Our Vision, The Plan

Investing in Our Future

Our youth is the future of North Carolina, and education is the foundation of that future. Our buildings, our teachers, and our students should be given every resource and opportunity they need to succeed in the 21st century. Every child should have access to quality education regardless of status and we need to invest in their education for the benefit of them, their families, and our communities.

One of the many issues we face in North Carolina is a need for better childhood education. Our K-12 public education system is ranked 32nd in the country. We must ensure and expand early childhood education for all children, especially those who have been left behind in underserved or marginalized communities. We also need to create the resources to allow our children proper access to higher education and specialized education.

Our children are the future of North Carolina. We must provide an education system that props up our children, one that helps them succeed and grow.

The Plan:

  • Revamp our accountability models so we can prepare children for the future.
  • Invest in diversifying our school training through cultural awareness and inclusion. This Includes access to trade, work based, military, and specialized schooling for children to have an informed choice about their future and their job prospects.
  • Extend and expand the use and the size of stabilization grants in North Carolina so our working families can gain access to high quality ECCE.
  • Fund practices such as Creative Arts programming to help aid children’s social emotional learning as well as their academic learning.
  • Target school infrastructure spending to schools that need it the most.
  • Increase educational opportunities for students to study abroad and host international students.

Rebuilding The Middle Class

Eastern North Carolina is in a rut. Our economy is slowing down and job opportunities are leaving our area. Unemployment and poverty rates in Eastern North Carolina are consistently much higher than the state average. Our median household income averages around $44,000 and PCI of $23,850 as of 2018.

We need to act now so that we can turn ENC back into a place where agriculture, blue collar jobs, and innovation can thrive. We can market our young talent from our colleges, our vacant warehouses, and our key location as an incentive to move companies to ENC.

Over the last few years, we have seen a few aerospace, research, and science based companies move into Eastern North Carolina. We have the opportunity to continue growing our specialized workforce and improving our economy.

Eastern North Carolina is one of the top agricultural producers throughout the state. We need to expand our agriculture, our fisheries, and make sure we are investing in clean ways to do this.

In our district, we also have Port Moorehead, one of two ports in North Carolina. We need to invest in and expand our port so that we can import and export goods while bringing in more jobs.

Our communities can grow, but only if we elect someone who understands the issues at hand.

The Plan:

  • Provide on the job training in both public and private sectors, which include reimbursement to employers for the extra costs of training.
  • Increase the incentives for companies looking to relocate to ENC.
  • Invest in expanding our agricultural production, fisheries, and small businesses. This includes providing education, training, and resources for people looking to go into these areas.
  • Providing our existing industries and employees with the resources they need to retain, recruit, and become the top talent we need to move into the 21st century.

Reforming Our Criminal Justice System

As someone with a personal experience with the criminal justice system, as well as someone who works day in and day out with current and formerly institutionalized individuals, I know that our criminal justice system can do better.

Reforming the criminal justice and policing systems in North Carolina is not a one size fits all solution. We must work together to make reform that is fair, effective, and durable.

Fighting for all of us begins at the foundation of our criminal justice system. We must ensure that all of our courts improve the quality of justice for our citizens as well as create better policies to ensure fairness at all levels of justice involvement.

We must establish more equitable partnerships between police and the communities they serve. We must destigmatize mental health and substance use treatment and provide evaluations after use of force situations occur.

Our future in North Carolina depends on our ability to reinvest in our communities. We will build community infrastructure that can support formerly incarcerated people as they rebuild their lives.

The Plan:

  • Support and create policies to ensure fairness at all levels on bail, arraignment, pre-trial, trial, and sentencing.
  • Legalize Marijuana to not only decrease deaths from opiate overdose, but to boost the economy for both the state and the federal governments, reduce crime on the streets, and ease the monetary burden placed on the courts and families due to marijuana based charges and work to reinvest in communities in which families were broken up due to marijuana.
  • Investing in our most vulnerable communities. Fund resources for mental health treatment and substance abuse treatment for our communities – including currently and formerly incarcerated individuals.
  • Utilize those who have lived experiences to assist formerly incarcerated individuals by meeting them where they are and helping them get to where they need to be through coaching, mentoring, and supportive services.
  • Create incentives for companies to hire formerly incarcerated people.
  • Provide job training and educational resources for the formerly incarcerated.
  • Increase funding and resources for a community policing system, so that police officers and the community can be more involved in holding each other accountable.
  • Supporting House Bill 436 that came into effect this year, a great start in regards to mental health treatment for police officers.

