There are two principles I believe and follow whenever I am faced with a decision on legislative districts or voting. Voters must have the power to choose their legislators, not the other way around, and one person should have one vote.
If the General Assembly is to address the issues faced by North Carolinians on a daily basis, then it must represent its voters. Unfortunately, over the past decade the will of the people of our state has been ignored through illegal gerrymandering, backroom deals, and outright deception.
On September 3rd, 2019, a panel of North Carolina Judges ruled the districts of the NC House and NC Senate as unconstitutionally gerrymandered. Millions of voters across the state have had their voiced silenced by gerrymandering carried out by the Republican Party. When I ran two years ago, I pledged that I would do everything within my power to champion legislation that ensures fair districts and, once and for all, end this gerrymandered mess in North Carolina. Since taking office I have sponsored 3 non-partisan redistricting bills.
After our legislative districts were declared unconstitutional, Republicans proposed a new slate of gerrymandered districts. As your representative, I have consistently voted against partisan redistricting bills. Our work to resolve gerrymandering is long from over. As long as I am your representative, I will continue to work toward ending gerrymandering. Governor Cooper and Democrats in the house (myself included) have pledged to put an end to gerrymandering if we take the majority. Elected officials should win by a fair vote of their constituents, not because of a rigged system.
On September 11th, 2019, the NC House Republican party voted to override the veto of the budget by Governor Cooper. The Republicans succeeded by lying to members of the NC House, including myself, telling us that no votes would be held that morning. On that morning, millions of North Carolinians, including the people of Ashe and Watauga counties were denied the right to have their voices heard on the budget. In 2018, I promised to take on corruption and back room deals in the legislature.
I am proud to say that despite the unethical and dishonest practices of Republicans in the General Assembly, I have lived up to my promises and taken on the corrupt practices of the majority. Shortly after taking office, I authored the NC Sunshine Act, which among other things would make it illegal for the legislature to hold late night votes and late-night bill filing to avoid publicity and require a 24-hour notification before votes could be held. That act would have prevented the exact tactics used by Republicans to hold the surprise override of the governor’s veto.