Vicki Boyer's blog

The scene today at NC BOE meeting

Who knew that sitting in on a State Board of Elections meeting in Raleigh would turn out to be a great way to start September in North Carolina!

I only made it into the over-flow room for the hearing, as the main room was packed. I got in the door courtesy of my Mayor, Mark Chilton, who was also there to witness the hearing on whether or not Montravias King would be allowed to run for pubic office in Elizabeth City.

The setting reminded me of one of those great 1930’s courtroom dramas set in the South. Despite air conditioning, the room was hot. Men in suits were sweating while women in dresses (and pants and shorts) glistened. Little relief was offered by the many fans brought in by staff to move the air around. As a group, it seemed to represent every demographic NC has to offer, young, old, men, women, business owners and unemployed, long-time activists with the newly awakened.

McCrory pleased to 'step on toes'

http://www.mountainx.com/article/52201/Stepping-on-toes-McCrory-defends-policies-in-surprise-Ashevil...

McCrory Defends His Policies In Surprise Asheville Appearance.

I read this article and quickly concluded this man is so deluded I don't know where to start. McCrory's constant refrain of 'competition creates winners' leaves out the fact that it also creates 'losers.'

To have NC compete with other states on tax rates will only result in a race to the bottom. We lower our tax rates, and other states lower their tax rates. It is a race to zero. Who benefits from that? And I make no apologies about feeling that a corporation that does business in any locality DOES owe something to that community beyond jobs. They DO have to contribute to the common good, to education, to building highways and schools and the maintenance of public buildings and spaces. Yes, it is fair and right to have companies pay taxes.

The American Ideal Extends to All.

Most individuals go into the health care professions from a desire to help those in need. Some will do so as it is a growing field in our society and thus a good place to make a career for themselves. But everyone I have ever met who works in health care really wants to be able to provide care for those who in need.

All do so with the knowledge that they will be taking care of people, of individuals,who are sick and injured, and that some of those sick and injured will be in the condition they are in because of choices they have made, choices the health care worker may not have made for themselves.

A hospital employee may not believe in street gangs and how they operate. But if a gang member winds up in their hospital with a gunshot wound, they work to save his life.

If a tightrope walker who falls while trying to walk to walk across the Grand Canyon comes in on a helicopter, it is health care workers who provide treatment.

Early Childhood Programs of Value to Business

Over 300 business leaders from around the nation have signed a letter to President Obama and members of Congress requesting greater investment in Pre-Kindergarten opportunities for children. Business executives have signed on with ReadyNation.org to support pre-K education as a necessity, not a luxury, for creating the employee of the future. They are declaring their belief, based on hard evidence, of the importance of good quality early childhood development programs. In light of the NCGA decision to slash funding and restrict access to our own pre-K programs it is worth taking a look at why business leaders would favor them.

It’s not just society that has changed, but the business world has changed as well. Children who attend pre-K are better able to learn the information and skills that are presented to them in grade school and beyond. These business leaders recognize this, but our self-proclaimed business oriented NCGA does not.

Raleigh in top 10 cities for small business

A new survey of business climate ranks Raleigh in the nation’s top ten for small businesses.

Triangle Business Journal today is noting Raleigh made the top 10 list for the Best Cities for Business, 2013. Raleigh-Durham got an A in this year’s survey, up from a B last year.

This information comes from the United States Small Business Friendliness survey and here’s a link to the Thumbtack.com interactive map. You will see three areas in NC are shown, Raleigh-Durham, Winston-Salem, and Charlotte.

http://www.thumbtack.com/survey#2013/cities

The survey contacted over 7,000 small business owners to discover the best states for the operation of small businesses today. Topics included how easy it was to start a business and ranged through “ease of hiring, regulatory burdens, and available training and networking opportunities for business owners.”

Voter ID

The US Constitution promises citizens a guaranteed right to vote.

We have no constitutional right to buy Sudafed, or any other drug. We have no constitutionally guaranteed right to get on an airplane or drive a car. To compare voting to buying cold medicine is to belittle the Bill of Rights.

In addition, our constitution states that we are, each and everyone of us, innocent until proven guilty. Voter ID requirements say we are guilty until we can prove ourselves innocent.

That the group from the Voter Integrity Project who spoke at last week’s house hearing (I was there) repeated the same story over and over, tells us that there are not enough such ‘stories’ to go around. It tells us that voter fraud is not as rampant as some want it to be. It tells us that this bill requiring ID to vote is an excuse, not a reason. An excuse to limit voting and restrict citizen access to the polls. Our legislature is seeking to limit citizen participation in elections.

Forbes labels Raleigh as #2 Boom Town

Forbes Magazine has published a list of the next Boom Towns in the US. Raleigh is number 2, Charlotte is number 8. According to Forbes:

Raleigh has experienced the second-highest overall population increase and the third-highest job growth over the past two decades in the U.S. It also ranked among those regions seeing the biggest jump in new immigrants and is the No. 1 city for families with young children. The area is a magnet for technology companies fleeing the more expensive, congested and highly regulated northeast corridor. Affordable housing and short commute times are no doubt highly attractive to recent college graduates and millennials looking to start families.

No cities in South Carolina made the list. It seems that to Forbes, the level of regulation here in NC is just fine, thank you very much. It would seem, yet again, that South Carolina is not our competition.

Medicaid refusal may trigger fines on NC business

Our governor’s refusal to set up expanded Medicaid in the state of North Carolina will not only cost our citizens the benefits that come from well over 20,000 new jobs and better health care, but will cost our existing businesses money. Bloomberg news is reporting that:

Governors who refuse to expand their Medicaid programs for the poor may cost employers in their states as much as $1.3 billion in federal fines, a study found.

Voter ID Catch-22

When getting a driver's license in NC, one of your choices for documentation is to show your birth certificate. (There are other options, like military id's, but not everyone has one of those.)

I called New Hanover County to see what it would cost to get a copy of my birth certificate. Cost is $10, but I would have to provide a copy of my driver's license.

To get a driver's license I need to have a birth certificate, and to get a birth certificate I need a driver's license....

South Carolina is not our competition.

A personal financial website called NerdWallet has named Raleigh as the Number 8 best city for female entrepreneurs. It seems that others have taken notice of the fact that the number of businesses here is growing and that a large number of them are run by women. Isn't that great! Some of their criteria involved having a thriving economy. The level of education is important and seems to co-orelate to having an entrepreneurial spirit. Raleigh was 8th, and the other cities, from 1 on to 10 are: San Francisco, Seattle, Washington DC, Minneapolis, Portland OR, Atlanta, Austin, (Raleigh at 8), Denver at 9, and San Diego at 10.

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