BRINGING FAIRNESS BACK TO NORTH CAROLINA
"To be, rather than to seem," is our Tar Heel state motto. Lately, however, our leaders seem to have lost sight of who we truly are. North Carolina was founded as a state built on fairness and equal opportunity. The University of North Carolina was the very first public university in the country- built in contrast to the Harvard's and Yale's as an institute for any common man who worked hard. Throughout the 1900's while other southern states were regressing, North Carolina had strong, progressive leaders like Terry Sanford, Julius Chambers, and Sam Ervin who fought for every man, woman and child. Our state was a shining beacon of progress- our schools were top notch, we took care of those less fortunate, and our businesses and government leaders worked together for the common good.
Today, we rank 35th in teacher pay (41st in 2016) and 43rd in per capita student spending in the whole nation. Our quality teachers are leaving for other states every day because of low pay and lack of respect. Our politicians have played partisan games with our lives by refusing to expand Medicaid. As a physician, Rick Foulke saw first hand- every single day- how important it is to have access to quality healthcare.
Rick was successful because of his hard work and the opportunities afforded to him by the Army. Just as the Army invested in him, Rick believes we must invest in our best and brightest minds, regardless of race or income or social status.
When the Greensboro Four sat at the all-white counter at Woolworth's in 1960, they were protesting for equal rights and an end to segregation. Today, 57 years later, the fight for equality continues. It was just a couple years ago that our General Assembly passed a constitutional amendment outlawing gay marriage in North Carolina forever. Just last year we saw legislators equate transgendered Americans to sexual predators, in a move to score political points with the far right. Every session now, it seems our legislature is defeated in court over bills endangering women's health and racial gerrymandering. The most recent attack is on the judiciary. Republicans are trying to redistrict appellate judges for partisan benefit, have already passed a law to reduce the number of appellate judges from 15 to 12 so Governor Cooper cannot replace retiring republican judges, become the only state in 100 years to make the judicial races based on party affiliation, and to reduce judicial terms to 2 years making them as political as legislature seats. Politics is partisan enough without pulling our judges into it when they are supposed to follow the law, not political whims. Whereas North Carolina used to be known as a beautiful state with a welcoming, hospitable culture, now we're on the late night talk shows being mocked because of our irresponsible politicians. Rick Foulke believes we owe all our citizens equal treatment with respect and dignity. As a legislator, he'll stand up to any attempt to codify hatred and intolerance.
PUTTING NORTH CAROLINA BACK TO WORK
When our schools succeed, we succeed. When our businesses succeed, we succeed. When our people succeed, North Carolina succeeds. Rick Foulke believes that we must invest in our working families. This means expanding broadband to our rural communities, keeping our community colleges and public universities strong and affordable as well as expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act which would save citizens of Union County millions. Rick believes we must increase teacher pay and invest more in our students. When we improve educational opportunities for our kids, we are better able to recruit new industries, like Amazon, who need a skilled workforce.