Heritage Park Community Gets Good News for Christmas!

The ongoing saga within Heritage Park, formerly "Sandalwood," is far from a Christmas miracle.  Residents have been dealing, for years, with security issues, plumbing problems and a host of other wide-ranging concerns.  However, on Wednesday, December 19th, just in time for Christmas, residents, owners, management and city representatives met to discuss those issues and talk about some good news...images.jpg

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Time Person of the Year

Every year, TIME Magazine, announces its person of the year. As we learned again last year when The Protester won, it doesn’t always have to be a person. Instead, it can be a movement of people that captivated this country in positive or negative ways depending upon how you view the movement. From the teacher strike of Chicago to the Michigan union violence, the labor movement has us talking much like the protest movement of 2011. We don’t all agree on whether unions are a positive or a negative influence, but it is now part of our daily conversation. This is why the 2012 TIME Person of the Year should be Labor.

The election dominated the year, but labor played a huge role in the electoral narrative. In February, word began to spread that the Unions were gearing up to spend big money on the election to the tune of more than $400 million. They weren’t just involved in the presidential election either. Continuing their fight in Wisconsin, they were deep in the efforts to recall Governor Scott Walker. Walker’s ability to withstand the recall election set the stage for more Republican governors to follow his example of limiting public sector unions. The implications of this could go beyond 2012, as Ezra Klein wrote.

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Meaningful action

Flame.jpgIf you’ve been on Facebook or Twitter in the past few days, it’s pretty clear that people are mad, and they all have someone to blame for what happened in CT. While we as a society all ultimately share some responsibility, that really should not be our focus. As always, we cannot change the past, we do can change the future. The question, of course, is how.

No matter how you feel about guns, and gun control, the stats don’t lie. There have been hundreds of mass shootings since 2005 alone, and 34 Americans are killed by guns each day, not including suicides and accidents. Far more Americans have been killed by guns within the U.S. than have died in all our wars combined. You don’t hear about mass knifings.

Ok, sometimes you do, but you’ll notice the lack of fatalities.

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Immigration and the People's Will

Yesterday, many of North Carolina's working families breathed a huge sigh of relief. The North Carolina House Select Committee on the State's Role in Immigration Policy (HSC) published its report with recommendations for the 2013 legislative session. According to the report, they have decided not to propose as a committee any anti-immigrant legislation for 2013.

Instead, the recommendations proposed:

  • Called for the federal government to take a more active role in solving the undocumented immigration issue
  • Recommended that the North Carolina General Assembly review past proposed legislation and solicit input form interested stakeholders
  • Called on North Carolina legislators pass resolutions encouraging our congressional delegates to take a leadership role in introducing legislation that would revise our immigration laws.
  • Solicit more input from "entities with economic interests in the issue" (agriculture, agribusiness, construction, hospitality, information technology)
  • A renewed focus on economic development potential and opportunities to increase North Carolina's regional competitiveness through pragmatic approaches to immigration in this State

But, they also left the door open for individual legislators. During the reading of the report, it was stated that it is now up to individual legislators to propose legislation in 2013.

According to an article that came out this morning on the conservative John Locke Foundation's "flagship media program" the Carolina Journal:

Rep. George Cleveland, R-Onslow. . . said he hopes that the General Assembly will revisit a couple of bills he’s supported in the past. Those include one that would prohibit North Carolina police or other government officials from accepting the matricula consular card for identification purposes. Mexican consulates generally issue such cards for Mexican nationals living in the United States.

Another bill Cleveland hopes would gain traction next year is one requiring contractors and subcontractors with municipalities to use the federal E-Verify system when hiring employees.

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Sanchez Family Celebrates Victory in Fight Against Bank of America

For millions of homeowners across the country, and thousands of housing counselors trying to help them, there is a "holy grail," an almost mythical solution that everyone is searching for and almost no one ever finds.  It's called "principal reduction" and it cures underwater home-ownership, arrearages and makes modifications a snap. 

The Sanchez family, however, has done what others have only dreamed about: drank the sweet elixir of modification from the mythical chalice of principal reduction.  Action NC members, community activists and church friends gathered Thursday, December 6th to celebrate the Sanchez's victory over Bank of America, and their ability to stay in their home.  There's a light at the end of the tunnel.  Here's a little of how it happened...holy-grail.jpg

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