In recognition of Women's History Month, the HCDP is highlighting Democratic women candidates. The theme this year is women who advocate for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. Now, more than ever, these concepts must be kept alive in our political arena. The republican trend in policy making is the exact opposite of these ideals. Women are being excluded from their own personal health choices, immigrants and asylum seekers are merely political pawns, Christian Nationalism is on the rise, blurring the separation between church and state, and the list goes on and on. 

 

These are the questions we asked of our women candidates:

What, if any, challenges have you faced as a woman that directly relate to Equity, Diversity, or Inclusion?

Did these challenges play a role in your decision to run for office?

 

Rose Ferguson is running for District 2 Board of Education in Harnett County:

 

What, if any, challenges have you faced as a woman that directly relate to Equity, Diversity, or Inclusion? 

 

Most of my career has been in education. I’ve worked in numerous Title 1 schools and low socioeconomic communities. I don’t believe that the missed opportunities to drive student success were due to me being a woman. As a leader in each of my identified schools, it was very obvious of the inequities and inequalities that existed from one side of town to the other. I had to advocate for resources that other schools in the district were automatically privileged with. Under my tenure, I‘ve had to advocate for appropriate playground equipment, exceptional children, staffing needs that were aligned to identified student needs, and rights for employees to purchase student lunches, etc.  Even today, it is visually obvious to observe students and Schools on one side of town having access to resources that other schools in the district do not have access. All students should have equal access and the right to a free and appropriate. One’s gender, age nor sexual identity should not exempt them from a free, appropriate education. All students should be included in a diverse (equitable) population to learn. Again, these challenges may not be gender biases, yet they are occurring.

 

 

Did these challenges play a role in your decision to run for official? After several years of noticeable inequities and inequalities and inclusion bias, I’ ve decided to file for candidacy of District 2 (Board of Education in Harnett) and become a voice for our students, families and communities. As fore stated, the aforementioned challenges may or may not be related to the lack of diversity, equity and inclusion.  

 

Thoughts……

Tanya White Anderson is running for NC Senate District 12:

What, if any, challenges have you faced as a woman that directly relate to Equity, Diversity, or Inclusion?

As an advocate you will face numerous challenges regarding Equity, Diversity and /or Inclusion.  Although my challenges within the workplace were not of gender bias, stereotyping or unequal pay, my position as a Labor Representative of the National Alliance Postal and Federal (NAPFE local 316), Fayetteville NC, as an advocate, I stood to fight those sorts of issues and prevent discriminatory acts against the employee within their agencies. My challenges came because I didn't follow the rules or because I didn't look the other way when an employee had been mistreated.

Did these challenges play a role in your decision to run for office? 

I was asked to run but I've been planning to retire soon, but didnt know when the turmoil I experienced during this whole transaction was challenging, especially when you're doing the right thing. I felt this was an opportunity to expand what I believe and stood for "Being the Voice for the People" but again no, this decision was considered as a "LEAP OF FAITH" for me.  Thank You

Natasha Marcus (currently NC Senator) is running for NC Commissioner of Insurance:

What, if any, challenges have you faced as a woman  that directly relate to Equity, Diversity, or Inclusion?

I live and work in a very male-dominated space -- the NC General Assembly. Men hold all the leadership roles in the majority party and they seem particularly annoyed by outspoken women. There is a subtle (and sometimes boldly clear) message that they believe female legislators ought to be more conciliatory, quieter, and/or less opinionated. They also do not understand how personally we feel their attacks on our reproductive freedoms and our LGBTQ children. 

 

Did these challenges play a role in your decision to run for office?

When they gerrymandered me out of the NC Senate, I decided that I would not let the men in the NCGA run me out of public service. I'm running to serve North Carolinians as their next Commissioner of Insurance -- a role that fits my talents, experience and passion for public service. I'm honored to be the Democratic nominee, and I look forward to being the first woman Commissioner of Insurance in North Carolina.

 

Our current democratic elected officials were asked this one question: As a female elected official, how do the concepts of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion affect your decision making or problem solving?

 

Sharon Gainey currently serving as District 1 School Board Representative

As an elected official, I always want to make sure the person recommended/selected for any role is someone who will have the best interest of the students in mind at all times.  Because of this, I make it a priority to bring to the table the names of people from all backgrounds, genders, and races that I feel will help advance the growth and success of students in Harnett County.

Thanks

Sharon

School Board District 1 Representative

910.890.5565

[email protected]