Current staff members of the NC Budget & Tax Center lined up and posing: (From left) Heba Atwa, Alexandra Sirota, Logan Rockefeller Harris, Mel Umbarger, and Suzy Khachaturyan
Current staff members of the NC Budget & Tax Center: (From left) Heba Atwa, Alexandra Sirota, Logan Rockefeller Harris, Mel Umbarger, and Suzy Khachaturyan

Celebrating one year — and 30 — with the NC Budget & Tax Center

On Thursday, May 4, former and current staff members, advocates, partners, and supporters of all kinds from around the state gathered in Raleigh to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the NC Budget & Tax Center (BTC).

Weren’t able to make it? Sign our birthday card here!

Alexandra Sirota, Executive Director of BTC, gave remarks during the event:

“Very few organizations have the luxury of celebrating their first birthday and their thirtieth anniversary in the same year. But this is the peculiar situation we find ourselves in.

“A veritable toddler on the public policy and non-profit scene in North Carolina, but at the very same, staring at the face of middle age — a middle age hard earned by three decades of experience and analysis and struggle.

“Three decades of victories and defeats.

“Three tumultuous decades that have seen perhaps the most dramatic revolution in public policy thinking and public policy making since the New Deal.

“The Budget & Tax Center operated for twenty-nine years under the aegis of the venerable North Carolina Justice Center.

“But, of course, one year ago the BTC struck on its own.

“And we began laying the foundation for an institution that could bring facts that are ground-truthed by the people to the work of crafting a better future through the public policies and programs that we all participate in building.

“So we are not just celebrating a birthday, but our re-birthday.

“And because we are at this incredible, but unusual juncture, looking both forward and back, it is a good time to remind ourselves and to re-dedicate ourselves to what the NC Budget & Tax Center stands for.

“The Budget & Tax Center exists to bring timely, credible analysis to the policy conversations in North Carolina and to connect with people and communities across the state about the barriers and opportunities that could unlock greater well-being.

“Our vision at the BTC is a state where everyone — no matter who they are or where they live — can reach their full potential.

“Where public health isn’t pitted against the economy, where public institutions protect us and serve the common good to deliver outcomes that undo the systemic barriers that have excluded Black, Latinx, indigenous, and immigrants, and forges connections for all those who live in poverty to opportunity.

“In so doing we ALL can secure collective liberation.

“We envision a fully realized, non-violent, multi-racial democracy that we all participate in building and that delivers a good life to each of us.

“In so doing we will fully realize the power of our collective action and recognize our shared fates.

“There is no doubt that the times we are in provide every reason to believe this is impossible.

“But I don’t just believe we can do it — I will work with my colleagues at the Budget & Tax Center every day to make it so.”