Invest in Public Education - from Pre-K through Community College

Let’s invest in Pre-K initiatives through Community College and give our children the right start and every student the opportunity to compete with the rest of society and the world. We should expand Community College and vocational training so that folks can work in career fields that will help them earn a decent living.

We should never use mediocrity to describe our Education system. Aspiring to be average is not a commitment to our children. The current stewardship of our public-school system is reprehensible. North Carolina was 43rd in per-student expenditures in 2017 and that’s down from 42nd in 2016. The conversation about teacher pay must be about: “What does it take to recruit and retain the best and brightest to teach and make our public schools among the best in the world?” We must put our money where our mouth is when it comes to delivering on our State Constitution’s promise to “guard and maintain” the right to “sound, formal basic education.”

Fund our schools and educators. Give them what they need to be successful - period.

Expand Access to Healthcare

The present leadership has had opportunity after opportunity to expand Medicaid and they have shown time after time how they feel about the poor and working class of North Carolina. The present General Assembly has a permanent stain. That stain comes from their stubborn refusal to expand Medicaid. There is no way to justify that decision. It shows an utter lack of concern for our citizens. This is a program that provides health insurance to North Carolinians who need it – almost entirely paid for by the Federal government. The State’s refusal has cost the State more than $10.3 billion in federal funds. It has cost lives – at least 1,800 since 2014 as well as 46,500 jobs.

Governor Cooper has pressed the legislature to relent, to no avail. He’s even offered to discuss adding a work requirement to those who would be eligible. This mean-spirited stubbornness must come to an end. I support Medicaid expansion for the poor and those who need it.

Create an Economy that Works for Everyone – stop tax giveaways to corporations and billionaires and fight for the rest of us

Over the past few years, the largest corporations and wealthiest individuals have received repeated tax giveaways while the middle-class and small businesses have been forced to pay even more. That’s not right. We need to repeal legislation that disproportionately affects middle class families who are already paying more than their fair share.

Too many working people in North Carolina don’t get paid enough for the work that they do. At a time when corporation’s productivity and profits are at an all-time high and wages are at an all-time low. We need good paying jobs in North Carolina. One in three North Carolinians earn below the federal poverty line. Nearly half of the workers in North Carolina (47%) make less than $15 an hour. The cost of living in North Carolina is such that it takes $21.95 an hour to get by on a frugal budget without public assistance for a family of three (3). More than half of the jobs created in the late 2000’s pay poverty wages. We need more, good-paying jobs in North Carolina.

Let’s get more business to come to Eastern North Carolina that pay a decent wage. Improving our infrastructure, expanding vocational education, and bringing new clean energy/high tech jobs to this area are a few solutions.

Readiness for the Future: Confront Climate Change, Improve Infrastructure, Create Jobs, Focus on Renewable Energy

We need to confront climate change NOW. I recently spoke with a young man who mentioned that he is 19 years old and he “has already seen two 500-year storms” in his lifetime.

Our buildings and infrastructure need to be update to help withstand these powerful storms. At the same time, when we improve our infrastructure - we are creating jobs and bringing more access to this area.

Renewable energy is not only better for our environment, it also brings new employment opportunities.

Military and Veterans: Advocate for those who have given so much for our safety and security

As a Veteran, I identify with and personally support our Veterans and Military members - those who have served and those who are serving. We deeply value our service members, so our policies - whether it be health care, retirement benefits, mental health, caring for our disabled Veterans – should always reflect that. We need to reform military family housing and improve military spouse employment opportunities. We should protect those that have served us so well.

Protect the Right to Vote - Voters should choose their Representatives, not the other way around

We have seen redistricting of our State to the point where the Supreme Court had to intervene and declare the State policy unconstitutional. In 2016, Federal judges ruled that 28 of the State’s districts used for electing General Assembly members were unconstitutional, racial gerrymanders.

It is past time to adopt a non-partisan system to draw congressional, legislative and judicial district lines. Our government should be representative of the people – for the people. Since 2011, North Carolinians have had to endure a phony representative government that has disenfranchised hundreds of thousands of citizens because of their race, place of residence, or political affiliation. Enough is enough.