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.
“The election was not rigged. The elected officials saying otherwise are being intentionally dishonest.”
And I got a lot of replies from people saying, “Are you SURE it wasn’t rigged? How do you know? Where’s the proof? I heard that it was, so maybe we should look into that.”
Ok, so let me double back for a minute.
If you honestly aren’t sure whether or not the election was rigged, the best way I know to address that is to provide a wide variety of sources on the subject.
So here are 44 sources — a number of them supporters…
Then the pandemic hit, and all of the sudden the issue went from general concern to red-blinking alarm.
Now everyone is talking about this, and we’re hearing the same phrases over and over:
“We need to close the digital divide.”
“We need to bridge the homework gap.”
What does a realistic solution actually look like?
Let’s take a look.
Let’s break this problem into two pieces: short-term and long-term.
In the short-term, the biggest concern is families who don’t have broadband for remote learning or working or telehealth. …
We need to reform our unemployment insurance system in NC, and we should make it an immediate priority.
The truth is, our UI system had been underfunded and neglected for almost a decade by the time the pandemic hit. It was basically a creaky old row boat that got smashed by a tsunami.
My office has spent months trying to help constituents get their UI benefits — we’re still helping some folks. In the process, we’ve heard countless stories about people calling for weeks and not being able to get through, of a website that wasn’t user-friendly enough to…
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Update 8/26/20: Today, a court released body camera footage from this incident. In it, you can see CMPD officers emplace themselves at the end of an alley facing 4th St., moments before the protesters walk past. Then you can hear an officer clearly describe what is about to occur.
He states, “We’re going to stay here and watch the show. [An officer] has a platoon on Tryon, out of sight. [Another officer’s] platoon is staged now on College…
North Carolina State Senator