Erik Davis – North Carolina- State House (District 78)
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.
I am an Asheboro, NC, native.. I hold a Master’s in Applied Geography, and have focused on topics such as environmental science and urban planning. I have worked a variety of jobs ranging from retail clerk to laboratory assistant to my current job is being a substitute teacher for the Asheboro City Schools.
Why are you running for office?
There are many reasons. I want to give a voice to the Democratic people of the area. I want to protect women’s rights at the State level, given the Supreme Court has erroneously given us that power. I feel that Medicaid should be expanded and that the rights of the LGBTQ+ community should be protected. I want to help maintain the Governor’s slim veto power. I hope to represent the people in a way that benefits the state moving forward instead of staying mired in the past, and I want to provide an option for constituents instead of letting my Republican opponent run unopposed.
What are the three biggest issues facing your community?
There are many: inflation, wages, and the like. I want to work to remedy those, but other issues revolve around expanding Medicaid, working for education reform, and working to expand affordable, high-speed internet access. All of these issues have the potential to improve the quality of life for North Carolinians.
How do you propose to solve those problems?
On Medicaid expansion, I hope to help get it passed. There is no reason to not pass the expansion. The money is already there, and we as a state have already paid for it. We might as well get something for what we pay for, if for no other reason. Then there is the roughly $1 billion+ projected surplus each of the next few years if we were to accept it.
On education reform, I want to work to increase teacher wages. I know the current budget has a roughly 4.2% average increase in pay, but still means teachers are making substantially less today than they did in the early 2000s when adjusted for inflation. I also want to work to expand access for interventionists and aides in the classroom and to bring back Master’s pay. Paying well-qualified professionals as if they are well-qualified professionals will bring teachers back to the state and lower the brain drain of those already here.
On internet access, I would like to build upon the work of the current Administration to expand access. There are far too many areas in the State and District 78 that have little to no access. The current era is one of technological access, and this has been seen even more readily due to the Covid Pandemic. Many jobs have also gone to online application processes, reducing the access of those without proper internet. Effective monopolies across the state between a small number of internet providers has allowed them to simply refuse to provide adequate access to areas not deemed cost-effective despite the fact that having proper internet access is becoming more and more a basic necessity and utility.
What is your stance on environmental and climate concerns that are facing your community?
I have an extensive background in environmental science and climate, and I would hope to bring that to the State level. Our impact on the climate has been profoundly negative, even if my particular District may not see all of the impacts firsthand. North Carolina in particular has issues with noxious development and NIMBY regarding issues such as hog farming.
What commonsense gun safety measures would have the most impact on your community?
Strengthening background checks and oversight of the process, raising the minimum age for firearms, and reducing the capacity of magazines would all benefit the nation at large.
How would criminal justice reforms impact your community?
Criminal Justice reform is, sadly, still an issue across the nation and my state. Minimum sentencing laws cause a disproportionate number of people to be incarcerated for petty crimes or minor infractions, bail and court fees have contributed to a “debtors prison” for the poor despite such prisons supposedly having been outlawed, and just recently the Supreme Court has reduced the ability of inmates to be able to petition for new evidence at the Federal level (Shinn v. Martinez Ramirez). Reform in these areas would save tax dollars, save lives, and help to end the marginalization of poor and minority communities caused by these systemic issues.
How would you work to protect a woman’s reproductive health?
I would work to hold the line at the State level to maintain the right of a woman to have a safe and legal abortion, as well as petition the Federal Government to codify these rights. I would also work to expand maternity leave and continue to provide proper care and aid to those in poor and underserved communities.
What measures would you advocate to ensure that your constituents have the right to vote?
I would work to expand early voting and increase voter outreach. I would lead the fight to guarantee all eligible people can vote. More oversight on poll watchers may be warranted to assure there is no voter intimidation. I know during the primary election in at least one location in North Carolina there was an instance of voter intimidation and suppression to keep Democrats from voting.
If elected, I would also push to expand the state’s holiday schedule to include election day.
These local races are especially key in the upcoming election. The Supreme Court has provided the individual states the ability to protect or reject rights. We need to keep people like my opponent from gaining office because they will not hesitate to continue to remove long-held rights and set us all back instead of continue to move us forward.
“Posts by or about political candidates do not imply endorsement. All posts are created by answers from our Meet the Candidates survey.”
DemCast is an advocacy-based 501(c)4 nonprofit. We have made the decision to build a media site free of outside influence. There are no ads. We do not get paid for clicks. If you appreciate our content, please consider a small monthly donation.