Name as it appears on the ballot: Deborah K. Ross 

Age: 57

Party affiliation: Democrat

Campaign website:

Occupation & employer: Attorney

Years lived in North Carolina: Over 30

1. What in your background qualifies you to represent the people of North Carolina effectively? What would you cite as your three biggest career accomplishments? 

I have spent my career fighting for equality, justice, and progress, and have worked across the aisle to improve our community. I came to North Carolina to attend law school, later becoming an attorney, civil rights advocate, and state legislator. As a state representative, I was named one of Wake County’s most effective legislators because I brought people together to get things done for the people of Wake County. We worked together to lower health care costs, expand voting rights, increase teacher pay and foster economic development. I also have represented renewable energy companies that invest in our infrastructure, helping our environment and creating good-paying jobs. We need more members of Congress who will prioritize getting things done for the people they represent over partisan games, and I am willing to work with anyone and everyone who wants to do the right thing for our state and country. It is past time to re-instill faith and hope in our democratic systems.

2. If elected, what three policies would you prioritize that you believe will have the most impact? How would you work across the aisle to enact those policies? 

In Congress, I’ll continue fighting for affordable health care, prioritize relief and recovery that gets North Carolinians back to work, and protect and strengthen Social Security and Medicare.  As a state legislator, I’ve worked with both Democrats and Republicans to deliver for Wake County families, working to invest in infrastructure, passing bipartisan bills to help local families and small businesses, and finding common ground.  I’ll put aside partisan bickering to focus on the fight for equality, justice, and progress for all.

3. Do you believe President Donald Trump is of good moral character and is mentally fit to hold office? Do you believe he has governed responsibly during the pandemic? Do you believe he should have been impeached rather than acquitted? 

This Administration’s response to the pandemic has been woefully inadequate and did not take this pandemic seriously, making us lose valuable time and costing American lives.  People are struggling to make ends meet, many of whom lost their jobs or hours due to no fault of their own. The lack of support for them is utterly devastating.  President Trump’s unilateral attempt to jeopardize Social Security and Medicare funding threatens the economic security of every generation and makes it clear that this Administration has no intention of negotiating in good faith.  We need to restore faith and integrity to the White House, and the Biden-Harris team will do just that. 

4. Millions of Americans are out of work and struggling to pay bills amid the pandemic. What immediate steps should be taken to offer relief to families and businesses? If in the form of a stimulus package, what would that look like and how would you fund it?

We need economic policies that prioritize families and small businesses.  Our leaders must sort out differences to pass real relief and recovery legislation.  We need to extend unemployment and small business benefits, invest in job creation, and get people back to work.  As a state legislator, I worked across the aisle to pass an earned income tax credit for working families, a raise in the minimum wage for state employees, and laws that spurred economic development in Wake County. While the House has fulfilled its responsibility to the American people by passing relief packages, the Administration and Senate repeatedly have denied what our municipalities, state governments, health care providers and public schools need to navigate these challenging times.  In the wake of COVID-19 and its subsequent recession, our leaders must come together to pass relief and recovery legislation that helps everyday people.

5. Nearly 200,000 Americans have died due to COVID-19 and millions more are struggling with astronomical medical bills. Do you believe the American health system is working?  What is your plan for making sure health care is affordable and accessible to all American citizens? Are you in favor of a single-payer option?

Health care costs are too high, and too many have lost health care coverage when the pandemic cost them their jobs.  No one should have to decide between life-saving care or paying bills, yet many North Carolinians face this choice every day. Our country’s need for affordable and accessible health care is more dire than ever. Coronavirus’ disproportionate impact on minority and poor communities reminds us that our current healthcare system does not serve everyone.  In the state legislature, I helped expand coverage for children’s health care, and I have fought for Medicaid expansion that would provide coverage for 500,000 more North Carolinians and provide relief for rural hospitals facing closures. Politicians attempting to eliminate the Affordable Care Act would strip coverage for many with pre-existing conditions. I support creating a comprehensive public option for health insurance, ensuring that all people have affordable and equitable access to care. If elected to Congress, I will work to improve the ACA by lowering health care costs, protecting coverage for preexisting conditions, and reducing the cost of prescription drugs.

