Political briefing focuses on low-income North Carolinians - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Political briefing focuses on low-income North Carolinians

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More than 1.7 million North Carolinains are in poverty, including 15 percent of people in New Hanover, according to information from the Budget & Tax Center. More than 1.7 million North Carolinains are in poverty, including 15 percent of people in New Hanover, according to information from the Budget & Tax Center.

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – While the economy is growing, state and federal policies are holding back low-income North Carolinians, representatives from the United Way and the N.C. Budget & Tax Center told attendees at a legislative briefing at UNCW Friday.

The event in Wilmington was part of a series of presentations the two non-profit groups are holding across the state. 

"Federal policy and state policy has the potential to create opportunity, to address hardship in our communities, and in turn to grow the economy in a stronger fashion for the future," said Alexandra Sirota, director of the Budget & Tax Center. 

She explained that low-income families are being hurt by the elimination of the Earned Income Tax Credit and federal unemployment benefits along with a reduction in food stamps.  

More than 1.7 million North Carolinians are in poverty, including 15 percent of people in New Hanover, according to information from the Budget & Tax Center.  

Sirota expressed optimism that lawmakers will provide more support to public education when they return to Raleigh next year.  

Jill Cox, government relations and communication director with United Way of N.C., echoed the need for more public education funding, noting that it takes 16 years for a teacher in the state to make a base salary of $40,000. 

"It's going to take both public and private investments to really bring North Carolina back to the place where it once was," she said. 

Cox said it's important that United Way be engaged in public policy because the non-profit is able to see the direct impact of policy changes on the lives of individuals.  

"Sometimes if you can make a minimal investment in changing a policy for the better, you can make a long-term investment in changing a community for the better," she said. 

Click here to view slides presented at the briefing. 

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