Candidates for North Carolina General Assembly

Get ready for Election Day and meet the candidates running for office.

Each local and state candidate was provided a questionnaire to complete and share their position on arts and culture. Below are the responses we received.

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Candidates for North Carolina House of Representatives

Chaz Beasley2Chaz Beasley

2016 CANDIDATE FOR North Carolina House of Representatives, district 92

DEMOCRAT

 

Research has shown that arts education positively affects achievement, discipline, attendance, and graduation rates. Business leaders have indicated that North Carolina’s economy needs a workforce that is not only educated but able to excel in 21st century skills, including innovation and creativity. How do you propose funding arts education opportunities to ensure all North Carolina students have access and opportunity to experience the arts?

I am a strong supporter of arts education in our public schools. As a child, my mom encouraged me to engage with the arts and would take me to the theater regularly. It is one of the reasons I have been a supporter of the ASC Young Donors Society. It is critical that we foster the talents of all our young people, and we do this by providing them with a broad education that includes multiple areas of potential interest, including the arts. Exposure to the arts will allow students to determine at a young age whether the arts is where their strongest talents lie.

According to the most recent Arts & Economic Impact Study, North Carolina’s cultural community generated $1,241,874,488 in economic activity during fiscal year 2010. This activity provides over $119 million in revenue for local and state governments and supports 40,605 NC jobs. How would you promote the NC nonprofit cultural sectors as part of the State’s economic development strategy? Please explain.

As a supporter of the ASC, I recognize the economic impact of arts and culture-related nonprofits. We should continue to partner with these organizations to provide relevant programming in our communities. We should also provide these nonprofits with opportunities to spread the word about their work in a cost-neutral manner.

Funding from the North Carolina Legislature supports important arts programming in Mecklenburg County. In FY16, funds distributed by the North Carolina Arts Council provided close to $1 million in support of organizations such as the Charlotte Symphony, Mint Museum, Opera Carolina, Community School of the Arts, Charlotte Ballet and Children’s Theatre, as well as funding that supported project and festival grants awarded by ASC across Mecklenburg County. Do you believe the funding of such programs should keep pace with the growth in our state population? If so, what leadership will you provide to set a per capita level of funding for statewide initiatives such as this?

I believe spending for critical programs like these should, as much as practicable, keep up with the needs of the programs. As our county grows, our needs will grow as well. I will support initiatives to ensure that arts and cultural programs here in Mecklenburg County are properly and adequately funded.

Funding from the North Carolina Legislature supports invaluable programs such as the North Carolina Science Grant Program. This partnership is the only statewide education initiative preparing youth and adults for careers in science and technology. Do you believe the funding of such programs should keep pace with the growth in our state population? If so, what leadership will you provide to funding for statewide initiatives such as this?

As with artistic and cultural programs, I believe we should support and adequately fund programs encouraging our youth to engage in science and technology. Such skills are crucial in our modern economy, and we must similarly encourage our young people to develop these talents early on.

Jane CampbellJane Campbell

2016 CANDIDATE FOR NORTH CAROLINA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, DISTRICT 98

Unaffiliated

 

Research has shown that arts education positively affects achievement, discipline, attendance, and graduation rates. Business leaders have indicated that North Carolina’s economy needs a workforce that is not only educated but able to excel in 21st century skills, including innovation and creativity. How do you propose funding arts education opportunities to ensure all North Carolina students have access and opportunity to experience the arts?

We have to put a real priority on arts education in our Public Schools, and that begins with making sure that our Public Schools ARE a priority. I also believe that there are untapped collaborative opportunities between the cultural community and our schools.

According to the most recent Arts & Economic Impact Study, North Carolina’s cultural community generated $1,241,874,488 in economic activity during fiscal year 2010. This activity provides over $119 million in revenue for local and state governments and supports 40,605 NC jobs. How would you promote the NC nonprofit cultural sectors as part of the State’s economic development strategy? Please explain.

