I believe that healthcare is a universal right. Regardless of income or location, every North Carolinian is entitled to basic healthcare.
I understand that healthcare outcomes are best when care decisions are made between a patient and their medical provider. This means that every person should be able to choose their own physician, without interference from the government or health insurance companies.
When it comes to healthcare, lowering out-of-pocket costs is my number one goal. This means getting more families covered and one way to do this is through the expansion of Medicaid, under the Affordable Care Act. Medicaid expansion will also help our economy by supporting rural hospitals and providing jobs to many in those areas. It will provide healthcare in areas of our state where we most need additional coverage and more medical providers. I am proud to have supported legislation in support of Medicaid expansion.
Prescription drug companies hold a monopoly in our state and country. Currently, local and state governments are prohibited from negotiating drug prices. I want to change that to help all North Carolinians access the critical prescriptions they need, without adding more financial burdens.
Seniors and persons with disabilities deserve to live at home, with their family, where they are most comfortable, for as long as practical. That’s why I support alternative healthcare deliveries that will allow this. As a long time Meals on Wheels volunteer, I understand the dignity that comes with being able to live at home. Many of my longtime clients are elderly men and women who rely on the services of others to allow them to remain in their residences, where they feel most comfortable. Preventing elderly neglect and abuse is an additional area of importance for those that may not be able to speak out for themselves.
North Carolina’s economy should be one of sustainable and balanced growth, where everyone that works hard, and plays by the rules has the same opportunities to be successful. As the wife of an economist, I believe in the free-market; but in the interest of the public good, I do understand that some regulation is necessary.
Making sure that North Carolina can compete across the country and around the globe is crucial to our economic success. That’s why I believe we need to invest in a workforce that not only protects the jobs we already have, but promotes growth in new and modern fields of work.
Additionally, we need to make sure we are doing more to create an economy that supports and uplifts working families. I have introduced and co-sponsored legislation that would increase the minimum wage, support equal pay for equal work, institute protections for pregnancy-related workplace discrimination, and implement paid parental leave and paid sick days.
I support growing our skilled labor to meet the needs of North Carolina’s competitive business climate. That’s why I advocate for the increase in funding for vocational training in our high schools and community colleges. The North Carolina community college system is a valuable resource for our students and should be given more investment and attention by our government leaders.
When it comes to growing businesses on main street, I understand that moderation is key. Incentives should be offered to those that take on risk in the pursuit of a better life. Excellence should be rewarded and those businesses that provide jobs for everyday North Carolinians should benefit from a lower tax rate.
At the end of the day, I want a North Carolina economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top.
From farming, to logging, to fishing, and more - millions of North Carolinians rely on our environment to make a living.
That is why the General Assembly should work for long-term solutions to ensure that jobs which rely on our natural resources can be around for generations to come. For example, logging and timber techniques that promote reforestation should be a priority. This will prevent the further destruction of our forests and wetlands, ensuring their existence for the future. The North Carolina General Assembly should also emphasize the control of surface water run-off; this will prevent the worsening of water quality as well as help block increased erosion. Furthermore, I believe that tax incentives, as well as other benefits, can be used to promote the responsible disposal of waste and other byproducts from North Carolina businesses.
From the barrier islands to the Blue Ridge Mountains, North Carolina’s environment is one of the most diverse in the world. I believe that climate change is real and that we must take serious steps to counter its effects.
Blocking further pollutants from entering into the ecosystem is step one. That’s why I believe that North Carolina must block fracking, prevent offshore drilling, and do everything we can to stop toxic and hazardous waste from seeping into our soil, water, and air. I have supported legislation that will hold polluters financially accountable for clean-up costs and bipartisan initiatives to support greenways across our state.
Corporations should pay to clean up their own mess, not the tax payers. The current General Assembly has given sweetheart deals to massive corporations that pollute our water, while sticking North Carolina families with the bill. That’s wrong and I will work to fix it.
As a long time public school advocate and PTA leader, I know that every child deserves a world class education, right here in North Carolina. In response to the ongoing teacher shortage from the COVID-19 pandemic, I have stepped up and have served as a substitute teacher for Wake County Public Schools for the past year. From pre-K through high school, education should be free to students and well-funded by the state. For our state to compete economically and for all individuals to live fulfilled lives, a quality education is crucial.
