Partnership For North Carolina's Future

At a press conference at the NC State Legislature in Raleigh yesterday political, non-profit and business leaders announced a new coalition, Partnership for North Carolina's Future, to urge the NC General Assembly to prepare now for the impact of the "population tsunami" on our state's economy and quality of life.

If you didn't read about it this morning it might be because the back of the Press Room, where reporters normally sit and stand, was crowded out by lobbyists opposed to the Partnership like Andy Munn of the Real Estate and Building Industry Coalition, Lisa Martin of the NC Homebuilders, Rick Zechini of the NC Association of Realtors, reeking with cynical commentary and Becki Gray, registered lobbyist for the John Locke Foundation, texting frenetically on her Blackberry about the "little children" at the front of the crowd.

RALEIGH – The Partnership for North Carolina’s Future, a coalition of groups advocating increased state investments in school construction, affordable housing, roads, land and water conservation, and water and sewer services, urges the General Assembly's action.

Members of the Partnership include Land for Tomorrow, the North Carolina League of Municipalities, the North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center, the North Carolina Housing Coalition, the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners, NC Go!, and the North Carolina Metropolitan Coalition.

According to the Partnership, North Carolina is facing a “population tsunami” that the General Assembly must meet with significant new capital investments to protect the state’s economy and quality of life.

At a news conference today in Raleigh, Tom Lambeth of the Partnership urged the General Assembly to take “bold steps to protect the basic foundation upon which our communities’ quality of life and economy is built – schools, roads, clean water and land protecting natural resources.”

Lambeth is chairman of the Rural Economic Development Center board of directors and former director of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation.

“We stand together to say to the public: Your future is at risk,” said Lambeth. “If the General Assembly doesn’t address these critical needs now, it will cost our state jobs, damage our economy and adversely affect the livelihoods of families across North Carolina.”

Lambeth said North Carolina is facing a “population tsunami” of four million people arriving between 2000 and 2030 for a total of 12 million, or a 50 percent increase. That will make North Carolina the seventh largest state, ahead of both Michigan and Ohio, and up from the current ranking of 10th.

Such a population increase will be nearly equal to South Carolina’s current population of four million. “We’ve got to build the equivalent of a new South Carolina within this state,” Lambeth said.

“We are falling behind,” Lambeth said. “Existing sources of revenue are not enough to keep up with the combination of aging facilities and extraordinary population growth.”

He pointed to:

* More than 178,000 K-12 students go to school every day in mobile units.
* More than 3,000 miles of streams and rivers do not meet clean water standards.
* More than 100,000 acres of forests, farmlands and natural areas are lost annually to Development.
* Jammed roads and long-delayed highway construction plague cities and towns statewide.
* Rural communities with inadequate and aging water and sewer services that create potential public health hazards.
* More than two million people living in substandard housing or housing they can’t afford, which contributes to health problems in children.

According to Dr. June Atkinson, state superintendent of public instruction, North Carolina school systems need to build 258 schools, or one per week on average every week for five years. Another 1,000 schools need renovations and still another 1,000 will need renovations during that five-year period.

“Whether it’s rapid growth, poor roads, worn-out school buildings, or aging sewer lines and the lack of clean water, this state needs to make the necessary investment to repair, replace and get ready,” said Asheville Mayor Terry Bellamy.

The Partnership said that all funding options should be on the table to address the needs. Those include bond referenda, the local option land transfer tax, impact fees and the highway use tax. More than 50 bills have been introduced recommending new sources of capital investment funds for schools, roads, affordable housing, water and sewer, and land that protects natural resources.

For more information about the Partnership for North Carolina’s Future, visit


Infrastructure is so important

but such a non-sexy issue. The darn homebuilders and Realtor associations piss me off ot no end with their myopic self interest. How in the world could they be against letting the People decide which funding options to use? I guess they just "know better" than us and are only looking our for our interests....right.

they are just

the easy and obvious "enemies"

How many times have there been efforts to kill public transportation? How many times do city councils approve subdivisions with zero infrastructure? How many times does the right tell us that raising taxes is the worst crime in the history of man?

Draft Brad Miller-- NC Sen ActBlue

"Keep the Faith"

Art Pope's solution to growth in this State?

Art Pope solution has always tended to agree with Burt Reynolds in one of his movies, when he remarked of the local crime boss that he was a murderer, a thief, and a pervert, but worst of all he was from out-of-state.

JLF doesn't care about the future

they are congenitally against planning. Instead, their model is "make sure all the rich guys get richer and all our problems will be solved."


Inspired to login and

add my sincere support to the Partnership for NC's Future!! This is really excellent news! I'll be following that link to sign up just as soon as I get home tonight. :)

I learned last week from our county manager (and the Clayton News-Star) that Johnston County is the 6th fastest growing county in NC. Is Wake the fastest? Anybody know which counties are 1st through 5th in percentage growth?

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

2000-2006 Growth Top 20 Counties

From North Carolina State Demographics for the period 2000-2006:

2006 Provisional County Population Estimates

COUNTY     July'06Pop    Growth   %Growth
UNION 172,094 48,356 39.1
CAMDEN 9,298 2,413 35.0
BRUNSWICK 94,964 21,823 29.8
CURRITUCK 23,580 5,390 29.6
WAKE 789,969 162,104 25.8
HOKE 42,186 8,540 25.4
JOHNSTON 151,589 29,689 24.4
CABARRUS 157,176 26,146 20.0
MECKLENBURG 826,897 131,470 18.9
PENDER 48,726 7,644 18.6
IREDELL 145,232 22,568 18.4
FRANKLIN 55,316 8,056 17.0
CHATHAM 57,708 8,374 17.0
DARE 34,730 4,763 15.9
CLAY 10,116 1,341 15.3
NEWHANOVER 184,116 23,789 14.8
PASQUOTANK 39,968 5,071 14.5
DAVIE 39,838 5,003 14.4
HARNETT 103,717 12,655 13.9
LEE 55,282 6,110 12.4
HENDERSON 100,106 10,902 12.2