In an earlier blog message today I mentioned being intentional about listening to Governor Pat McCrory’s State of the State address. Embedded within the message he gave was the influence SB4 would have on the economy in northeastern North Carolina; the Senate passed SB4, which impacts federal unemployment benefits. It is understood that cutting unemployment benefits from reportedly about 10,000 NC residents around July 1, 2013, also cuts needed revenue to communities-families and small businesses.
As a formerly elected official, I understand the gut-wrenching rituals that take place when a tough decision has to be made. Nonetheless, good decision making should not happen in a vacuum. “Abrupt legislation” – my definition of the introduction and passage of legislation that impacts the lives of those least likely and able to adapt and recover in a time frame that does not threaten their ability to adjust or “rework” survival. So, I believe “abrupt legislation” is what took place with the passage of SB4, leaving already stretched and resource stressed NGO’s, community-based organizations and faith-based institutions, scrambling as interveners in the lives of those they already serve.
I do, however, applaud the Governor for commenting on the need to serve all of North Carolina. His first steps to bridge the poverty of the northeast with hope and potential as has been experienced across the state, is a building process the northeast takes delight in its presentation and participation. It is now time, as stated in an earlier blog, for sleeves to be rolled and commitments to be made to northeastern North Carolina. If such an intent is not intentional, then the northeast will continue to be a region that simply has the pleasure of peeking through a silhouette of what could happen if someone simply cared enough to cast more than a shadow of hope.