Elections

NC House candidates: Where they stand on key issues

dhinshaw@charlotteobserver.com

N.C. House District 88

Mary G. Belk (Democrat)

Age: 61

Education: BS with Honors in Political Science from UNCC

Professional experience: Partner, New River Properties

Previous public offices held: Current Representative for State House district 88

Family: I am one of 8 siblings, a wife, and a mother to 4 adult children.

Website: www.MaryBelk.org

What would you do to ensure school safety?

Right now, the center of the debate in the House Select Committee on School Safety seems to be whether or not we should arm classroom teachers. I stand with our teachers when I say we should arm them with decent pay, classroom supplies, and textbooks -- not weapons. We also need to prioritize mental health treatment and funding, giving our students a safe space to manage mental health issues. We need to ensure that we have a system for effective and rapid emergency communication, and funds for security personnel, as needed. I would also work with industry experts to implement personal and classroom safety training for all personnel.

Do you support additional restrictions on guns or who can buy them?

Yes. I respect law-abiding gun owners who value the Second Amendment and its significance in our shared experience. But none of the rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights is without restriction, if a compelling governmental interest is met. Personally, I believe that we have gone too far in the direction of removing restrictions on the types of firearms available and how we determine who should reasonably possess them. We need meaningful, universal background checks for firearms purchases and transfers. We need to come to something more than rhetorical agreement on the intersection of mental health and guns in our country. And, we need more meaningful discussion in this country about the broad availability of guns, especially weapons originally designed for modern militaries.

Should CMS be broken up?

No. Our County cannot thrive without an education system that prepares all of our children, regardless of income or neighborhood, to be a part of our globally competitive community. That means investing in our teachers and prioritizing smart, innovative ideas that will improve our schools. As a legislator, I have been an outspoken supporter of our public education system, advocating for a comprehensive plan to fund smaller classes and raise teacher pay. Breaking up CMS would only exacerbate the issues we are working hard to resolve.

What would you do to improve the relationship between Mecklenburg County and the General Assembly?

I’m running for re-election to continue working for the people of North Carolina and to bring the focus back to what’s important to our community. Improving the relationship between Raleigh and Mecklenburg starts with more elected officials who are willing to put politics aside and work for our families. We need influential leaders who will bring balance back to our political system and who will talk with one another and not past each other. I ran in 2016 to end the focus on a divisive social agenda that was hurting our reputation, our community and our State. Having a relationship that acknowledges that what is good for our City is also good for our State will work to everyone’s benefit. We still have a lot of work to do to provide every family with the opportunity to educate their children, keep them healthy, and put them on a path to success. As your representative in Raleigh, that’s exactly what I’m going to keep doing.

Benton Blaine (Republican)

No response

Ty Turner (Republican)

Age: 37

Education: BA History North Carolina A&T State University Olympic HS “99

Professional experience: Political Consultant

Previous public offices held: None

Family: Engaged to Markis Milberry

Website: www.tyforhouse.com

What would you do to ensure school safety?

Well Charlotte Meck Schools have the funding and manpower to staff a full time security force in conjunction with Charlotte Mecklenburg police. Some counties within the state cannot afford to staff their schools in the same manner. We must make sure that the state helps to provide the necessary resources just as school security systems, cameras and lock gate technology that is present our newer schools such as Marie G. Davis here in Charlotte. We must also fill the gap to make sure that these schools have the personnel such as trained off duty police, private BLET certified security agencies to work in conjunction with sheriffs depts and local law enforcement in those areas, and if fully trained and certified school staff are available on a voluntary and approved basis. We also need to bridge the gap to provide mental health services in conjunction with guidance counselors to not only identify potential threats but also help parents who my have a troubled child to deal with that child’s needs, while maintaining a close relationship with admin v student body to keep communication lines open to monitor possible threats

Do you support additional restrictions on guns or who can buy them?

No, I do not support restrictions on GUNS than are currently on the books. I agree with the banning of bump stock accessories. I do believe that those with a history of mental health problems should also be restricted. As for the age I do not agree with the age being raised to 21. If you can serve this nation and give your life in the military at 18 than its unfair to restrict people at that age. Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Mental Health and prescription medications and the rise in opioid use have been proven to cause major chemical imbalances which the pharmaceutical industry must address. Remember the largest killer of teenager is car accidents, and you can get a license at 16.

Should CMS be broken up?

Yes, I do if it continues to let future generations slip through the cracks. We must do a better job to ensure that the students of Mecklenburg County get a fair, and quality education. The current situation has proven that CMS leadership is incapable of doing so. Its 2018 and we have segregated schools that in itself is a travesty. Even with a diverse county school board and and black Chairwoman they allow this injustice to happen. If schools such a Matthews feels that they can provide a better education for their residents that we should give them the option to do so, It is not CMS money this money has been provided to the state. We also must provide a better return on our investment. Currently we spend 54% of our state budget on education. Charlotte being the largest recipient and has had repeated low or sub par performance. The ability for a parent to choose the BEST option for their child be it charter, home, or public throwing money at the problem has failed. Again we spend 54% of the state budget on education we must diversify our investment and demand better results. Career Assessment Training for Children 1. 7th grade career assessment with a five year development plan 2. High school five year schedule planning 3. High school option Public, Charter, Private. 4. Voc. Tech/ College options 5. Involving the Parent and Guidance counselors in the process. High School on the Go! 1. Expansion of High School options for non-traditional students this includes pregnant women, bread winners, single fathers, handicapped individuals and those suffering from constant or terminal illness. 2. Incentivizing School Systems, Charter Schools, Private schools that provide extended night schooling, online and weekend options for these students. Community GED Programs/Making a second chance an option for those who have slipped through the cracks. 1. Moving the states GED program spending away from the Community College System back into the community. 2. Working with churches, community organizations, charter schools, housing authorities to make the option of getting a GED a possibility through accessibility and availability.

