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Monday, May 29, 2023

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Advocates call for a climate peace clause in U.S.-E.U. trade talks, negotiations yield a tentative debt ceiling deal, an Idaho case unravels federal water protections, and a wet spring eases Iowa's drought.

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Gold Star families gather to remember loved ones on Memorial Day, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy says the House will vote on a debt ceiling bill this week and America's mayors lay out their strategies for summertime public safety.

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The growing number of "maternity care deserts" makes having a baby increasingly dangerous for rural Americans, a Colorado project is connecting neighbor to neighbor in an effort to help those suffering with mental health issues, and a school district in Maine is using teletherapy to tackle a similar challenge.

NC Faith Groups Raise Awareness on Election Integrity

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Tuesday, June 14, 2022   

As redistricting processes wrap up across the country, faith groups in North Carolina are working to raise awareness and educate residents on issues related to election integrity.

Jennifer Copeland, executive director of the North Carolina Council of Churches, said many residents are unclear or unaware of how district map drawing and gerrymandering impact their local school board, city council and other community issues.

"What you have to do as a voter is understand how redistricting is going to affect your ability to elect anybody that reflects your values," Copeland asserted.

According to data released earlier this month by the Pew Research Center, public trust in government remains low. Only two in 10 Americans say they trust their representatives in Washington D.C. to do what's right "just about always" or "most of the time."

Free video lectures from experts on redistricting, courts and voter suppression are available at ncchurches.org.

Hilary Harris Klein, senior counsel for voting rights at the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, explained some states are beginning to implement reforms, including independent redistricting commissions.

"The goal of independent redistricting commissions is to eliminate the inherent conflict of interest that legislators have when they draw their own lines," Harris Klein emphasized.

Copeland added as the nation continues to grieve after the mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas; Buffalo, New York; and elsewhere, communities can take steps to understand gun-control legislation, and how redistricting, voter suppression and elections impact how these types of laws are passed.

"If laws around gun-violence prevention are important to you, then pay attention to what the people running for office are saying about their plans related to gun-violence prevention, and vote accordingly," Copeland urged.

Just a few days ago, Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., and Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., along with eighteen other lawmakers, released a bipartisan outline for increased gun safety measures.


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