As your Senator, I will fight to ensure that more funds are given to support the grassroots work of organizations right here in Scotland, Hoke and Robeson counties that are working to implement needed reforms. I will work with the community to keep our neighborhoods and streets safe. True change can only happen by those who are apart of the community. I endeavor to ensure we support youth mentoring, reentry councils and other organizations committed to transforming our communities.
Adequately funding education, ensuring racial inequity in North Carolina is put to bed are main concerns of our educational system. Paying our teachers and other school employees what they deserve, expanding free Pre-K, and fully restoring our Teaching Fellows Program are vital to the sustainability of public education in North Carolina. We are seeing continuous max exits of educators is depressing. We must increase what we pay those who educated, transport, and feed our children. Pre-K is important to allow us to give children a strong foundation in preparing them for graduation. We must expand free Pre-K to educate more children so that we are properly preparing them to be competitive for college and jobs. Growing our own teachers through the Fellows Program helps to create a pipeline of educators who are committed to the success of public education. Racial inequalities still exist in our school systems, students of color are over four times more likely to be suspended from school than white students, with black boys being in the lead. It is our duty to ensure that we are creating a system that is fair and equitable, ensuring all students are given a fair chance to thrive. As a former school board member, I am committed to fighting for these issues for the citizens of our state.
As a small business owner, I understand the need for creating systems to support local businesses and entrepreneurship. As residents are attempting to survive post-Covid, we must work to ensure our residents are provided with the training and skills needed to compete in an ever-changing economy. Having a mother who is a textile worker, I understand that while many think residents abused the unemployment system during the pandemic, I know the truth is, residents understand and value their lives and refuse to live in modern daily slavery making low wages and being over worked. We must work to raise minimum wage across our state and provide support to those who work to grow our economy. Our Health- So many across our state and especially rural communities like those who make up District 24 lack health care. Our rural communities need greater access to health care. We must continue to fight for Medicaid expansion and fund preventable health measures. As a member of the local board of health, I recognize our rural communities deal with high rates of terminal illnesses and as a local pastor, I 've watched so many suffer in silence and die in pain because they didn't have access to health care. The strains of the pandemic have also shown the need for us to support our small community hospitals to ensure their success in serving our communities.
Across District 24, there is a growing rate of homeless residents who have no place to go. I want to join the fight of other legislators to remove legislative barriers that prevent local communities from utilizing the creative and innovative tools neighboring states are using to fight gentrification and keep people in their homes. We can work to expand public-private partnerships, incentivize homeowners to stay in their homes, and provide tax credits to communities that need help with home repairs to maintain the value of their homes. Renters need additional rights and support; let’s continue to fund eviction diversion programs. As a Habitat for Humanity board member, I see that there are many who desire the American dream of home ownership but need direction and support to attain the goal.