If you can’t see this very well, this is the outcome of the House 50 race between Val Foushee (blue) and the Republican candidate (red) in 2012 when Obama was on the ballot. The blue area is Patterson, Weaver Dairy, and other Town of Chapel Hill dense precincts which required Chapel Hill Democrats to come out and vote for Val.
Two years after I moved to Chapel Hill I ran for Town Council as a newcomer (2005) and came in first place amongst 7 other candidates in this blue area. Four years later I finished strongly overall here as well (2009). This is where I live. I know the people, know how to get them out to vote, and when the seat is a highly contested one in 2014 I will garner up these votes again to keep the seat. The blue area helped carry Val to victory, and I have proven in each of my elections that I can win this area. I also hope to gain ground in the “red” area as well and will work hard to do that!
I think it is important to consider the energy that I bring to this seat, in addition to the many years of elected public service. I am not in this to simply “move up” the political ladder, I am in this to serve a broader range of people and their interests (on town council I had limited ability to affect issues related to health care, education, etc.). I also don’t intend to be a seat warmer for decades because this seat will not allow such complacency and must not be taken for granted, year after year!
Here are some unique experiences that I bring to the House 50 Seat:
- Deep commitment and concern for the environment as evidenced by my taking on a large corporation, Duke Energy, along with former State Senator Ellie Kinnaird, to defend the New Hope Creek in the Johnston Mill Nature Preserve (and other areas!) from toxic herbicide applications by the company.
- Led the effort for the municipal broadband fiber optic project for the Town of Chapel Hill, creating a backbone of fiber which the Town can use to provide internet services, emergency services use, etc. I see quality, fast broadband as not only a necessity for living in today’s world, but as an economic tool for communities.
- Administrative and clinical Medicaid experience and broad knowledge of the health care system. Expansion of Medicaid should be back on the table as the Affordable Care Act comes into play. I’m a fierce advocate for patients and their providers and am worried about McCrory’s desire to privatize this system. I participated in the NC Institute of Medicine’s Oral Health Task force to create a state action plan for improving children’s oral health, as required by the federal Center for Medicaid Services. Hopefully these efforts by physicians and dentists are not for loss when services are possibly cut for recipients, or providers are not adequately compensated (or placed on some production based incentive).
- I am a Mom of kids in Chapel Hill Schools where teachers and students and their families are feeling the hard pinch of lack of enough state funding. One teacher mentioned on back to school night “it’s not a great time to be a teacher in NC right now”. Other teachers asked parents to please help them with supplies for their classrooms because they were having to use their own money.
- As an elected official and taxpayer, I know the impacts of local and state budgets on the average citizen and realize that in these economic times we should be easing the tax burden on those less able to pay, versus giving breaks to the wealthiest families in the state. This particular state budget will have negative impacts on 80% of us: everything from taxes going up on seniors who can’t deduct portions of retirement income; parents’ taxes going up from not being able to deduct college savings contributions and no credit for child care expenses; more taxes on everyday items like newspapers, bakery items, movie tickets and other amusements, etc.; slashed spending on public education and making college less affordable; slashed spending on health care (an example is the 200K loss of funding for assisted living in Orange County).
- Committed and energetic GOTV for local and national elections. I have knocked on doors for Obama, canvassed in general, held fundraisers for local and national candidates, etc. I thus feel very strongly about the negative changes to our election laws and will work with all of my effort to reverse those changes when appointed. I also will mimic my GOTV effort by doing a KHTV (know how to vote) campaign: ensuring that voters know where their precinct is, when it will be available for voting (less time for early voting now), what type of ID can be used (show me the voter fraud requiring special ID’s…it doesn’t exist this is just an attempt to make voting harder for minorities and older people).
- Work with rural county citizens as well as town-wide. I have had the pleasure of getting to know many of our northern county citizens as patients while working at Prospect Hill Community Health Center (just north of House 50). I already have friends in this area but also in the Durham County area in which I will serve. One of my greatest strengths is my ability to work well with a diverse population, and I have demonstrated that with my having worked in a wide range of experiences from community health to private companies.