Today, I made North Carolina history. I have become the first openly-transgender person in state history to seek election to our State Legislature.
I am running because I dare to dream what may be possible rather than accept what is.
600,000 North Carolinians lack even the ability to access basic healthcare, because of cost. We can do better. Our Legislature refuses to even discuss expanding Medicaid, preferring that over 1/2 a million of our citizens go without healthcare. That taxes we pay to Washington partly fund the expanded Medicaid program in 33 other states.
They would prefer our rural health clinics, doctors and hospitals struggle to remain open, rather than increasing the number of people able to visit them, enabling them to remain solvent and continue to serve the rural population.
A severe shortage in school support staff, especially school counselors and nurses. If our children are not able to stay healthy, they cannot learn. This is an injustice. We can and must do better.
We are working off our third set of maps in five years, because the NC-GOP is incapable of drawing District maps that comply with the free and fair election provisions of the NC Constitution. It is beyond time we took the map-drawing duties out of the hands of elected officials with a vested interest in the outcome, and placed them in the hands of a non-partisan citizen’s redistricting committee which would draw maps that the Legislature can then vote on without amendments.
Gerrymandering is bad, regardless of which Party engages in it, and it deprives citizens of one of the most important rights a citizen has…the ability to cast a ballot that matters; the ability to hold their elected officials accountable.
Is a state with a large agricultural economy – placed at disadvantage, because our government forbids local governments from buying or leasing equipment to provide broadband access to citizens in rural areas the private companies refuse to serve.
Economic development does not come to areas unserved by broadband, health records are increasingly transmitted via the Internet, and the latest precision agricultural equipment depends on a broadband signal. lack of this hurts our farmers and hurts our economy. This is the rural electrification of our century.
A majority Party in our Legislature that refuses to hold votes when they know the votes will not go their way, rather than coming to the table to negotiate in good faith with the minority Party. This is not democracy, if you only have a vote when you know what the outcome will be.
Because of this, we currently lack a state budget. Our Governor vetoed the budget…which he, by law, had ten days to do. Our Legislature should have a comparable limit, they must override within ten days, or the veto stands. Instead, the NC-GOP treated NC to a four-month-long dog and pony show, complete with dirty tricks, refusing to vote, and holding our teachers and many other school and state employees hostage. Many programs are not being funded even at previous levels, because of this lack of a budget.
We have a State Legislature that continues to cut funding to education, even as our state’s Lottery increases its support of education. This was not the intent of voters who approved the Lottery in 2006. The intent was for the Lottery funds to supplement funds from the General Assembly, not supplant them.
A state that refuses to value and protect its LGBTQ citizens, and grant them full civil rights and protects of law.
All of these things and more, I pledge to work on as the next Senator from District 18.
What I dare to dream
I dream of a state in which all voices are heard, not just those of the rich, powerful and connected. A government that works for ALL of its citizens, not just the few who can afford to hire lobbyists. I dream of educational excellence and economic opportunity…I dream of a state we can all be proud to say is our home.
Too many of our citizens’ voices are not being heard; their challenges remain unaddressed. I am running because I hear their voices, and I want to make sure our government does, too.