The Morning Roundup: HB 2 Gets Dissed in Philly, Raleigh | News
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Thursday, July 28, 2016

The Morning Roundup: HB 2 Gets Dissed in Philly, Raleigh

Posted by on Thu, Jul 28, 2016 at 8:32 AM

Good morning, everyone! Happy Thursday.

Members of the U.S. Congressional Black Caucus and North Carolina congressman G.K. Butterfield spoke to the DNC last night, endorsing Hillary Clinton for president. Congressman Butterfield's main argument to vote for Hillary seemed to hinge on the fact that Donald Trump isn't qualified to be president and doesn't have any kind of plan to address issues facing black communities (or any other issues). 

Raleigh tech entrepreneur Brooks Bell spoke too. She started her own  company and then  suffered a stroke at twenty-three. She had to relearn to read, write and talk, but she and her company recovered, and she's had to make the difficult decisions that many small business owners face, she said. 

"I believe in Hillary because I know she also carries battle scars,"  said Bell. "Her relentless dedication to serve America over the past thirty years has been marked by hard choices which makes this historic achievement all the more impressive." 

She also called HB 2 a "preview of a Trump presidency," which seems accurate.

And of course President Obama endorsed Hillary in a long speech, Vice President Joe Biden spoke too, and Tim Kaine, who was not wearing a Honduran flag pin, accepted the nomination for vice president. Good times. Here's the rest of your news.

1. There are all-gender bathrooms at the DNC and yet, the world keeps on turning. 

From the N&O:

Wendy May, who’s one of two transgender delegates from North Carolina, said she’s visited the bathroom and views it as a “unity” bathroom.

“It’s very interesting,” May said. “I have a trans bathroom at home, so I’m used to it.”

But May, a military veteran who’s running for county commissioner in conservative Johnston County, said she’s still been using the women’s bathroom because it’s closer to her seat in the convention hall.

Other North Carolina delegates praised the all-gender bathroom as one of several ways the convention is opposing laws such as HB2.

“I think that’s a really cool thing to see,” said Uriah Ward, a delegate from Greenville. “More than anything, it signals inclusion. It draws a contrast with the Republican Party convention, which was all about blaming different groups for the problems in our country.”

Two of the three convention speakers from North Carolina this week have talked about HB2. And the Democratic Party’s platform specifically notes that it “opposes all state efforts to discriminate against LGBT individuals, including legislation that restricts the right to access public spaces.”

The platform also calls for federal law to specifically protect against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender discrimination – protections that existed in several North Carolina communities before HB2 struck down all nondiscrimination ordinances and replaced them with a statewide nondiscrimination standard that doesn’t mention sexual orientation or gender identity.

Several North Carolina delegates said HB2 is one of the first topics Democrats from other states bring up when introduced to them. Delegates have been passing out anti-HB2 buttons to bring attention to the cause.

“We used to be known for our exceptional school system,” said Ray McKinnon of Charlotte. “Now we’re known for our hate.”

Randy Voller, a delegate and former Pittsboro mayor, said other states now view North Carolina as among the country’s most socially conservative. “When you go to these events, we’re lumped in with Kansas, which everyone knows has gone way over with an ideological experiment,” he said.

2. In other HB 2 news, the Air Horn Orchestra hosted a special NBA-themed protest event outside the governor's mansion, to remind Gov. Sour Grapes McCrory that the bill he signed (and therefore, he) is responsible for the NBA All-Star game weekend pulling out of Charlotte in 2017.

Let this epic photo from New Raleigh speak the thousand words that Gov. McCrory doesn't want to hear. 

click to enlarge PHOTO BY NEW RALEIGH
  • Photo by New Raleigh
3. Wake County commissioners' and school board races are a big old mess since a federal judge declared the 2013 state legislature's redrawn districts were unconstitutional. Will we go back to the original districts that were drawn in 2011, or will we get new ones? No one knows!

From the N&O:

In an order Wednesday, U.S. Chief District Court Judge James C. Dever III asked attorneys for the plaintiffs, the Wake County Board of Elections, the State Board of Elections and Senate Leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore to appear in his Raleigh courtroom next week.

Dever said he wants to hear when the State Board of Elections can submit new Wake election maps that can be used in the Nov. 8 election. State election officials have told Dever they don’t have the software or expertise to draw new maps but would do so if directed by the court.

Dever also wants state legislative leaders to tell him when they can submit “illustrative maps” that could be used to help draw new election districts. Berger and Moore had told Dever that the General Assembly wouldn’t be able to adopt new Wake maps this year but could provide examples.

In a prior order, Dever had told election officials and legislative leaders he was prepared to draw new Wake maps if neither group did so.

Dever also acknowledged in his new order that the plaintiffs want him to reinstate the maps that the school board and commissioners adopted in 2011 before they were replaced by the General Assembly.

The new order comes a day after the the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a request to reconsider a three-judge panel’s July 1 ruling that tossed the new Wake maps. Dever is the trial judge who will be tasked with implementing the panel’s decision.
4. A shortage of food supplies at the Salvation Army of Wake County means Raleigh families are going hungry. 

From WRAL:

The Salvation Army of Wake County had a change of command last month, and as the new couple in command settles into Raleigh, they’re already finding some major challenges for their neediest neighbors.

Salvation Army Major Stephen Long makes the rounds at the Center for Hope on Capital Boulevard every morning.

Long and his wife, Connie, became the new commanders for the Wake County chapter of the Salvation Army last month and while the Raleigh economy is in better shape than many areas, the Longs said a lot of people are hurting.

“There’s a lot of need, no matter where you go. Jesus said ‘the poor, you will have with you always’,’ Long said.

Stephen Long said what stands out most in the center’s food pantry is what’s missing from the shelves.

“It really hurts the heart to see it this way,” he said.

The Salvation Army typically helps about 50 families per week with extra groceries, but the shelves in the food pantry are so bare, they’ve had to cut that number to 30 families per week. Stephen Long is now pleading for help from the community.

“Today, they can bring a bag of food over and it’ll help us with one family. They can bring 10 bags of food over and it will help us with 10 families,” he said.

The center also houses a 90-bed women and children’s shelter with its own set of needs.

‘[We’re] constantly needing towels, sheets, clothing for them,” Connie Long said.

The Salvation Army counts on donations to meet the needs all year. The Longs said those gifts go a long way to change people’s lives.

“Not just putting a Band-Aid over a sore, but helping to bring healing,” Stephen Long said.
Hungry families can find some relief today at a free grocery giveaway hosted by the Chavis Park Circle of Friends and the First Cosmopolitan Baptist Church. The grocery giveaway will be at the Chavis Community Center at 505 Martin Luther King Boulevard from 12 noon to 4 p.m. or until the groceries are gone. 

5. Here's a story about the Hot Dog princess from Apex and her whirlwind summer.

Frankly, she's my hero.

This is my last Roundup for the INDY. Thanks for everything, loyal readers. Thursday is forever little Friday!

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