If you’re a veteran who is reading this and you need someone to talk to, please use this link to get in touch with some good people who will listen and try to help.

A couple of weeks ago, I learned that a friend of mine in the National Guard committed suicide.

He was a great Soldier and a great father. He’s not a statistic — he’s a person.

But he joins a tragic group of service members who have taken their lives since September 11th, 2001.

30,177 service members have died by suicide since September 11th.

That’s quadruple the…

The drinking water for at least 200,000 people along the Cape Fear River is polluted with industrial chemicals that a nearby plant discharged into the river for years.

If you don’t live near the Cape Fear, you might not have heard.

But when we went to New Hanover County to hold a town hall, it was the first question we got.

And when we went to Chatham County — 150 miles away from New Hanover, but also on the Cape Fear — it was the first question again.

This is a bigger issue than many people realize and our campaign…

A lot of North Carolina teachers are asking me what’s going on with the budget.

So here’s what’s going on (it’s three big things).

First, here’s some of what we’re hearing from our teachers:

  • North Carolina teachers make less now than they did ten years ago, adjusted for inflation.
  • Master’s pay has been eliminated — and multiple bills to reinstate it have been rejected.
  • Retirement benefits have been curtailed for new hires.
  • Over 9,000 teacher assistants have been laid off, which is bad for them and bad for our kids, but also bad for the teachers in grades K-3 that…

At our town hall in Winston-Salem, I got a question about LGBTQ youth suicide and homelessness.

The rates for both are incredibly high. 40% of LGBTQ youth say that they have “seriously considered” suicide in the last year and as much as 40% of unhoused youth are LGBTQ.

This is an ongoing tragedy that deserves our full attention.

Here’s what we should do about it:

1) Start by recognizing that these two issues are connected. Housing insecurity leads to a spike in anxiety as well as exposure to harmful environments, like abusive relationships or human trafficking. Stabilizing housing is the…

Running for U.S. Senate is a unique experience.

So this Sunday morning, I thought I’d pause the policy posts and give you a sense of what life looks like from inside our campaign.

Yesterday morning I got a call from a national reporter asking me a question about policy.

Happy to talk, but… what he was really doing was inviting me to attack one of my opponents and hoping I’d give him a quote to create confrontation. I didn’t want to do that, so I kept my answer positive and non-combative.

I could hear the disappointment in his voice as…

“How can I trust you?”

It had just started raining during our virtual town hall in Durham when Otis asked one of the biggest questions of this campaign.

It was during our second town hall of the day. The first had been in-person (with masks + distance) at Durham Central Park. We had about 40 people for the in-person event and 125 for the virtual one.

And the conversations were great: a teacher told us about the importance of Title I funding, a high school student talked about college affordability, a doctor talked about how she was helping to lead…

Yesterday we spent the day in Transylvania County.

We held two town halls. One was in-person at a local park (masks + social distance) and one was virtual with my laptop on the trunk of my car which we held on Main Street in Brevard.

I heard thoughts about environmental stewardship, forging an inclusive economic recovery, criminal justice reform, support for small farms, and support for teachers.

Just spent the day in Yadkin County. Here’s what I learned.

First we met with a young family. Two young kids, Mom works at a hospital, Dad works for Lowes. They met playing church softball years ago.

I heard about what it meant to their finances to have two kids in daycare — and as a parent with two kids in daycare, I get this loud and clear.

I also heard about how Mom travels to another county to work at a hospital because the hospital in Yadkin closed five years ago.

Then I drove over to that same hospital…

Today we started our 100 county campaign.

First up: Hoke County.

The first thing we did was buy some chicken hoagies at the Home Food Grill.

Then I put my laptop on the trunk of my car and held a virtual town hall for anyone in Hoke who wanted to join us.

We heard from a teacher who was concerned about racial disparities in educational achievement.

We heard from a caregiver who was concerned about the vaccine rollout.

We talked with a Soldier about mental health care for our troops.

I took questions on school construction, job creation, the 401…

Being a state senator in the minority party in North Carolina for the last seven years has been like getting a masterclass in how to defend a democracy.

I’ve seen countless attempts to thwart, minimize, or just plow through the will of the voters.

Of all these anti-democratic tactics, the most blatant, impactful, and racially pernicious is clearly gerrymandering.

That’s why ending gerrymandering was the first bill I ever filed, back in 2015 — and that’s why it’s our first full agenda item for our U.S. Senate campaign.

Sen. Jeff Jackson

North Carolina State Senator

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store