Here are the opportunities to make your voice heard.

Help save the Second Chance Act: Tell your lawmaker to oppose Senate Bill 565

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On Wednesday, May 22, 2024, the North Carolina House Judiciary 2 Committee approved a Proposed Committee Substitute (PCS) that re-wrote Senate Bill 565. The bill would now repeal the automatic expunction of not guilty and dismissed charges. The committee’s action is the start of the NC General Assembly’s failure to honor the promise it made with the NC Second Chance Act. The NC Second Chance Act was a bi-partisan bill that passed unanimously through the House and the Senate and was signed into law in 2020; it expanded expunction eligibility and instituted automatic expunction for certain charges dismissed and not guilty charges.

We urge you to take the next step by reaching out to your legislators. Let them know how important the Second Chance Act is and remind them of their promise to support it.

Oppose HB823, education bill prioritizing wealthy North Carolinians at the expense of public schools

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Tell your legislator not to prioritize a giveaway of taxpayer funding to wealthy families attending private schools over the needs of the 1.5 million children attending local public and charter schools. HB 823 would allow a total of $526 million to be spent on private school vouchers, an increase of $243 million from what was already allocated for this program. It also earmarks hundreds of millions per year in funding up through the 2031–2032 school years.

Our public schools face well-documented historic highs in teacher vacancies, teacher turnover, learning loss stemming from school closures during the pandemic, and shortages of nurses, counselors, and therapists in the face of unprecedented mental health challenges. Legislators should prioritize funding for these critical resources that provide educational opportunities for the overwhelming majority of North Carolina families instead of giving away taxpayer money to the wealthiest North Carolina families, including those who already attended private schools.

Tell your N.C. Senator to oppose harmful, anti-immigration HB10

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House Bill 10 will require all 100 North Carolina sheriffs to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) by requiring jails to investigate the immigration status of every person brought to a North Carolina jail—regardless of what they’re charged with. This means holding a person for 48 hours after they would otherwise be released under state law.

HB10 will not make our communities safer. It will further marginalize immigrant communities by fanning the flames of anti-immigrant rhetoric and sowing distrust in our communities.

Reimplement the NC Second Chance Act and get NC back to work

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We urge you to join us in calling upon our lawmakers to prioritize the passage of Senate Bill 565. The bill is crucial to fully implement the NC Second Chance Act, which enhances access to expungements for hundreds of thousands of eligible North Carolinians who lack access to legal representation. Senate Bill 565 takes a huge step towards ensuring that our justice system provides access to those second chances and recognizing the social and economic value of individuals having access to employment and housing, particularly when they are rehabilitated and have paid their debt to society.

Please take a moment to urge your lawmaker to pass Senate Bill 565 to restart automatic expunction in 2024.

End the manipulation of mug shots in North Carolina

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Mugshots, once a routine aspect of law enforcement, have now become a tool for exploitation and injustice. These images, meant to serve a specific purpose, are being misused by unscrupulous companies for financial gain at the expense of people’s reputations and livelihoods. We believe it’s time to put an end to this practice and ensure a fair and just approach to the dissemination of booking photos.

We are proud to support North Carolina House Bill 778, a crucial step towards safeguarding the rights and dignity of individuals who have faced the criminal justice system. This bill seeks to regulate the dissemination of booking photos to the media, ensuring that private companies cannot exploit this sensitive information for financial gain.

Support ending debt-based license suspension

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In North Carolina, a driver’s license is automatically suspended for traffic debt that is not paid or resolved by a set deadline or for missing a court date. More than 1.2 million drivers in North Carolina have suspended driver’s licenses for unpaid traffic fines and fees or missing a court date. Approximately 95 percent of North Carolinians drive to work. Therefore, not having a driver’s license can create barriers to obtaining and maintaining meaningful employment. It can also make it hard to obtain affordable housing, attend doctor’s appointments, or care for family members. Low-income families and families of color are disproportionately affected by driver’s license suspensions based on traffic debt.

Where people begin in life should not determine where they end up. When we trap already under-resourced people in further debt, it undermines their ability to advance socially and economically over the course of their lifetimes.

Sign this petition to show your support for ending debt-based driver’s license suspension in North Carolina!