A clean environment is something that we simply cannot live without. In order to protect it and our future generations, we need to hold companies like Duke Energy accountable. Which means forcing them to clean up their messes, including coal ash. To aid in the progression towards clean energy, I will propose tax cuts and incentives to businesses who convert to renewable sources and reduce their overall energy use. The future is green, and I believe by coming together our community can set an example for the rest of the state.
Immigrants are woven into the fabric of our community. They are us and I believe that diversity is a fundamental cornerstone of our strength. I will fight tirelessly to protect them. I stand in opposition of bill 287G and will demand that ICE be removed from our jails. Their presence only makes the job of local law enforcement harder. I want every one of my constituents to feel safe and secure and the consequences of having a federal agency interfere with local law enforcement is counterproductive to that goal.
Small businesses are the heart of our economy in Western North Carolina, from the accountant to farmer. A recent report released highlights a lack of accessible capital for small businesses in rural North Carolina. Smart, driven, innovative North Carolinians are being denied the opportunity to start a business. This needs to change. If they are willing to take the risk in their venture, we are willing to stand by them. I will work across the aisle and with private institutions to make that capital accessible.
The fact of the matter is that wages are too low. Workers must be compensated for their time, effort, and productivity. We are seeing a rise in the cost of living, but stagnation in wages. I will propose the state move towards a living wage, based on the cost of living, that will be implemented over the next 10 years. I will also fight to raise the tipped wage to reflect half of the minimum wage.
Healthcare plays an important role in every North Carolinian’s life. I will fight alongside our governor to expand Medicaid and close the loophole far too many fall into. Everyone deserves access to affordable, high-quality care. I also stand with the women of our state in their right to access safe family planning. The government doesn’t belong in a woman’s body. That choice should be left to the woman and those she chooses to consult with.
Our state scores among the worst in the nation in education. This is unacceptable. Not only do I believe that the educators in our state deserve a raise, but I will also fight to invest more money per student. I oppose SB 219. The problem is not under qualified educators, the problem is the fact that education is far too low on our list of priorities. Bettering the education of future generations is one of the best financial investments we can make.