When I was a child attending a small, rural public school, North Carolina’s public school system was a model in the nation. Today, we rank below average in quality and safety of our K-12 schools. We are losing quality teachers to other states because we don’t provide competitive wages and benefits.
Quality education is key to future success. Our children deserve better than we’re giving them. We can make NC the standard for public education again.
I grew up swimming and fishing in North Carolina’s lakes and rivers and clamming with my daddy in the coastal waterways. Our family vacations were spent camping near Chimney Rock and Cherokee or at the beaches of Brunswick County. Our state has a wealth of natural wonders, and I want my son, and all the children of North Carolina, to be able to continue to enjoy the outdoors the same way I did. For that to happen, we have to do a better job of taking care of our natural resources. We have to protect our rivers from coal ash contamination and our water supplies from toxic chemicals, and we have to hold polluters accountable.
As someone who suffers from a chronic disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, I am well acquainted with the soaring costs of healthcare in our state and our country. Even though I’m fortunate enough to have health insurance, the costs of specialist visits and medications are a burden. For seniors on fixed incomes and people without employee-sponsored health plans, that burden is unsustainable. The people of North Carolina deserve representatives who put their interests and well-being above partisanship and above the interests of the insurance and drug companies.
Long-term, sustained economic growth is driven by a healthy and educated work force. Investment in the people of North Carolina increases the productivity of businesses which attracts more businesses. To keep our economy competitive, we must train workers for emerging technologies and transitioning industries. These will provide the jobs that pay a living wage for North Carolina’s workers.
I believe every citizen’s vote should count and that voters should pick their representatives, not the other way around. With that in mind, I support the creation of an independent, non-partisan redistricting commission to make sure our legislative and Congressional districts are fair. Elected officials should stay in power only if they are serving the interests of their constituents, not because they’ve gerrymandered the districts so they can’t lose.