Leslie Winner: Standing by reputation

June 27, 2013 

Standing by reputation

In his June 18 letter “Attorney fees for political campaigns unconstitutional,” state budget director Art Pope raises concerns about the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation’s making grants to groups that support public financing of judicial races in North Carolina.

For decades, the foundation has supported organizations across N.C. working to build an equitable, sustainable and vibrant state. We are proud of grantees’ work to promote public schools that prepare each child for life, prepare principals to be leaders and enable new teachers to do a good job; to build vibrant local economies by providing loans to small businesses and helping small farmers; and to maintain a healthy environment by enabling homes, churches and businesses become energy efficient.

The foundation also supports organizations seeking to make civic participation, including voting, easier rather than harder. It’s hard to imagine how expanding the number of citizens who participate in our democracy is liberal or conservative.

Some grantees also have worked to protect our judges from having to raise campaign money from the lawyers who will appear in front of them. Who wants the baseball umpire to have to raise his salary from the players or the coach?

Leslie Winner

Executive director, Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation

Winston-Salem

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