“Here’s to the land of the long leaf pine,
The summer land where the sun doth shine,
Where the weak grow strong and the strong grow great,
Here’s to “Down Home,” the Old North State”
That is the first verse of North Carolina’s official state toast.
It holds a special place in the hearts of Senate Democrats, because we believe in a North Carolina where the weak really can grow strong, and the strong really can grow great.
The irony here is that the poem was written back in 1957, when opportunities for strength and greatness were out of reach for many North Carolinians, particularly people of color.
63 years later, the weak still struggle to grow strong in North Carolina. Certainly, progress has been made. But for every step forward, it feels like we take two steps back. This is a constant feeling for legislators who serve in the minority party of the General Assembly.
That feeling pales in comparison to the feeling welling up in the hearts of brown and black people across our state.
This isn’t new. But something feels different about this moment in history.
Change is coming, and Senate Democrats stand ready to enact change on behalf of North Carolinians that have been shut out of the chance to grow strong and to grow great.
Over the past year, our majority-minority caucus has filed dozens of bills to address the disparities that have weighed heavily on our communities. It is our mission to tear down the barriers that prevent North Carolinians from growing stronger every day.
- Medicaid Expansion
- Matching Funds for Affordable Housing
- Repeal Constitutional Amendment Requiring Literacy Test
- Repeal 2015 Law Protecting Confederate Monuments
- Restore Earned Income Tax Credit
- Hate Crime Prevention Act
- Equality for All
- Ban the Box
- Fix Our Democracy
- Citizens Redistricting Commission
- Expand NC Pre-K Program to all income-eligible four-year olds.
- International Civil Rights Museum Funding
- Ethics Training for School Employees
- Student-Athlete Compensation Study
- Establish Black Women and Girls Task Force
- No Ban on Food and Nutrition Benefits for Drug Convictions
- Prohibit prisons from using restraints on pregnant detainees.
- Living Wage for NC Workers
- Fund an African American Monument on State Capitol Grounds
As Democratic bills, these have languished in committee without support from the majority party. The fact remains that we cannot pass this legislation without a Democratic majority in the General Assembly.
Change begins in our communities. In order for every North Carolinian to have the same opportunity to grow strong, and grow great, we need to see change in the General Assembly.