Q&A with Martha Shafer
(NC House District 62)
Martha Shafer, a native of Charlotte and now resident of Summerfield, is running to represent the 83,000 residents of District 62 (Guilford County) in the NC House. As a retired healthcare administrator, Ms. Shafer knows the high price the General Assembly paid by foregoing a Medicaid expansion for half a million NC families, both in healthy lives and well-paying jobs. Her frustration with the lack of commitment by elected leaders to represent all constituents in gerrymandered districts, and her frustration with the lack of qualified candidates for state offices, drove her to declare her 2018 candidacy to serve all citizens.
This decision continues her lifelong commitment to community activism as a parent and volunteer, and in early February, her candidacy was endorsed by Lillian's List, an organization that promotes progressive women for elected offices in NC. She attended NC public schools, holds a BA from Furman, and a Master's in Health Administration from Duke.
Q. What’s your highest priority for your district?
Reinvesting in our public schools. We need to raise our per-pupil spending, and make sure our teachers have the supplies and support they need, so that students have the best opportunity to succeed. An educated workforce will benefit individuals and our local economy.
Q. For people originally from your district, what changes will they see in the lives of their family and friends after you’re elected?
Public schools will no longer be ranked as 43rd in the nation in per-pupil spending. Jobs will be created (more than 3000 in Guilford County) by 2020 due to the expansion of Medicaid. Health access will be improved for over 17,000 people in Guilford County, and 1.3 billion will be added to the county’s economy by 2020 due to Medicaid expansion.
Q. Why should people from outside the state care about what happens in North Carolina?
North Carolina is now an incubator for far-right legislation and policies, from voter suppression to regressive tax policies. It’s wrong for our citizens, but moreover, what happens here can and will be used in other states and at the federal level. It’s important for us to put a stop to the damage it is doing in North Carolina, a place that used to be a beacon of progress in the South.