This week we will bring you a quick news summary, some important updates about our plans for January featuring our 2016 kickoff and voter registration. Check out the calendar to see where you can support our VR work and learn more about North Carolina’s beautiful state parks.

This is a big year for North Carolina and for Politica NC. It is our first Presidential election year. Since we were born out of the ashes of 2012 and the resulting 2013 GOP stranglehold on NC, we think we have something to prove!

We are excited to be having our 2016 Kickoff on January 24th.We will be aiming to get you excited and committed to action in the lead up to the primary in March. Once again our special guest is Stephen Mallinson of America Votes whose amazing presentation last January showed exactly how we can impact these state races in Wake County. Expect to be galvanized! Please check your email accounts for the invitation and be sure to RSVP.

The News. Our View.
We have been ‘off the air’ for a while and much has happened in the interim. The President has finally taken executive action on guns. While his proposals are modest in their aims, they represent the culmination of our society’s frustration at Congress’ inability to seek a solution to the gun problem. Of course the conservative radio hosts and Fox commentators are whipping their gun lovers into a frenzy. However it seems clear that President Obama is forcing us all to confront what we believe about the safety of our communities in relation to gun use and ownership. We know he has the support of many Politicas.

Back in state we’ve seen the launch of the ‘worst logo of the year’, another high spot for Governor McCrory. Design Blog ‘Brand New’ said ‘While [the new NC logo] does take top honors as the worst of 2015 I would also consider this to be one of the worst compositions of the decade so far.’ Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/under-the-dome/article52933660.html#storylink=cpy

The Governor has also had a change at the top of his Budget and Revenue departments with a resignation and a personnel shift. Do you think Lee Robert and Lyons Gray anticipate something is going to change in 2016?http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article53517520.html

We also noted the following report on the wealth inequities in the state. While there are few surprises the graphics are quite powerful; only 5 counties account for state residents with incomes above the state average. The Department of Commerce is looking to address the disparities between rural and urban counties. Perhaps the most interesting exchange of the meeting occurred around the department’s use of ‘low quality jobs’, a term further defined as low paying jobs. One Republican representative said ‘”I guess I would really ask you to weigh that term,” Brody said. “The reality is that having the ability to work is a blessing from God, and I guess he doesn’t consider certain jobs low quality. I’d really ask you to use a different term.”  Surely a low paying job is just that regardless of how you define it. Read more at
http://www.wral.com/nc-wealth-gaps-spurring-rebuild-of-economic-development-efforts/15219983/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter&utm_source=wral#2KjX7dkoQKJHX48G.99

UPCOMING EVENTS

Voter Registration:
 Before Christmas we spent two weeks registering voters at Catholic Parish Outreach. These sessions and they were extremely successful. We registered 74 new voters and had informational conversations with 300 more. We are very grateful to Nancy for the huge time commitment she made. We’d also like to thank the trained volunteers who stepped up.
We have secured voter registration opportunities at Catholic Parish Outreach, six Boys and Girls’ Clubs around the county, and Roses/Sav A Lot on MLK Boulevard.  Going forward we need many volunteers to commit and take a shift. There are multiple options; different days and locations. Please make it a priority to sign up for a shift as we post them. We will need every Politica’s participation to make this a success. And our partner organizations are relying on us to deliver voter registration services. Two volunteers are needed for each of these events. If you have not yet had the training we will give you a quick, thorough training when you arrive.
January 12th 5.30pm Wake Forest Boys and Girls Club.
January 13th 10.00am Catholic Parish Outreach.
January 13th 3.30pm The Teen Club, Raleigh.
January 14th 10.00am, Catholic Parish Outreach.

January 14th 6.00pm, Raleigh Boys Club.
January 19th 10.00am Catholic Parish Outreach.
We will also be offering VR training for Politicas on both Jan 30 and 31. It is our goal to have every Politica trained this year. We will post a sign up shortly. In the meantime please check your calendar and hold Saturday morning Jan 30 or Sunday afternoon Jan 31. The training is useful even for those who have done VR previously.
January 13 Wake Democrats are hosting a Voter Assistance Task Force meeting at Goodwin House on Hillsborough Street. Let us know if you are interested in attending.
Politica Kick Off: January 24th 2-4pm. Please RSVP via the Paperless Post to let us know you’ll be there.
January 25th The challenge to the Voter ID requirement will be heard in federal court. We will keep you posted on details.
EDUCATION:
State Parks:
This month we are featuring the North Carolina State Park system. We plan to share interesting information about the system as well as give you a taste of Tom Earnhardt’s documentary about the NC parks.Did you know that it was 1916 when the General Assembly appropriated $20,000 to preserve one of the last remaining Spruce/Fir forests around the highest peak east of the Dakotas?  Mount Mitchell State Park was the result and began a century of extraordinary stewardship.Watch here for a snippet. https://www.dropbox.com/s/xnepsu26x22bliy/Parks%20Promos.mov?dl=0

Debbie Wasserman Schultz:
Are Young Women complacent? Read her article and tell us what you think.http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/10/magazine/debbie-wasserman-schultz-thinks-young-women-are-complacent.html?mabReward=CTM&action=click&pgtype=Homepage%C2%AEion=CColumn&module=Recommendation&src=rechp&WT.nav=RecEngine&_r=1

That’s it for this week. As always we welcome and value your input. Please share any good articles, blogs and letters.