As mentioned above, much of this district has been identified as one of the fastest growing areas in the state. This trend is expected to continue, especially with the expansion of Chatham Park. Our roads are packed during morning and evening rush hours. I will work to support enhancing road safety during inclement weather and to relieve the ever-growing congestion on our roads. Solutions could involve looking at projected growth patterns, wider roads with more lanes, commuter lanes, and preparation options before and after inclement weather
Rising premiums are hurting hard working families all across the area. It seems as premiums increase the quality of service is diminished. As part of the legislature it is our duty to work with the Insurance Commissioner to hold insurance companies accountable for premium increases in order to make health care insurance more affordable for families.
This lake is a wonderful place for recreation for residents around the Triangle. Over the last few years there has been a renewed focus on cleaning up Jordan Lake which I wholeheartedly support. As a professional, certified engineer, I know how to investigate and analyze problems to come up with solution options. I do not support throwing money at a problem as a solution. We need to know the facts and the issues and, then, to conduct proper cost-benefit analyses for solution options. I will consult with both experts and the community to determine the most effective ways to keep Jordan Lake a safe and beautiful resource for all to enjoy.
In 2017 Chatham County was one of the fastest growing counties in North Carolina in the percent of new residents. North Carolina is creating jobs but, unfortunately, most of the jobs are outside our district and our residents must commute there for work. I am committed to creating opportunities for jobs here in the district; there are two Mega-Sites in Chatham County that are shovel ready for companies to grow, to thrive, and to create jobs. I will work with economic development officials at the state and county levels to ensure these Mega-Sites are on the priority list for companies looking to expand or to move to the area.
Our state economy continues to improve but many residents are still struggling to make ends meet. My jobs plan includes making it easier for our small businesses to grow while at the same time maintaining our environmental standards. It is not an either or situation, we can balance our economic interests with our environmental concerns.
As a former college instructor, I know first-hand the value of having excellent teachers in our schools to guide, to motivate, and to train all students, regardless of their capabilities. To be fully engaged and dedicated to serving the needs of their students, like other professions, teachers need to have the tools and resources necessary to accomplish their tasks, opportunities to continually develop their skills, and incentives to stay in their roles. As your Representative, one of my top legislative actions will be serving as an advocate for North Carolina to have an education system that not only attracts the most dedicated and skilled teachers, but one that provides a variety of incentives to ensure their work and contributions are not only recognized, but, also, rewarded with the appropriate compensation packages.
In addition, for far too long we have not focused enough attention on security in our schools and the classroom. Parents should feel very confident when their children are in school that every precaution has been taken to ensure a safe environment. I am committed to giving schools the tools they need to keep students and faculty safe. This will involve multiple options including different locks, different doors, security cameras, school resource officers, and other best practices being used across the state and the country. No responsibility is more important than keeping our children safe.
Not everyone in high school is interested in, or even suited for a four-year college or university degree. I am a strong supporter for workforce training programs as an option for students who are not pursuing a four-year degree. I believe there are huge opportunities to make even better use of Durham Tech and Central Carolina Community College. These are great schools that are affordable for students and provide options for either a skilled craft or trade or an associate’s degree before transferring to another university to pursue a bachelor’s degree. Our community colleges are a gem in our state and I believe this is one way to help make college more affordable for families, to provide skills for jobs, and to provide continuing education access.
Our district has a large number of veterans. I am committed to ensuring they and their families receive the benefits and services that have been earned thru their service to our country. Job training, medical care, transition services, and educational opportunities are a few of the areas I will be looking into for them.
My focus is supporting our teachers, protecting students and faculty, making training for jobs and college more affordable, creating jobs, ensuring a healthy Jordan Lake, reducing the cost of health care, improving the transportation needs for the area, and ensuring veterans receive the benefits they have earned.