What would you do to improve the relationship between Mecklenburg County and the General Assembly?

Establishment of a District 88 Resource Office. We must make ourselves accessible to the people that we serve. The “call Raleigh” approach cannot continue. People need to have the ability to reach their representative locally. And with this approach we can ensure that the community, county and state are well inform 1. Create an “official local” office where the community can come to gather resources and training and satellite unemployment jobs center 2. Provide training and resources for citizens to gain education for government opportunities and contracts 3. Partner with businesses to offer employment opportunities and hiring fairs 4. Provide conference space for small off the ground organizations within the district to use as meeting and training spaces. 5. Mandatory “town halls” along with legislative updates to county and community leaders.

N.C. House District 92

Chaz Beasley (Democrat)

Age: 32

Education: AB, Harvard; JD, Georgetown Law

Professional experience: Currently an attorney at Alston & Bird LLP; previously worked at the US Senate and NC Supreme Court and in risk management

Previous public offices held: N/A

Family: N/A

Website: ChazBeasley.com

What would you do to ensure school safety?

Every child deserves a safe place to learn, and every parent deserves to be confident that our public school provides these safe spaces. While many safety-related decisions are made at the school board level, there are several measures we can undertake in the state legislature. First, we can provide the capital funding necessary for cash-strapped districts to build updated, better-designed school facilities. Recently, I hosted a public safety town hall with CMPD Chief Kerr Putney, and we discussed extensively the need for our school buildings to embrace modern, safer design methods. Second, we can increase the number of school resource officers (SROs) for the districts that choose to do so. While SROs are not a cure-all and their duties should be clearly defined, they can play a potentially positive role in school safety. Third, the General Assembly should pass a bill in the upcoming short session to study best safety practices from around the country and compile them for implementation by local school districts. Regardless of what ideas are implemented, we must ensure that parents, teachers, and even kids are included in the process. Everyone’s input is valuable when improving the safety and security of our schools.

Do you support additional restrictions on guns or who can buy them?

Recent incidents of violence, including the shooting in Parkland, FL, are heartbreaking examples of an ongoing problem in our society. As a legislator, it is my responsibility to work toward solutions that will keep our communities safe. While I have been a gun owner for years, I firmly believe that we can make common-sense updates to our laws that increase gun safety and responsibility without running afoul of the Second Amendment.

Should CMS be broken up?

There has been extensive economic research on this topic in recent years, and these studies commonly reach two conclusions that undercut the idea of breaking up CMS. First, breaking up large school systems results in increased segregation by race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. Given the heartbreaking trend toward increased segregation in our schools, we should not take measures that will make this problem worse. Second, the benefits for well-performing students are limited when large districts are broken up, while the damage done to students with learning challenges is extensive. This can result in many of our kids getting a worse education than they otherwise would. In education, our goal should be to improve outcomes, and breaking up CMS will likely do the opposite. Instead, we should implement changes that will benefit CMS as a whole.

What would you do to improve the relationship between Mecklenburg County and the General Assembly?

In my first term, improving these connections has been a major goal of mine. Strengthening ties between the county and the state depends in large measure upon building one-on-one relationships with other delegation members and government officials. Often, things as basic as grabbing coffee or talking on the phone regularly can go a long way in building these bridges. Additionally, we must share information with elected officials that stresses the interconnectedness of the county and the state as a whole. Neither Mecklenburg County nor the state government exist in a vacuum, and our futures and fortunes are inextricably linked. We must continue to work at building these relationships. It can take time, but with determination I am sure it will pay off in the long run.

Debbie Ware (Republican)

No response.

N.C. House District 98

Christy Clark (Democrat)

Age: 46

Education: BA, English, Roanoke College; Paralegal Certificate, Duke University

Professional experience: For the past 8 years, I have been working as a paralegal in corporate and intellectual property law. Previous to being a North Carolina Certified Paralegal, I worked in quality assurance in the field of transportation and logistics as well as manufacturing.

Previous public offices held: N/A

Family: Chris Clark - Husband; Grady, Hadley and Quincy Laas - children; Matthew Clark and Will Clark,- stepsons

Website: christyclarknc.com

What would you do to ensure school safety?

