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Our Issues

Larry King, Chair

        Bob Phillips, Executive Director

Director NCCLGR

Tracy Leatherberry, Campus Outreach Coordinator

General Info

Common Cause North Carolina is a non-profit, non-partisan citizens’ lobby organization. We believe that by banding together, citizens can make a difference. We throw a spotlight on issues that affect all North Carolinians. We work to strengthen public participation and to ensure that the political process serve the public interest, rather than the special interests.

Our purpose is clear: make public officials and public institutions accountable and responsive to citizens.

Common Cause North Carolina has made a difference. We have been on the front lines of numerous hard fought battles for government reform and accountability. is a site dedicated to 1) informing you of current issues and legislation affecting North Carolina 2) giving you the tools you need to be an active engaged citizen


Our Issues

  • Redistricting Reform
  • Election Reform
  • Lobbying and Government Reform
  • Public Financing
  • Media Reform

Go to Common Cause National Site for more info: 

Click Here! 


Advisory Board

Larry King, Chair

Larry King has been a member of Common Cause for over 20 years and a member of the Board of Governors of CC/NC since 1995.  He served as Secretary and currently is in his second term as Chair.  His other main area of public service is serving on the board of directors of the Women’s Center of Wake County where he is involved in the Center’s effort to provide affordable housing for women and children.  Larry grew up in the Atlanta area, received a degree in mechanical engineering from Ga Tech, and worked at Lockheed Aircraft for three years.  Becoming more interested in agriculture than engineering, he enrolled in graduate school at U of Ga where he received MS and PhD degrees in agronomy.  After a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Guelph in Ontario and a position with the Tennessee Valley Authority in Alabama, he joined the faculty of the Department of Soil Science at NC State University in 1974.  After retirement in 2001 he did consulting work for several years.  Now, when not working on Common Cause issues, he spends his time doing volunteer handyman work, playing bluegrass guitar, and working on his 1937 Ford.


Beverly Brown, Treasurer

Beverly Brown has been a minister's wife, mother, math teacher and bookkeeper.  She became the treasurer of CC/NC in 1995 when the previous treasurer resigned to take care of her mother.  "Keeping CC/NC's books" up to date and being active in her local church keep her busy.


Sam Brown

Sam Brown, a Duke graduate, joined Common Cause in 1973 while he was serving St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Maxton, NC.  Other than writing letters to his congress person, senators and the local newspapers through the years, plus his yearly contribution to CC/NC, he wasn't very active. When he retired from the ministry in 1993, and was living in Raleigh, he began lobbying the legislators on behalf of Common Cause's issues.  Sam was chairperson of CC/NC's State Governing Board for 5 years from 1995-2000.  Since he moved to Charlotte in 2001 he has continued on the SGB and often writes letters to the editor of the Charlotte Observer, his state senator and representative as well as letters to our two NC senators and his representative.  Sam tries to play golf weekly and works at building houses in the Habitat for Humanity program once a week. 


Chris Fitzsimon


Gibson Gray

Gibson Gray was born and raised in East Texas.  He obtained a Bachelor's degree in Business Admin. from the Univ. of Texas and a Masters and a Ph.D from Columbia University.  Additionally, he earned a certificate from the Harriman Institute (Russian Studies) at Columbia.  After serving in WWII, he worked in PA as a lobbyist and a demographer on the state planning board.  Gibson has taught several universities, including 20 years at UNC-Pembroke.  He enjoys spending time with his wife, traveling, gardening, and reading military history.


Jennifer Knox


Michael Leach


Ann McCracken

Ann McCracken has served on the Common Cause North Carolina Governing Board since the 1980's and is the immediate past co-chair.  Along with Common Cause, she has been active for many years in the League of Women Voters.  In addition to working as an advocate for open and accountable government, Ann also works as an advocate for peace through her church and other organizations.  She has also served as president of the Alumni Association of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and continues her support of the university.  Ann lives in Sanford where she was an English instructor at Central Carolina Community College until her retirement.  She and her husband, a retired professor of the University of North Carolina School of Dentistry, have three daughters and six grandchildren.


Warren Murphy


Lille Ruth Jones

Lillie Ruth Jones received a degree in Sociology from Meredith College and studied social work at UNC-CH.  Currently, she is a Client Services Coordinator with the Women's Center of Wake County.  In addition to Common Cause, she is an active member of the Covenant Community Church.  Lillie is also involved with NAACP, League of Women Voters, and Sojourners.  Lillie describes herself as, "a Concerned Citizen interested in bringing the issues of the disenfranchised to the attention of elected officials; working for responsible and ethical government practices."


Bill Palich

William Palich, the son of Croatian immigrants, was born in Spokane, Ohio.  He completed his undergraduate and graduate studies at DePaul, Youngstown, Ohio State, and Michigan State Universities. Bill worked as a Research Associate and Veterinarian with the Lovelace Foundation, as a Principal Investigator and Veterinarian with Melpar Inc., and as the Assistant Director of the Meat & Poultry Inspection Division with the NC Dept. of Agriculture.  In addition to Common Cause, he is active in several organizations including Safe Space, Inc., Project Vote Smart, American Humanist Association, Rotary International, and the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee.


Charlie West

Charlie West, of Carolina Beach, retired in 1992 from teaching business management at UNC-Wilmington.  His career in higher education followed an earlier career in corporate management for large companies such as Honeywell, General Electric, and McKinsey & Co. He received degrees in electrical engineering and MBA from Cornell, and a PhD in organizational behavior from the U. of Louisville.  Korean veteran. Married to Beverly Cree, an early childhood educator.  Two married daughters; five grandchildren, all doing well.  We enjoy international travel, keeping fit, and working for organizations that are trying to improve (save?) our world, such as Common Cause.



Bob Phillips     


Executive Director

Bob Phillips has served as Executive Director of Common Cause North Carolina since 2001. His work includes both lobbying the legislature and building statewide grassroots campaigns for a variety of good government reforms. Most recently Bob helped put together a broad and diverse coalition that successfully pushed comprehensive lobbying and ethics reform through the North Carolina legislature. 

 Bob is a North Carolina native, a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill and has worked as a broadcast journalist in Raleigh and a press secretary for Lieutenant Governor Dennis Wicker, prior to joining Common Cause.

Jane Pinsky

Director, NC Coalition for Lobbying & Government Reform

Tracy Leatherberry

Campus Outreach Coordinator

Tracy Leatherberry was most recently the State Coordinator for Rock the Vote in North Carolina. Since graduation, Tracy has focused on nonprofit work with the Millennial Generation.  In early 2009, Tracy began working as a Community Director for Generation Engage in Raleigh, a nonprofit dedicated to providing the tools young adults need to become active participants in their democracy.  During her time at Generation Engage Tracy focused on programs that would introduce North Carolina’s students to the importance of financial literacy in securing their futures.  Following her work with Generation Engage, Tracy worked briefly with, another Millennial organization that engages young people in current events and issues. While there, Tracy worked to help put on a Youth summit that focused on issues facing Millennial Veterans. Most recently at Rock the Vote Tracy worked to register new Millennial Voters and engage them politically during and leading up to the Midterm election.

Tracy is a 2008 graduate of North Carolina State University, with a B.A. in Political Science with a Law and Justice Concentration.  She currently lives in Durham, North Carolina. 


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