ERICA’S PLATFORM & PROGRESS

As an engineer by training – I firmly believe that systems should be analyzed and re-engineered for optimization and enhancing outcomes. Our nation was built from rural investments to urban industrialism. In the last three decades – declining population, loss of manufacturing jobs, lowering prices of agriculture commodities and more recently – tariffs, have placed the rural regions of our country in economic distress. I support targeted and strategic investments in water and sewer infrastructure, broadband, agriculture innovation, biofuels, clean energy options of wind, solar, and our highway system in order to revitalize rural economies. In closing the rural-urban divide through these re-investments – we will be able to create jobs while stabilizing underserved communities and strengthen our economy. In promoting economic development, we must work closely with our community colleges for building a skilled workforce and k-12 education systems for promoting career ready graduates. Main street revitalization and access to federal incentive programs are key contributors to growing corporate and small businesses, creating 21st century jobs and securing prosperity for all Americans. The formulas we write in Washington DC should work in all areas of our Union.

We are at a critical juncture in our nation where we must use our economic tools to promote job creation through ensuring a healthy environment for growth and support of small businesses. Our economic policies, tax and spend planning and regulations should be constructed in a manner that provides businesses with certainty and incentives, and consumers with confidence and more income. Tax cuts, government spending and fiscal policy should build the middle class and benefit more than the wealthy. I favor conservative fiscal principles and believe that retooling our formulas for business incentives should prioritize job creation.

  • SB 137 – Surcharge Transparency
  • SB 174 – Economic Security Act of 2017
  • SB 236 – Efficient and Affordable Energy Rates
  • SB 255 –
  • SB 329 – Econ. Dev./Renewable Energy Credit
  • SB 335 – Budget Technical Corrections & Study
  • SB 340 – Econ. Dev./Job Catalyst Fund
  • SB 354 – North Carolina Healthcare Jobs Initiative
  • SB 170 – Remove Limits on Light Rail Funding
  • SB 171 – Remove Limits on Light Rail Funding
  • SB 172 – Remove Limits on Light Rail Funding
  • SB 174 – Economic Security Act of 2017
  • SB 592 – Small Business Access to Capital Act
  • *SB 615 – Rural Broadband/Infrastructure
  • *SB 137 – Economic Security Act
  • SB 310 – Electric Co-Op Rural Broadband Services
  • SB 315 – North Carolina Farm Act of 2019
  • SB 505 – Rural Job Retention Act
  • SB 591 – One NC Funding for Small Businesses
  • SB 627 – Expand GREAT Grant Program
  • SB 652 – Small Business Capital Improvement Account
  • *SB 665 – Omnibus Rural Investment Act
  • *SB 666 – Cybersecurity and Robotics Funds
*Primary Sponsor

Our state and nation is rich with agriculture, eco-tourism, natural resources, including mountains, beautiful lakes, rivers, streams and coastal beaches. I support environmentally responsible growth that harnesses these resources toward promoting clean energy initiatives, fishing and wildlife protections as well as our state’s number 1 industry “farming”. I support solar and wind energy installations, broadband expansion and environmental justice for land owners.

Currently, I represent several counties in northeastern NC that experienced major impacts from Hurricanes Matthew and Florence. I learned, first-hand, the importance of providing responses to natural disasters with an organized, comprehensive and structured response that address immediate emergency needs and sets resiliency planning. The types of 100-year, and 500-year floods that we have experienced in two years across this nation is a warning to America that we must have a more proactive plan to deal with global warming, climate control and disaster responsiveness. Communication is a key component in responding to disasters. In this vain, we must continue to invest in satellite and communications technology that provide early prediction and monitoring of storm patterns in order to evacuate as many people as possible out of the eye of the storm. We must further perform analysis of climate change and implement policy and target goals for reducing emissions and carbon-power generation. Other necessary steps would be to re-locate threatening industries outside of the flood plains so that we can limit pollution to our clean water supplies that result from spillage, pond overflow, and flooding. Our local, state and federal planners must optimize engineering designs for emergency structures that withstand category 2, 3, 4 winds and stop relying on schools – many of which are in no condition to safely house residents in a storm. There must be federal, state and local efforts to audit regulations, policies and statutes with various EPA, Emergency Management and FEMA related to crisis response and modify any current practices for more optimized results.

