Investing in Our Public Schools
Like many of you, I grew up with not a lot of extras – there were 6 of us in a 3 bedroom house. Neither my mom nor my dad had been to college and they broke their backs working so I could. But no amount of work at my parent’s pay could have gotten me into college unless it was affordable. I credit my success in business to the all the educational opportunities I was given. Affordable education made me a contributing member of society. An investment in me was an investment in the future. And that’s how we build the economy of the future. An economy with more jobs and opportunity, we root it in strong education.
There is no future without accessible education and a workforce that can compete globally. We cannot give tax breaks to the wealthy and out-of-state corporations when we can’t afford textbooks. We cannot fire teacher aides to pay for teacher raises. This is not how you create a quality school system to train our future workforce or how we attract businesses and families to move to North Carolina.
Common Sense Gun Reform
There is still too much gun violence in this country, and even though I cannot enact changes on the national level, I can push for common sense gun reform in North Carolina. I am willing to stand up to the NRA and push to strengthen current gun laws and to add additional laws to prevent future gun violence. Here are some of the gun policies I will want to fight for:
– Maintain and strengthen background checks including for private sales
– Prevent domestic abusers from owning and buying guns and close the boyfriend loophole
– Preventing those with severe mental illness from owning and buying guns
– Allow law enforcement to prohibit people from carrying a concealed gun on the basis that they pose a danger or threaten public safety
– Empower the government to collect and study information about trends in gun violence
– Increase mental health resources in our communities and schools
Clean Water is a basic resource
Water is one of our most precious resources and protecting it is one of the most urgent environmental issues we face. One of the first votes I cast was to vote against the recent fracking law because, as you and I both know, water is one of our most precious resources and protecting it is one of the most urgent environmental issues we face.
I voted against this law because it serves as a huge boon to energy corporations at the expense of safe drinking water for our families. Fracking involves pumping chemicals into our soil and we don’t know what the health impacts of that may be. More than that, the fracking law makes it a felony to disclose the chemicals used in fracking so we won’t even know what’s in our soil and water.
Our local economy depends on our water and waterways. Companies like Sierra Nevada locate here because of the abundance of water. We cannot squander these resources. Clean drinking water is paramount to our community health and the success of our local economy.
Growing Our Economy
Look Around. Sadly, our state is headed in the wrong direction. Since Republicans took control of the NC General Assembly, their fiscal actions have served a short-sighted objective – to give as many tax breaks as possible to wealthy corporations and individuals, at the expense of the state’s middle class.
While North Carolina had the fifth worst jobless rate in the country, Republican legislators slashed unemployment benefits, making them some of the most restrictive in the country. Instead of forging an infrastructure on which to build a stronger economy, Republicans are gutting an educational system that was respected nationwide. Over 300,000 North Carolinians lack healthcare because of the state’s refusal to expand Medicaid, needlessly forfeiting millions in federal dollars which NC taxpayers are helping to fund. Meanwhile, our hospital systems scramble to cover both charity care and cuts in reimbursement based on the assumption that Medicaid would be expanded.
Cutting public benefits does not create jobs it just further hurts the most vulnerable members of our community, the people that with a little help could go back to work and be stable taxpayers. We need to protect our working families and not push them into poverty.
Bringing back responsible government
We need to return accountability and transparency back to our government. In this last session of the Legislature, we have seen what happens when unfettered power run amok over and the irreparable damage this causes to our civil rights and most respected institutions.
We cannot forget NC Department of Health and Human Services Department’s notorious mishandling of public benefits at the expense of our working-poor families. Severe problems in processing Medicaid claims led to a backlog of 90,000 claims and numerous claims being wrongly rejected. And the failure to properly distribute food stamps to eligible children and families in North Carolina led to a backlog of 30,000 cases in December 2013 and to threats to suspend funding by the federal government.
