GrayNewman's blog

Church and politics

Myers Park Baptist is and has been one of the more progressive congregations here in Charlotte and when I use progressive I don't mean it in a purely political context. If I wasn't an Episcopalian, this is where I would probably go to church. They have installed solar panels, open their facilities to many community groups and just generally are a great asset to our city.

This summer they have been holding a series of talks on how people of differing viewpoints can live together and respect each other. Yesterday, Parks Helms a former Democratic county commissioner and Wayne Powers a Republican who is now running for county commission talked about Christianity and politics.

NC ranks fourth on CNBC's list of top states for business

While Number 4 is good, we actually dropped a spot in the last year while the "business friendly" Republicans were in charge of our Legislature. Maybe because they are more interested in our private lives than getting North Carolinians back to work.

The Tar Heel state ranked highest in infrastructure and technology, workforce, technology and innovation and business friendliness. The state's ranked lower in the health of its overall economy and its quality of life.

Infrastructure, technology, workforce, and innovation are all things that take time (more than two years) to establish while quality of life is more a short term (less than two years) measure.

Read more: Charlotte Observer

Democrats change venue of major event

With only two months to go, the convention organizing committee changes the venue of one of the showcase events. This isn't just a small change, they are moving from Cabarras County to downtown Charlotte.

The change came five months after convention officials trumpeted the speedway event as a way to showcase the region and involve more people in the convention.

I always thought putting an event at Charlotte Motor Speedway was a good idea but many of my concerns were cited as reasons for the change.

read more: Charlotte Observer

Senate committee likes slow-rise approach for sea-level forecasts

I was down in Beaufort last month at the Duke University Maritime Lab and the former director said that all their models are pointing to at least a 3' rise in sea level over the next century and that many coastal communities will be under water by 2100. Well, there are some in the NC Legislature who disagree with science.

This quote by Bill Chameides, current dean of the Duke U. Nichols School of the Environment pretty much sums it up:

Some in the state legislature may be feeling a good deal of self-satisfaction for concocting this little gambit, perhaps even high fiving each other and chanting things like “we don’t need no stinking climate scientists.”

Sea Level Rise, Melting Glaciers, and North Carolina Law

You can read more at: Charlotte Observer

Groups wait for pre-Dem convention protest permits

I am guessing the holdup has to do with the fact we (Charlotte) only has one big park in downtown where they can hold the numbers of people expected to protest and it is right across the street from the City/County Government Center.

"We've made multiple attempts over many months to go through the appropriate channels to get permits...but have still heard no response from city and county officials," said George Friday, an organizer with the Move to Amend Campaign.

read more: Charlotte Observer

Charlotte might need bigger protest spaces for DNC

I talked about this when it was first announced that Charlotte would host the convention. I was out in Denver in 2008 and they had a huge public park right in the middle of town that served as a great public space for speakers and a good place for marchers to congregate before and after protests. Charlotte has Marshall Park which is a good central park but is right beside the city/county government center and will probably be in the "security zone". I am guessing they will open up a two square block of space that is slated for our new baseball stadium and is county property.

read more: Charlotte Observer

Jefferson/Jackson Dinner

I was interviewed by NPR this morning about the state of the Democratic Party from a grassroots perspective and one of the topics we discussed was how the recent controversy at the state party was going to affect fundraising. I think turnout at the Jefferson/Jackson dinner next month will be telling. There is no way the dinner will bring in the numbers from four years ago but I think it will be a good gauge on what should be expected over the next few months.

This dinner has traditionally been one of if not the largest fundraiser for the state party each year and who shows should be pretty interesting.


Sure am glad Tillis is looking out for the little man

So, the leader of our State House, who is the number 3 person in the line of succession to Governor, is citing Wikipedia and UK law?

I have seen some BS come out of his mouth but this takes the cake:

Asked why employees who resigned would receive a month of additional pay, Tillis said: “I would hope people would think of these two who were in devastating personal situations.”

What about the teachers and other state employees who have been laid off because of YOU Speaker Tillis?

Read more: Charlotte Observer


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