Jorge Valencia

Capitol Reporter

Jorge Valencia has been with North Carolina Public Radio since 2012. A native of Bogotá, Colombia, Jorge studied journalism at the University of Maryland and reported for four years for the Roanoke Times in Virginia before joining the station. His reporting has also been published in the Wall Street Journal, the Miami Herald, and the Baltimore Sun.

Ways to Connect

a man taking a photo of another man for an ID card.
Jorge Valencia / WUNC

Like many immigrants, Luis Parra left his home in Mexico looking for prosperity. When he got to the United States 20 years ago, he worked in landscaping, and then in construction.

"Now I do interior trim, which is more detail, more precise. I really like it," he said.

Rolanda Byrd, whose 24-year-old son Akiel Denkins was killed by a white police officer in Southeast Raleigh, spoke at a vigil on Friday.
Jorge Valencia / WUNC

Demonstrations over this week’s fatal shootings in Dallas, Minnesota and Louisiana spread to North Carolina on Friday, with gatherings in Raleigh, Fayetteville and Winston-Salem and one group calling on easier access to police body camera footage.

Composite photo of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
U.S. Embassy and Gage Skidmore / flickr

Updated July 6 at 7:06 a.m.

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump fired up supporters at two separate rallies in North Carolina Tuesday, as both presumptive presidential candidates sought to gain a lead in the battleground state.

Image of bathroom sign
The LEAF Project / Flickr Creative Commons

North Carolina lawmakers tweaked the controversial law known as House Bill 2 in the last hours of the state’s legislative session on Friday night, restoring the right to sue in state court for discriminatory firings.

Child with flag
jvoves on Flickr

North Carolina Republican leaders are fast-tracking a plan to withhold state funding for schools and highways from cities and counties that enact ordinances that are friendly to undocumented immigrants.

Trump supporters outside the Greensboro Coliseum Complex.
Elizabeth Baier / WUNC

Thousands of people gathered at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex Tuesday night to hear a speech from the presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

Some people, including BJ Green, dedicated the entire day to the event. Green and his nine-year-old son, Jackson, arrived at noon from a small town in Virginia.

Photo: Ryan Gibson (l) and Tabor Winstead at a vigil in downtown Raleigh on Sunday night
Jorge Valencia / WUNC

Across North Carolina, thousands gathered Sunday to mourn the deaths of the victims of the deadliest shooting in U.S. history.

Courtesy of the Hoke County Sheriff's Office

The Fort Bragg Army Reserve officer charged after a series of threatening incidents Thursday night at a mosque in Hoke County is a decorated veteran of two deployments to Iraq, said an Army spokesman.

Photo: A photo identification card issued by FaithAction International
Courtesy of FaithAction International

A North Carolina legislative panel recommended banning police from using non-government issued IDs to verify people’s identity on Wednesday, potentially tossing out an instrument law enforcement uses to identify undocumented immigrants.

U.S. Representative Alma Adams
U.S. Representative Alma Adams

Alma Adams is the Democratic nominee to represent North Carolina’s 12th District in Congress.

Adams is the incumbent in the 12th District, but it wasn’t a given that she would sail to victory.

Ted Budd at the ProShots firearms complex
Bud for Congress

Ted Budd, a gun shop owner from Davie County and a first-time political candidate, took the Republican party’s nomination for the 13th Congressional District on Tuesday night. He emerges from a field of 17 candidates for a seat that will favor the GOP nominee in the November general election.

The North Carolina Memorial Day Parade in Thomasville
Jorge Valencia / WUNC

When a federal court struck down part of North Carolina’s congressional maps earlier this year saying they were illegal gerrymanders, state lawmakers created a new district that drew immediate attention from dozens of political hopefuls.

Photo: Senate Leader Phil Berger  and Sen. Harry Brown
Jorge Valencia

Lawmakers in Raleigh are one step closer to finalizing a spending plan for North Carolina.

