This month, as we observed Juneteenth, celebrated Pride, and marked the 60th anniversary of Freedom Summer, democracy has been on my mind.

We often hear that for our democracy to work, we must participate in it. Democracy is not a spectator sport. After all, a free and just society relies on a transparent and an equitable political process with elected leaders who represent the interests of their constituents. As lawmakers continue the short session at the North Carolina General Assembly (NCGA), the importance of participating in our democracy has never felt more urgent.

I continue to be amazed by, and grateful for, the tenacity of our staff, who are facing tremendous obstacles right now and continue to show up and fight alongside our partners for the people in our state.

Staff are working tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure lawmakers center the interests of low-income and Black and Brown people in proposed bills, spending countless hours lobbying at the NCGA. With so much at stake for all North Carolinians, they are fighting tooth and nail to hold lawmakers accountable—working to prevent the rollback of the Second Chance Act, organizing advocacy days to support fully funded public schools, and providing expert analysis on opaque policy proposals.

I’m grateful for them, and I’m grateful for each of you. Thank you for participating in our democracy and walking alongside us. Together, we can make opportunity and prosperity for all a reality.

In solidarity, Reggie Shuford, Executive Director

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