To truly protect our children, we need to look holistically at the problem. The first step is to try to understand, and prevent, these tragedies. This can be done in a variety of ways, but schools must acknowledge the issues that students face. With an increase focus on, and investment in, school psychologists, nurses and counselors, school faculty can identify and reach out to those students who are troubled and may show violent tendencies. And those students should not have access to weapons that can cause the devastation we saw in Parkland. In addition, schools need the resources to assist all students in dealing with increased stress and violence they are experiencing in their day to day lives. Training in conflict resolution and and increased per pupil funding will give students and school faculty and employees tools in which to deal with the pressures our students are experiencing. Schools should be prepared for an emergency with an action plan and safety procedures, but our schools need to focus on preventing these tragedies, not reacting to them. Only then can our children be truly safe in schools.

Do you support additional restrictions on guns or who can buy them?

I have worked tirelessly over the last five years with Moms Demand Action to prevent needless gun violence. I believe by keeping guns out of the hands of felons, domestic abusers and other violent citizens we can save lives. I support the enactment of extreme risk protection orders which would empower the courts to take guns out of the hands of those who are deemed a risk to themselves or their community. I would also work to close the the loopholes in the application process and strengthen background checks so that the same sensible laws that are in place to purchase a handgun in North Carolina apply to all guns.

Should CMS be broken up?

No, CMS should not be broken up. As the second largest school district in the state, CMS works hard to educate over 147,000 students. North Carolina has consistently fallen below the national average in per pupil spending and studies have shown that students of color and at high poverty levels are falling behind in the current school system and that must be addressed, but breaking up the county school system is not the way to do so. A break off of the various town schools into smaller, locally run schools would only result in an increase in segregated schools, both economically and racially. A recent study by CMS focused on three main indicators of disparities among schools: school attendance, which is disproportionately high in high poverty schools, teacher experience and effectiveness and availability and participation in academically rigorous courses. The breaking up of CMS is not the answer to solving these, and other inequities and failures in the school. But the studies and conversations must continue in order to assure that all CMS students are getting the best education available.

What would you do to improve the relationship between Mecklenburg County and the General Assembly?

As a volunteer advocate, I have spent the last five years working directly with legislators on both sides of the aisle attending Committee Meetings and Sessions. I have seen how lawmakers can work together, even if their interests diverge. Similarly, Mecklenburg County and the General Assembly do not need to work at odds with each other. Our shared goal is prosperity and safety for the people of North Carolina. As long as everyone stays focused on why we are in the General Assembly, to serve the people, it should not be a contentious relationship. I will always fight for and support the people of my district and expect that the other legislators will do the same. Together, we can identify common goals and work towards them.

Branden Rosenlieb (Democrat)

Age: 22

Education: MS Information Technology, BS Computer Science. Both from UNC Charlotte

Professional experience: Have spent the last ~4 years working in the information technology industry

Previous public offices held: None Elected. Currently appointed to the Mecklenburg County Information Services and Technology Advisory Committee.

Family: Most are local to NC. Both parents are factory workers. I have one brother.

Website: rosenliebfornchouse.org

What would you do to ensure school safety?

I am not in favor of the idea of arming teachers. I believe we have systems currently in place that do a lot of good that we could focus on improving/expanding: the instant computerized check being run on visitors, the fact that all exterior doors remain locked except for the main one that leads to the front office, and the presence of school resource officers in all our schools to provide law enforcement presence as well as build relationships with the students.

Do you support additional restrictions on guns or who can buy them?

I describe a three step program on my website that I believe is sensible gun reform and will lead to more responsible gun ownership among law abiding citizens: firstly, implement universal background checks for all gun sale transactions regardless of the type of firearm or who it’s being sold to. Secondly, implement a 3 day waiting period on the purchase of all firearms. Lastly, expand the list of violent crimes which disqualify people from owning firearms and for the list of crimes that temporarily prohibit purchasing firearms, consider extending the time frames for how long they’re prohibited from making firearm purchases.

Should CMS be broken up?

This is a hot debate whenever it comes up, be it CMS or another district in another part of the country. On one hand it is said that students do better in smaller schools because there tends to be more parent involvement, less violence, and students feel more accountable. On the other hand there is the concern that some schools may not get their fair share of funds/resources after being broken up. I believe that both sides of the discussion have merit and that regardless of whether or not CMS is broken up that we need to change the conversations from “How can I make sure things are set so that my child goes to the better school?” and instead be asking “How can we increase the quality of ALL the schools so that everyone is getting a good education, not just the students at the better schools?"

What would you do to improve the relationship between Mecklenburg County and the General Assembly?

Open communication, maintaining focus, avoid stalemates. All three of these things work towards a common goal. It is important for the county and the state to communicate well with one another so that both sides have as much information as possible to use when making decisions. Maintain focus on helping our county and our state. Avoid focusing on “what the county wants” or “what the state wants” and focus on what the citizens want. Lastly, both groups have to want to work together. Politics in general are high friction zones and it is important to remain flexible and be willing to find a balance in decision making that ultimately works best for citizens.

John Bradford (Republican)

No response.

N.C. House District 99

Priscilla D Johnson (Democrat)

Age: 69

Education: Attended CMS schools, further educated at Central Piedmont Community College, Queens University

Professional experience: Former Realtor, Retired Airline Employee after 30 years. Oth

Previous public offices held: Johnson’s professional career includes fifteen years with Eastern Airlines and fifteen years with USairways ,now American Airlines. In addition other employers include Bank of America, Accenture PLC, and General Electric.

