Name as it appears on the ballot: Julie von Haefen
Party affiliation: Democrat
Campaign website: www.juliefornc.com
Occupation & employer: Member of the NC House of Representatives; North Carolina General Assembly
Years lived in North Carolina: 17
1. What in your background qualifies you to represent the people of your North Carolina district effectively? What would you cite as your three biggest career accomplishments?
As a State Representative, I bring my experience as a parent, community advocate and lawyer with me every day to the General Assembly. Before I was elected, I was deeply involved in the public schools in Wake County and North Carolina for almost a decade, as a Parent Teacher Association leader at the school, county, and state level. I served as the Wake County PTA Council President, and I currently work as a substitute teacher in WCPSS. My connection to our public schools and to the communities I represent make me uniquely qualified to fight for the issues that Wake County families value, including public education for every child, affordable healthcare and childcare, freedom from the threat of gun violence, and protecting our environment. I’ve had three distinct periods in my professional life- first as a litigation attorney, then as a public school advocate and now as a legislator. Each part of my career journey has contained unique accomplishments, such as winning a medical malpractice case that lasted over three years, to creating new multicultural programming at my children’s elementary school to getting my first bill passed through the NC House. Life can take many twists and turns, and I’m proud of the journey that got me to where I am today.
2. What do you believe to be the three most pressing issues facing the next General Assembly? What steps do you believe the state should take to address them?
The most important issues in my district are increasing education funding so that every child in NC has access to a sound basic education, expanding Medicaid and providing access to affordable healthcare to thousands of North Carolinians, and protecting every North Carolinian’s right to reproductive freedom. I am proud to have introduced or sponsored legislation on all of these topics, from fully funding the Leandro decision to expanding Medicaid to codifying the rights of Roe v. Wade.
3. To what extent do you support municipalities exerting local control over issues such as regulating greenhouse gas emissions, criminal justice reforms and police oversight, and passing development-regulating ordinances?
Municipalities know what is best for their local communities. Generally speaking, I support municipalities holding local control over various policy measures. I do not support the Dillon Rule and am disappointed that this law limits what local municipalities can do to tackle climate change, affordable housing, and more.
4. Do you support raising North Carolina’s minimum wage, and if so by how much? If not, what other initiatives would you take to support low-income families in North Carolina?
Yes, I support raising the minimum wage and understand that a $15 minimum no longer allows most families to meet the rising cost of living in North Carolina, and especially in Wake County. We must study what the minimum wage should be increased to in NC and then implement that wage as soon as possible. The tipped minimum wage must be equal to the minimum wage that exists across other industries. Additionally, any legislation passed to raise the wage must include a provision to reevaluate the minimum wage at least every two years.
5. With rent, property taxes, and home sale prices all rising, what, if anything, should the state legislature do to address this growing affordability crisis?
Our state is growing rapidly, and as a result, our housing market is becoming more competitive and housing prices are on the rise. Families who’ve lived in their neighborhoods for decades or even generations are being pushed out, and teachers, police officers, and local employees are having great difficulty finding reasonably affordable housing options near their workplaces. We need to pass renter protections to prevent no-cause evictions, provide more down-payment assistance to first time home buyers, and pass a non-discrimination ordinance to provide specific protections for renters and homebuyers who are Section 8 recipients, or who are people of color, low-income, and/or LGBTQ.
6. Do you believe that the state government has an obligation to prevent the impacts of climate change? If so, please state three specific policies you support to address climate change.
I absolutely agree that the government has an obligation to prevent the impacts of climate change. I am a proud environmentalist and have introduced and sponsored numerous pieces of legislation in the General Assembly to tackle climate change, promote clean energy practices, and preserve our natural world. Notable pro-environment bills I have introduced and sponsored include:
1. HB296, EV Charging Station/Parking (bipartisan). This bill passed the House 115-4.
2. HB502, PFAS Contamination Mitigation Measures
3. HB633, Reenact Solar Energy Tax Credit
7. Would you support an independent process for drawing new legislative and congressional districts?
Yes. As a representative in a district that has been found by the courts to be unconstitutionally gerrymandered, I believe the General Assembly must take immediate action to provide the voters of our state with fairly and independently drawn districts. I will continue to do everything I can to advance legislation that takes redistricting power away from members of the General Assembly.
