Insight Explainer: Autonomous vehicles

Any time I watch a movie or read a book set in the early 20th century, I wonder what it must have felt like to watch the rise of the automobile age. I imagine the awe that normal people must have felt to see chemically-powered machines change the landscape and infrastructure in America. … Full story »

Retiring “rural”

Discussion over the last several months have unearthed one of my personal bugaboos: how we talk about “rural” in North Carolina. Describing something as rural is similar to saying that a sick person has a cold.  At best, it communicates a broad range of symptoms without offering any precision. At worst, the description misdiagnoses an ailment and slows the attention to the root problem.… Full story »

Two birds with one stone: intergenerational approaches to education Aging Weekly Insight

For the last few weeks, I have been learning about how our aging population can positively affect education, particularly early childhood education. It has been an inspiring journey, one that has left me optimistic about our ability to structure scalable programs to meet dual needs. It is difficult to fully grasp the policy challenges our aging population presents.… Full story »

Reframing retirement as legislators consider ending state benefits Weekly Insight

As a former employee of the NC Department of State Treasurer, the agency that oversees retirement and health benefits for public employees in North Carolina, I have a professional and personal interest in retirement and benefit policy. I was closely watching the N.C. Senate earlier this week, as the Committee on Pension and Retirement and Age debated Senate Bill 467.… Full story »

Rural Broadband in North Carolina-A growing BRIGHTspot Rural Weekly Insight

Our business and personal lives are increasingly connected. From electronic health records, to online shopping, to social media, we spend large portions of our day online. That connectivity requires complex infrastructure that is difficult to understand and easy to take for granted. North Carolina government has tried to bring internet connectivity throughout the state for the last 20 years, and while we have come come a long way, there are still pockets of the state that lack the access to connectivity.  … Full story »

The U.S. Census – A grand tradition Weekly Insight

After our piece on congressional apportionment two weeks ago, we received a couple of questions about how the census works and why it is important. Asking for that type of explanation is like asking someone in Lexington to explain the advantages of including ketchup in barbecue.  (We at the Center maintain strict neutrality matters of politics and barbecue.)  Even though it is still two and a half years away, here are four points to consider as the 2020 census approaches.… Full story »

What are your state budget priorities? Balancing Act

Do you know how the budget process in N.C. works? Here’s your chance to review the Governor’s budget, weigh in on the spending priorities, create your own budget for North Carolina, and share the results. We’ve introduced Balancing Act, an interactive budget simulation tool that allows you to adjust revenue and spending categories to align with your priorities. … Full story »

The NC Shuffle: Congressional elections and apportionment Unpacking Data Weekly Insight

I was a minor celebrity in my University of Wisconsin “Law and Politics” class because North Carolina is a national star in redistricting litigation. Anytime we studied a North Carolina-based redistricting case – and that was more frequent than you might think – classmates would give me a knowing nod, impressed by my home state’s gumption. … Full story »

Election results – North Carolina Council of State takeaways Unpacking Data Weekly Insight

Nearly five months have passed since the 2016 election, and the tide has begun to ebb from politics to governance. The election results become less a part of the current event cycle and more political science. Practically speaking, candidates have made their final filings with the Board of Elections and have closed the books on the campaign. … Full story »

Successful policies are rooted in parent experiences Reach NC Voices

It is time to build on North Carolina’s history of innovation and success to tackle one of the greatest challenges facing the state: the overwhelming majority of our children are not reading proficiently by the end of third grade. Reading well in the early grades predicts a child’s academic and career success. … Full story »