I love Buncombe County...
And it is my incredible honor to serve as your Senator for North Carolina's 49th District. I continue to champion the environment, public transit, the health of our community, and making the transition to clean, renewable energy. My focus is on putting people and our environment first.
At times, this has required taking on a Goliath. As co-director of the regional conservation nonprofit MountainTrue, I helped lead the movement to shut down Duke Energy’s coal-fired power plant on Lake Julian and clean up their coal ash pits. Often, the work is more about connecting people and finding common ground. I’ve worked with local communities to protect our forests and rivers and to make our region healthier and more sustainable. I'm now grateful to have the opportunity to work on these same issues with my colleagues in Raleigh.
We face difficult challenges – specifically when it comes to protecting our communities and environment, enabling people to live healthy lives, ensuring elections are fair and free, and ensuring no one is left behind. We also need more flexibility to address our specific local challenges than Raleigh currently allows. As your Senator for North Carolina’s 49th District, I am putting my vision, values, experience and know-how to work to make a better Buncombe for all.
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Together, There’s So Much We Can Accomplish!
A Green New Deal for North Carolina
I played a leading role in the Senate in the adoption of H951, a bi-partisan bill that will lead North Carolina to a clean energy future. We are now one of only a few states with a legislatively mandated goal to reach 70% carbon reduction by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2050. But we can do even more to address climate change by making our region more resilient to its effects, investing in better transportation options and EV infrastructure, and better protecting low-income residents who can least afford the transition to clean energy. There is also much to be done to restore protections for air and water to keep our communities healthy and safe.
A New Prescription for Health and Equity
In addition to expanding Medicaid, I will fight for a holistic approach to health and equity—two issues that are tightly linked. Access to quality housing, sufficient food, reliable transportation, safe places to live and play, educational opportunities, healthcare, economic stability—all of these are necessary for both a healthy and an equitable community.
A General Assembly That Helps Or Gets Out Of The Way
Raleigh holds us hostage when it comes to enacting Local Living Wage laws, generating other revenues, granting equal rights to the LGBTQ+ members of our community, releasing body cam video, enacting green building standards, and implementing a plastic bag ban. As your senator, I have introduced multiple bills to unchain local governments from these restraints, and I will continue to do so. The General Assembly has been an obstacle to local progress for far too long.
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