To the editor:
I have lived in The High Country for seven years and during that time I’ve seen some pretty dramatic changes to our state. When I moved to NC it had a reputation as a forward-looking state that had a good public school system. During the recent legislative session I read almost daily of attempts by the Republican majority to dismantle our schools. The budget just passed over the wise veto of Governor Perdue cuts further into the cadre of teachers in our schools. Under the guise of caring about jobs, they have moved to eliminate 6,000 teachers.
Also, there are many poor people in our state who rely on free or inexpensive services. One case in point involves family planning. Does anyone with a scintilla of reason want poor people to have more children than they can afford to feed and clothe? The budget approved by the Republican majority has stripped funding from Planned Parenthood, an organization that has provided free family planning services to those who cannot afford them.
This latest attack on poor women was noted by The New York Times in an editorial on July 7. North Carolina’s legislature was singled out for its backward step in stripping Planned Parenthood’s funding. Should we care what the rest of the country thinks of our state? I believe we should. If we appear not to care about the future of NC, why would any company choose to invest here? How can we expect to create needed jobs if organizations decide to take their investments elsewhere?
In November, when we are deciding whom to send to represent us in the state legislature, I can think of no reason to return Dan Soucek and Jonathan Jordan to Raleigh. The only legislation they’ve supported makes NC look backward, narrow-minded and short-sighted. I hope enough High Country voters feel as I do and vote to elect others in their place.