Why FLIP NC

Why are we working to FLIP NC?

We envision a progressive NC that works for all North Carolinians and protects the most vulnerable among us.

We believe the best way to achieve this vision is by building civic engagement through year-round, direct voter outreach within communities.

What do we mean by “a progressive North Carolina”? We mean one that:

  1. Protects our democracy. We believe North Carolinians deserve a government that truly represents the people. This begins with restoring the basic democratic institutions of our state: securing our sacred right to vote by making it easier, not harder; drawing fair maps so that voters choose their representatives instead of representatives choosing their voters; safeguarding our judicial system against partisan tampering; and restoring transparency, thoughtful debate, and deliberation to our institutions of government.

  2. Ends economic oppression. North Carolinians deserve to live with dignity – poverty and extreme inequality have no place in a nation as wealthy as ours. It’s past time to end the exploitation of the most vulnerable for the benefit of the few, the rich and the powerful. A fair and just society demands that we end the war on the poor and restore the social safety net, progressive taxation, and economic opportunity for all.

  3. Ensures equal rights and protections. We believe in equal rights and protections for all North Carolinians. That means racial equity and justice; bodily autonomy for women; protections against discrimination for LGBTQ North Carolinians; and fair and humane immigration policies free from racist, xenophobic motivations.

  4. Supports a strong public education system. The future success of our state depends on the investment we make in public schools today. A good education should not be reserved for the most privileged, and educators should be valued and rewarded for their important work. We must restore North Carolina’s public school system, once the crown jewel of our state, by fighting for the funding it needs to thrive.

  5. Guarantees affordable health care. Access to affordable health care is a right, not a privilege. We must create a system in which all North Carolinians can see a qualified medical provider, regardless of their income. No one should die because they can’t afford basic medical care, and we shouldn’t allow companies to value profits more than human lives.

  6. Protects the environment. Climate change is real, the stakes are higher than ever, and we must act immediately. North Carolina must prioritize clean air and water for all citizens over corporate profits. By investing in renewable energy, we can create good jobs and improve our economy while protecting our natural resources.

  7. Enacts broad criminal justice reforms. Our criminal justice system must respect the dignity and humanity of all individuals and treat all people equally under the law. North Carolina could dramatically reduce its incarceration rate and bring true justice to its criminal justice system by decriminalizing marijuana; rejecting for-profit prisons and a cash bail system that keeps poor people locked up while those wealthier go free; preventing racial profiling by law enforcement; offering incarceration alternatives for non-violent offenses; and restoring the Racial Justice Act.

25 Reasons to FLIP NC

25 Reasons to FLIP NC

The NC GOP has passed so much extreme legislation since taking control of the NCGA in 2010 that it can be hard to keep track of all of the damage they’ve done to our state. But hope is on the horizon. If Democrats can break the Republican majority in at least one chamber of the NCGA, a new progressive era can begin in North Carolina.

Here are 25 reasons we’re fighting for democracy and a progressive future for North Carolina. Read our full list of 99 Reasons to FLIP NC, and then share yours – there are far more than 99 Reasons to FLIP NC!

99 Reasons to FLIP NC (#s 21-40)

40. Because the Wealthiest North Carolinians Didn’t Need a 29% Income Tax Cut

Over the past five years, Republicans have cut the top income tax rate from 7.75% to 5.5%, a 29 percent cut for the wealthiest North Carolinians, while eliminating the earned-income tax credit (#75) and enacting regressive sales taxes.

39. To Stop the Privatization of Our School System

Over the past seven years, Republicans in the NCGA have taken many steps towards privatizing our school system, including expanding a private school voucher program (in which more than 90% of the schools receiving money were religious schools), funding the rapid growth of charter schools (up 75% since 2010), and requiring mandatory public school takeovers by corporate charters. All of these programs divert resources from traditional public schools, leaving funding for public schools in NC near the worst in the country (#29).

38. To Stop the GOP’s Endless Unconstitutional Legislation

Since gaining supermajorities in both chambers of the NCGA in 2012, Republican lawmakers have passed a continuous stream of unconstitutional legislation, including their monster voter law (#31), racially and partisan gerrymandered congressional and legislative districts (#54), attempts to seize power from the executive branch (#27), and so on. The GOP-controlled legislature’s power grabs have been so extreme that it was even sued by a governor from the majority’s own party in McCrory v. Berger. Exasperatingly, the GOP often benefits from its unconstitutional legislation during the course of the lengthy legal battles required to contest their illegal laws – while taxpayers pay the literal price, footing the bill for tens of millions in legal fees.

