Carolina Democracy

Raise Your Hand to Run!

August 01, 2022 Episode 30
Raise Your Hand to Run!
Carolina Democracy
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Carolina Democracy
Raise Your Hand to Run!
Aug 01, 2022 Episode 30

Welcome back to Carolina Democracy! Today, we're joined by Christy Clark of Mecklenburg County to discuss her campaign for North Carolina House District 98. Plus, we review some testimony from a recent Congressional hearing on the radical Independent State Legislature theory.

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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Welcome back to Carolina Democracy! Today, we're joined by Christy Clark of Mecklenburg County to discuss her campaign for North Carolina House District 98. Plus, we review some testimony from a recent Congressional hearing on the radical Independent State Legislature theory.

Learn More About Christy Clark:

Other Resources: 

Carolina Forward:

Contact Us:

Follow Us:

Support the Show.

Christy Clark: Representative Graig Meyer came down here and gave this wonderful presentation about House District 98 to a room about a hundred people. And at the end he said, this is kind of like a church revival, so who's going to come forward and raise their hand and run for this seat. And I kind of looked around and said, well, I will. Then Graig be sat down next to me and he goes, I guess we need to talk. And I said, yep.  

[music transition]

JD Wooten: Welcome to Carolina Democracy. I’m JD Wooten, and today we’ve got a quick intro, then we’re joined by Christy Clark, a former State House Rep. who is running to once again represent District 98 in the North Carolina House of Representatives. 

But first, thank you to everyone who participated in the elections last week, whether you were a candidate, donor, canvasser, election poll judge, or even just a voter. I wasn’t expecting a very big turnout for a late July election, but man was it low. In Greensboro, for example, where the mayor and entire city council were on the ballot, only 16% of registered voters cast a ballot. Still, given that Guilford County turnout for the primary elections back in May was only 20%, I guess that tracks. Still, it’s pretty disappointing that so few people could make time to show up and vote. We’ve got our work cut out for us between now and November, that’s for sure.

Now, how do we do that work? Well, we support candidates up and down the ballot who share our values. We can also support groups organizing on the ground to engage and expand the electorate. If you want to directly support candidates in the most competitive races where your time and treasure will have the greatest impact, check out the lists from groups like Carolina Forward or Now or Never NC. If you want to directly support groups doing the tough work on the ground to organize and mobilize voters, and you can look to groups like The New North Carolina Project and the New Rural Project.

And for the one piece of really interesting democracy specific news this past week, we’re back on the radical, right-wing Independent State Legislature theory we mentioned a few weeks ago. That’s the theory which forms the basis of the U.S. Supreme Court taking up the North Carolina redistricting case of Moore v. Harper which the Court will hear and decide next year. The theory essentially holds that the general assembly alone has power to draw congressional maps and set rules about federal elections, and that the state courts and state constitution do not matter. A U.S. House committee held a hearing this past week with several prominent constitutional law experts to discuss this theory, and the unanimous consensus of the experts was that the theory has no basis in the U.S. Constitution or U.S. history and is dangerous for our democracy.

Here are a few quotes from expert testimony before the committee:

  • An “ overwhelming weight of historical practice illustrates that state constitutions throughout American history have imposed substantive constraints on state legislation for national elections.”
  • “The most extreme version of such a doctrine would maintain that state legislatures cannot be bound by the substantive provisions of state constitutions, or by voter-initiated enactments…a decision from the court and endorsing this extreme version of the doctrine would be highly destabilizing.”
  • “The independent state legislature theory is bad for Americans, no matter what side of the aisle you’re on.”
  • “The logical extension of this theory is there is no separation of powers.”
  • “The notion would open the door to antidemocratic shenanigans and even failed efforts to manipulate our elections, erode trust and ultimately participation in our democracy.”
  •  “There’s no serious evidence on the other side. There is no support historically, there is no support legally. The Supreme Court has repeatedly rejected this idea in precedent after precedent as recently as 2015.”

Representative Jamie Raskin offered some closing remarks which more or less summarized the consensus view of the experts who testified before the committee. He said, “I think all of our expert witnesses have demonstrated that there is no foundation in the text of the Constitution, in the structure of our constitutional system, in the history or the practice of elections for this radical and brazen claim. And I’m glad we seem to have some kind of bipartisan agreement about the strangeness of this doctrine.”

I would also note that at least one Republican member of the committee tried to suggest that the Supreme Court had never ruled against the Independent State Legislature theory, but that’s simply not true. In a 2015 Supreme Court redistricting case originating out of Arizona, the Supreme Court majority concluded that the Independent State Legislature theory of the Elections Clause in the U.S. Constitution, would “run up against the Constitution’s animating principle that the people themselves are the originating source of all the powers of government.” Another Republican seemed to suggest that the left is being ridiculous and setting the stage to claim Republicans are working on a grand plan to steal elections. I think history has a tendency to show that when someone is faced with substantive criticism, and their response is to be dismissive rather than address the criticism, it usually confirms that the criticism is accurate. Plus, right-wing activists are openly advertising this plan, so I’m not sure why we shouldn’t believe them.

Now, a few reminders before we turn to my interview with Representative Clark. Don’t forget we’ve got a YouTube channel now, featuring video from our various guest interviews. Subscribe to the channel to keep up with the latest video releases and share about it on social media. And of course, my customary plea is to also share this episode with a friend. Like I’ve said before, there’s no better currency in politics than word-of-mouth recommendations, plus it’s quick and free. So please   share this episode, or any other you like, to help our guests reach the largest audience possible.

Ok, and now, here’s my interview with Christy Clark.

[music transition]

JD Wooten: With me today is Representative Christy Clark, who previously represented District 98 in the North Carolina House and is running to once again represent the great people of District 98. Welcome Representative Clark. 