6. Do you believe abortion should be a fundamental human right and would you back a supreme court nominee with a history of ruling against women’s right to choose? What, if anything, do you think congress must do to protect abortion rights? 

I am proud to be endorsed by pro-choice organizations such as EMILY’s List, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, and NARAL because of my commitment to protecting reproductive rights.  As an attorney, civil rights advocate, and former state representative, I have always brought people together to get things done. And I’ve always understood that equal access to affordable health and reproductive care isn’t just a “women’s issue” – it’s an economic issue, and one that impacts the health of our children. That’s why in the state legislature I worked across the aisle to ensure that insurance companies would cover essential reproductive health needs and helped fight efforts to restrict our health care decisions. As the next Representative in Congress for North Carolina’s 2nd District, I’ll champion legislation to make health care more affordable for people across our state. I will support childcare and paid family leave so that we can work to level the playing field for all women in the workforce. I’ll work to make sure clinics that provide low-cost care are funded, and I’ll fight for paid sick leave so no one will have to choose between their health and putting food on the table. We can accomplish all of this by putting aside our partisan differences and focusing on what really impacts the health and wellbeing of North Carolina families.

7. Do you believe the federal minimum wage should be increased? If, by how much? If not, why? 

I’ve always been a champion for working people, and have been honored to have the support of workers and unions.  I have voted to increase the minimum wage in North Carolina and sponsored legislation to raise the minimum wage for state workers. I would support more enforcement of equal pay for equal work, and phase in wage increases up to $15 per hour.  I would support adjusting the tipped minimum wage to equal the minimum wage across other industries. Our workers are the core of the American economy, and we must stand by them.

8. Please state three specific policies you support to address climate change. 

Climate change is one of the most imminent threats facing our country, and we need to work together and take immediate action to address it. I have been a longtime champion of environmental issues in North Carolina and will continue to be a champion as a member of Congress. North Carolina desperately needs someone in Congress to say “No” to drilling off our shores. We cannot put our rich coastal region, including our tourism and fishing industries, at risk for what will at most be a drop in the bucket of our domestic energy needs. I have promoted renewable energy investments in North Carolina and will continue to do so. We must modernize our electric grid to increase the distribution of renewable energy, and we need to create incentives to expedite battery storage for intermittent renewable resources. These types of investments in our infrastructure will also create good-paying jobs, which will help people get back to work. There is a lot of work to do to protect our environment, and I have both the track record and personal commitment of environmental stewardship that North Carolina’s Congressional Delegation needs.

9. Do you support the Black Lives Matter movement? Why or why not?

Black lives matter—period. This pandemic has exposed systemic inequities that many of us have been working to rectify our entire careers.  While COVID-19 does not discriminate, we know that its impacts are far worse in communities of color due to systemic racism.  As an attorney and civil rights advocate, I have spent decades fighting for equality, justice, and progress.  As a progressive leader in Raleigh, I worked for a fairer criminal justice system, helping to pass the South’s first anti-racial profiling bill and juvenile justice reform.  I will continue to protect and expand voting rights by working to make it easier to vote, and I will continue working to end inequities in health care and education.  I am inspired by the new coalitions forming today, and I know that we can do more to address systemic racism if we unite and proclaim with one voice that Black Lives Matter.

10. Are there any issues this questionnaire has not addressed that you would like to address? 

Even before COVID-19, broadband access was a critical priority. We cannot forget about the millions of people, many of whom live in rural and underserved communities, who do not have reliable internet access. With our students taking online classes, people working from home, and individuals who are relying on telehealth to speak with doctors, access to broadband has never been more important. Investing in broadband infrastructure can help us ensure equitable health care, education, and job security. Infrastructure investments provide an opportunity to level the playing field and create good-paying jobs. In Congress, I will fight for the resources we need to make sure all of North Carolina’s communities are connected and can thrive.

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