  • * SB 236 – Efficient and Affordable Energy Rates
  • *SB 257 – Steel Manufacturing Slag.
  • SB 447 – Energy Investment Act
  • SB 372 – Renewable Energy Safe Harbor
  • *SB 236 – Efficient and Affordable Energy Rates
  • SB 657 – Study Hexavalent Chromium in Groundwater
  • *SB 2 – School Calendar and Pay/ Hurricane Florence
  • *SB 3 – 2018 Hurricane Florence Disaster Recovery Act
  • SB 77 – Ag Disaster Fund/Certain Counties
  • SB 511 – EV Charging Station/Parking
  • SB 513 – State Clean Energy Goal for 2050
  • SB 648 – Support Shellfish Aquaculture
  • SB 651 – Polluter Pays
  • SB 653 – Add'l Measures for Emerging Contaminants
  • SB 655 – Ban PFAS in Fire Retardant Foam
  • *SB 663 – Agricultural Relief Act
*Primary Sponsor

I believe it is time to bring a universally progressive, business-minded and workforce connected emphasis to K-12 education. My unique experiences as a secondary STEM educator and former school board member empower me with the understanding of optimizing stakeholder connections. If we are to regain our standings as international leaders in public education promoting career and college readiness curriculum, then we must retool our public education system. With the Federal Every Student Succeeds Acct (ESSA), we finally have the flexibility to implement an accountability program that promotes problem-based learning over high stakes testing. We can better prepare workers for the 21st century by aligning our curriculum with enhanced Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (S.T.E.A.M.) in companion with multidisciplinary ‘whole-child’ curriculum. We should further tailor individualized education plans that prepare every student for a brighter future regardless of their choice of learning environment (Traditional, Home, Virtual, Charter, Nonpublic, hybrid). I will work to provide a quality K-12 education for students and the resources they need to acquire this in the learning environment most conducive for their progress, with a priority on strengthening the public schools of our nation.

Community Colleges with strong curriculum programs and short-term workforce training offer the optimized option for retooling our workforce and ensuring the security of America with an educated citizenry and large pool of skilled labor. We must make Community College as affordable as possible, or at minimal cost of less than $500 in tuition per term. While I am an engineer by training, I warn against having an over-emphasis on S.T.E.A.M. that discounts the need for skilled trade and fastest growing professions of personal care, wind turban and solar panel maintenance and installation. Through apprenticeship programs – we can enhance the workforce needed for 21st century jobs and professions that do not require a four-year, Bachelor’s or Associate’s degree.

  • *SB 5 – Public School Building Bond Act of 2018
  • SB 30 – Value Student Learning Act
  • SB 31 – Restore Teaching Fellows Program
  • SB 107 – Restore Masters-Degree Pay for All Teachers
  • SB 147 – Reenact School Sales Tax Holiday
  • SB 149 – Modify School Performance Grades
  • SB 153 – Military Retiree State Income Tax Relief
  • SB 154 – Charitable Fund-Raising for Nonprofit Orgs
  • *SB 259 – School Calendar Flex./ Certain School Systems
  • SB 121 – The Excellence in School Leadership Act
  • *SB 226 – School Calendar Flex./Certain School Systems
  • SB 228 – Voter Freedom Act
  • *SB 233 – Permit Align School/Comm. College Calendar
  • SB 234 – SBA Pay/Needs-Based Pub. Sch. Capital Fund
  • *SB 259 – Restore Master’s Degree Pay for All Teachers
  • SB 283 – Classroom Experience for School Personnel
  • SB 301 – Need-Based Scholarships/Private Colleges
  • SB 312 – Surplus Computers for Low-Income Students
  • *SB 318 – School Calendar Flexibility/PED Report
  • *SB 321 – School Calendar Flexibility/PED Report
  • SB 332 – Repeal HB 2
  • SB 384 – Increase Pay/Experienced Teachers
  • SB 409 – Need-Based Scholars/Private Colleges
  • SB 418 – Dyslexia Kindergarten Screening
  • *SB 447 – Turning TAs Into Teachers
  • SB 448 – Professors in the Classroom
  • SB 449 – Early Ed Articulation Agreement
  • SB 706 – HBCU Innovation Fund
  • SB 401 – Pilot/Sports for Students w/ Disabilities
  • *SB 855 – Modify School Performance Grades
  • SB 149 – Modify School Performance Grades
  • SB 301 – Need-Based Scholarships/Private Colleges
  • SB 418 – Dyslexia Kindergarten Screening
  • SB 438 – Allow Senior Citizens to Audit UNC/CC Courses
  • SB 439 – Funds/Eliminate NC Pre-K Waitlist Statewide
  • SB 442 – Study/Expand Computer Science to All Students
  • *SB 447 – Turning TAs Into Teachers
  • *SB 466 – CIHS Funds
  • SB 652 – Increase Access to Higher Education
  • SB 319 – Modify Weighting/School Performance Grades
  • SB 298 – Private IHE/Campus Police/Need-Based Schol.
  • SB 329 – K-3 Reading and Literacy Improvement Act.
  • *SB 389 – Surplus Computers for Public Schools
  • SB 399 – Rehire High-Need Teachers
  • SB 487 – Student Meal Debt Policy
  • *SB 500 – Modify Advanced Math Course Enrollment
  • *SB 582 – NC Comprehensive School Accountability
  • SB 602 – NC Hope Tuition Program
  • SB 654 – Charter Schools Provide Transp. & Food
  • *SB 661 – UNC HBCU Funding Parity/NC A&T Doc. Programs
  • *SB 48 – Permit Align School/Comm. College Calendar
*Primary Sponsor

