As a Democrat on the Mills River Town Council (and the first Democrat ever elected to the Council), we are making great strides. We are partnering to offer broadband internet to every home and business in town. We are installing greenways on NC 280 and NC 191, and encouraging clean industry and high-paying jobs. We are installing solar panels and electric car chargers at Mills River Town Park, as well as new walking trails. I recently led an effort to reduce the property tax rate while increasing services, and was successful.
I want to bring this energy, enthusiasm, ability to work across the aisle with Republicans, and solid ideas to the North Carolina Senate.
Our system right now is broken, and it will take hard work and good people to fix it. To start, we need to:
Beginning in 2010, the Republican-led General Assembly began sorting voters into districts that gave Republicans an advantage in subsequent elections (they even split North Carolina A&T, a historically black university, in half on their maps). When I get to Raleigh, I will lead the way by insisting that we adopt maps that do not favor one race or party. No more games! Rigged election maps are un-American. Fair election maps are absolutely vital to American democracy.
Expanding Medicaid not only offers quality health insurance to around 635,000 North Carolinians, it will cost the state literally nothing and it's a huge step towards fixing the opioid crisis.
Re-Invest in Public Schools
Our public schools are being de-funded and privatized by a Republican majority that is ignoring their constitutional duty to provide a quality education to North Carolina public school students. We also need to fund pre-K services, so that our four-year olds are exposed to reading literacy.
Take Back the Environment
We rely on our beautiful green mountains for recreation, for attracting industry and for tourism, and we maintain a balance between progress and our rural values. So why would we allow a state senator like Chuck Edwards, who has a lifetime environmental score of zero, to represent us? We don't need coal ash or GenX spoiling our air, our land and our waterways. Let's make sure we have clean water to drink and places for our children to play.
End Rural Poverty
In WNC, one out of every four children does not know whether there will be food on the table at dinner time or not. Let's end rural hunger. Our children are our greatest treasure, and corporate tax breaks are contributing to the divide between rich and poor. Let's reinstate the Earned Income Tax Credit and reward our working poor, allowing them to feed their children and enjoy a better quality of life.