As your candidate for Lt. Governor, I am running to make living affordable for all North Carolinians. My fellow Democrats and I agree on these things: Medicaid expansion, better public education, access to affordable healthcare (which includes protecting women's reproductive rights), independent redistricting, protecting voting rights, and tackling climate change. However, my time in office has taught me that there are pressing issues not being addressed which have become critical in communities across NC. I’ve put these issues into my platform, a program I hope to champion and lead from the Lt. Governor’s office - I’m calling it The Affordable Living Initiative (ALI). My ALI platform establishes a state-wide initiative that brings together public/private partnerships, non-profits, urban and rural governments, legislators, environmentalists, homebuilders, and everyday citizens to help solve some of the problems that have become critical needs in communities across NC
At least 310,000 people in North Carolina are spending more than half of their income on housing. This means families across the state are having trouble putting food on the table due to skyrocketing rent prices. This isn’t the quality of life our North Carolina families deserve. Housing is an essential component to everyday North Carolinians and frankly, human life. As your next Lieutenant Governor, I will work with residents, developers and local governments to find solutions to build fair cities and expand affordable housing. ALI is dedicated to having diverse voices at the table - we’ll come up with practical, applicable solutions:
I started a bipartisan workgroup committee with House and Senate members studying ways to make housing affordable and attainable in both urban and rural communities. As a result of the vast information and problems identified, I introduced and got a bill passed in the House for a comprehensive study addressing this issue. Unfortunately, my bill never got picked up by the NC Senate. As President of the NC Senate, I will make attainable housing one of my driving issues.
One of the first issues that I worked on in the General Assembly has been food security. I introduced HB 387, which would create the Healthy Food Small Retailer Fund in the Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services for food desert relief purposes by providing micro-grants for equipment and shelving, initial expense offsets, and food and nutrition education. Governor Cooper signed this bill into law in 2019. This law will continue to need funding, and the battle will continue as budget wars persist in the General Assembly. Your support for my candidacy as Lt. Governor would push this issue to the forefront, and I will work to expand this program until there are no food deserts in NC.
Both rural and urban communities want and need opportunities for citizens and businesses to thrive. This means working together to give citizens from all economic classes access to North Carolina’s growth and opportunities.
Economic development doesn’t just mean business and community growth, it also means giving our citizens access to this growth, by providing them with workforce development through education and training. In doing this, we expand the workforce and turn laborers that feel left behind into a ready, able, and skilled workforce. Preparing our hardworking labor force will encourage growth and create an environment that will build greater communities.
As Lt. Governor, I will work with new and existing companies that want to be in NC, to get them to commit to being community partners, not just "investors". As a member of the NC Board of Community Colleges, I will promote using and enhancing our educational institutions and job training programs to produce living wage and above living wage jobs. By providing a ready, able, and skilled workforce, industries will consider NC the destination for success.
People need access to reliable public transportation to get to their jobs, medical appointments and live their day to day life. I recommend expanding transportation options, like Bus Rapid Transit, micro transportation systems, and light rail systems wherever possible.
I want to bring back respect to public education and teachers. I believe that who you are and where you live should not dictate access to quality education. For too long, public education has not received the proper attention it deserves. Our students and teachers deserve respect and support. As a member of the State Board of Education, I will fight for an increase in per-student spending to equal the national average, as well as an increase in teacher pay to match the national average. Increased public education funding should go toward the increase in the number of school librarians, psychologists, social workers, counselors, nurses, and other health professionals. I am a proponent of PUBLIC education and believe that public money should go toward public schools.
This race isn't about me, it's about building a better NC for everybody!