North Carolina and Congress has a duty to our citizens to provide access to health care, whether long term care and assisted living for senior citizens through Medicare or by expanding Medicaid for those who struggle and cannot afford access. According to a recent Health Insurance Org study, NC’s failure to expand Medicaid has resulted in denied coverage for over 800,000 eligible patients, rejection of approximately $40 billion dollars over the next decade, a denial of over 40,000 health care jobs that could be created and the likely more than 1000 deaths per year due to lack of access to care. Our citizens pay taxes that fund Medicaid expansion in other states. This is not right, and we can do better than this.

When elected to serve as your next US Senator, I will fight to maintain affordable healthcare for all Americans, prescription drug price controls, advancing medical research for curing cancer, HIV/AIDS, and access to Women’s Reproductive Healthcare.

In addition, I am committed to improving health ratings in low scoring regions and populations in our country through coordinated strategies for improving ratings. I will work hard as your US Senator to increase access to preventative health, increase recreation access and fitness awareness and promote access to healthy food options. Nationally – we can seek more resources through Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) for funding programs to address these disparities through community health partnerships. Providing more access to preventative care by closing the healthcare coverage gap through expansion of affordable healthcare for all would make a tremendous impact with reducing high costs of patient emergency care and provide early diagnosis and prevention of serious illness. Addressing food deserts and consequent lack of healthy options through farm-to-table initiatives, community gardens. USDA grants, and healthy eating public service programs. Promoting ecotourism and recreation through expanding development of walking, biking and scooter trails across underserved communities. I will also work to revise our elementary and secondary education standards of learning to include an increase in physical education requirements for students K-12, revising FDA, USDA, regulations to promote healthier national standards would also be an effort I would promote on the Hill to improve the lives of North Carolinians and all Americans.

  • SB 152 – NC Cancer Treatment Fairness
  • SB 305 – Raise Awareness About Alzheimer’s & Dementias
  • SB 311 – DHHS Study/Maternal and Neonatal Care
  • SB 328 – Lower Cost of Cataracts for Seniors Act
  • SB 339 – Healthy Families and Workplaces/Paid Sick Days
  • *SB 610 – Healthy Pregnancies/Prisoners and Detainees
  • *SB 522 – Raise Awareness of Lupus
  • SB 152 – NC Cancer Treatment Fairness
  • SB 328 – Lower Cost of Cataracts for Seniors Act
  • SB 424 – Increase Funding for Behavioral Health Svcs.
  • SB 458 – Increase Inmate Health Care
  • *SB 472 – Streamline CAP/CDSA Services Pilot
  • *SB 483 – NC Comprehensive School Accountability
  • *SB 639 – Healthy Mother, Healthy Child
  • SB 3 – Close the Medicaid Coverage Gap
  • SB 439 – PED Study-DPS/Health Services/Funds for FTE
  • *SB 501 –
  • SB 558 – Enact NC Healthy Pregnancy Act
  • SB 601 – School-Based Mental Health
  • *SB 787 – Small Farms to Healthier School Initiative
  • *SB 658 – Prescription Drug Pricing
  • SB 296 – Healthy Food Small Retailer/Corner Store Act
*Primary Sponsor

I firmly believe that the way our laws are written, implemented and applied have a disparate impact on poor people and minorities. While my list is not comprehensive, the following are initiatives that I seek to balance with fairness, equity, public safety and justice.

