Mark Rumsey

Community Engagement Coordinator/All Things Considered Host

Mark Rumsey grew up in Kansas and got his first radio job at age 17 in the town of Abilene, where he announced easy-listening music played from vinyl record albums.   

Later stops in his radio career found him reporting and anchoring local news at stations in Chattanooga, Tennessee and Charlotte.

Mark joined the world of public radio in 1997 as News Director at WFAE.  Today, he continues to serve as local host for All Things Considered and produces WFAE’s Public Conversations, an ongoing series of community forums.  

If Mark turns up missing on a nice autumn day, you might find him on the hiking trails at North Carolina’s Stone Mountain State Park.   If he disappears for a week or two – check  the Tel Aviv airport.  Perhaps he’s found a way to again pursue his passion for traveling to the Holy Land.

Ways to Connect

It's been more than six years since the death of a Charlotte teenager, who stowed away in the wheel well of an airliner bound for Boston. Legislation prompted by that incident has now been approved by the U.S. House.  

Congressional representatives from the Carolinas are mixed on President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration. Trump has temporarily banned citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. – as well as refugees from any country – while his administration reviews how they're vetted. WFAE's Michael Tomsic and Mark Rumsey discussed how the four senators and 20 representatives from North Carolina and South Carolina are responding.

Advocates for refugees in North Carolina are expressing strong disapproval of  President Trump's executive order that temporarily bars many immigrants from entering the U.S.   "I find it to be an exceptionally unfortunate decision," said Marsha Hirsch, executive director of Carolina Refugee Resettlement Agency in Charlotte. 

Hirsch added that the resettlement program has been in use for decades, with bipartisan support.  She says the program was intended to "remove people from peril" and give them a chance to rebuild their lives in the U.S.

Charlotte City Council members on Monday night could approve new rules for taxi operators. Proposed revisions to Charlotte's Passenger Vehicle for Hire Ordinance were prompted by the rise of ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft.

Governor Roy Cooper's effort to expand North Carolina's Medicaid program is on hold for at least two weeks, following a federal judge's order over the weekend. 

hudson.house.gov

As President-elect Donald Trump prepares to take office, gun rights advocates say the climate is right for new measures aimed at ensuring Second Amendment protections for gun owners. Republican North Carolina congressman Richard Hudson this month introduced a bill that would require states to honor concealed carry permits issued in any other state.  About 20 states, including North Carolina, already do that.  Hudson says creating concealed carry "reciprocity" would not lead to an increase in crime.

Ken Thomas / Wikimedia Commons CC0

Charlotte City Council members Monday night could add their support to a vision plan designed to revitalize the area around North Tryon Street in Uptown.  

When it comes to House Bill 2, time can apparently heal some wounds. Three months ago, Charlotte City Council refused an overture from the General Assembly. The deal was that if council repealed the city’s expansion of its non-discrimination ordinance, lawmakers would vote to repeal HB2. Most council members, including LaWana Mayfield, weren't interested.

State Republican leaders are trying to limit the power of Governor-elect Roy Cooper during their surprise special session. One of the justifications from Senate Leader Phil Berger is that Democrats did the same thing when they were in power.

Latin American Coalition

In the days immediately following last month's election, many Latinos in the U.S. reacted strongly to Donald Trump's victory. Some called his election as president "sad" or even "a tragedy," and they expressed fear for themselves or their families in the future. 

Members of Charlotte's Latin American community have also been digesting Trump's win and wondering what the future holds under the next presidential administration. "I think there's a lot of uncertainty and a lot of fear in our community," says Jose Hernandez-Paris, who is executive director of Charlotte's Latin American Coalition. He says immigration issues are the top concern for Latinos as Trump prepares to take office.

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