We join friends and advocates across the state in mourning the death of Rep. Paul Luebke.

Luebke was an unfailing champion for every positive criminal justice measure since he was first elected in 1990.

Luebke not only voted for, but worked for, efforts to win a moratorium on the death penalty, for positive sentencing reforms, for the Racial Justice Act and for funding for community-based programs instead of prison. He supported funding for substance abuse and mental health treatment for those involved in the justice system and the programs that provided them.

Luebke was an unparalleled strategist with a big vision of what the state could become. He never hesitated to help grass roots groups craft plans to improve state policies on a range of topics including criminal justice, taxes, womens’ rights, human rights and education.

Luebke was the state’s leading advocate for tax fairness and tax reform. During his term as Senior Chairman of the Finance committee, he consistently led the fight for tax policies that would help the middle class, working people and the poor.

We can honor Paul Luebke’s memory by working for a better world, one without prejudice or bigotry in which our state promotes policies that give every North Carolinian a genuine chance to have work, healthcare, decent housing and transportation. Paul’s friendship and leadership will be deeply missed.