Aim Higher Now works to educate and engage North Carolinians about issues of public concern, and to hold elected officials accountable to the values and priorities of their constituents. These include investment in public schools and universities, expanded access to the ballot, the protection of our natural resources, and economic opportunity that benefits everyone. We encourage the active civic engagement of North Carolinians using strategic field and digital programs.
Investing in Public Education
North Carolina has always valued public education. From early childhood, through K-12 public schools, to our colleges and universities, North Carolinians were proud of the investments they made in creating a world-class education for our kids. But over the last decade, those investments have dried up. Funding remains mired at pre-recession levels, while teacher and faculty morale hit an all-time low.
North Carolina deserves better. We support investing in early childhood education so that every child is ready for kindergarten. We support fully funding our public schools to reduce class sizes while maintaining support for programs like the arts, music, technology, and PE. We support raising teacher salaries to at least the national average. And we are committed to protecting our world-class colleges and universities while keeping our constitutional promise to low tuition for North Carolina families.
Expanding Access to the Ballot
North Carolina made several important voting reforms that expanded access to eligible voters and led to huge increases in voter participation — early voting, same-day registration, and others. In 2012, North Carolina had risen to 11th in the nation in voter turnout. But attempts to curtail that access by cutting back on early voting, eliminating same-day registration, and instituting a restrictive Voter ID law would have made it difficult to maintain that high level of voter participation. Fortunately, federal courts struck down those laws, ruling that they unconstitutionally targeted African-America voters.
We remain committed to protecting North Carolinians access to the ballot and increasing voter participation.
Protecting our Natural Resources
North Carolina is blessed with an abundance of natural resources and open spaces. Industries like agriculture and tourism depend on the health of our environment and all North Carolinians require clean air and water. Unfortunately, recent changes to environmental regulations have favored the polluter over the people.
North Carolina has eased restrictions on coal ash groundwater contamination, allowed mega-dumps, decreased the number of air and water quality monitors in state government, and exempted polluters from potential penalties.
We oppose amnesty for polluters and support increased funding for the state Department of Environmental Quality to protect our air and water. If nothing else, we must protect every North Carolinian’s drinking water.
We support policies that will increase economic opportunity for the middle-class and North Carolina families struggling to escape poverty. North Carolina’s economy is growing, but so much depends upon the whims of national and global economies. Here in North Carolina, we must do what we can to support families who need it.
Unfortunately, recent changes to our tax code favor the wealthy and big corporations at the expense of everyone else. We oppose shifting the tax burden down to the middle-and-lower class.