37. To Protect Reproductive Choice

Since taking control of the NCGA in 2010, the GOP has passed a long list of restrictions on reproductive choice including severe limits on insurance coverage for abortion (#52), mandatory long waiting periods and restrictions on medication-based abortion (#63). These new laws, along with the fact that 90% of NC counties do not have any facilities that provide abortions, severely limit reproductive choice for many North Carolinians, especially those with limited ability to travel.

36. To Ensure Fair Elections

In the days immediately following Roy Cooper’s election, the GOP-controlled legislature moved to strip the Governor of his authority to appoint a majority on the State Board of Elections – authority that had been in place for nearly 50 years. The NC GOP has passed three different bills with this aim over the past two years, the first two of which were declared unconstitutional, and proposed a Constitutional Amendment for the 2018 ballot, all with the goal of moving authority to appoint election boards from the Governor to the state legislature.

35. To Protect Our Coast

From supporting off-shore drilling (#64), to banning the study of sea-level rise, to overturning a popular local ban on plastic bags in the Outer Banks, to failing to adequately address coastal erosion, the GOP-controlled state legislature has put our coast at risk. This failure to protect our beautiful coast is a tragedy for future generations.

34. To End Extreme Partisan Gerrymandering

In 2011 and again in 2017, NC GOP lawmakers used detailed board of elections data to draw congressional and legislative maps that are among the most politically gerrymandered in the history of the United States. As a result, although NC is roughly evenly divided, Republicans hold a 10-3 advantage in US Congress and supermajorities in both the NC House and NC Senate, allowing the NC GOP to pass extreme and anti-democratic legislation with no concern about the governor’s veto. The only sure way get fair maps in NC is for Democrats to reclaim the majority in at least one chamber of the NCGA for a seat at the table when maps are redrawn following the 2020 Census.

33. To Fully Repeal HB2 and Let NC Cities Write Their Own Labor Laws

In addition to enshrining LGBTQ discrimination in state law, HB2 also restricts municipalities in North Carolina from enacting anti-discrimination policies of any kind, setting a local minimum wage, regulating child labor, or making certain regulations for city workers – in yet another of example of legislative overreach into local affairs by the NC GOP.

32. To Fully Repeal HB2 and End LGBTQ Discrimination

Proposed and signed into law in less than 12 hours, HB2 became widely known for the restrictions on transgender bathroom use that made our state “a pioneer in bigotry”. But its impact is much broader. The bill also bars NC cities and towns from enacting anti-discrimination laws on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, making it legal for private companies throughout the state to fire anyone because they are gay. Full repeal of HB2 is not enough. We need full legal protection from discrimination for LGBTQ North Carolinians across our state.

31. Because the NC GOP Passed the Most Restrictive Voting Law NC since Jim Crow

In 2013, the GOP-controlled legislature passed the “monster voter law,” which cut early voting by a week, eliminated out-of-precinct voting, and required voters to show specific types of photo ID – restrictions that election board data showed would disproportionately affect African Americans and other minorities. In declaring the law unconstitutional, the Federal Appeals Court called it “the most restrictive voting law North Carolina has seen since the era of Jim Crow” and charged that Republican lawmakers had targeted “African Americans with almost surgical precision.”

30. To Improve the Health of Pregnant Women and Babies

North Carolina ranks #43 in the country in the fraction of women aged 18-44 who have health insurance, so it may not be surprising to learn that NC women get below-average care during pregnancy and that the health of babies born in NC ranks near the bottom in every category, including #41 in low birthweight, #44 in neonatal mortality, and #43 in infant mortality. The NC GOP’s failure to expand Medicaid (#22) and sabotaging of our health care exchange (#77) has contributed greatly to the poor health and mortality of pregnant women and babies in NC.

29. Because NC Shouldn’t Be Anywhere Near the Bottom in Public School Spending

While education spending in other states has rebounded since the recession, the GOP-controlled legislature has failed to increase spending in NC. In 2016, North Carolina’s per pupil school spending was still below 2008 levels and ranked 45th in the country, significantly below much poorer states like South Carolina, Kentucky and Louisiana. According to one recent study (third link), North Carolina’s public schools have dropped from the Top 20 in the county to 40th due largely to insufficient funding.