Our state government needs to restore the respect of our teachers and administrators, respect that has been damaged under the current leadership in our General Assembly. We need to increase teacher pay, restore pay scales that reward teachers for advanced degrees and experience and end pay incentives based on test scores. We also need to support ALL students through increased per pupil spending and investment in their school buildings. We need to provide students the resources to support their social-emotional learning through increased funding for school counselors, social workers and nurses. Lastly, it is long past time for legislators in Raleigh to fully fund the Leandro decision, which in 1994 affirmed North Carolina’s constitutional responsibility to provide students with a sound and basic education and that the state was not meeting said responsibility. I am proud to have filed legislation to fully fund Leandro.
As the mother of magnet school children, I understand the decisions parents make every year when it to comes to deciding where their child goes to school. But I also believe that all publicly funded schools should be on a level playing field. For years, the current majority in the General Assembly has allowed our tax dollars to flow to unaccountable charter schools and voucher programs. That’s not right. If a school wants to receive public funding, then they need to be completely transparent and provide the same resources that every North Carolina public school provides - like transportation, lunch programs, and additional resources for students.
North Carolina has some of the best institutions of higher education in the world. We need to ensure that they remain fully funded and have the resources they need to continue to grow. But, a four-year degree isn’t for everyone; and in many cases, those that learn a trade, have a higher earning potential than those with a bachelor’s degree. That’s why we need to invest in our local community colleges and trade schools. In 2017, Governor Cooper proposed a plan to fully fund a community college education for those that meet attainable academic benchmarks. The best part is this plan is fully funded without raising any taxes.
North Carolina needs a well-educated work force to compete nationally and globally. From small businesses that employ almost half of all North Carolinians, to publicly traded companies - when we have an educated population, we all win. I know we can do better when it comes to education and I want to lead that change.
Healthcare is a universal right, and abortion is healthcare. However, this year we have witnessed a coordinated attack against women's healthcare in North Carolina and in many other state legislatures across our country. In North Carolina, legislators introduced legislation that would ban abortion after 13 weeks of pregnancy (HB 28), interfere in conversations between women and their doctors (H 22), criminalize healthcare procedures (HB 54), and peddle false information about "reversing abortions." (HB 53). These legislative attacks stigmatize abortion and vilify doctors and nurses who provide necessary medical care. I promise to fight against legislation like this as your representative in the NC House.
I understand that the decision to have an abortion is deeply personal. As your NC House Representative, I am working to make sure that the General Assembly stays out of examination rooms. With the recent SCOTUS decision to Roe v. Wade, it is more important than ever to have pro-choice state legislators. I recently filed legislation with my House colleagues to fully codify Roe v. Wade into North Carolina law, so that patients are protected in our state despite the Supreme Court decision. We must protect a woman's right to speak with her doctor openly and freely. In short, I promise to fight for women's reproductive rights at every turn. We cannot back down when our rights to healthcare and bodily autonomy are at stake.
Racism is systemic in our nation, but systemic racism doesn’t start or end with policing. The legacy of slavery and Jim Crow persist. American history continues to privilege “whiteness” in access to quality education, decent jobs, livable wages, homeownership, retirement benefits, and wealth. Black people have worse health, economic and educational outcomes because our society has limited their access to opportunity through policies that uplift white Americans over their peers of color. We will never overcome these unjust inequalities until we confront the racism built within our society.
This is why I have worked diligently on policies such as expanding Medicaid, passing the Equal Rights Amendment, raising the minimum wage, funding our public education system robustly and enacting "ban the box" policies which prevent employers from asking job applicants about their criminal history. I was a public defender for several years, and I've seen how fines and fees disproportionately affect poor people of color. Jails should not be our state's response to poverty and systemic inequality. Cash bail, fines, and fees are trapping many poor people of color in a cycle of poverty and incarceration. We should reform this system, eliminate cash bail, and reduce or eliminate fines and fees where at all possible.