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Late-Night HB2 Agreement Reached / Task Force's Poverty Report Now Awaits Action

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David T. Foster, III
/
The Charlotte Observer

Thursday, March 30, 2017

A week after HB2's first anniversary, Republican legislative leaders and Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper announced a repeal deal late Wednesday. Mike Collins gets an update, and then discusses a task force report on the lack of economic mobility in Charlotte.

PART ONE

The long and winding road of North Carolina's House Bill 2 appears to have reached a moment of decision. Republican legislative leaders say they have a deal with Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper to repeal the law. The governor says it's not perfect, but begins to repair the state's reputation. LGBT groups, however, are not embracing the agreement. 

The deal follows days of closed-door talks and rumblings that a compromise was at hand, and was announced only hours to go before a reported NCAA deadline for the state to get rid of the so-called bathroom law in order to be in the running to host future championship events. North Carolina already lost ACC tournaments and the NBA All-Star Game because of the law, which also caused corporations to back off expansion plans. But those losses never moved the needle on getting the law off the books.

WFAE's Tom Bullock, who has been following the late-night developments, joins Mike Collins with an update.

PART TWO

Charlotte’s economic mobility challenges have been front and center since a report three years ago snapped this boomtown to attention with the finding that it was dead-last among metro areas for ability to climb the economic and social ladder. If you were born into poverty in Charlotte-Mecklenburg, the report said, you would likely stay there.

That finding spurred the creation of a task force to dig into the causes behind the lack of upward economic trajectory, causes which were highlighted even further by last year’s protests over the police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott.

That group, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Opportunity Task Force, released its findings this week to a packed audience of political and civic leaders. Their report included nearly 100 recommendations, but “no silver bullet,” according to one of the group’s leaders. It called out social challenges that have hardly been a secret, from segregated schools to the lack of affordable housing.

Some, such as former Bank of America CEO Hugh McColl, were encouraged by the report, while others expressed disappointment that the heavy lifting of trying to turn the recommendations into action would be left to another task force.

Mike Collins talks with the task force’s co-chairs about their work, their findings, and what happens next.

GUESTS

Dr. Ophelia Garmon-Brown, co-chair, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Opportunity Task Force; senior vice-president of community outreach, Novant Health 

Dee O'Dell, co-chair, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Opportunity Task Force; senior vice-president, US Bank

Read the task force's report here