Family: Married to Willie Spencer and they are the proud parents of one child, three grandchildren and two great grandchildren

Website: VotePriscillaJohnson.com

What would you do to ensure school safety?

  • Employees and students should wear Id badges at all times

  • Regular inspection of school and classroom locks.

  • Monitor security cameras more frequently

  • Each school district has in place a practiced plan that fits different scenarios

  • Implement intervention plans to help improve the environment and reduce bullying

  • Grants to support student mental health, trauma, or anxiety while promoting conflict resolutions to prevent future violence

  • Raise the topic of bullying among school students and address different methods of bullying such as cell phone, internet, and social media

Do you support additional restrictions on guns or who can buy them?

I support a ban on the sale of all military style weapons and components that supplement in the rapid firing of such weapons. As for non-military weapons, I support a law which mandates an age requirement of 21 in order to purchase.

Should CMS be broken up?

Splitting CMS, I believe will result in an outcome with school districts that are not very diverse. Currently, CMS is by far the most segregated school district in NC. If Matthews-Mint Hill split off, would other entities follow suit? If so, our schools become even more segregated. A diverse world is a reality not just with race but also income and culture. Our children are the big losers in such a decision. Education is the foundation for any area’s economic growth. To ensure a state with a great economy we need a state with a great educational and diverse work force for all, not just a few.

What would you do to improve the relationship between Mecklenburg County and the General Assembly?

As a representative I want to believe that we are partners not adversaries. As the Charlotte population and the economy grow, there could easily be a rift between the General Assembly and city leaders. I believe where there is a difference, perceived or not, it is wise for both bodies not to make impulsive decisions. I will support all parties coming together with an open mind, recognition of boundaries between our governing bodies and respect for ideas that differ. We must start somewhere and I am of strong opinion this is a good beginning.

Nasif Majeed (Democrat)

Age: 72

Education: BS Business Administration, MS Agricultural Education NC A&T State University, Airline Transport Pilot Certification, Associate Degree Food Management University of Florida

Professional experience: Aircraft Commander, Captain B-52 USAF, Piedmont Airlines Pilot, Burger King Franchisee, Chaplain NC Dept. of Corrections

Previous public offices held: Charlotte City Council (8 yrs.), Charlotte Housing Authority, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Commission, Charlotte Historic District Commission, Governors NC Commission on Education for Economic Growth

Family: Father of four children and three grandchildren

Website: majeedfornchouse99.com

What would you do to ensure school safety?

I want to focus on the mental health of students by employing more school psychologist, counselors, school resource officers and mental health professionals. We need to increase the use of metal detectors in schools to provide a safe and secure environment.

Do you support additional restrictions on guns or who can buy them?

Yes. We need to increase the age eligibility to 21, ban military assault weapons and conduct more intensive background checks.

Should CMS be broken up?

No. We should provide equitable funding and teacher resources for our Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools.

What would you do to improve the relationship between Mecklenburg County and the General Assembly?

I would first establish a more positive working relationship with the members of the Mecklenburg Delegation. I would would invite members of the legislature to Charlotte and share information about our region and visit their areas to understand their concerns. I would like to reestablish the lost art of diplomacy in our relationship with our local delegation and the state legislature

Rodney Moore (Democrat)

Age: 54

Education: Cape Fear Community College

Professional experience: Business Development Consultant

Previous public offices held: North Carolina House of Representatives

Family: Divorced

Website: www.moore4dist99.org

What would you do to ensure school safety?

I support school safety by making sure that our schools have a adequate number of school resource officers who are trained properly in crisis situations and have the training to defuse dangerous scenarios that protect the students and teachers of the school. I am opposed to arming school teachers in the classroom. We also need to raise the number of school counselors so that students can have a trusted resource to go to. We must do all we can to ensure that students have a safe educational environment where they can reach their full potential without the threat of violence.

Do you support additional restrictions on guns or who can buy them?

I support raising the age of the purchase of a rifle from 18 to 21. I also support a expanded waiting period for approval of the purchase of assault style weapons, and the banning of bump stock accessories.

Should CMS be broken up?

No.

What would you do to improve the relationship between Mecklenburg County and the General Assembly?

By making sure that we have monthly communication between the governmental divisions of the City, County, and the members of the Mecklenburg delegation.

Jackson Pethtal (Democrat)

Age: 42

Education: Information Technology Training and Certifications. Highly self-educated, as is possible in the information age, regarding many disciplines such as economics and banking, history, law, politics, government.

Professional experience: Technology services for governmental agencies (DoD, DHHS, FBI, local government), law firms, trade associations. Small business ventures.

Previous public offices held: n/a

Family: My wonderful partner of 12 years, Heather, and our rescue animals including dogs and chickens.

Website: http://www.votejackson99.com

What would you do to ensure school safety?

Highly secure entrances, school resource officers, video monitoring, early warning/alert systems. Additionally, I would enact legislation that requires that law enforcement takes credible threats seriously. Many of the recent shootings contained a component of law enforcement (usually at the federal level) being very aware of the shooters as credible threats yet failed to follow up on those reports. If law enforcement had followed up on those reports many of the shootings could have been prevented.

Do you support additional restrictions on guns or who can buy them?

