Categories
COVID-19

Atrium Health to Workers: Drop Dead

Businesses showered symbolic gratitude on front-line workers during the worst days of the pandemic while simultaneously campaigning to deny wage and medical benefits to those who got sick or died while working. That’s the take-away from a recent article in the Charlotte Observer describing the difficulty employees face getting workers’ compensation benefits if they contract […]

Categories
Corruption

Billionaire Launches Latest Salvo in Campaign of Civic Extortion

Billionaire David Tepper threatened Charlotte last week in his latest play to extort hundreds of millions of public dollars from the city. The setting was a seemingly eleemosynary one: Tepper, who owns the Carolina Panthers, and his wife, Nicole, were in Rock Hill to announce a $500,000 donation to Miracle Park, a fifteen-acre playground for […]

Categories
The Charlotte Way

Inside Job: Top City Official Seeks to Gut Charlotte’s Equity Efforts

Developers and realtors seeking to derail Charlotte’s promotion of equitable, inclusionary growth and development have found a helpful ally: one of their own who was installed several years ago atop the city’s bureaucracy. Tracy Dodson, who serves as assistant city manager and director of economic development, recently wrote a three-page memo to Taiwo Jaiyeoba, who […]

Categories
The American Way

The Hypocrite’s Lament: Violence Isn’t the Answer to Deadly Racism

Andrew Brown, Jr.’s killers — lethal bullies hiding behind badges, groomed under America’s toxic regime of law enforcement — will go unpunished, and protests will again fill the streets. In addition to the militarized police officers charged with the duty of maintaining the racial order, protesters will be accompanied by a familiar refrain from those […]

Categories
The Charlotte Way

Developers Lament Too Much Democracy in Charlotte

The public has had too much say in crafting Charlotte’s future, developers will tell Mayor Vi Lyles this week, and they are asking elected officials to postpone finalization of a suite of policies to guide the city’s growth in coming decades. The delay, developers hope, will give them more time to pressure City Council into […]

Categories
City Council

City Ethics Report Fails to Examine Corrupt Councilman’s Ethics Violations

Independent investigators have scolded Charlotte City Councilman Tariq Bokhari for his actions trying to steer municipal COVID relief money to a program to be run by a non-profit he oversees, but they failed entirely to engage a broader ethics complaint that documented Bokhari’s years-long entanglement of his public duties with his private financial interests in […]

Categories
CMPD

Charlotte Cops Confess: Policing Doesn’t Work (So They’re Gonna Rely on PR)

Imagine if a municipal utilities department couldn’t deliver clean water, or a garbage department couldn’t pick up trash, or a fire department couldn’t extinguish conflagrations. Now suppose these departments, confronted by an undeniable failure to successfully perform their core duties, disavowed any further intent to provide potable water, or collect refuse, or put out fires. […]

Categories
Corruption

Economic Incentives and Democracy

Once again, state and local officials have thrown millions of dollars in “economic incentives” at a for-profit business, offering us a chance to examine the system of legalized corporate blackmail and bribery that mars our civic life. North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper and Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles announced last month that in exchange for expansion […]

Categories
Election 2020

N.C. Democrats Need A Shake-Up

If not a shellacking, then the performance of North Carolina Democrats in last year’s election came awfully close — yet state Democratic leadership, both in the party itself and in the chambers of the legislature, may well look little different this year than it did before the failure that was 2020. Of the three top-tier races — […]

Categories
CMPD

More Money, Cops, and Crime: Policing in Charlotte

If there is an article of political faith shared by elected officials from left to right and from city councils to the Oval Office, it is that public dollars should not be squandered on wasteful, ineffective government programs — with one seeming exception: law enforcement. Why should that be? Let’s ask of the police department […]