Published: Oct 27, 2012 07:00 PM
Modified: Oct 25, 2012 07:03 PM
As another campaign season swirls around us, there are needs in our community that cut across partisan lines.
Orange County is no different from other counties in North Carolina who are slowly, but surely, digging out from the Great Recession. As we continue to recover, my organization, Orange County Justice United, remains committed to meeting the needs of our neighbors. These needs range from affordable housing, to fair jobs and wages, to environmental justice, just to name a few.
On Oct. 20, we joined like-minded organizations from across the state at the biennial North Carolina United Power (NCUP) Delegates’ Assembly. NCUP affiliates have endorsed a three point, non-partisan People’s Agenda to help address key problems in our state. Regardless of which party wins more North Carolina General Assembly seats in this election, we call upon the next session of the General Assembly to do the following;
• Pass legislation to help homeowners track who owns their mortgage. As the home foreclosure crisis taught us, it is difficult to know which bank owns a mortgage as loans get sold and resold. If we required local Registers of Deeds to track mortgage sales as they do home sales, it would provide a clearer record of who owns the loan. This measure would also help homeowners know exactly who they are dealing with in the event of a foreclosure.
• Next, we are calling on lawmakers to help fund veterans’ services with a voluntary state income tax check off. Figures released by the Veterans Administration in 2009 indicated that on a single night in January, there were more than 75,000 homeless veterans across the United States. Given that North Carolina is the 10th most populous state in the country, it’s a safe bet that many of these homeless veterans are in many of our communities across the state. If North Carolina taxpayers had the option to voluntarily give a dollar or more on their tax return, we could fund enhanced services for veterans at the county level.
• Finally, the General Assembly should allow any immigrant who has been accepted into the Deferred Action Program the ability to get a drivers’ license. Under current North Carolina law, a Social Security card or visa is needed to get a drivers’ license. But this doesn’t address immigrants who have new legal status via the Deferred Action Program. Giving these immigrants the ability to get drivers’ licenses will help keep them employed and adding to our local economies.
The North Carolina United Power People’s Agenda represents solid, policy-based solutions to a few of the problems plaguing our state. We have invited every statewide candidate to discuss these issues with us. Orange The sooner we begin the dialogue, the sooner we can begin solving problems.
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