-19 who live in regions with high levels of air pollution across the country, are more likely…

Lawmakers falter on Medicaid expansion in the coronavirus relief package

By Alanna Joyner | May 4, 2020

With more than one million North Carolinians who have lost their jobs in a system where many workers receive health insurance through their employers and over 49 rural hospitals losing millions per month, the need for Medicaid expansion is paramount.  Yet, state lawmakers moved forward in passing the coronavirus relief package with very limited and…

NC legislature passes COVID-19 relief, without expanding jobless benefits or Medicaid

By Alanna Joyner | May 4, 2020

On May 2, the North Carolina General Assembly approved a $1.57 million COVID-19 relief package. Votes in both the House and the Senate during the Saturday session were unanimous, marking the legislature’s first response to the pandemic.  The $1.57 billion package contains funding for education, health care, small business loans, food banks, medical research, testing…