First off, I believe that harmful legislation like HB2 will have a negative impact on our cultural community. We must repeal it — completely! Once that is done, we must ensure that we acknowledge and leverage the important role of the cultural community in the overall image of our state. I firmly believe that businesses relocate to North Carolina so that their employees can enjoy all facets of this state — whether that is the majestic outdoor beauty from the mountains to the Outer Banks or the amazing cultural community.

Funding from the North Carolina Legislature supports important arts programming in Mecklenburg County. In FY16, funds distributed by the North Carolina Arts Council provided close to $1 million in support of organizations such as the Charlotte Symphony, Mint Museum, Opera Carolina, Community School of the Arts, Charlotte Ballet and Children’s Theatre, as well as funding that supported project and festival grants awarded by ASC across Mecklenburg County. Do you believe the funding of such programs should keep pace with the growth in our state population? If so, what leadership will you provide to set a per capita level of funding for statewide initiatives such as this?

Yes. I believe that we should that funding continues to keep pace with the population growth in our state. I would also work to set a per capita level of funding to help ensure distribution to support these important programs.

Funding from the North Carolina Legislature supports invaluable programs such as the North Carolina Science Grant Program. This partnership is the only statewide education initiative preparing youth and adults for careers in science and technology. Do you believe the funding of such programs should keep pace with the growth in our state population? If so, what leadership will you provide to funding for statewide initiatives such as this?

I think we should support such programs. We should also make sure that these programs support college-bound and non-college bound students. We need to ensure all our students have the background to be part of the 21st century workforce — for STEM and non-STEM career fields.

Connie Green Johnson

Connie Green-Johnson

2016 CANDIDATE FOR NORTH CAROLINA House of Representatives, DISTRICT 105

Democrat

 

Research has shown that arts education positively affects achievement, discipline, attendance, and graduation rates. Business leaders have indicated that North Carolina’s economy needs a workforce that is not only educated but able to excel in 21st century skills, including innovation and creativity. How do you propose funding arts education opportunities to ensure all North Carolina students have access and opportunity to experience the arts?

Advocate for funding for the Arts, History & Science for the Public schools. Provide meaningful legislation for the efforts in our public schools.

According to the most recent Arts & Economic Impact Study, North Carolina’s cultural community generated $1,241,874,488 in economic activity during fiscal year 2010. This activity provides over $119 million in revenue for local and state governments and supports 40,605 NC jobs. How would you promote the NC nonprofit cultural sectors as part of the State’s economic development strategy? Please explain.

As an elected official I would continue to propose legislation to fund these programs in the schools . If companies see what our Art Council offers, it will be one of the many reasons to locate their companies to NC. Will bring families and revenue to our state. Employment of the non-profit community of so many citizens of NC is a plus for our economy.

Funding from the North Carolina Legislature supports important arts programming in Mecklenburg County. In FY16, funds distributed by the North Carolina Arts Council provided close to $1 million in support of organizations such as the Charlotte Symphony, Mint Museum, Opera Carolina, Community School of the Arts, Charlotte Ballet and Children’s Theatre, as well as funding that supported project and festival grants awarded by ASC across Mecklenburg County. Do you believe the funding of such programs should keep pace with the growth in our state population? If so, what leadership will you provide to set a per capita level of funding for statewide initiatives such as this?

I would continue the rich tradition of Art programs. By advocating & proposing the funding in the state budget for these programs. It’s a win-win for all our students and citizens of North Carolina.

Funding from the North Carolina Legislature supports invaluable programs such as the North Carolina Science Grant Program. This partnership is the only statewide education initiative preparing youth and adults for careers in science and technology. Do you believe the funding of such programs should keep pace with the growth in our state population? If so, what leadership will you provide to funding for statewide initiatives such as this?

Yes, the programs need to keep the pace of our growing population. I would become a drum major in my capacity as an elected official by proposing legislation to enhance the present funding and keep the focus on the need of funding. These programs are great opportunity to encourage families to locate to NC.

