A history of Jesse Helms as painted by his own actions: Here are some of the legislative ideas Jesse Helms introduced or spearheaded: Allow school re-segregation Prevent adding sexual orientation as a protected class to an executive order banning... Read More
North Carolina's Legacy of Progress
North Carolina consistently ranks as one of the best places to live in the nation and, just as consistently, garners top honors as a pro-business state that welcomes employers from all around the world. We support top-ranked public universities and are known worldwide for cutting-edge research facilities that have helped NC transition from a tobacco, textiles and furniture economy to one enriched by engineering, technology and finance. We welcome people from every nation and are proud of a state culture that successfully blends the traditional and the new. In short, we are a truly diversified state, united on one front: North Carolina is a great place to live.
How did we get here, when so many other southern states are coping with out-dated economies and poverty?
The answer is: we did not get here by accident. We got here because state leaders made a conscious decision over 60 years ago to recognize that the world was changing and that North Carolina had to make strategic public investments in order to keep pace.
We've Proved We Can Make Smart Government Decisions
Our state's determination to make change work for us is why, in 1959, North Carolina established the Research Triangle Park, now a mecca to global companies. It's why, in the '60s, we built up our educational system, established health clinics in rural areas and recruited tech-based companies to NC.
The decades that followed saw our state leaders put a priority on diversifying our economic base, recruiting new business to North Carolina, keeping our educational system strong and recognizing that the protection of natural resources was absolutely critical, not only to our quality of life, but also to our economy.
Today, North Carolina boasts some of the world's most beautiful beaches and breathtaking mountain ranges, with outstanding recreational facilities and stunning parks in between -- all of which combine to make us one of the five most visited states in the nation and enrich our economy by hundreds of millions of tourist dollars every year.
These are strengths that took decades to develop. Consensus was reached, even during the toughest of economic times, policies were passed and progress was made under different leaders with disparate political views. How? By focusing on our shared vision for North Carolina, instead of our political differences, we worked together and made room for change. We are reaping the benefits of those decisions now.
Like every other state in the nation, North Carolina now faces tough economic times. Some of our industries and communities are struggling and we must make careful choices about where our tax dollars go. But none of the challenges we face are insurmountable. We have solved the same problems before, and we can solve them again if we all work together.
To do this, we must:
1) Make it clear to national forces that our state will decide its own policies and that North Carolina will not be sacrificed to any one political party's national partisan strategy;
2) Resist extremist policies that take us out of the middle ground where North Carolina has always found success; and
3) Safeguard North Carolina's signature strengths. That means protecting our educational system, our natural resources, our rich cultural heritage, our competitiveness as a business center and the right of all North Carolinians to vote and be heard.
These are the strengths that brought our state into the modern era -- and they are the strengths that will lead us into the future.
Recognize that our state is and always has been one that embraces change and welcomes the opportunities of the future. Join our mailing list and we will let you know how we can keep North Carolina on the right track -- and how you can be a part of that effort.
A Legacy of Educational Excellence
North Carolina has long looked to education as the foundation of progress in the modern era, beginning in the 1960s when Gov. Terry Sanford built up our education system. He was followed by Gov. Jim Holshouser, who strengthened the community college system and called for statewide enrollment in kindergarten. His successor, Jim Hunt, won national recognition for North Carolina's Smart Start program for kindergartners, advocated for higher teaching standards and promoted technology by establishing the School of Math and Science. Other state leaders have followed their lead, recognizing the importance of K thru 12 as a sound basis for a strong workforce, the need for community colleges to train and re-train workers and the value of universities in generating new technologies and business ideas.
This emphasis on education has never let our state down and we must protect our strong educational system in turn now. Visit our special Education section for more on how North Carolina schools are under attack and what you can do about it.
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One of the most persistent themes in this year's statewide elections was that North Carolina had to change its policies to become more business friendly. Now comes a report and endorsement from leaders of the business world itself showing that... Read More
Click here to join us here at Progress North Carolina! We're working hard to get people to put the best interests of our state ahead of party labels and ideology. We need North Carolinians to help us spread the word about protecting the policies that made NC great and safeguarding the strengths of our forward-thinking state government. When you join us, we'll put you on our mailing list and let you know how you can be part of a chorus of voices from every corner of NC demanding fairness and common sense from our elected leaders.