28. To Decriminalize Marijuana

Despite 80% support by North Carolinians for medicinal use and 45% for recreational use, NC remains one of 20 states that totally restricts the use of marijuana. Democratic bills introduced in the 2017-18 legislative session would decriminalize possession for personal use, but the NC GOP has completely blocked these bills. Given the strong racial bias in the enforcement of drug laws, decriminalizing marijuana would be a major step towards racial justice in NC.

27. To Protect the Separation of Powers

Having created legislative maps that are extremely gerrymandered in its favor, the Republican legislature moved to weaken the executive and judicial branches of government and concentrate more power in the legislative branch. Their power grab has included: attempting to take over the state board of elections (#35), creating new obstacles to the Governor’s appointment power to fill positions in the Executive Branch, forming unconstitutional commissions to manage pollution from coal plants and fracking (#38), redrawing judicial maps (#78), and interfering with judicial elections. We need to protect the basic checks and balances on our state government.

26. To Make Smart Public Investments for a Growing State

Since taking over the NCGA in 2010, Republican legislators have sharply reduced government spending on everything from schools to infrastructure, failing to make the investments necessary for the next generation of North Carolinians. State spending as a fraction of total personal income has declined over 20% since 2008 as a result of continued tax cuts that have largely benefited corporations and the wealthy. It’s time to invest in North Carolina’s future.

25. Because Voter ID Has Nothing to Do with Voter Fraud

The Republican Party has created and promoted a false narrative about widespread voter fraud to stoke fear and galvanize support for voter ID while hiding their true intent: to disenfranchise African-American, poor, and elderly voters. After their 2013 monster voter law (#31) was declared unconstitutional due to the precision with which it targeted African-American voters, the NC GOP placed a Voter ID Constitutional Amendment on the ballot this November. If it passes, North Carolina will join Mississippi as the only states to enshrine this odious form of systematic disenfranchisement in their constitutions.

24. To End NCGA Restrictions on Local Decision Making

Because local governments in North Carolina ultimately get much of their authority from the state, the GOP has been able to use its unchecked power at the state level to intervene in local affairs in myriad ways, placing restrictions on anti-discrimination (#33), minimum-wage (#32), environmental (#35), natural-resource (#42), housing (#49), education, and election laws.

23. To Restore Progressive Taxation

Over the past six years, Republicans have used their supermajorities in the NCGA to sharply cut taxes for the rich at the expense of everyone else. Regressive changes include reducing the corporate tax rate to the lowest in the country (#72), repealing the estate tax (#93), cutting the top income tax rate by almost 30 percent (#40), eliminating the earned income tax credit (#76), and expanding sales taxes to services like car repair that are disproportionately used by the poor. Taken as a whole, the changes have left the total tax bill of low- and middle-income households almost unchanged, while dramatically reducing the taxes paid by the top 1%.

22. For Medicaid Expansion

The failure to expand Medicaid under the ACA is one of the most self-defeating and harmful policies inflicted by the GOP-controlled state legislature on the people of North Carolina. Not only would Medicaid expansion provide health insurance for nearly 500,000 low-income households and their children – saving more than a thousand lives per year – it would also create an additional 35,000 jobs (including a large number of middle- and high-wage jobs in the health care sector) and expand NC’s economy by over $2 billion. The resulting increase in tax revenues would be more than enough to offset the state’s expenses, with the federal government covering 90% of the cost of Medicaid expansion. The lack of insurance coverage for the working poor in NC has greatly exacerbated the opioid crisis (#81), led to higher costs in NC’s health insurance exchange (#77) and contributing to extremely poor outcomes for pregnant women and babies in NC (#30). It’s this simple: expanding Medicaid would save thousands of lives and improve life for millions of North Carolinians.

21. For Transparency in Government

Over the past several years, the GOP-controlled NCGA has increasingly moved to using secretive practices for writing and passing extreme legislation. Bills – most famously HB2 (#33) – are often written behind closed doors and then passed within hours, with no time for public comment or for lawmakers to even read the final bill. In 2018, the entire state budget was written in secret by the GOP and passed without allowing any amendments or debate. It’s time to restore transparency and thoughtful debate and deliberation to the NCGA.

Our Education System Needs Us to FLIP NC

Check out this feature to see just how underpaid teachers are in North Carolina. Not only are NC teachers paid over $13,000 less the national average, but their salaries have fallen by over 11% in the past 15 years, when inflation is taken into account. 

When we knock on doors, voters tell us that education is the single most important issue to them. And yet, the Republicans in the NCGA are purposely starving our public school system of even the most basic resources.