  • I support Senator Corey Booker’s Marijuana Justice Act. Marijuana should be legalized and the prison sentences for same should be reduced or commuted commensurate with decriminalization of opioids and more compassionate approaches to victims of the opioid epidemic;
  • I support implementation of 2012 and 2014 Department of Justice Community Policing Recommendations and Guidelines for Implementation of School Discipline Policies that enhance nondiscrimination protections of Title IV and Title VI Protections under the 1964 Civil Rights Act
  • I support reinstatement of Section V of the 1965 Civil Rights Act, universal and automatic voter registration, Election Day Holiday and protection of our electoral process from interference from foreign governments
  • Equal Pay for Equal Work, Closing the gender and demographic earnings gaps
  • Common Sense gun control that bans bump stocks and assault rifles and enhances universal background checks
  • Gender equity and protections for LGBTQ communities from harassment and discrimination
  • No money bonds for misdemeanors and low level felonies in advancing the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment
  • Sentence restructuring for non-violent, low level drug offenders
  • Strengthening laws against human trafficking, opioid trafficking and prescription controls
  • SB 3 – Close the Medicaid Coverage Gap
  • SB 103 – Notice to Vote Absentee Ballot W/out Photo ID
  • *SB 167 – Healthy Mother, Healthy Child
  • SB 173 – Housing Juveniles Under 18 in County Facility
  • SB 175 – Strengthen Opioid Misuse Prevention (STOP) Act
  • SB 179 – Recognize Chowanoke Tribe
  • SB 310 – Domestic Violence/Bail and Aggravating Factor
  • SB 352 – State Crime Lab Capacity Act/Funds
  • SB 445 – Expungement Process Modifications
  • SB 532 – Eugenics Amendments/County Victims
  • *SB 612 – Nondiscrimination in Public Employment
  • SB 613 – Prohibit Discriminatory Profiling
  • *SB 611 – The I WILL Act
  • SB 175 – Strengthen Opioid Misuse Prevention (STOP) Act
  • SB 228 – Voter Freedom Act
  • SB 302 – Concussion Protocol/County Rec.
  • SB 332 – Repeal HB 2
  • SB 456 – Increase De-Escalation Training for LEOs
  • SB 537 – North Carolina Equal Pay Act
  • SB 554 – Fair Redistricting/Postmark and Absentee Ballots
  • SB 564 – Juvenile Justice Reinvestment Act
  • *SB 638 – Funds to Enhance Tribal Recognition
  • *SB 639 – SB 167 – Healthy Mother, Healthy Child
  • SB 663 – The I. Beverly Lake, Jr., Fair Trial Act
  • SB 452 – Expand Allowable Medical Uses of CBD Oil
  • SB 550 – Modernization of Drug Court Program
  • SB 579 – The Catherine A. Zanga Medical Marijuana Bill
  • SB 46 – Standing up for Rape Victims Acts of 2019
  • *SB 184 – NC Adopt Equal Rights Amendment
  • *SB 209 – Hate Crimes Prevention Act
  • SB 294 – Make General Election Day a State Holiday
  • SB 455 – Equality for All
  • SB 464 – Full Repeal of HB2
  • SB 486 – North Carolina Equal Pay Act
  • SB 502 – "Ban the Box"
  • SB 544 – Establish Non-Opioid Treatment Alternatives
  • SB 561 – Education/Job Readiness in Prisons and Jails
  • SB 562 – The Second Chance Act
  • SB 563 – Right to Revoke Consent
  • SB 565 – Extreme Risk Protection Orders
  • SB 579 – Prison Reform Act of 2019
  • SB 630 – Up SHP Pay & LEO Benefits/Death Penalty
  • SB 656 – Const. Amendment/Repeal Literacy Test
  • *SB 660 – Gen. Assembly/Prevent Workplace Harassment
  • *SB 665 – Omnibus Rural Investment Act
  • SB 683 – Combat Absentee Ballot Fraud
  • *SB 673 – N.C. Citizens Redistricting Commission
  • *SB 662 – Pilots to Establish "No Money" Bail Bonds
  • *SB 710 – Service Worker Tax Reduction Act
  • *SB 789 – Gen Ass/Prevent Workplace Harassment
*Primary Sponsor
  • IMMIGRATION – I support the DREAM Act without exiting the country for access to a fair, legal route to citizenship
  • LIVE-ABLE WAGE (increasing the minimum wage) – I support a federal baseline for an incremental increase in the minimum wage, indexed with inflation to $12 by 2020 and $15/hour by 2024
  • TAX TRANSPARENCY – I support NC’s T.R.U.M.P. Act, (Tax Returns Uniformly Made Public) filed by my colleague, Senator Jay Chaudhuri, to require all candidates who run for the Office of President of the United States to release their tax summaries prior to their names being placed on the ballot. A step further – I believe that all federal candidates should report this information.
