As a child, when Erica’s family was struggling just to hold onto the family farm, this community was here for her. When she moved home to take care of her father when he was sick, this community was here for her. When she lost her youngest son, those were some of the hardest days of her life, but this community was here for her.
Now this community is struggling with prices that are too high, wages that are too low, a broken healthcare system, and a rigged economy, and Erica Smith wants to be there for the community that’s always been there for her.
She has spent her whole life fighting to make life better for North Carolinians. Born at Fort Bragg Army base and raised in Northampton County by parents who didn’t graduate from college, Erica Smith’s life hasn’t been like other politicians. Every summer she worked on the family farm, picking cucumbers and harvesting corn on the very same land that her ancestors were enslaved on not that long ago. Her wildest dream was to one day have a job inside with air conditioning. Early on, Erica’s parents taught her the transformative power of education so she worked hard in school and got a union scholarship to North Carolina A&T where she studied engineering.
Growing up, Erica saw that no matter how hard her family worked they struggled to hold onto the family farm and the American dream that it represented. As an adult, after giving birth to her medically fragile son, she had to take on a second job while her family battled bankruptcy just to pay for the life saving medical equipment that insurance wouldn’t cover. Erica has experienced first hand the repercussions of a rigged economy, a broken healthcare system, the climate crisis, and a Government that has left behind rural communities. One of us for all of us, Erica’s worked to put an end to these injustices and inequalities.
During an internship with Boeing, she fought to standardize the pay scale, ensuring that engineering students were paid equally for equal work, no matter the color of their skin or their gender. She’s dedicated her life to public service — first in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, then as a teacher, then as a minister, and finally as an elected official serving North Carolinians in the State Senate. As a legislator, Erica’s entire career has been about fighting injustice and inequality, whether it was cash bail, corporations who were dumping toxic PCB’s in Warren County, or payday lenders trying to make a quick buck at the expense of working people.
Now, Erica’s running for U.S. House because she believes it’s time for government to work for all of us, not just the wealthy and well-connected. Erica is ready to fight for and deliver a Rural New Deal that’ll take on corporate monopolies, make the minimum wage a living wage, ensure universal healthcare, guarantee broadband as a utility, and combat the climate crisis by creating millions of new jobs building the energy system of the future. And Erica isn’t taking a dime from corporate PAC’s or fossil fuel companies, because she believes North Carolinians deserves a Representative who works for us, not massive corporations and CEO’s.