8. Does the General Assembly have a constitutional obligation to comply with the state Supreme Court order in the Leandro case to fully fund public schools and give every child in North Carolina a sound basic education?
I support fully funding the Leandro decision and am proud to be a leader on this issue in the General Assembly. I have introduced legislation the last two years to fully fund the Leandro Comprehensive Remedial Plan, House Bill 946 and House Bill 1079 (“Sound Basic Education for Every Child”). The refusal of the General Assembly to comply with the Supreme Court order is an inexcusable failure and has hurt thousands of children in our state over the past 25 years.
9. When it comes to teacher pay, North Carolina is one of the lowest-paying states in the nation. Schools across the state are facing shortages of educators, support staff, and other key personnel. Do you support raising teacher pay to at least the national average? What else can the General Assembly do to improve working conditions for teachers and make the teaching profession more attractive to potential future educators?
Yes. I believe lawmakers must use the Leandro Plan as a benchmark when crafting legislation to fix our public education funding system. This means that we not only need to increase educators’ pay but that we also need to provide teachers with competitive benefits packages and professional development opportunities to ensure that they can flourish in their careers. To do this, we need to immediately reinstate retiree medical benefits and advanced degree pay for teachers. I also firmly believe that all teachers need a pay raise, especially veteran teachers who have had their salaries frozen after 15 years. We must also bring back Instructional Assistants, which are vital to classroom success and teacher working conditions. Finally, we must issue a study to reevaluate our funding process so that we can develop a plan to raise teacher salaries significantly over the next several years in line with recommendations from the Leandro Report.
10. The U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling this spring that overturned Roe v. Wade. The legal cutoff for abortion in North Carolina is now 20 weeks. Do you believe the 20-week cutoff is too restrictive, not restrictive enough, or just right? As a state lawmaker, would you support legislation that further limits or prohibits abortion in North Carolina, or punishes/criminalizes abortion providers or patients?
I am proud to be a pro-choice legislator and am deeply disheartened by the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. The 20-week cutoff is too restrictive and as a state lawmaker, I would absolutely oppose legislation that prohibits, punishes, or criminalizes abortion practice.
11. Should North Carolina expand Medicaid? Where do you stand on increasing the number of slots for the Innovations Waiver for special needs individuals?
When it comes to healthcare, lowering out-of-pocket costs is my number one goal. This means getting more families covered and one way to do this is through the expansion of Medicaid, under the Affordable Care Act. Medicaid expansion will also help our economy by supporting rural hospitals and providing jobs to many in those areas. It will provide healthcare in areas of our state where we most need additional coverage and more medical providers. I am proud to have supported legislation in support of expanding Medicaid. I also support increasing the number of slots for the Innovation Waivers.
12. Do you support reforming North Carolina’s marijuana laws? Do you support full legalization? Please explain your position.
I support the legalization of recreational and medical marijuana. I am a sponsor of House Bill 576, Marijuana Justice and Reinvestment Act, which would legalize and regulate the sale, possession, and use of cannabis in North Carolina.
13. Do you support strengthening gun safety regulations such as expanding background checks, banning bump stocks, and raising the age to buy or otherwise regulating the sales of assault-style weapons? Please explain.
We must be doing more to protect our communities from gun violence, and fully support measures to implement safe gun control measures. I am proud to be a Gun Sense Candidate, supported by Moms Demand Action, and have filed or co-sponsored numerous pieces of legislation related to gun control, including requiring permits for long gun purchases and a bipartisan measure to ensure safe storage of firearms. In addition to legislative efforts, I have also coordinated Wear Orange Walk and Talk events where volunteers and supporters of gun sense legislation speak to elected officials to raise awareness about this crisis. Lastly, I have assisted in protests related to gun violence and have publicly spoken out at these events.
14. Are there any issues this questionnaire has not addressed that you would like to address?
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