North Carolina has been one of the most illegally gerrymandered states in the nation. The U.S. Supreme Court cited expert testimony concluding extreme partisanship of a historic magnitude, and such severe distortion of the electoral process could not be squared with democratic government. The fight continues in the statehouse as Republicans continue to challenge court rulings and are now in the process of attempting to gerrymander judicial appointments.
Now, more than ever, it is imperative for local and statewide stakeholders to come together in support of public education. Educators, administrators, parents and businesses must work together to support our schools and provide an education for future generations to prosper. The state legislature must determine the optimal mix of public funding and delivery of educational services and allow our teachers to do what they do best. We cannot expect teachers to provide quality education when we do not value their hard work, so we must equip them with the tools they need and salaries and benefits they deserve.
The American Dream is rooted in the Declaration of Independence which proclaims that all men are created equal and have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Our government must be on the side of hard working families by removing barriers to their economic mobility, and we must address systemic causes of poverty.
Investing in our transportation system is one of the most important issues North Carolinians will face over the next decade. The pressures of growth in our region are making roads more congested and unreliable. The importance of public transportation cannot be understated as a means of increasing economic mobility for our citizens. The ability to get to and from work and school are imperative for citizens to move up the economic ladder.
North Carolina cities are in desperate need for law enforcement reform. Police departments require adequate funding to hire officers with competitive salaries and provide 21st century resources and training. Every officer in the state should be issued bullet proof vests, body and dashboard cameras and undergo training programs that emphasize de-escalation of contact with persons of interest. Modernized community policing programs are needed to rebuild trust among citizens and the law enforcement officers who protect them. More security cameras are needed to prevent criminal behavior and solve crimes. The list goes on and on, and these services are what taxes are meant to pay for.