21 year age minimum for AR-15 and similar rifles and additional mental health restrictions. As a man of Jewish lineage, that is aware of the history of the Holocaust and preceding events, I am hesitant to support bans on large swaths of weapons. People have a God-given right to defend themselves and their loved ones from harm. I support common sense restrictions that reduce the risk of unstable and immature people obtaining firearms, while ensuring the God-given right of self defense is not compromised.

Should CMS be broken up?

Not as a legal entity, no, but I think individual incorporated jurisdictions within Mecklenburg County (Matthews, eg) should be able to have more control over the schools in their jurisdictions, if they wish to. Addressing teacher retention rates by tying annual salary increases to the Consumer Price Index is a more pressing issue for our education system, both CMS and statewide that I will work to address.

What would you do to improve the relationship between Mecklenburg County and the General Assembly?

As Representative, I would be more much actively involved back home in the 99th District than my predecessors. One of the biggest keys to improving the relationship is simply communication. Too many legislators are elected to the Assembly then disappear to Raleigh and lose contact with the people they represent. In fact, the legislature is not required to even maintain a residence/domicile in the district that elected them, after election. This does not foster communication and cooperation. I intend to hold at least bi-annual publicized town hall meetings, create an often updated email list/blog/Youtube channel as to what the Assembly is doing and do everything I can to keep in contact with the people of the 99th. Hopefully, this level of communication will catch on and other Reps will start doing the same. I’ve been going door-to-door this campaign and there’s a feeling of a lack of communication from many constituents. I will fix this.

Joshua Niday (Republican)

Age: 25

Education: Bachelors degree

Professional experience: Little experience

Previous public offices held: None

Website: www.joshuaniday.com

What would you do to ensure school safety?

I believe there needs to be revamped and reviewed safety protocols including better locking of doors and cameras. I also believe in active shooter drills. We have fire drills, we have tornado drills. Why can’t we do the same with respect to an active shooter? It can save lives. I also think there should be an armed resource/ security officer in every school as we saw in the recent Maryland school shooting.

Do you support additional restrictions on guns or who can buy them?

No. I am for increased and better background checks, including for gun show sales and private transfers, but I do not think it is appropriate to ban law abiding 18,19, and 20 year olds from purchasing a gun. They have every right to defend themselves and their property. I also do not believe in banning “assault rifles” or semi auto rifles (as this would make most firearms illegal) , but I would be okay with a ban on bump stocks. I also think we must do a better job to address mental issues within the public school system.

Should CMS be broken up?

No.

What would you do to improve the relationship between Mecklenburg County and the General Assembly?

When you have a majority democratically governed city and county vs a majority republican General Assembly, it can tough to get along but I think careful dialogue is needed, on both ends. Both Charlotte and the NC General Assembly are important to the state, in many ways and I think finding common ground benefits everyone. I also think it would help if Charlotte wouldn’t pass disastrous ordinances like they did with the bathroom bill. It was a Pandora’s box that never should have been opened, it caused further distrust between Charlotte and Raleigh and turned our state into a fiasco. I don’t know if there is a feeling in Raleigh that Charlotte can’t govern, but passing stupid ordinances like the bathroom ordinance doesn’t help. In the end, Raleigh must always realize the importance of Charlotte to the state and Charlotte must be engaged with the state at all times to work together to make North Carolina a better place to live.

N.C. House District 100

John Autry (Democrat)

Age: 65

Education: 2 years college

Professional experience: Freelance Film Production, Former CTO at W.A.R.N. (Wide Area Rapid Notification)

Previous public offices held: Charlotte City Council 2011 to 2017, Mecklenburg Soil &Water Conservation District Board of Supervisors 2006 to 2011

Family: Wife: Rebecca; Children: Jennifer Ann, Sara, Jennifer Camille, Christopher; Grandchildren: Keara, Koal, Gabriel, Eli, Jude and Ben

Website: www.johnautry.com

What would you do to ensure school safety?

We should explore best practices for hardening structures. It might be that a lot of measures to ensure school safety aren’t centered around the school. It’s going to require more than just looking at schools. Ensure community safety and school safety is enhanced.

Do you support additional restrictions on guns or who can buy them?

Yes.

Should CMS be broken up?

No.

What would you do to improve the relationship between Mecklenburg County and the General Assembly?

That’s the question for the ages isn’t it? Legislators alone will not make as much progress without the assistance from the business community. Our business community has a key role to play.

Nancy Campbell (Republican)

No response.

N.C. House District 101

Chance Harris (Democrat)

Age: 22

Education: Bachelors of Arts in Political Science

Professional experience: Intern for Congresswoman Alma Adams. Member of the North Carolina Student Legislature.

Previous public offices held: none

Family: Youngest of three.

Website: chance4nchouse.com

What would you do to ensure school safety?

I would allocate money to help build better security systems at the schools as well as ID cards for all students and staff to enter any every building.

Do you support additional restrictions on guns or who can buy them?

I agree with raising the minimum age to 21 for all gun purchases, banning bump stocks and any other device to help the gun shoot faster. I also would fight to have all guns be re-registered every five years. Also I would ban the sale of guns at gun shows as well as person to person with out a professional present.

Should CMS be broken up?

No. I believe CMS should have the money to hire more quality teachers and keep classroom sizes small.