Peter NorisPeter Noris

2016 CANDIDATE FOR NORTH CAROLINA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, DISTRICT 104

DEMOCRAT

 

Research has shown that arts education positively affects achievement, discipline, attendance, and graduation rates. Business leaders have indicated that North Carolina’s economy needs a workforce that is not only educated but able to excel in 21st century skills, including innovation and creativity. How do you propose funding arts education opportunities to ensure all North Carolina students have access and opportunity to experience the arts?

Tax receipts as a percentage of GDP have gone down nearly 20% in the past six years. Benefits of this reduction in taxes has gone primarily to the top 20%, and should be reversed. This would allow North Carolina to resume its place as a progressive Southern state, and through proper funding of art in schools continue to attract progressive companies providing skilled, high paying jobs.

According to the most recent Arts & Economic Impact Study, North Carolina’s cultural community generated $1,241,874,488 in economic activity during fiscal year 2010. This activity provides over $119 million in revenue for local and state governments and supports 40,605 NC jobs. How would you promote the NC nonprofit cultural sectors as part of the State’s economic development strategy? Please explain.

Companies know that skilled, high value employees are interested more in a rich cultural life than tax breaks for very high income individuals. The more we promote cultural activities in our recruitment efforts, the more successful we will be in bringing the types of jobs we want in North Carolina.

Funding from the North Carolina Legislature supports important arts programming in Mecklenburg County. In FY16, funds distributed by the North Carolina Arts Council provided close to $1 million in support of organizations such as the Charlotte Symphony, Mint Museum, Opera Carolina, Community School of the Arts, Charlotte Ballet and Children’s Theatre, as well as funding that supported project and festival grants awarded by ASC across Mecklenburg County. Do you believe the funding of such programs should keep pace with the growth in our state population? If so, what leadership will you provide to set a per capita level of funding for statewide initiatives such as this?

Yes. As the population of our state continues to grow funding for cultural events should at least keep pace with that growth. It is a fallacy that growth depends on low taxes; it is proven that companies want to be in states that provide rich cultural opportunities.

Funding from the North Carolina Legislature supports invaluable programs such as the North Carolina Science Grant Program. This partnership is the only statewide education initiative preparing youth and adults for careers in science and technology. Do you believe the funding of such programs should keep pace with the growth in our state population? If so, what leadership will you provide to funding for statewide initiatives such as this?

Improving education in STEM is vital to improving the life of North Carolina students and retraining adults for better jobs. Per capita funding is the minimum we need to ensure a bright future for all citizens. Increased investment in education and training provides the base for future growth; it is in our own best interest, not an unnecessary expense.


The following candidates for North Carolina House of Representatives did not submit a response: 

Mary Belk, Democrat, District 88

Rob Bryan, Republican, District 88

(Beth) Danae Caulfield, Republican, District 92

John R. Bradford III, Republican, District 98

Rodney W. Moore, Democrat, District 99

John Autry, Democrat, District 100

Beverly Miller Earle, Democrat, District 101

Justin Dunn, Republican, District 101

Becky Carney, Democrat, District 102

Rochelle Rivas, Democrat, District 103

Bill Brawley, Republican, District 103

Andy Dulin, Republican, District 104

Scott Stone, Republican, District 105

Carla Cunningham, Democrat, District 106

Kelly Alexander, Democrat, District 107


Candidates for North Carolina Senate

Chris Cole

2016 CANDIDATE FOR NORTH CAROLINA Senate, DISTRICT 41

Libertarian

Research has shown that arts education positively affects achievement, discipline, attendance, and graduation rates. Business leaders have indicated that North Carolina’s economy needs a workforce that is not only educated but able to excel in 21st century skills, including innovation and creativity. How do you propose funding arts education opportunities to ensure all North Carolina students have access and opportunity to experience the arts?

I oppose the use of public funds for the benefit of one economic group. The “arts community” consists of the wealthiest members of the community. Instead of campaigning for regressive funding from taxpayers, they should fund their own preferences.