We need greater oversight of statewide agencies when problems arise. This is not an issue of micromanaging our hardworking public servants. This is an issue of addressing crisis facing our most vulnerable families quickly and ensuring that our government is best serving the needs of hardworking North Carolinians.
Endorsements from organizations:
Equality NC: Equality NC is dedicated to securing equal rights and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) North Carolinians. Click here to learn more.
Lillian’s List: This organization works tirelessly to support NC’s progressive pro-choice women as they run, win and lead at all levels of political leadership. Click here to learn more.
North Carolina Association of Educators (www.ncae.org) and Buncombe County Association of Educators (www.buncombencae.org) – advocates for educators and public school employees in the state and county.
North Carolina League of Conservation Voters PAC: Endorses pro-environmental candidates for N.C. General Assembly and other statewide offices. These endorsements take the guesswork out of voting for candidates who will protect our clean air, clean water, and the health of our communities. Click here to learn more.
North Carolina Police Benevolent Association, Inc.: The NCPBA is composed of law enforcement personnel from all over the state of North Carolina. These officers are employed by either federal, state, county or municipal governments. Click here to learn more.
North Carolina Sierra Club Political Committee: Works to elect pro-environmental candidates. Click here to learn more.
State Employees Association of North Carolina: SEANC is committed to protecting and enhancing the rights and benefits of current, retired and future state employees. Click here to learn more.
Western N.C. Labor Council and N.C. State AFL-CIO: The North Carolina AFL-CIO Central Labor Council (WNC CLC) is a branch of the federation of labor, representing members of many labor unions throughout Western North Carolina. The mission of the WNC CLC is to improve the lives of working families—to bring economic justice to the workplace and social justice to our state and the nation. Click here to learn more.
Andy Ball, Former Mayor of Boone
Ken Brame & Judy Maddox, Leicester
“Terry Van Duyn is a senator that not only votes to protect our environment, but one who knows the impact of air and water pollution on the health of the people of NC. She also knows how important it is to our economy to protect our beautiful mountains and streams if we want to continue to attract tourists and the businesses that will pay good wages to our region.”
“Proud to know Terry Van Duyn since 1980. Smart as a whip, tougher than nails, able to leap tall obstacles in a single bound, and is completely full of common sense. Not to mention her sense of humor, which is important when there is so much insanity.”
Justin Conley, Young Democrats of North Carolina President
Michael DeBruhl Blankenship, Asheville
“Terry Van Duyn is an advocate for the best interests of our children and kin; our environment; livable wages; and a sustainable ‘Buy Local’ economy throughout these contiguous Western North Carolina counties … Terry Van Duyn ‘gets it’ – that we work straight shifts, split shifts, call-ins, weekends, holidays, days, nights, stretches, the grave-yard, part-time, and on and on and that people are hurting all around us. I trust that she will do good things for her district and, and contiguous Western North Carolina.”
Dr. Olson Huff, consultant to the Mission Hospital Health Care Foundation
Jane Whilden, former representative N.C. General Assembly
Jake Quinn, Asheville, Democratic National Committee
“Terry Van Duyn is the rare soul who sought elective office, not for money, power or prestige, but in order to serve her community and to provide help for people who need it. I am proud to have Terry represent me in the North Carolina Senate, and I enthusiastically endorse her re-election. I encourage all Buncombites to vote for Terry Van Duyn, and to help her continue to help us.”
Letters to the editor:
“Terry Van Duyn is a lady and a soldier,” Oct. 1, 2014, Asheville Citizen-Times, by David G. Nutter
“Backs Van Duyn in N.C. Senate race,” Sept. 23, 2014, Asheville Citizen-Times, by Christopher Pratt
“Van Duyn is a clear voice for WNC,” Sept. 19, 2014, Asheville Citizen-Times, by Pat Hinkley
“Readers offer backing Terry Van Duyn,” Sept. 18, 2014, Asheville Citizen-Times, letters by Leslie Boyd and Myra Grant