What would you do to improve the relationship between Mecklenburg County and the General Assembly?

I would tell them that like many other parts of this state our districts have needs as well, and that when one part of the state fails all parts of the state fail.

Carolyn Logan (Democrat)

Age: 60

Education: Graduated from Belmont Abbey College. Administrative Officers Management Program N.C State

Professional experience: Retired 30 years Law Enforcement, BLET Instructor. Incident Management Coordinator

Previous public offices held: None

Family: Three children. Divorced for 20 years

Website: LoganforNC101.com

What would you do to ensure school safety?

Resource officers in schools, secure entry doors

Do you support additional restrictions on guns or who can buy them?

Yes. If that means to increase background check requirements, raise the age limits, whatever. We have to start making changes to stop adding to the damage that has already been done.

Should CMS be broken up?

No. There are private schools for those who want their children to attend private schools, funding is for public schools and should not be used for any other means. It will end up benefiting the wealthier schools. Let’s use what we have to make CMS better.

What would you do to improve the relationship between Mecklenburg County and the General Assembly?

Instead of retreats with outside cities and states, I would suggest, we have retreats with our General Assembly and have periodical jointly meetings and team building exercises, to learn more about what we need from each other and what we can do to help each other with those needs.

Gregory Miller (Democrat)

No response.

Lucille Puckett (Democrat)

Age: 49

Education: Associates in Human Services, Bachelor in Social Work, Masters in Business Administration, Certified Housing Commissioner

Professional experience: Founder and Director of (Preparing At-risk Communities for Tomorrow Struggles) P.A.C.T.S. Today, National Action Network Crisis Director

Previous public offices held: NC Congressional District 12 Secretary, ACORN Tryon Hill Chair, Charlotte Housing Authority Commissioner, Charlotte Housing Authority City-wide Resident Advisory President, Dillehay Court Resident Association President, Heather Glen Neighborhood Association Vice-President,

Family: Child of God, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, grandmother, neice, and the like

What would you do to ensure school safety?

Arming teachers would be a big mistake, just like taking prayer out of the schools was. Since the schools are designed in so many different ways including many trailers and outside modules, it would not be a one size fit all approach. Educating students against bullying and addressing mental illness would be a great place to start. Safety is very important, so drills and training for student, staff, administrators, first responders, CERT, is also critical.

Do you support additional restrictions on guns or who can buy them?

Yes, additional restriction are needed, however, the rights of people should be protected. Gun sense makes sense. We can have all the restrictions allowed by man, but if the are overlooked when someone will ill-intent apply for permit or goes to purchase it will not do any good. Therefore, enforcement is key!!!

Should CMS be broken up?

No, one cannot want to be separated from CMS, but yet want the benefits of CMS. CMS just need more oversight, visionaries, resources, and finances,

Steve Mauney (Republican)

Age: 56

Education: AAS in Emergency Medical Services

Professional experience: 30+ Years of EMS (Paramedic)

Previous public offices held: None

Family: Single, with 2 Daughters and 1 Grandson

Website: WWW.MauneyNC101.com

What would you do to ensure school safety?

Although I personally believe that schools in general are more of a local issue, I’m very interested in what recommendations come out of the “House Select Committee on School Safety". I am particularly interested in where the funding for enhancements come from.

Do you support additional restrictions on guns or who can buy them?

I think if we enforce the laws already in place, there would be no need in enacting any further legislation. Speaking as a 30+ year Paramedic, (22 years in CLT at MEDIC) I highly doubt there is anyone in the political arena with the experience I have in dealing with the aftermath of violence. Notice I didn’t use the term “Gun Violence", Guns just make evil people work less in doing their evil. Guns are not the problem. I wish folks would stop trying to direct the narrative.

Should CMS be broken up?

I have yet to see any evidence that would suggest it beneficial. My thoughts initially are that more districts equal more administrative costs, thus lining the pockets of principal level and upward into district administration, while suppressing actual teacher salaries and benefit programs.

What would you do to improve the relationship between Mecklenburg County and the General Assembly?

For decades, we have been known as the ‘Sovereign State of Mecklenburg", to the point of it’s almost expected to be said. Obviously, I am not a politician. I have spent my entire adult life, encountering other peoples problems and doing my best to help either fix their problems or at least point them in the right direction. I have learned a little ‘humility’ goes a long way when leading folks to the right path.

N.C. House District 102

Becky Carney (Democrat)

Age: 73

Education: Graduate of Broughton High School, Raleigh, NC (1963)

Professional experience: Three terms as a County Commissioner At-Large (six years) Vice-Chair of the County Commission Eight terms (sixteen years) in the North Carolina House of Representatives

Previous public offices held: See above

Family: Becky and her husband, Gene, have 6 children and 14 grandchildren.

Website: www.beckycarney.com

What would you do to ensure school safety?

Whatever it takes! I was recently appointed to the House of Representatives’ Committee on School Safety. At the first meeting, Legislators proposed ideas for future committee meetings such as additional funding and better training for school resource officers, standardizing of school system planning for emergencies, adapting school infrastructure, and addressing mental health issues by funding more nurses and psychologists. National standards for school psychologists are one for every 700 students; North Carolina’s ratio is one for every 2100 students. These are only a few of the issues we will consider.

