Name as it appears on the ballot: Nida Allam

Age: 28

Party affiliation: Democrat

Campaign website:

Occupation & employer: Durham County Commissioner

Years lived in North Carolina: 23

1. What are your primary concerns for the State of North Carolina?

Our district is facing several overlapping crises because of conservative roadblocking locally and federal inaction. Healthcare is a human right, and one of the most urgent issues facing North Carolinians. Republicans in the NCGA refuse to expand Medicaid, leaving thousands uninsured and billions in federal funds on the table. I am one of thousands of North Carolinians who was laid off during the COVID-19 pandemic and thus lost access to affordable healthcare during one of the biggest public health crises in recent memory. Every person deserves healthcare, regardless of their employment status or personal wealth. Workers’ rights and wages are another huge issue that I will champion at the federal level. The NC GOP has kept the minimum wage at $7.25 for over a decade and refused to allow public employees to unionize, but the cost of living in NC-04 requires a $23 minimum wage to live with dignity, so that’s what I’ll fight for. We must also pass the PRO Act at the federal level to guarantee all workers the right to a union. We must also safeguard our democracy by protecting access to the ballot box and ensuring that corruption has no place in our elections. Over the past few years, the NC GOP has used its power to gerrymander our maps and systematically disenfranchise people of color– we need federal action to prevent future attacks on voting rights.

2. What in your background qualifies you to represent the people of this state effectively? What would you cite as your biggest career accomplishments?   

I served as political director for the Bernie Sanders campaign, then was elected Vice Chair of the NC Democratic Party and served for four years, helping to found the Interfaith Caucus and working with Governor Cooper to break the supermajority. I also advised Durham Mayor Steve Schewel as the Chair of his Mayor’s Council for Women. I currently serve on the board of directors for Planned Parenthood Votes! South Atlantic, where I advocate for reproductive rights in the face of unprecedented attacks. As Durham County Commissioner, I voted to raise the minimum wage for county employees to $15 per hour and led the charge to provide property tax relief for low-income Durhamites. I also collaborated with the Durham City Council to pass and fund an Immigrant and Refugee Services Coordinator position, to make sure that newly arriving community members feel welcomed by helping bridge language gaps, connecting them with local services, and easing the transition of children into our school system. I am proud of the work we have done in our community and I am ready to be an unapologetic progressive fighter in Congress.

3. If elected, what three policies would you prioritize and how would you work across the aisle to enact those initiatives?

In Congress, I will fight for legislative solutions to the urgent problems facing my constituents. To make healthcare a human right, we need Medicare for All now to ensure that no one dies because they can’t afford basic care. We must work to raise the minimum wage at the federal level—which I did successfully for county employees as County Commissioner—and pass the PRO Act in order to guarantee every worker the right to organize for better wages and working conditions. In Congress, I will make sure that the GOP cannot undermine the voting rights of people of color by advocating for the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act. I would also advocate ending Citizens United in order to get big money out of politics. If necessary, we must abolish the filibuster in order to pass these crucial bills.

4. What factors are fueling the country’s growing political polarization and how will you work to mend it?

As the first Muslim woman elected to office in North Carolina ever, I know first-hand the impacts of hate in our politics. We must wrestle with the role that big tech companies like Facebook play in spreading misinformation about minority groups and our elections, profiting off their sowing political divisions. Both I and members of my family have received countless threatening messages on these platforms. The attempted coup on January 6th was planned in plain sight on social media platforms that do little work to regulate hateful content. To truly protect the integrity of our elections and mend political divides, we must hold Big Tech accountable. I support recent efforts by the House Judiciary Committee to expand antitrust laws so that companies like Alphabet and Meta cannot gobble up competitors and evade regulation. Part of this work will involve getting corporate money out of politics, and ending Citizens United will be an important first step.

5. November’s general election race is expected to be close, regardless of who wins the party primaries. What makes you an attractive choice to centrist voters?

As Vice Chair of the NC Democratic Party for four years, I worked with people across the ideological spectrum in order to push forward hate crime legislation in the NC General Assembly. Additionally, as part of my work with the State Innovation Exchange, we met with folks in both parties, holding press conferences in order to bring attention to this issue and fighting to build bridges between Democrats and Republicans in the state legislature. There are so many issues on which both sides agree, but the corrupting force of big money in politics prevents us from being able to take action. If elected, I will work with anyone who wants to stand up for working people to pass much-needed policy–Republicans and Democrats alike.

