What We Stand For

The time has come for a new generation of leadership in Raleigh that has a vision for the future and is committed to doing what is best for the people and our democracy. As a progressive Democrat, and as a visionary leader with experience in business and at the federal and state levels of government, my platform goes beyond the basics. Senate District 16 is a special area in North Carolina, and I want to make sure it remains that way. District 16 and I share much in common – we represent the future, innovation, technology, and diversity.

I am proud to share my platform to serve the people of North Carolina and my own constituents in District 16. I want everyone to know that as a long-time public servant I am driven by the desire to leave this state better and more beautiful than it was handed to us.

INVESTING IN HIGH-QUALITY PUBLIC EDUCATION & In OUR TEACHERS

As the proud parent of children that attend Wake County PUBLIC schools, and as the first in my family to attend school and graduate from college, education is personal to me and will always be my top priority. My vision is for every child across the state to receive a top quality education and for North Carolina’s public school system to be ranked as one of the top five in the country. Unfortunately, today NC’s public school system now ranks at the bottom in many areas due to the policies that Republicans have promoted in recent years. As your Senator I will fight to:

  • Increase per pupil funding for all public schools above the national average, and adequately and equitably invest in our children’s education including their school buildings
  • Increase pay for public school teachers and principals above the national average and reinstate master’s and other relevant advanced degree pay
  • Decrease the student loan burden on families by increasing student access to colleges courses while in high school
  • Demand transparency and accountability for school choice programs
  • Ensure taxpayer money stays in our public schools

increasing Affordable healthcare & health services for the elderly

For too many people in North Carolina, access to affordable medical care or to mental health and substance abuse programs is still out of reach – or is at risk. I believe that in order for North Carolina to be a competitive and healthy state we must expand health access for all. At this point in time NC ranks 33rd in the nation in the latest health rankings, and a major challenge is the high percentage of uninsured people in our state. Furthermore, our population is getting older: next year there will be more people over 60 than under 17 in our state, and it is critical that we as a state prepare for this major demographic shift. As your Senator I will fight to:

  • Expand Medicaid to cover over half a million people that currently lack health coverage
  • Increase support for non-Medicaid funded services to help older adults live independently in the community and for adult protective and public guardianship services
  • Reject any federal proposal that restructures our healthcare system in a way that harms people in North Carolina
  • Address the opioid epidemic that is affecting many families and communities in our state
  • Invest adequately in mental health services and ensure consistent access for individuals of all ages regardless of their geographic location

Fighting for our democracy and ensuring Good governance & ACCOUNTABILITY IN STATE GOVERNMENT

As a former Assistant State Auditor I believe in good governance, transparency and accountability - as they are the foundation of a strong democracy. Furthermore, at a time when many legislators do not understand how government works I am committed to using my knowledge and experience to ensure proper oversight of all state agencies. It is critical that all of our agencies are effective at addressing current and emerging challenges. As your Senator I will fight to:

  • Stop gerrymandering and create an Independent Redistricting Commission to draw future political maps
  • Establish Automatic Voter Registration in our state so that every citizen can vote as soon as they turn 18
  • Fix and restructure the state’s tax revenue system as it is inadequate to address our existing needs
  • Strengthen controls across state government to eliminate Fraud, Waste, and Abuse
  • Recruit and retain the best state employees and restore retiree health benefits for future teachers and state employees
  • Ensure all state employees including prison workers are provided safe work environments
  • Secure and modernize Information Technology (IT) all across state government

Fighting for economic and social justice for all

As the son of immigrants, and as the only Hispanic that would be serving in the General Assembly, I stand for inclusion, diversity and the equal treatment of all. I stand ready to fight against any form of hate or discrimination towards any community. Furthermore, I believe that our economy should work for everyone - not just those at the top. Since taking control of our legislature, Republicans have put up barriers in front of many communities in our state that are preventing them from achieving their full potential. I am committed to breaking down those barriers and creating opportunities so that every person, family, and community in North Carolina can thrive. As your Senator I will fight to:

  • Enact stronger gun laws and policies to ensure all children and families are safe from gun violence
  • Fully support the integration of migrants, refugees, and immigrants in our state
  • Raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour and promote worker’s rights
  • Eliminate the Racial and Gender pay gaps that exist
  • Reduce the number of people living in poverty in our state
  • Defend a woman’s right to choose (Pro-Choice), protect pregnant workers from workplace discrimination, and support paid family leave
  • Defend the LGBTQ community against any form of discrimination
  • Defend veterans in our state and the benefits they have earned
  • Ensure everyone in our state can obtain an ID, or a driver's license after passing a drivers test
  • Reduce mass incarceration and end the school to prison pipeline
  • Ensure law enforcement treats all individuals equally and are afforded due process

promoting the Jobs of the Future and Elevating our Tech Hub

As someone that has a technology and cybersecurity background I recognize that District 16 plays a key role in the state due to our tech hub and talented workforce. As a visionary I want to elevate our presence so that we can become a national leader in having the jobs of the future in our district and state. By making smart and sustainable investments in our people - the building blocks of strong, dynamic economies -  we can create more opportunities and set up our district for continued success in the future. As your Senator I will fight to:

  • Promote District 16 across the country with a commitment on creating and bringing tech & innovative companies to our district
  • Ensure our district plays a leading role in all the occupations that will be most in-demand in the coming years across various sectors (STEM, analytics, environment, medical, housing, and transportation)
  • Establish work-retraining programs to allow each person the opportunity to learn new skills so that nobody falls behind in our evolving digital and information-based economy
  • Ensure each person, in every part of the state, has access to high-speed, affordable internet
  • Repair the infrastructure legacy that was built by prior generations

PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT

North Carolina is a beautiful state and we must protect its environment in order to preserve and enhance the quality of life for all its people. That is why I support action at all levels of government to curb climate change, protect clean air and water in our communities, defend public lands, increase energy efficiency and energy access, keep dirty fuels in the ground, invest in clean and renewable energy sources, and regulate harmful pollutants. As your Senator I will fight to:

  • Invest adequately in the NC Department of Environmental Quality to ensure it can accomplish its mission and help the state promote clean air, clean water, clean land, clean power
  • Get rid of the Hardison Amendment which forbids North Carolina from having stricter environmental rules than the federal government
  • Developing a state energy plan that commits to no new fossil fuel projects and powering the state with 100% clean, renewable energy by 2050
  • Ensure NC’s coastal communities, economies, and ecosystems are not put at risk by offshore drilling and seismic blasting