Rebuilding Our Communities

Eastern North Carolina has been falling behind on our infrastructure. With the loss of jobs, the standstill economy, and a lack of leadership we haven’t been able to prioritize our crumbling infrastructure.

Infrastructure to me, includes a broad range of topics. Including roads, bridges, canal systems, and clean drinking water to broadband, affordable housing, storm infrastructure, and our environment.

Our affordable housing is decreasing as the years pass. As the economy declines, our rental and buying prices have gone up. In ENC, our rural broadband is not up to standard. With our environment changing our flooding systems, canals, and buildings can’t keep up. And as we forget to clean up and invest in our parks, beautiful beaches, and rivers our pristine landscapes are being damaged.

It’s time now more than ever to work together, across the aisle, to fix these life-altering issues and improve our infrastructure.

The Plan:

  • Secure funding through Bidens Infrastructure Bill to ensure that our cities have the ability to improve our roads, bridges, and clean drinking water.
  • Provide affordable and accessible broadband to every person in ENC.
  • Invest in the years of defunded care to our parks, coast, and pristine landscapes.
  • Secure funding to improve and expand Port Moorhead.
  • Provide housing subsidies for companies that want to build affordable housing.
  • Implement a land value tax for those who are looking to build. (It shouldn’t cost more in taxes for someone to build affordable housing apartments then to build a parking lot)
  • Reducing our rental costs by increasing available housing, which will create more jobs.
  • Introduce funding for clean agriculture research and implementation to help preserve our environment.

Protecting Our Veterans

There are over half a million veterans living in North Carolina and 9 military bases and installations. In Eastern North Carolina, we have Marine Corps Camp Lejeune as well as Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.

We need to invest in our veterans care, which includes destigmatizing and providing long term access to mental health and substance abuse treatments. The multiple military installations in the district are an integral part to our local economy and to our communities. We need to ensure the care they are receiving is up to par. This goes for active military as well as veterans.

As they fought proudly for our freedoms, we must in turn fight for them during and after their service has finished.

The Plan:

  • Rebuild and better fund our VA hospitals and treatment facilities.
  • Invest in more affordable housing options for veterans.
  • Provide resources and training programs for veterans to re-enter the workforce or civilian life after they’re out of the military.
  • Invest and prioritize the North Carolina for Military Employment program, that helps veterans overcome obstacles in finding civilian employment.
  • Incentivizing private military contractors to update and make renovations to military housing on a yearly and as needed basis.
  • Support new legislation to better handle sexual assault claims within the military.

Expanding Our Healthcare

North Carolina is ranked one of the worst health care systems in the United States based on access, cost, and outcomes. With growing unemployment and poverty in ENC, we need to make sure that our healthcare is able to provide life saving treatment, while not bankrupting anyone. Deciding whether to live or die because you can’t afford health insurance is not acceptable.

North Carolina is also ranked 9th in people over 65. By 2025 the state government estimates that 1 in 5 residents will be over 65. This alone requires us to take a look at our current healthcare system and rework it to provide for our citizens in the future.

We must revamp our healthcare system to provide better access.

The Plan:

  • Expand Medicaid.
  • Incentivize providers to move into less accessible areas to increase competitiveness and decrease cost.
  • Expand funding into the NC DHHS, to improve healthcare access and transportation services.
  • Expand and enforce Obamacare.
  • Invest and destigmatize the idea of access to healthcare for all.
  • Protect a woman’s constitutional right to choose.
  • Expand access to women’s healthcare resources, including OB GYN check ups, birth control, STI checks, and mental health resources.