  • TAX CODE RE-EVALUATION – Many citizens have reached out to me to complain about how much more their tax penalty increased, or how much less they received in tax returns with the 2018 Tax and Jobs Act. Once all of the data from 2018 filings are completed, I support a thorough analysis of the tax burdens on the working middle class and adjustments in tax cuts to the wealthy. I support a Service Worker’s Tax Act and have filed bills each Session I have served in testament to my belief that tip reporting in wages creates a permanent underclass in this category of workers who are overwhelming women.
  • I support enshrining Equal Rights for Women in our United States Constitution
  • As a former union member, and representative, I support the labor movement and its backbone of bargaining in interest of workers who make America work, day in and day out.
  • SB143 – CDBG: Modify Uses to Include Scattered Sites
  • SB 150 – Auto Ins./Notice to Lienholder of Termination
  • SB 155 – ABC Omnibus Legislation
  • SB 177 – Modernize Physical Therapy Practice
  • SB 178 – Ltd. Driving/Remove Wait for First Offense
  • *SB 180 – 3rd Senatorial District Local Act-1
  • *SB197 – Adopt Bobcat as State Cat
  • SB 252 – North Carolina Teaching Fellows
  • SB 309 – 9/11 as First Responders Day
  • SB 313 – Increase Small Brewery Limits
  • *SB 314 – Give Retirees 2% COLA/Funds
  • SB 317 – Hypertension Awareness Day
  • SB 316 – Suicide Prevention/Awareness School Personnel
  • SB 322 – Caregiver Advise, Record & Enable (CARE) Act
  • SB 335 – Budget Technical Corrections & Study
  • SB 337 – Regulation of Fully Autonomous Vehicles
  • *SB 360 – Municipal Broadband Service Area
  • *SB 710 – Service Worker Tax Reduction Action
  • *SB 752 – Small Business Tax Relief
  • SB 446 – LEO Next of Kin Notification
  • SB 452 – Expand Allowable Medical Uses of CBD Oil
  • SB 453 – Driver Instruction/Law Enforcement Stops
  • SB 456 – Increase De-Escalation Training for LEOs
  • SB 457 – Amend Deferred Prosecution Statute
  • *SB 484 – PARTF Funding Conditions and Match
  • *SB 347 – Up Minimum Wage With COLA/Const. Amendment
  • SB 50 – Reinstate Earned Income Tax Credit
  • SB 470 – Anti-Poverty Program Funds
  • SB 503 – Wage Theft Act
  • SB 586 – Modify Film Grant Incentive
  • SB 615 – DACA Recipients/In-State Tuition
  • SB 616 – Require Paid Work Breaks
  • SB 617 – Tax Returns Uniformly Made Public Act
  • SB 628 – Day Laborer Protection Act
  • SB 657 – Expand Property Tax Homestead Exclusion
  • *SB 800 – Actually Drain the Swamp
*Primary Sponsor
In my first 100 days as North Carolina’s next U.S. Senator - I commit to file and advance common sense gun control legislation that includes the following provisions:
  • 1. Universal background checks, including components of existing federal proposals with 10-day waiting period for responses;
  • 2.  A ban on assault rifles and bump stocks;
  • 3. Closing gun show / retail to owner transfers / owner to owner transfers;
  • 4. Red flag limitations providing access for loved ones and family members to petition to remove firearms from gun owners during periods of incapacitation;
  • 5. Increased funding and resources for a public service campaign for all public buildings, including schools and universities, to advance awareness and embodiment of the Sandy Hook Promise program;
  • 6. Resources and public safety programs for increasing manpower, surveillance/intelligence on domestic terrorism including increased cybercrime monitoring, tracking of manifestos, white nationalist organizations and their members; and
  • 7. Criminal justice reforms as it relates to prosecution and sentencing of domestic terrorists and serial killers. This reform should ensure that punishment is commensurate with the crime by including capital punishment in sentencing discussions.
When we have had more mass shootings than days in the year, everything must be on the table for discussion. I am done with inaction. I am not waiting for another shooting before demanding that the NCGA leadership debate and calendar votes for House Bill 86 and Senate Bill 565. I am further writing Senator Burr and my opponent, Senator Tillis, to call for a Chamber vote on HR 8 and HR 1112. We have to act. Children are dying and the tears of mothers are met with inaction and political gamesmanship by Thom Tillis, Mitch McConnell and the like. I will work to make this country safer and you will always know where I stand as your U.S. Senator.

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