One Charlotte Content – Actually Leg Leadership
In 1893, the North Carolina General Assembly adopted the Latin words “Esse Quam Videri” as our state’s motto, which means “To Be, Rather Than To Seem.” This motto is as important today as it has ever been at any time in the past century. As a state, we need to work together to tackle challenges that most all would agree should be top priorities. If we can set politics aside, we can make tremendous strides in setting North Carolina on a course for long-term success. This will take leadership.
Reasonable Taxes – The Republican led legislature has made great strides in reducing corporate and personal income tax rates, including providing a tax cut to working families. This reduction in tax rates has made us more competitive with surrounding states and has helped position North Carolina as the #1 state for business. We must continue tax policies which ensure our competitiveness.
Prioritize Investment in Infrastructure – There are $40 billion in identified – but still unfunded – road construction needs. North Carolina continues to experience significant population and traffic growth throughout the state and that growth must be followed by expanded infrastructure.
Teacher Pay – Recent Republican crafted state budgets provided much needed raises – 5 straight raises – to our teachers to an average salary of more than $50,000. For several decades, Democratic governors and Democratic led General Assemblies had held teacher pay to unacceptably low levels. While we are on the right track, we still have much work to do. We must ensure that we recruit and retain North Carolina’s best teachers by paying them the compensation they deserve.
Focus on At-Risk Students – We must continue to drive graduation rates higher, but ensuring that graduation does not come from “social promotions” which do a disservice to the student. Providing a pathway to career opportunities through Apprenticeships / Internships can help keep kids in school. Also, as a state, we all must ensure that every student is reading at grade level by Grade 3. Being behind in reading makes it difficult for kids to be successful in all subjects, for the rest of the school years.
Competitive Jobs Environment – We need to keep a focus on job recruitment and retention. A competitive business environment, coupled with a great quality of life and the nation’s best workforce, will keep more companies relocating and expanding across North Carolina. While there are continued successes in the largest urban centers, we must work equally hard to expand opportunities in the rural parts of our state. Continuing to expand high speed broadband internet and critical infrastructure – such as water & sewer and interstate quality roads – to all areas of the state are necessities to a successful statewide program.
Prioritize Spending – Continue to focus spending on key budget items which are core state government functions. Transportation, education, and public safety are the areas of highest priority for public dollars. Too often politicians of both parties are desperate to “fix problems” but it is as important to stay focused to ensure state money is being spent only on what are state responsibilities.