6. With rent, property taxes, and home sale prices all rising, what, if anything, should the federal government do to address this growing affordability crisis?

Housing is a human right. On the County Commission, I was proud to work with my colleagues to implement the Low Income Homeowners Relief program, which helped many Durham residents stay in their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic. In Congress, I would support the Keep Renters Safe Act and other legislation to end the unhoused crisis by 2025. In my home county of Durham, 49% of renters are cost-burdened, equating to nearly 29,000 households. We have to repeal the Faircloth Amendment, which puts an artificial ceiling on the number of affordable housing units we can maintain. We must also pass a National Tenants’ Bill of Rights so that landlords can’t arbitrarily raise rents and to make sure that tenants have rights to legal representation in court proceedings.

7. What specific policies or programs do you endorse or would pursue to combat inflation?

Like every member of our community, I’ve felt the sting of higher prices at the pump and the grocery store. We must recognize that a main cause of our current inflation problem is price-gouging from large corporations that don’t have adequate competition. While working people struggle to make ends meet, the largest corporations have increased their profits by over $3 trillion. While the price of meat shoots up, four companies own 85% of the beef market. The price of diapers is sky high, and just two companies dominate that industry. To bring inflation down, we must pass an Essential Workers Bill of Rights and enforce our antitrust policies because when companies have competitors, they improve their products and bring down prices which makes us all better off. I also support a Windfall Profits Tax on Big Oil, which would levy a 50% tax on profits the largest oil companies earn above $66 per barrel. This would give an incentive for these companies to bring prices down, and allow us to send rebates of $360 to every American family.

8. The U.S. Supreme Court may issue a ruling this summer that guts, or even overturns, Roe v. Wade. What must Congress do to protect abortion rights if that happens? 

We need to fight for reproductive rights, as they are increasingly under attack across our country. I recently had an abortion that saved my life due to an ectopic pregnancy, and that same procedure is now illegal in many states. I know first-hand how important it is that we all have access to this vital care. In addition to single payer healthcare, I support legislation like the Women’s Health Protection Act to codify Roe v. Wade, and the repeal of the Hyde Amendment, so we can safeguard people’s right to choose and make sure that cost is never a barrier in accessing those rights.

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

I am the only candidate in this race to reject all fossil fuel lobbyist money, self-funding, and corporate PAC contributions, because my constituents deserve a progressive champion who is accountable to them, not special interests. My office will center climate as a top priority. First, we must acknowledge the damage that has already been done and work to bring justice for the communities bearing the brunt of environmental degradation. We must invest in revitalizing our public housing to weatherize units and transition them to solar energy and improve ventilation in our public schools in minority communities hit hardest by environmental racism. Second, I will fight to end fossil fuel subsidies, oil and gas leases on federal lands, and enact a ban on all fracking, because the fossil fuel sector doesn’t need any more government handouts. I will also support legislation to build energy-efficient power grids, retrofit our buildings for energy efficiency and invest heavily in zero-emission manufacturing and infrastructure. Lastly, I support the Green New Deal, which would create thousands of union jobs and ensure we have a livable planet for future generations.

10. Do you believe Congress should pass the Freedom to Vote Act to guarantee free and fair elections for every American, limit the impact of money on elections, and restrict gerrymandering? 

Yes. The battle over voting rights presents the great civil rights challenge of our time. Thanks to years of Supreme Court negligence in cases like Shelby County v. Holder, our democracy is fragile. For years in North Carolina, we had a racist voter ID law that targeted people of color. Right now, the Republican legislature is obstructing progress on voting rights and considering legislation that would further restrict the rights of people of color. I will follow in Rep. Price’s footsteps to ensure that everyone can make their voices heard in our democracy by being an outspoken supporter of legislation like the Freedom to Vote Act and do everything in my power to ensure its success, including supporting filibuster reform in order to ensure its passage. We must end partisan gerrymandering and provide funding for election administrators to do their jobs effectively. In North Carolina, we have seen the impact of racist and partisan gerrymandering – that’s why I’m making democracy reform a centerpiece of my campaign.

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

I am an immigrant, and it is important for me to fight for a humane immigration system that centers human dignity. We must expand asylum laws and recognize the right to enter a safe haven as a fundamental human right. Once immigrants are here, we must make sure that they are not targets of over-policing and surveillance. That means creating a pathway to citizenship for all immigrants and passing the DREAM Act so millions of our loved ones and neighbors no longer have to live in fear.