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Advocate joins Fletcher

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Chris Fitzsimon to focus on policy change.

RALEIGH, N.C. [04.30.04] — Veteran policy advocate Chris Fitzsimon is joining the A.J. Fletcher Foundation in Raleigh to head NC Policy Watch, a new foundation initiative that will focus on state policy issues.

Fitzsimon, founder and former executive director of the Common Sense Foundation, will split his time between the foundation and Capitol Broadcasting Co., providing radio commentaries on state policy issues for the company’s North Carolina News Network, a statewide radio network of 75 stations. A radio talk show is also in development.

His role at the foundation will be to track and speak out on state policy affecting human services, says Barbara Goodmon, foundation president.

“With Chris, the foundation hopes to point out the policy changes that are needed to solve the overwhelming problems the state faces in addressing its vital human-service needs,” she says.

“This is not about Republicans or Democrats, or liberals or conservatives,” she says. “This is about sound policy, and policy change empowers people.”

As part of his policy work, Fitzsimon will write a column for the Philanthropy Journal, a publication of the foundation.

He also will serve as a source for comment and analysis on state policy in newspaper, radio and television stories, and will speak before government agencies, community groups and other organizations on human service issues.

Fitzsimon, a former television news reporter for North Carolina Public Television and for Capitol Broadcasting’s WRAL-TV in Raleigh, founded and for nine years headed the Common Sense Foundation, a nonprofit that focuses on North Carolina policy issues.

He also served as special assistant for policy and communications for then-N.C. House Speaker Dan Blue, and most recently was spokesman of the Campaign to Protect America’s Lands, a national advocacy group in Washington, D.C.

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