Overhauling State Unemployment

This letter is in opposition to the North Carolina General Assembly overhauling the state’s unemployment system until there is a more intensive vetting of the impact this legislation will have on families and local communities. It is understood that fiscal changes must happen to secure a future for generations not born yet, such a position loses its merit if we fail to secure the “present-potential” of children who will be harmed if this legislation is signed into law. Without question, an abrupt elimination of resources will further devastate and destabilize already fragile people, families and communities. The ability of either to absorb the effects of the proposed legislation without dire consequences is unrealistic. Therefore, it is imperative that decisions are made within the context of that reality.

The General Assembly of North Carolina has taken steps to overhaul its unemployment system. Inherent in their decision is a human challenge, what to do about those who are at risk of further insecurity. The need to balance the state budget and secure ratings it needs to demonstrate competitive might is forthright and a responsibility of those elected. At issue is not the simplicity of such aspirations, it is inherent in being chosen to lead, but it is the complexity of the position when a policy is enforceably abrupt. It is when such decision making fails in accounting. What is the real cost? Such actions proposed by the legislation impact the life of and the local community of real people with real families whose fragile financial status is of public record.

Families and communities have to live on. Their need to survive during difficult economic times is as instinctual as that of our God-given nature. Mapping state, regional and local community resources and assets that target the development of a person’s natural proficiencies must be on the table.Lastly, no one is born favoring a lifestyle dependent upon governmental systems that stymie their God-given ability. It is my belief as a community leader and formerly elected official that we have been given a public trust to act on behalf of and in the best interest of all citizens. In all of my work over the past 30years, on behalf of those living within a distressed community context, the overwhelming majority dream of job security, providing for themselves and their families through hard work, entrepreneurship and lastly, being meaningful contributors to their community. It is with tremendous hope that we not forget the poor will always be with us as is written in the book of Matthew 26:11.

Our job is to ensure there are fields from which families in need can glean; intervene in ways that preserve and protect the dignity of the human spirit, while honoring the public trust of a state that’s as strong in its commitment to the condition of its families, as it is in securing its fiscal might into posterity.