Do you support additional restrictions on guns or who can buy them?

Raise the age for purchasing assault weapons. Expand background checks. • Ban bump stocks. I am in support of North Carolina enacting a Red Flag Law, a policy that empowers family members and law enforcement to seek an Extreme Risk Protection Order. This is a court order temporarily restricting a person’s access to guns when they pose a danger to self or others.

Should CMS be broken up?

At this point my response would be “no” because I have seen no data that this would be beneficial to CMS as a whole; nor have I heard from any of my constituents that the system should be divided.

What would you do to improve the relationship between Mecklenburg County and the General Assembly?

I will continue to clarify and promote the full and substantial impact that the people and the economy of Charlotte/Mecklenburg have on the entire state. Charlotte/Mecklenburg should continue to grow and support a regional approach to our challenges and opportunities. Better communications from both parties can only lead to stronger relationships.

Josh Jarrett (Democrat)

No response.

Tyler Norris (Republican)

No response

N.C. House District 105

Wesley Harris (Democrat)

Age: 31

Education: PhD in Economics from Clemson University; August 2014 BA with Honors and Distinction in Economics from UNC Chapel Hill

Professional experience: Adjunct Professor of Economics - UNC Charlotte: 2017-Present • Economic Consultant - Ernst & Young: 2015-Present • Visiting Lecturer for University of South Carolina: 2014-2014 • Graduate Instructor for Department of Economics: 2010-2014

Previous public offices held: None

Family: Mother and Father in Statesville, NC • Twin Sister, Brother-in-Law, and two nieces, Winston-Salem, NC • Sister and Brother-in-Law with a Niece and Nephew in Kernersville, NC • Sister and Brother-in-Law with a Niece and Nephew in Apex, NC

Website: www.HarrisforNC.com

What would you do to ensure school safety?

We need to make sure that our schools have the resources necessary to be proactive in ensuring the safety of our kids, educators, and staff. Our schools need resource officers that are appropriately trained and capable of addressing threatening situations when they arise. Every single school should have a counseling staff to support our students and provide a space to address mental health problems before they become violent or deadly. If our students and teachers feel supported, and if our schools have the resources they need, we can start to actively combat violence in our schools instead of only being reactive.

Do you support additional restrictions on guns or who can buy them?

Yes. We need to address gun violence in our country on multiple fronts by ensuring that we have common sense regulations in place. We need to expand background checks, ban assault rifles, and prioritize mental health treatments to address the gun violence epidemic facing our country effectively.

Should CMS be broken up?

No. The Economic mobility crisis in Charlotte should be one of our top public policy priorities, and the key to begin solving this problem is ensuring that EVERYONE has access to a high-quality education no matter where they live. Charlotte is a city that is economically segregated to a high degree, and if we allow for CMS to be broken up, we will see a further divergence in quality of education in different parts of our community. If we allow the resource gap that exists between schools to grow, our economic mobility and affordable housing crises will only worsen. CMS is one of the best assets we have in our efforts to improve economic mobility. Our school system needs improvements in many areas, but breaking it up would only exacerbate existing issues.

What would you do to improve the relationship between Mecklenburg County and the General Assembly?

Growing up in a rural part of our state gave me a unique perspective on the vital difference access to resources can make in the lives of all of our families. We can’t build better relationships with and within the general assembly if we have an underlying urban vs. rural mentality. We must make a conscious effort in every debate to show how fostering more development and opportunities in our urban corridor goes to help out our neighboring rural communities. We also need a commitment to rural development, to ensure that we are not losing opportunities that would benefit our State. For North Carolina to flourish, we all have to work together. Right now, the real needs of countless families across our State are being neglected by a legislature that is more concerned with settling political scores. Improving the relationship between our State and County starts with having representatives who will prioritize the well-being of our communities instead of pushing partisan agendas that only hinder our development.

Ayoub Ouederni (Democrat)

No response.

Scott Stone (Republican)

No primary opponent

N.C. House District 106

Carla Cunningham (Democrat)

Age: 56

Education: Licensed Practical Nurse Diploma 1981 from Central Piedmont Community College, Associates Degree in Nursing 1996 from Gaston College, Bachelors of Science Degree in Nursing 2009 from Winston Salem State University

Professional experience: Licensed Practical Nurse 1981-1986 Mercy Hospital specialty area Neurology and Medical Surgical. Carolinas Medical Center 1986-1993 specialty area Telemetry/Intensive Care Step-down Unit/ Burn Unit Overflow. Long-term Care, Pediatrics, Coronary Care, Home Health, Industrial Nursing, Agency Staff relief Nurse 1993-1996. Post Acute Rehabilitation Nursing Manager 1996-1999, Saturn Rehabilitation Center Staff Development Coordinator, Special Ass. to Nursing Director 2008-2010, Healthcare Professionals Institute Nursing Educator and Clinical Instructor for Certified Nursing Assistant students 2010-2012, Hospice Nursing 2012-2014, a total of 37 years of practice in the Nursing profession in multiple fields in North Carolina and Virginia. As well as, a Subway Franchise Owner/Operator 2001-2008 in Charlotte.

