Name as it appears on the ballot: Terence Everitt
Campaign website: www.terenceeveritt.com
Phone number: 919-671-1427
Years lived in the district: 8 years
1. In your view, what are the three most pressing issues facing North Carolina? If elected, what will you do to address these issues?
The three most pressing issues facing North Carolina are (i) the underfunding of our public schools; (ii) the increased tax burden on our middle-class families; and (iii) the need to expand Medicaid.
First, we need to fully fund our public schools and pay our teachers a salary that is at least at the national average. Mr. Malone has voted time and again to underfund our schools. Many of our teachers are working two jobs to make ends meet or even leaving the state to find work for better pay. North Carolina has fallen to among the lowest in the nation in per-pupil spending and teacher pay. And yet, year after year, Mr. Malone has voted for budgets that do not adequately fund our local schools – all while cutting taxes for large out-of-state corporations and millionaires.
Second, Mr. Malone has voted to shift more of the tax burden onto our middle-class families. We need to eliminate the unnecessary new fees and taxes, and bring back things that help our families, like the child care tax credit, the back-to-school sales tax holiday and tax cuts for college savings plans.
Finally, we need to expand Medicaid. Not only would Medicaid expansion provide coverage for upwards of 500,000 of our fellow North Carolinians, it would mean tens of thousands of new jobs, and billions of dollars in savings over the next ten years. Moreover, decreasing the number of people without health insurance would lower health care costs for everyone because hospitals would no longer have to pass on the costs of uninsured patients to others. Indeed, a 2016 H.H.S. report found that insurance in the marketplace for middle-income folks cost less in the places that had expanded Medicaid. There is no reason, other than pure partisanship, not to expand Medicaid.
2. If you are challenging an incumbent, what decisions has the incumbent made that you most disagree with? If you are an incumbent, what in your voting record and experience do you believe entitles you to another term?
I most disagree with Mr. Malone’s repeated refusal to adequately fund our local schools and to pay our teachers a salary that is at least at the national average. I also strongly disagree with his vote to side with Duke Energy and have taxpayers foot the bill to
their coal ash that has polluted our drinking water and endangered our health. He has repeatedly voted to favor out-of-state corporations and special interests over our
families. He simply has the wrong priorities and it’s time for a change.
3. The state’s economy seems to be humming along nicely. How much of that do you attribute to the tax cuts enacted over the past several years? What policies would you like to see put in place to ensure growth going forward?
I attribute very little of the current economic situation to the state’s recent tax cuts. I believe that the growth of the state’s economy is due in large part to decades of investment in our public schools and universities, producing a dynamic workforce and attracting investments from across the world.
4. On the other hand, much of the wealth has gone to the state’s urban centers, whereas many rural areas are struggling. While this is in many ways a national phenomenon, what can North Carolina do to address the disparities in prosperity within its borders?
The struggle of rural communities is truly unfortunate. I believe that investing in North Carolina’s public schools and extensive community college system, with a focus on providing needed job skills, is vital in providing these communities with the workforce necessary to attract the investment necessary for their revitalization. Further, Medicaid expansion will help save our rural hospitals and expand employment opportunities in the health care field in these communities.
5. Republicans in the legislature have boasted in recent years of increased school expenditures and
teacher pay, some local officials, particularly in urban areas, have complained that it’s not good enough. Do you think North Carolina’s schools are being adequately funded? If not, what taxes would you be willing to raise—or what services would you be willing to cut—to fund them better?
Our public schools have been far from adequately funded. Our state’s recent budgets have made it clear that our children’s education comes second to tax cuts for large, out-of-state corporations.
6. In a similar vein, there has been a movement in recent years toward “school choice” programs such as vouchers and charter schools. Critics say these programs detract from traditional schools and may even exacerbate segregation. Do you support these programs and believe they need to be expanded?
Our tax dollars should go to fund our public schools. If legislators truly believe in “school choice,” they would focus on fully funding our public schools, instead of starving our schools and forcing parents into the arms of private and charter schools.
7. Do you believe the state of North Carolina should expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care
If so, do you believe that expansion should come with the work requirements the Trump administration is now permitting?
