What happens in North Carolina matters for all of us.
The foundations of our democracy are under attack. Every day we see new attempts to roll back the progress we have made as a nation over the past fifty years - to strip whole populations of Americans of their voting rights and other civil rights. Most of this is happening at the state level, just as it did during the days of Jim Crow.
At the same time, progressive power in the states is at a low ebb. Republicans now control 68 of America’s 99 legislative chambers. Republican governors hold office in 31 states. Not only does this give right-wing extremists the ability to reshape policy on everything from reproductive rights to education, climate change, and criminal justice: it also allows them to rig the electoral system - suppressing the votes of people of color and young people, gerrymandering legislative and Congressional districts on partisan and racial lines, and hobbling the efforts of progressives to rebuild power at a national level. Fighting back means fighting - and winning - in the states.
And nowhere is the fight more important than in North Carolina.
Since the Republicans in North Carolina gained a majority in the state legislature in 2010 and then won the Governor’s mansion in 2012, they have used North Carolina as a testing ground for an anti-voter, anti-women, anti-LGBT and anti-environment agenda. They have passed laws, for example, that suppressed the vote among African-American citizens “with surgical precision,” passed the most restrictive anti-women’s health law in the state’s history, outlawed the use of sea level rise data in decision making and implemented the infamous HB2 transgender bathroom use bill that went as far as taking away all local non-discrimination protections statewide, as well as the right to bring discrimination lawsuits in state courts.
Over the next three years, North Carolina has a once-in-decades opportunity to change its political culture from one characterized by racism, exclusion, deception and illegal gerrymandering to one of inclusion, transparency and equal treatment of all its citizens in their access to voting and the counting of their votes.
There is much reason for hope. In 2016, Democratic Governor Roy Cooper beat the incumbent Republican Governor and Democrat Josh Stein was elected State Attorney General. Democrats also took back the state Supreme Court by electing Justice Mike Morgan. In addition, a recent court order requires the legislature to redraw all of the state’s legislative maps without racial gerrymandering.
Team 4 NC is committed to raising money for and working with a range of groups throughout the state to right the wrongs of the past 7 years and reverse the impact of these efforts, with a particular focus on effective voter registration initiatives, voter education, and upcoming legislative elections (and possible court-ordered early elections to correct the racially gerrymandered districts). Our key goal is in laying the ground work for a fair, democratic, transparent and inclusive electoral process through to the next presidential election in 2020 and the redistricting that will take place in 2021, after the 2020 census, when North Carolina is likely to gain an extra seat in the House of Representatives.