Leading by values

Much of my past year has been spent shining the light on voter suppression efforts of the North Carolina General Assembly.  When voter ID laws are deemed by the courts to exclude people of color with “surgical precision”, something is seriously wrong.  When voters are placed in districts with the intent to dilute the power of their vote, something is seriously wrong.

Districts should be created with balance so that voters can hold their legislators accountable.  Processes used to allocate state tax dollars or to create new laws should be decisions made on data.  As legislators we need to uphold voters’ rights with one voice equaling one vote.  We need honest debate about the effect of policies on our communities and jointly designed solutions that build a future of opportunity for our constituents without regard to party politics.  


America is the land of opportunity and we need to extend that opportunity to all of our citizens.  We should recruit jobs that pay people a Living Wage which would enable them to afford housing, food, transportation, and healthcare based on a 40 hour a week job.  Other countries that are not as wealthy as the US, have designed Healthcare systems that are affordable.  Until we can overhaul the healthcare system nationally, North Carolina needs to determine a system based on what people can afford to pay.  All Americans have a right to a quality public education.  When we invest in developing the skills of all our children, they can earn a living and we can benefit from the skills they bring to our society.  A skilled workforce increases our competitive edge to draw new employers.


America is a land where race, ethnicity, gender, orientation, and religious beliefs are uniquely individual and are human rights afforded to all people.  We are a society that values inclusion not division.  We need to live up to the commitments we have made to our citizens.  My father was a Korean War veteran who had serious health issues later in his life.  The costs of his care would have devastated my family were it not for veterans' benefits.  We need to ensure that our Veterans are provided for with physical and mental care, as well as providing education and housing needs.  As the federal government reduces benefits, it is up to North Carolina to assure our warriors’ needs are met.  We need to provide affordable health care.  As many other families, my grandmother needed Medicaid for end of life care.  When costs exceed the savings an elder has accumulated, we are morally obligated to provide assistance.


I believe that it is our responsibility to manage the resources of our planet in a way that sustains us and future generations.  With new technologies and new educational opportunities, we can both protect the mountains and the seas AND foster a thriving economy.    I want to keep North Carolina beautiful for future generations and to provide cutting edge technological jobs that keep our state as one of the most desirable places to live, work, and play.