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White House names NC State institute director a 'Champion of Change'

The White House will honor Anita Brown-Graham, the Institute for Emerging Issues director at North Carolina State University, for her innovation in tackling some of the state’s biggest issues.

Brown-Graham will receive the title of “Champion of Change,” given through a program President Barack Obama created to highlight the accomplishments of people and organizations working toward a better future.

John Herrera receives White House award

John Herrera of Holly Springs is at the White House right about now getting an award for being an Immigrant Innovator "Champion of Change."

Herrera, an immigrant from Costa Rica, is co-founder of the Latino Community Credit Union.

The White House has used the program to feature individuals, businesses and organizations "doing extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their communities."

Herrera is one of 11 "immigrant innovators" at the White House today.

Obama hires Wake Forest prof

A Wake Forest University divinity professor has been tapped by the White House to lead the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

Melissa Rogers, director of Wake Forest's Center for Religion and Public Affairs since 2004, will be the top White House official on religion issues.

Rogers has taught courses on church-state relations at Wake Forest. She also serves as a nonresident senior fellow with the Brookings Institution and has held other leadership roles focused on religion and public policy.

Morning Memo: Redistricting in the courts, education in the legislature

THE MOST IMPORTANT POLITICAL STORY IN N.C.: The legal fight about the new political boundaries drawn by Republicans in the redistricting process is headed to court this week. A three-judge panelwill hear the arguments Monday and Tuesday after Democrats and groups fighting the maps filed suit contending they were unlawful. The new boundaries seal Republican power in the state legislature for the next decade and Democrats need a judicial reversal to regain strength.

TODAY AT THE STATEHOUSE: The House will focus on education this week, with local school superintendents from across the state invited to meet with lawmakers. House Speaker Thom Tillis will hold a 3 p.m. press conference to discuss "education week." The House and Senate convene Monday evening for skeleton sessions. No votes are expected.

***Good Monday morning. Thanks for reading the Dome Morning Memo. Find more political news and a weekend headline wrap below. And find out more information about the N&O's new iPad app, available for download now. (Programming note: Dome is not available on the app at the moment. Look for an upgrade later.)***

Morning Memo: McCrory to White House; more details from strategy memo

MEMO STIRS THE N.C. POLITICAL POT: The political strategy memo from a cadre of groups aligned with Democratic causes is getting a good bit of attention for its tactics. One overlooked in all the coverage: a staff of video trackers to follow the every move of the "targets" (Pat McCrory, Thom Tillis, Phil Berger) and hiring private investigators.

McCRORY VISITING THE WHITE HOUSE: Pat McCrory is visiting Washington Friday through Monday for a series of meetings with the National Governors Association and Republican Governors Association. On Sunday, along with all governors, he will dine at the White House with President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, followed by a meeting at the White House the next morning with the president.

***Thanks for reading the Dome Morning Memo -- more N.C. political news and analysis below, including more details from the anti-Republican strategy memo.

Palmieri, former Edwards spokeswoman, new White House comm director

The staff shuffling at the White House has resulted in a promotion for Jennifer Palmieri, known among local politicos for her role in John Edwards presidential campaign and her testimony at his trial last year. Palmieri will become White House communications director, replacing Dan Pfeiffer, who will become a senior adviser, according to The Washington Post. Palmieri has been serving as deputy communications director.

White House rejects petition asking for N.C. to secede

The White House responded to a petition calling for North Carolina to secede by saying "as we value a healthy debate, we don't let that debate tear us apart." And no, it can't secede.

The petition on the White House website for North Carolina "to withdraw from the United States and create its own NEW government" received nearly 32,000 signatures. It is one of eight states -- all in the South -- to solicit signatures. (Another petition, with about 30,000 signatures, calls to deport everyone who signed one of the secession petitions.)

Jon Carson, the director of the White House's Office of Public Engagement, quoted Abraham Lincoln and thanked those who used the online petitions, saying he understands democracy "can be noisy and controversial."

White House warns N.C. families of tax hikes if we go over fiscal cliff

Going over the fiscal cliff could mean a $2,200 hike in income taxes for the average North Carolina family, according to a new White House Report on potential impacts to N.C. families.

President Barack Obama continues his campaign this week pushing for higher income tax rates on top earners in order to avoid the fiscal cliff. The White House warns that failing to reach an agreement would result in higher taxes for all Americans.

The White House released a report(see below) late Wednesday outlining some of the potential impacts to North Carolina families.  Families could also receive a smaller Child Tax Credit, and some 300,000 middle‐class families could lose access American Opportunity Tax Credit to help pay for college.

Republicans have countered with a proposal calling for $800 billion in new revenue by closing loopholes and deductions, but not increasing tax rates on any Americans.

WHITE HOUSE PLAN Middle Class Report - North Carolina.pdf (1).pdf

N.C. gay community activists attend White House reception

A number of North Carolina LGBT advocates visited the White House last week as part of a pride month reception.

President Barack Obama addressed the group, calling himself "a fellow advocate for an America where no matter what you look like or where you come from or who you love, you can dream big dreams and dream as openly as you want," according to the publication Q Notes.

White House outreach to Jewish farmers in Raleigh?

The Obama administration has been engaged in some outreach into Raleigh-Cary Jewish community – although they had a sort of an odd way of going about it.

A top U.S. Department of Agriculture official held a “Jewish Roundtable” on Monday at Beth Meyer Synagogue. The event was sponsored by the White House, the USDA, and the Jewish Federation of Raleigh-Cary.

Surely, this was not being held to discuss the problems of Jewish farmers in the Raleigh-Cary area.

The event featured Jonathan Adelstein, USDA Rural Utilities Service Administrator, and was described as one in a series of events administration officials were holding across the country to hear about community concerns.

This was not, the invitation stressed, a campaign event.

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