Previous public offices held: NC Commission MH, DD, and SAS 2011-2012 , Elected to NC House of Representatives in 2013. Completing my third term in the North Carolina General Assembly.

Family: One daughter, One son, three grandchildren, and one grandson.

Website: carlacunninghamnchouse.com

What would you do to ensure school safety?

Increase school support staff such as social workers, nurses, psychologist, counselors, and school resource officers. Provide additional Crisis Intervention Training for SROs. Implement the Speak-Up app. so students have accessibility to report anonymously without fear of retaliation.

Do you support additional restrictions on guns or who can buy them?

Yes, I support Common Sense Gun control measures such as Universal background checks, improvement to the National Instant Background Check, and a ban on assault weapons.

Should CMS be broken up?

No

What would you do to improve the relationship between Mecklenburg County and the General Assembly?

Continue to dialog and work with my colleagues on issues that impact their districts. As well as, work to create a perception that does not separate us by rural and urban regions but unites us in the state to work for the betterment of all North Carolina citizens.

Blanche Penn (Democrat)

Age: 66

Education: I have been involved in the leadership arena for more than thirty years and would like to continue to do it for many more. I am currently a “Ph.D. candidate” at Concordia University and maintains an A average. My commitment to the arts led me to a bachelor’s degree in Theater Arts from University of North Carolina Charlotte in 2013. I also hold a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Concordia University in 2015. Association Degree from Central Piedmont Community College in Business Administration and Human Services.

Professional experience: Professional experience * I retired in 2016 from Mecklenburg Park and Recreation after thirty years of service as a Recreation Specialist. I was also a Facility Manager at West Charlotte Recreation Center, Executive Director of Winners PLUS Inc. and Voice 4 The People. I became involved in special education issues when I discovered that one of my children was not receiving appropriate services. That led me to become a leader with the Exceptional Children Assistance Center. I have empowered participants at seminars, workshops, and general meetings on the rights of the developmentally disabled. Through those efforts, Governor Jim Hunt appointed me to the North Carolina Developmental Disability Council board.

Previous public offices held: N/A

Family: I was married for 37 years and have four children and eleven grandchildren all attend or have attended C.M.S.

What would you do to ensure school safety?

Reinvent the collaboration with the role of the CMPD and their input into safety within the school system. Schools faced violence, drugs, bullying, crime, and terrorism and the only way to ensure school safety is to be prepared and have a school safety security action plan. In this school plan, it must be important that parents, teachers, students, and administrators understand what is expected of them if someone were to attack their schools. Schools should have security doors, cameras, emergency exits and a plan to secure all students to ensure the safety of the schools.

Do you support additional restrictions on guns or who can buy them?

I believe that guns are used for protection and hunting, but guns in the wrong hands can hurt innocent individuals. Yes, advocate for restrictions on machine guns and other dangerous guns; the 2nd amendment shouldn’t be utilized within the public eye by all means. I understand if we have too many restrictions criminals can still break laws and it keeps non-criminals from getting guns.

Should CMS be broken up?

No, C.M.S should not be broken up. We need to keep our eyes on House Bill 704/S.L. 2017-198 (Divide School Systems Study Committee) a new joint legislative committee. C.M.S is a body in whole and should remain.

What would you do to improve the relationship between Mecklenburg County and the General Assembly?

What I would do to improve the relationship between Mecklenburg County and the General Assembly is for both political parties to sit at the table to have a balanced conversation about the issues and concerns of Mecklenburg County. It is important for the General Assembly and Mecklenburg County to have a different perception of what everyone roles are in the General Assembly and Mecklenburg County.

Geovani Opry Sherow (Republican)

Age: 41

Education: Psy/Pol Sci @ UNCC

Professional experience: Commercial contractor/Sales Adviser

Previous public offices held: N/A

Family: Wife/Son

Website: https://m.facebook.com/geovani.sherow/about?lst=1566624938%3A1566624938%3A1523035564&ref=bookmarks

What would you do to ensure school safety?

Arm eligible teachers and school staff

Do you support additional restrictions on guns or who can buy them?

No restrictions for all lawful abiding citizens

Should CMS be broken up?

Yes

What would you do to improve the relationship between Mecklenburg County and the General Assembly?

To ensure a stronger two-way dialogue between both parties so that they remain on the same accord through information and receive updates with current issues

N.C. House District 107

Kelly M Alexander Jr (Democrat)

Age: 69

Education: AB, Political Science & MPA from UNC-CH; Diploma, West Charlotte HS

Professional experience: Funeral Director; Insurance Agent; Instructor at various colleges & universities

Previous public offices held: Elected to NC House to fill unexpired term in 2008

Family: Divorced; one son

Website: VoteKellyAlexander.com

What would you do to ensure school safety?

Support improved perimeter security; more resource officers at schools; better locks and stronger class room doors

Do you support additional restrictions on guns or who can buy them?

Yes, Introducing bill in short session

Should CMS be broken up?

No. This would promote segregation and increase taxes

What would you do to improve the relationship between Mecklenburg County and the General Assembly?

Elect representatives who are willing to work with the other members of our delegation as a team across party lines, on the priorities of our city , county and region. To foster this city/county elected officials need to meet more frequently with our state delegation.

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