State senators on Thursday gave tentative approval to their version of the budget, with 33 Republicans voting in favor and 15 Democrats against. The plan would increase average teacher pay and would give pay raises for some state employees.

Photo: Jordan Lake
Flickr user Jeremy Taylor

Senate Republicans are proposing eliminating the state’s protections for drinking water from Jordan and Falls lakes, in favor of new measures that could allow polluters to dump into the stream and could treat the water by introducing mussels to potentially feed off pollutants.

State Senate chamber
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

The state Senate is debating its biannual spending plan this week.

Top Republicans are highlighting a modest increase in overall state spending. They’re also highlighting an average teacher pay raise of 13.5 percent, although details are still scarce on how the plan will provide for the increases.

Jorge Valencia / WUNC

It’s hard to imagine an industry in North Carolina that hasn’t somehow been affected by House Bill 2.  Restaurants say they’ve lost business. Hotels have seen conference organizers cancel conventions to protest the law. And start-ups say some investors are steering clear of North Carolina. But much of the work of dealing with the unwanted attention has been left to small businesses that don’t want to be associated with the law.

Photo: UNC Board of Governors Chair Louis Bisette and UNC President Margaret Spellings
Jorge Valencia

The leaders of the 17-campus University of North Carolina system say they are not violating federal anti-discrimination protections by following the state’s new bathroom access law, and are seeking legal representation in a lawsuit against federal authorities.

Gov Pat McCrory speaks to reporters about the state's HB2 lawsuit
Jorge Valencia / WUNC

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory has sued the U.S. government and the Justice Department, asking federal courts to clarify a controversial new state law that limits transgender access to bathrooms.

The Justice Department in turn filed its own lawsuit against the state, saying the law restricting use of public restrooms by transgender people constitutes a pattern of discrimination on the basis of sex and gender identity.

Photo: Gov. Pat McCrory at a question-and-answer session with the NC Chamber
Jorge Valencia

North Carolina Republican leaders in the General Assembly are refusing to back down from the controversial House Bill 2 after the U.S. Department of Justice told the state this week that it is in violation of federal anti-discrimination protections.

Allen County Public Library via Flickr

The U.S. Department of Justice has notified Governor Pat McCrory that House Bill 2 violates Title IX of the U.S. Civil Rights Act, potentially jeopardizing millions in federal funding for public schools.

The department, in a letter signed Wednesday, gave state officials until Monday to respond confirming whether or not they will comply with their advisory. If the department’s opinion is upheld by the courts, North Carolina could lose federal school funding for violation of Title IX, which bars discrimination in education based on gender.

sembly building as the House and Senate adjourned.
Jess Clark

It was a bustling first day back at the General Assembly with multiple protests, a national media presence, and legislative efforts to reverse a controversial measure that was passed last month during a special session.

Lawmakers from across the state convened in Raleigh Monday for the start of the short legislative session. Policymakers are tasked primarily with reworking the budget during odd-year sessions, however, with the spotlight on the state's new so called "bathroom bill" the fiscal agenda is not the top story on Jones St.

Photo: Senate Leader Phil Berger, a Republican from Rockingham County
Jorge Valencia / WUNC

Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) stood by North Carolina’s new controversial law on Wednesday, brushing aside any serious consideration to the governor’s request to reverse one of the legislation’s key provisions.

Gov. Pat McCrory nominated retiered Charlotte Police officer Rob Schurmeir to lead the State Bureau of Investigation.
Jorge Valencia

Gov. Pat McCrory on Wednesday nominated a 30-year veteran of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department to head the State Bureau of Investigation, seeking to fill the position after the former director abruptly resigned early this year.

Photo: Hundreds of supporters of the controversial House Bill 2 gathered outside the state capitol building on Monday.
Jorge Valencia / WUNC

Hundreds of supporters of the controversial North Carolina law that prevents cities from expanding rights for gay and transgender people gathered outside the state capitol building on Monday, cheering Gov. Pat McCrory and the Republican legislators who wrote the law.

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