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27 T H E STATE L O O K S T O T H E F U T U R E ORTH CAROLINIANS on a number of occasions, especially when the present wasnot particularlypromising, have looked to the future. The Roanoke colonists of the 15805 took a great risk in leaving England for a different kind of life in the New World wilderness, and as it turned out most of them paid with their lives. In the 16705 those who took matters into their own hands at the time of Culpeper's Rebellion obtained the reforms they sought and so did those who drew up the Halifax Resolvesand who cast their lot with John Harvey, Cornelius Harnett, and other revolutionists near the beginning of the last quarter ofthe eighteenth century. Archibald DeBow Murphey in the second decade of the nineteenth century, recognizing that North Carolina suffered from a backward, parochial view toward public affairs, drew up a progressive program; his strategy did, indeed, change conditions in the state even though it was not adopted promptly or in its entirety. Nearlyhalf acentury later Southerners lost their struggle to secure the freedom they believed was guaranteed to them in the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution in the original Bill of Rights. As the nineteenth century drew to a close Charles B. Aycock predicted the "Dawn of a New Day" with his program for progress based on universal education. In theory Aycock'sproposal wassound, and insofarasitwas implemented it did makeadifference. The creation of the Research Triangle Park beginning in the mid-1950s was a step into the future based on faith. The state's experience in gazing into the future, however, has had mixed results. If converted into agraph it would displaypeaksand valleys•,it would also demonstrate that projected goals areseldom realized, yet in the attempt to reach them some progress is achieved. With the twentieth century nearing an end, Governor James B. Hunt, Jr., on i June 1981byexecutiveorder, created the Commission on the Future of North Carolina to implement aprojectknown as"NC 2000." About sixmonths earlier he had asked the State Goals and Policy Board to begin planning for long-term problems and opportunities in the state; subsequently, it was determined that such a program could best be accomplished by a special commission established 553 N 554 North Carolina- through Four Centuries for that purpose. In announcing his plans, the governor said: "Our task today is to anticipate and prepare for the North Carolina our children will encounter tomorrow. . . .Wemust take responsibility for making the world what we want it to be, for ourselves and for our children. And that requires looking into the future now.Looking at the future can help us anticipate changes and make decisions . It can prepare us for what lies ahead and put usin the driver's seat, to chart the course for North Carolina." William C. Friday, president of the Consolidated University of North Carolina , was named chairman of the 69-member commission. Also appointed to work with this group was at least one representative from each of the state's one hundred counties. For local perspectives, 114 county chairs and co-chairs were authorized to seek the assistance and advice of leaders in their counties. Sixtyeight counties actually participated in the preparation of the commission's report, which also drew on the responses of 113,000 North Carolinians to a lengthy questionnaire. Public meetings were held in many parts of the state, at which knowledgeable individuals were consulted from time to time. The concerns and the desires of North Carolinians, as determined by the commission members, revealed a great deal about the North Carolina of 1982. People hoped that by the year 2000 the weaknesses or needs apparent in their own lifetime would be redressed. Several interim reports were issued and a final report was published in 1983. Press reaction to both the creation of the commission and its final reportwas mixed. One highly criticalnewspaper considered NC 2000 to be a political ploy of the governor so that he could "boast about the commission he appointed to study the future of North Carolina." Although the commission's report "is supposed to pave the way to the future," the writer continued, it "is actually a stunning indictment of the past failures of state government—both before and during the nearlyi2-year reign of Hunt asmajority party leader." Another newspaper , however, wasmore optimistic, citing the governor's predictions that if the commission's recommendations were...


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