North Carolina is strongest when it supports a broad-based, diversified economy. This cannot be accomplished if the state's investments in infrastructure and education are focused on the urban centers while minimizing our rural communities. During the last legislative session, resources for rural economic development were attacked by the current majority. Education cuts deeply affected our rural community colleges and underprivileged primary schools. These two systems are at the heart of work force development in our rural communities.
The legislature is also attempting to change the way we fund our transportation infrastructure. Right now, funding is based on the "equity formula" that determines how the pie is split between seven regions. 50% is based on population (the largest part of the funding, and one that heavily favors urban districts), 25% is based on the miles of unfinished projects, and the final 25% is divided equally among the districts.
With the recent redistricting, 15 urban counties have a majority of the representation in the Legislature. Not surprisingly, they want to do away with the last 25% that gives equal share to each region and give it to the urban communities.
Northeast North Carolina has the opportunity to create good jobs and attract high talent. We live in areas with beautiful water ways, strong communities, and hardworking people. But without the proper infrastructure and education, we will fall further and further behind.