Medicaid expansion is an absolute must. It would not only help folks gain access to health care but also create tens of thousands of new jobs. I disagree, however, with a work requirement. Such a requirement would simply create a needless, and costly, additional level of bureaucracy. It would also create another barrier to accessing care and do nothing to address the underlying issues of poverty; it is simply meant to perpetuate the far-right’s tired trope that the working poor
lazy or somehow undeserving of help.
8. After the Parkland mass shooting, Florida passed a law raising the age of all gun sales to twenty-one and requiring a three-day waiting period on all gun purchases. There have also been calls to limit magazine sizes or ban assault-style rifles. North Carolina has fairly permissive gun laws. Do you believe the state’s gun laws need to be changed? If so, in what ways?
An overwhelming majority of North Carolinians want commonsense gun safety reform. But, for far too long, professional politicians like Chris Malone have stood in the way. I support the measures proposed by Governor Cooper and Democratic members in the General Assembly, including banning bump stocks, expanding background checks, and raising the age to buy assault-style weapons to 21. Additionally, I support increasing funding for school psychologists and counselors and to allow courts to take away guns temporarily from anyone deemed to be a risk. We can have gun safety reform and still protect the 2nd Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners – the two are not mutually exclusive.
9. Currently, twenty-nine states have minimum wages above the federal minimum. North Carolina is not among them. Do you believe North Carolina should raise its minimum wage―or, alternatively, give municipalities the ability to raise minimum wages within their jurisdictions?
Today, two working adults with two children would each need to earn $15.20/hour to make a living wage in North Carolina – more than twice our current minimum wage of $7.25/hour. A single parent with one
would have to earn $23.80/hour. People who work hard at 40 hours a week jobs should not be living in poverty or worry about how they are going to feed their kids. Clearly, there is room to increase North Carolina’s minimum wage. If nothing else, municipalities should have the authority to raise minimum wages in their jurisdictions.
10. The replacement bill for HB 2 that passed last year prohibits local governments from passing living-wage or nondiscrimination ordinances until 2020. It seems likely that this legislature will set limits on how much freedom local governments will have. Did you support the HB 2 replacement? Why or why not? And what restrictions, if any, do you believe the legislature should place on local governments when that moratorium expires?
I believe the HB2 replacement was a step in the right direction but did not go far enough. It is unfortunate that the legislature refused to simply admit their error and repeal the entire bill. I believe NC should adopt a uniform nondiscrimination statute that protects all people.
11. Over the last year, the state has frequently found itself in court over its legislative and congressional districts, which courts have ruled racial and, in the latter case, partisan gerrymanders. Do you believe the state’s legislative and congressional districts have been drawn fairly? Do you believe the process itself is fair? If not, how would you suggest changing it? Our legislative and congressional districts are some of the most gerrymandered in the country. North Carolina should adopt a nonpartisan redistricting commission in order to finally take partisanship out of drawing district lines.
12. While other states have relaxed their prohibitions on marijuana and raised revenues by taxing either recreational or medicinal cannabis, North Carolina has not. What sort of reforms, if any, would you support with regard to marijuana policy?
I believe that North Carolina should allow medicinal cannabis. It would not only generate significant revenue but, more importantly, it would give many of its citizens struggling with debilitating illnesses another option for treatment.
13. Give an example of a time, during your political career, when you have changed your position as a result of a discussion with someone who held an opposing view.
I’m a parent and a husband; I’m not a politician and I don’t have a “political career.” Obviously, the contentious partisan issues get the most attention at the General Assembly, but I know there is also a lot of good work that is done out of the spotlight on a bipartisan basis. If I am elected, I look forward to working with anyone who has a good idea that can make our state a better place.
14. What would you do to address the partisan rancor in the General Assembly? In what ways do you believe you can effectively work across party lines?
I believe that a lot of the rancor in the General Assembly is due to a simple lack of understanding and communication. I look forward to reaching across the aisle and working with any member that would like to move our state forward.
15. Identify and explain one principled stand you would be willing to take if elected that you suspect might cost you some points with voters.
Too many of our legislators are more concerned with keeping their job rather than doing their job. My campaign is a reflection of my principles and I, unlike Chris Malone, stand by my principles. My integrity, my name, the respect of my wife and kids – these things are worth far more to me than poll numbers.