New Year, New NC; Veto Power; Partisan Gerrymandering; #TrumpShutdown; Save The Date
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New Year, New North Carolina!

Justice served with a “strong heart”

Although the swearing in of Anita Earls to the NC Supreme Court won't flip the ideological balance on that bench, we expect to see a more liberal justice system overall. We hope that Justice Earls' promise to "serve justice with a strong heart" will trickle down through the justice system across the state!

The election of more Democratic minded Judges, District Attorneys, and sheriffs will have a big influence on a variety of cases. Examples include reducing the school to prison pipeline, a possible reduction of prosecutions and bail for minor infractions, more diverse juries and cutting out the collaboration with ICE regarding immigrants in sanctuary. Will Doran of the N&O sums up the justice races that flipped and where we are likely to see the most dramatic changes. Washington Post also spotlighted the historic NC sheriff elections too!


Some new, some old in the NCGA Leadership

Yesterday the newly elected legislators were seated at the General Assembly, new rules for the year were approved and each chamber elected its leadership.

In the Senate:
Senator Phil Berger will continue as Senate Leader, and Senator Ralph Hise as the Deputy Leader. 

For the minority party, Senator Dan Blue will continue as the Minority Leader but we will have a new Whip in Senator Jay Chaudhuri. Read about his background and accomplishments as an Indian American son of immigrant parents.

In the House:
Rep. Tim Moore continues as Speaker, with Rep. Sarah Stevens as Speaker Pro-Tem, the #2 position.

Rep. Darren Jackson continues as the Minority Leader with Rep. Cynthia Ball named new House Whip. 

Congratulations to our newest members! For a detailed listing of the newly elected legislators, their backgrounds, and a summary of the new demographic make-up of the General Assembly, check out this overview from Lauren Horsch and Colin Campbell of the N&O and this one from Paul Woolverton of

Dates to keep in mind as we look ahead to the new long session:
There's a bit of a break until they reconvene on January 30th. A new 2 year budget will be considered in March, and the filing deadlines for legislation to be considered are March 24th and April 2nd. Crossover day, when all bills must be finalized to be effective this year, is May 9th. There's usually a flurry of activity leading up to those dates.

With no supermajority in sight, and a statement from GOP leadership that they are hoping for more consensus and cooperation, look for Democrats to push the discussion on Medicaid expansion, increased public school funding, more environmental quality control and regulations, funding for Raise the Age (requiring 16 & 17yo defendants to be classified as juveniles, not adults), and fair maps for the next round of redistricting. We will follow these issues and more throughout the year to give you options and talking points when contacting your legislators.

The Veto is Back

(But there was a missed opportunity to sustain the veto of H1029 in December)

It has recently come to light that the recent contentious bill, H1029, could have been stopped with Governor Cooper's veto.

This bill included a provision to keep all campaign finance investigations confidential and away from the public eye, as well as forcing a primary for a potential new NC09 election, and delaying the implementation of a new Board of Elections until January 31st (creating a stall tactic while the NC09 investigation is underway). 

Vetoes need to be overridden by 60% of those present in order to stand. Typically the NCGOP had enough votes last term to override any veto, and they did - over two dozen of them. However, 3 GOP legislators voted against H1029 for various reasons, and 6 Democratic legislators did not show up that day in the House. Granted, it was close to the holidays and there could have been any number of reasons why, but if they had shown up and were counted present, the veto could have been sustained. Read our post here on why we need to continue to hold all representatives accountable. 

NC Gerrymandering Case Heads to SCOTUS in March

The recent news that the US Supreme Court has agreed to hear the NC partisan gerrymandering case, Common Cause and League of Women Voters v. Rucho, was welcomed by many. 

Last year SCOTUS decided to punt the Wisconsin partisan gerrymandering case back, claiming that the plaintiffs had not demonstrated harm in each district, only on a statewide basis. However, the NC case has a much stronger chance of proving harm in each of the contested 9 districts, and we are hopeful that they will agree, once and for all, that there is no place in our democracy for fixing the districts in order for one party to retain power, regardless of voters' rights. 

Unfortunately, with the two new Justices on the bench it is very possible that not only will they claim this is too political for them to rule on, and non-justiciable, but they could also rule that the use of independent redistricting commissions is unconstitutional. That's because the US Constitution gives the power to draw districts to the state legislatures after each census. 

Here is some excellent information to read which ties the upcoming census and potential citizenship question to the partisan gerrymandering issues before the court. Stay tuned this spring as this could really go either way. 

The #TrumpShutdown Hits Home

This government shutdown is on track to be the longest in US history in just another day or two. Not only are federal government workers affected directly, but now it seems that relief funds for Hurricane Florence victims, some of whom may be federal employees themselves, will see delays. 

Matthew Burns of describes other ways that the shutdown is hitting close to home. Please continue to call Senators Burr and Tillis and demand that they push through the clean bill already agreed upon to re-open the government. Discussions on common sense, broad spectrum immigration reform is a better use of time than wasteful arbitrary spending on a wall.

Save These Dates:

Friday, January 11 (Tomorrow!)

January 11th was supposed to be the date for the public evidentiary hearing at the NC Board of Elections regarding the NC09 vote theft.

Instead, after the court disbanded the BOE on Dec 28th, Republican leadership refused to seat a temporary board, and delayed the start date of the newly structured BOE until Jan 31st in an attempt to stall the investigation.

Join ProgressNC and others tomorrow at 10:45am at Halifax Mall to march to the US Attorney’s office on New Bern Ave and highlight the urgent need for a full investigation and quick resolution so the people of NC09 can be properly represented. For more background on how election tampering in District 9 goes back years, and was previously referred without follow up to the US Attorney's office prior to 2018, read here.

Third Annual Raleigh Women's March and Rally, January 26, 2019

Updated Time: 12:30 gather

On the anniversary of the Women’s March, we will gather again to rally for our mission. We will celebrate Women Leading the Resistance and uplift voices and stories of communities that are affected by the current administration and its oppressive policies. Join us in our efforts to empower our community and keep its activist spirit alive.

Gather: January 26th, 2019 • 12:30-1:00pm

We plan to march first, at 1:00PM and the rally begins at 2:00PM

End • 3:30PM

Hallifax Mall
6 W Jones St.
Raleigh, NC 27601

Host Contact Info:


HKoJ; Historic Thousands on Jones St, Moral March on Raleigh

The 2019 date for the annual HKonJ march will be February 9th! Mark your calendars now and RSVP to join or help here

...and every Tuesday at 11:30, join Tuesdays With Tillis and dozens of committed people outside of Sen. Thom Tillis' office at 310 New Bern Ave, Raleigh, to highlight the needs and injustices of North Carolinians across the state. 

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Copyright © 2019
Stronger NC, Inc. All rights reserved.
Stronger North Carolina, Inc. is a 501(c)(4) social welfare organization that educates North Carolina citizens about issues affecting the electorate. Stronger NC is not affiliated with any political party and does not endorse individual candidates. 

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