‘I have to be an optimist’

This week marked the one-year anniversary of the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, a time defined by a subsequent international reckoning on racial justice, a debate about overhauling police departments and an election that brought social and cultural issues violently into the foreground.

Mary C. Curtis, host of the Equal Time podcast and a CQ Roll Call columnist joins us on Political Theater to discuss where we are, where we’ve been and where we might be headed.

Mary C. Curtis: School Funding Fight

CHARLOTTE, NC — It is a dispute that does not fall along party, neighborhood or racial lines.

In the latest county budget proposal, Mecklenburg County Manager Dena Diorio has proposed a recommendation that calls for putting $56 million of the money for CMS in the next fiscal year aside, intended to close those gaps and strengthen college readiness for Black and brown students.

WCCB Political Contributor Mary C. Curtis discusses the ongoing battle.

You can catch Mary C. Curtis on Sunday nights at 6:30 PM on WCCB Charlotte’s CW discussing the biggest issues in local and national politics and also giving us a look at what’s ahead for the week.

You can also check out Mary’s podcast ‘Equal Time.’

No true economic growth without true equality, Cecilia Rouse says

President Joe Biden tapped Cecilia Rouse to chair his Council of Economic Advisers and tasked her, the first Black woman to hold the job, with seeking to advance racial equity in his economic policies.

Rouse, previously the dean of the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs and a member of President Barack Obama’s economic council, recently joined CQ Roll Call’s Equal Time podcast to discuss her plans.

POLITICAL WRAP: Senate Unlikely to Support Commission on Capitol Attack

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Legislation to establish an independent commission investigating the attack on the Capitol on January 6th will likely die in the Senate.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is sending strong signals that House Democrats will go it alone if the commission vote fails in the Senate.

“We can’t give in to Jan. 6”

In a fiery and no-holds-barred conversation, Mary C. Curtis speaks with former RNC chair Michael Steele on the future of the GOP, why he cannot defend the current Republican party to Black voters and why he believes the country can and should do better.

When eminently qualified Black women get smeared (or every day that ends in ‘y’)

She has been endorsed by many law enforcement agencies, including the National Association of Police Organizations, yet she was accused of being anti-police. Baseless innuendo thrown her way has been refuted by support from the National Council of Jewish Women, the Anti-Defamation League and dozens of other local, state and national Jewish organizations. She’s been tagged as “extreme,” which only makes sense if being an advocate for an equitable society qualifies.

The nomination of Kristen Clarke, President Joe Biden’s choice to serve as assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Justice, barely made it out of the Senate Judiciary Committee last week. Panelists split 11-11 along party lines, and then on Tuesday, the full Senate voted 50-48 to discharge the nomination from the committee, setting up a final floor vote.

Is anyone surprised at the roadblocks this nomination has faced?

Mary C. Curtis: Relaxing the Mask Mandate

CHARLOTTE, NC — With the summer ahead, and more than a year into the COVID pandemic, many are celebrating the CDC announcement relaxing mask mandates.

People want to travel and socialize and businesses want to fully open.

But since the new rules apply to the vaccinated, there are still questions about who is and is not safe and if relying on an honor system is dependable.

WCCB Charlotte Political Contributor Mary C. Curtis is weighing in on the new rules.

You can catch Mary C. Curtis on Sunday nights at 6:30 PM on WCCB Charlotte’s CW discussing the biggest issues in local and national politics and also giving us a look at what’s ahead for the week.

POLITICAL WRAP: COVID Restrictions Scaled Back

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The CDC says vaccinated people can go out and about and leave their mask at home.

But health officials strongly recommend unvaccinated people keep wearing their masks.

Our political contributor, Mary C. Curtis, gives us her take in the video above.

Local News Roundup: Gas Shortages In Charlotte; 2040 Plan Splits City Council; Fireworks Over County Budget

Charlotte drivers are feeling the effects of the gas shortage due to a cyberattack on the pipeline that delivers gas to our region, even after the pipeline resumes operation. North Carolina was one of the hardest-hit states in the shortage.

A long City Council meeting showed members lacked consensus over how to move forward on the proposed Charlotte Future 2040 Plan. We’ll hear what council members and the mayor had to say.

It’s budget time. The city and county budgets are in process. We’ll talk about arts funding and hikes in your water and solid waste bills outlined in the city budget. We’ll also talk about fireworks at the County Commission meeting as Commissioner Susan Rodriguez- McDowell clashed with County Manager Dena Diorio over a proposal to withhold money from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools over long-standing achievement gaps. We’ll go over what happened.

Plus, we’ll have an update on COVID-19 vaccines for kids 12 and up in North Carolina.

Guests:

Mary C. Curtis, columnist for Rollcall.com, host of the Rollcall podcast “Equal Time” and contributor at WCCB-TV

Joe BrunoWSOC-TV reporter

Ann Doss HelmsWFAE education reporter

Hunter SaenzWCNC reporter

Jaime Harrison says Democrats won’t cede South to GOP

Jaime Harrison, the former chair of the South Carolina Democratic Party, generated excitement among Democrats and shattered fundraising records in his 2020 campaign for Republican Lindsey Graham’s Senate seat.

In the end, Graham defeated Harrison by more than 10 points, but Democrats liked what they saw and in January elected Harrison to lead the Democratic National Committee. He’s now tasked with defending Democrats’ slim House and Senate majorities in 2022.

Harrison recently joined CQ Roll Call’s Equal Time podcast. An edited transcript follows.