According to the most recent Arts & Economic Impact Study, North Carolina’s cultural community generated $1,241,874,488 in economic activity during fiscal year 2010. This activity provides over $119 million in revenue for local and state governments and supports 40,605 NC jobs. How would you promote the NC nonprofit cultural sectors as part of the State’s economic development strategy? Please explain.

By making sure that there are no taxes, fees, or regulations which hinder that development.

Funding from the North Carolina Legislature supports important arts programming in Mecklenburg County. In FY16, funds distributed by the North Carolina Arts Council provided close to $1 million in support of organizations such as the Charlotte Symphony, Mint Museum, Opera Carolina, Community School of the Arts, Charlotte Ballet and Children’s Theatre, as well as funding that supported project and festival grants awarded by ASC across Mecklenburg County. Do you believe the funding of such programs should keep pace with the growth in our state population? If so, what leadership will you provide to set a per capita level of funding for statewide initiatives such as this?

No, I oppose the forced funding of culture.

Funding from the North Carolina Legislature supports invaluable programs such as the North Carolina Science Grant Program. This partnership is the only statewide education initiative preparing youth and adults for careers in science and technology. Do you believe the funding of such programs should keep pace with the growth in our state population? If so, what leadership will you provide to funding for statewide initiatives such as this?

I support shrinking government, not growing it.

Jeff Jackson SmallJeff Jackson

2016 CANDIDATE FOR NORTH CAROLINA SENATE, DISTRICT 37

Democrat

 

Research has shown that arts education positively affects achievement, discipline, attendance, and graduation rates. Business leaders have indicated that North Carolina’s economy needs a workforce that is not only educated but able to excel in 21st century skills, including innovation and creativity. How do you propose funding arts education opportunities to ensure all North Carolina students have access and opportunity to experience the arts?

I support legislation (introduced by Rep. Carney) to make arts education part of the high school curriculum.

According to the most recent Arts & Economic Impact Study, North Carolina’s cultural community generated $1,241,874,488 in economic activity during fiscal year 2010. This activity provides over $119 million in revenue for local and state governments and supports 40,605 NC jobs. How would you promote the NC nonprofit cultural sectors as part of the State’s economic development strategy? Please explain.

1) Repeal HB2, which is draining funds from our state and pushing away the creative talents we want to bring here; 2) Take seriously the recommendations of the Strategic Arts Plan for NC, in particular the emphasis on public-private partnerships.

Funding from the North Carolina Legislature supports important arts programming in Mecklenburg County. In FY16, funds distributed by the North Carolina Arts Council provided close to $1 million in support of organizations such as the Charlotte Symphony, Mint Museum, Opera Carolina, Community School of the Arts, Charlotte Ballet and Children’s Theatre, as well as funding that supported project and festival grants awarded by ASC across Mecklenburg County. Do you believe the funding of such programs should keep pace with the growth in our state population? If so, what leadership will you provide to set a per capita level of funding for statewide initiatives such as this?

Yes. Funding for the arts often becomes an after-thought when it should be built into planning stages for new buildings and new budgets. Setting clear fiscal benchmarks will help ensure we don’t under-utilize the arts as a tool for education and economic development.

Funding from the North Carolina Legislature supports invaluable programs such as the North Carolina Science Grant Program. This partnership is the only statewide education initiative preparing youth and adults for careers in science and technology. Do you believe the funding of such programs should keep pace with the growth in our state population? If so, what leadership will you provide to funding for statewide initiatives such as this?

Yes. See previous answer.


The following candidates for North Carolina Senate did not submit a response: 

Bob Diamond, Republican, District 37

Joel Ford, Democrat, District 38

Richard Rivette, Republican, District 38

Lloyd Scher, Democrat, District 39

Dan Bishop, Republican, District 39

Joyce Waddell, Democrat, District 40

Marguerite Cooke, Republican, District 40

Jonathan Hudson, Democrat, District 41

Jeff Tarte, Republican, District 41

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