Erica Smith

U.S. House, NC-01

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I’m a mother of four, engineer, teacher, and former State Senator from rural Northeastern North Carolina. I grew up on a family farm and attended NC-A&T and worked as an engineer at Boeing in Seattle, WA for seven years. I moved back to my family farm when my father was diagnosed with dementia, and I’ve lived there ever since. That’s Northampton County, NC, where I grew up in and live in now. It’s a poor, majority-Black agricultural area. I love the land and the people, and I became involved in politics because I thought my community was being criminally neglected. The road leading up to our farm had never been paved. We only had access to dial-up internet. Wages were low and folks were losing jobs to companies overseas. I became involved in local Democratic politics, going from Precinct Chair to County Democratic Chair to School Board Member. In 2014 I ran for State Senate and won. For three terms as a State Senator I fought for a more progressive, democratic North Carolina. I fought to raise the minimum wage, legalize marijuana, make it easier to vote, secure a woman’s right to choose, provide rural broadband, expand Medicaid, and more. Now I’m running for Congress, because I’ve seen enough of the state and the country to know that the problems I originally identified in my own rural county are everywhere.

The first thing I say on the campaign trail is that I’m fighting for a government that works for all of us, not just the wealthy, not just the well-connected. I’m not wealthy and I’m not well-connected. I’m one of us for all of us. I’m running because the population of my district deserves a Congresswoman who actually represents them.

NC-02 is my home district. I was raised and live here now. I became an educator, school board member, and minister here. I care about the people here, the communities here, the environments here. It would break my heart for my neighbors to be represented by a corporate Republican. NC-02 hasn’t had a Republican congressperson since 1883. The GOP State Legislature has gerrymandered the district to a toss-up. I won’t allow the district I grew up in to be silenced by a racial & illegal gerrymander.

I’ve spent my political career fighting for small communities and farmers that have been left behind by CEOs, bankers, and our politicians. I’ve fought back against corporate monopolies that have hollowed out my district, leaving the people I love susceptible to opioid epidemics, predatory payday lenders, and extreme poverty. I’ve fought to repair our broken criminal justice system that systematically targets Black and Brown people. I know intimately that our economy and our politicians don’t work for people like me. Policy is personal for me. I know the injustice of poverty. I know the injustice of taking care of a medically fragile child in a broken healthcare system. I know what it feels when your son is wrongfully arrested because of his skin color. The legislation I fought for in the North Carolina State Senate reflects that. I will continue these fights in Congress.

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