The North Carolina House of Representatives is the lower house of the North Carolina General Assembly. The House of Representatives consists of 120 members who serve a term of two years. Each member represents an average of 79,462 residents, as of the 2010 Census. The presiding officer of the House of Representatives is the Speaker of the House, who holds powers similar to those of the Senate President pro-tem. The Speaker is elected by the members from their membership for a two-year term. The Speaker’s duties include maintaining order in the House and appointing members to the House standing committees.The North Carolina General Assembly, of which the House is a part, is to convene a new regular session every two years, and the dates for these sessions are set by law. The NC legislature makes decisions on the budget: taxes, tax credits, economic development, education funding, Pre-K, the courts, Medicaid, etc. It also passes laws that set environmental standards such as water and air quality, tax rates, tax credits, criminal justice. Legislators in both chambers serve two-year terms without term limits. Sessions begin at noon on the third Wednesday after the second Monday in January.
If re-elected, I will work to create a more accountable and accessible government that affords people the opportunity to live more prosperous lives.
This election is extremely pivotal for the future of North Carolina. In 2020, our voting districts will be redrawn for the next decade to come. We’ve seen what happens when our electoral maps are drawn inequitably to favor partisanship. When our last districts were drawn, the Republicans abused their power to gerrymander our State and disenfranchise Democrats and communities of color resulting in the suppression of the votes and voices of many hardworking North Carolinians. We cannot allow this to continue. We must return to a time when voters picked their elected officials, not the other way around.
The people of North Carolina deserve a government that will work to serve every person’s interests. A government that will provide them access to affordable healthcare, access to a quality education for their children and access to well-paying jobs. This can only happen with nonpartisan redistricting so that our legislature is built on the will of all of our people, not the select few. I will fight for a political system that guarantees that the vote of every citizen of North Carolina is heard and represented in our legislature.
Our North Carolina constitution guarantees every child a right to a sound basic education. Unfortunately, for several years Republicans have stripped away funding and resources for our public schools. They have failed to adequately fund our schools and provided adequate teacher pay raises to all teachers, regardless of their years of service. They also established an antiquated grading system that unfairly targets and disadvantages low-wealth schools and their surrounding communities. This cannot continue.
That is why I am a co-sponsor of HB 1129 and HB 1130. These bills would appropriate funds and provide comprehensive education reform to ensure that all students across North Carolina receive a sound basic education in accordance with the seven critical needs outlined in the Leandro Action Plan released earlier this year. These pieces of legislation would provide much-needed funding to low-wealth school districts and do away with the current school grading system, among other provisions. I will continue to support the provisions in these bills until the state of North Carolina meets the seven critical needs outlined in the Leandro Report because every child should be provided with an equal opportunity to reach his or her highest potential.
As a state we need to continue to attract businesses to our state and I support giving subsidies to companies that commit to hiring North Carolinians, as well as contribute to our economic success as a state. I also think it is important to attract businesses to Tier One and Tier Two counties so that the more distressed counties are able to bring good paying jobs to their residents. However, I also believe that companies should pay their fair share in taxes so that we can have sufficient state tax revenues to help pay for improvements to our infrastructure and our public school systems that these companies' employees benefit from. I also believe we must provide an earned-income tax credit to families and ensure that our tax structure is equitable for all North Carolinians.
I believe when individuals are afforded the opportunity to receive a good education, have good paying jobs and have access to affordable health care that includes robust mental health services, our society is not only healthier and more prosperous, but also safer. We need to re-evaluate the sentencing guidelines for the vast majority of our criminal code and consider what services and programs can be utilized to decrease recidivism and ensure that when people are released from prison that they are afforded a second chance at life and are able to obtain new skills to obtain legal employment. I was proud to co-sponsor the Second Chance Act that was enacted into law this year so that individuals with a criminal record have another opportunity to obtain employment and become productive members of our society. If we invest in evidence-based research programs that are aimed at decreasing recidivism and we properly fund substance abuse and mental health programs, we will see a decrease in violent crimes in our society.
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I have a 20yr record of fighting for families. A military spouse, business owner, PTA president, Founder of a nonprofit for youth, I'll be your voice.
My priority is to make sure that families of District 37 have safe and secure communities; a thriving economy that allows them keep more of their hard-earned money; access to strong schools and top quality education through the ability to choose the educational path that best fits their child's needs; a clean environment and safe drinking water; and affordable quality healthcare through a competitive healthcare marketplace and reduction in government mandates that raise costs. We also need a leader to help advocate for State assistance in dealing with infrastructure needs as a result of rapid growth.
School closures and the shift to digital learning due to the corona virus pandemic has cast a spotlight on how the educational needs of a family can vary greatly based on the learning requirements of the child and family circumstances. The legislature should continue to prioritize strong schools and top-quality education in the NC budget; be forward-thinking and embrace innovation in education in NC; and expand school choice options, so access to a learning environment that better meets a child's needs isn't only accessible to the wealthy. As a PTA president for two years and PTA leader for 3, I have been fortunate to work with great teachers. I will continue to support our teachers and teacher assistants because they are heroes to kids. With the looming budget crisis as a result of the corona-virus pandemic, the legislature needs to continue to make education a budget priority while being cost-wise and budget sensible.
Every person benefits from tax policy that incentives economic growth and job creation, entrepreneurship, investment, and the ability for families to keep more of their hard-earned money. Due to smart and responsible tax and budget reform, NC is in a strong position to help battle COVID-19 through support to communities, businesses and education systems. I am please that NC has invested in closing the digital divide and investing in rural communities by helping to expand rural broadband access. A cost-benefit approach to State spending makes such investments possible. The reduction of government mandates, low taxes, and maintaining necessary and minimal government regulation achieves environmental protection, health and safety along with job creation and economic growth. NC should resist efforts to expand large and costly entitlement programs like Medicaid, especially now as we face a looming budgetary crisis due to COVID, as well as new proposals for new government run benefit programs that would require a hidden tax on small businesses; Many small businesses are struggling to stay afloat as it is. North Carolina has a very competitive corporate income tax rate of 2.5%, which is among the best in the nation among those states with a corporate income tax. I think NC has done a great job at bringing that rate down over the last several years.
I am very concerned about public safety. We have seen dangerous calls to defund the police and the elimination of school resources officers (SRO), right here in our district 37 communities. I oppose efforts to defund the police and eliminate school resources officers. We need to DEFEND our police and keep our SROs in place -- they diffuse potential bad situations at a moment's notice; are there to keep our communities and the people and businesses who live and work in them safe. They bring a sense of calm. We need to them, and they need our support. I would also support legislation that would require NC Sheriffs to work with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in their requests to detain criminal illegal aliens. My opponent voted against this legislation, and as a result criminal illegal aliens were able to be released on to our streets. We must protect public safety.