Christy Clark: Good morning. Thanks for having me on. 

JD Wooten: You bet. So first question right out the gate. What's your earliest memory of politics or getting involved in politics? 

Christy Clark: Yeah. My earliest memory of politics was standing at the polls, handing out literature with my mom. I was probably four or five. I remember being cold. I have no idea what candidate was, but I remember my mom making a big deal about that and also making a big deal about voting. She always let me help her vote. And so that kind of set the stage for me to be a good voter my whole life. And yeah, and then I got involved with politics because of Moms Demand Action and my work with them working in gun violence. We spent a lot of time with the legislature and I got to know a lot of the area politicians and you know, that kind of plants a seed that you might want to be one of them one day.

JD Wooten: I love it. Well, we'll come back to the gun violence part in a second. And I'll just say for now I've lost track of the number of people that tell me some variation of their earliest memory of politics somehow involving them going to vote with their parents. 

Christy Clark: That's awesome. 

JD Wooten: Yeah. I always love to hear that, cause it reminds me of just the importance of exposing our young people to the, the process early on. 

Christy Clark: Yeah. 

JD Wooten: So let's go back and dive a little deeper in that background. Where did you grow up and what were some of your early experiences that shaped your political philosophy today? 

Christy Clark: Yeah, I grew up in Roanoke, Virginia, and also went to college close by there in Salem, Virginia. And my family is still there. My family is from rural Virginia. So they were farmers and they were poor and they worked in the Steel Mill and all that so my roots go deep in Southwest Virginia. One of the things that happened in my life that shaped the way I view politics and made me a Democrat was when I was in my church youth group. And we would travel up and down the east coast to help take care of people who had high needs. They were poor and couldn't take care of themselves and different things. And so we went down to Atlanta and helped these older folks living in government housing and they didn't have a lot. They didn't have anyone to clean their homes for them. Some were blind and some were wheelchairs and really there was no one taking care of them, and so that's what we did when we were there. And I came back home and told my parents about this and questioned, why aren't we taking care of these people there? They're elderly, they've lived their lives. They've supported us, you know, in society, and now it's our turn to take care of them. And my parents kind of jokingly said, well, you must be a Democrat. And I said, well, you know what? I guess I am. And I've been one ever since. And I think I was about 15 when that happened. 

JD Wooten: Oh, that's amazing. Okay, so then tell me how did that end up leading from there to you being in Northern Mecklenburg? How did that transition happen from, you know, your church youth group to where you are geographically, at least today?

Christy Clark: That's a long one. Well I went to college. I was an English major. Met a guy, moved to Oregon and lived there for 15 years. And while I was living there, I worked at all kinds of fields. Mostly related to quality assurance. Then had kids and then got divorced and moved back to North Carolina. And became a paralegal so that I could work with my current husband and that's is kind of how I got to north Mecklenburg and I've lived here for 12 years now and I love it. North Mecklenburg and the Lake Norman area is just absolutely beautiful. And since I'm a Southern girl, I grew up growing up in Virginia. I was used to the weather and the heat, and that's what I really prefer. So, I'm a big fan of the super hot summer one. Like most people aren't. I love them. So you know, I feel like I've come.

JD Wooten: So you and your husband co-founded a law firm that helped small businesses, startups, and entrepreneurs with their legal needs. You've written that this work has helped you see firsthand just how important our legislative policies are for supporting our small businesses. Are there any particular lessons that come to mind that really drive your thinking on how we can best support small businesses across North Carolina?

Christy Clark: Yeah. You know, one of the things that I did as a paralegal was help small business complete all their documents to get started up. And back in the day when I started, it was really kind of challenging to go through the steps on the Secretary of State's webpage to form an LLC. And so I kind of learned from that, that we've created as a state have created hoops and things that, and people have to jump through when, if you don't know have a lot of technology skills or if you don't know basically how to do it, that you're going to get stuck. And I actually experienced that myself when I was setting up my campaign account and had to pay staff and had come through, trying to, you know, get different things done for taxes and was running into roadblocks there. And so I saw that, you know, we need to modernize and make things more streamlined and easier for business to start up so they don't have to wait for extra time for these pieces of paper to come in the mail or, you know, whatever old fashioned thing we're doing here. And fortunately Elaine Marshall, the Secretary of State, also knew that, and she's been modernizing the Secretary of State's system already. So we, we can work on the other departments some more too. 

JD Wooten: Oh, absolutely. And I can attest to, there's no greater way to find out the struggles of trying to start a hodgepodge venture than starting up a new campaign and running into all the different formalities that may not necessarily have the right puzzle pieces in the right place.

Christy Clark: Yes, and sometimes are not completely logical either.

JD Wooten: No, not at all. It's like, no, there's not actually a business, but anyway. All right, so as promise, we'll come full circle then: you decided to run for the State House in 2018, and you were part of the group who gave Democrats enough seats in the General Assembly to break the GOP super majority and sustain Governor Cooper's veto. What led you to wanting to run in 2018? 

Christy Clark: Yeah, that well, as, as I mentioned, going to the General Assembly a lot with Moms Demand Action, I got to meet a lot of the legislators up there. I had the door closed in my face a few times from people who didn't want to talk to me and got to experience the fun of Republicans scheduling a meeting or hearing about a bill and then having them cancel it and move it and not tell the advocates where it was and, you know, having to work behind the scenes with our allies. And so, you know, that's not how. We're supposed to be. And government were supposed to let citizens share their voices and welcome them to the people's house. And so that kind of started the idea for me that, you know, maybe one day I might want to do this. And then in 2016, I volunteered for Hillary Clinton's campaign and for Chaz Beasley's campaign up here in north Mecklenburg at the time when the districts were different. And we knew the districts were going to be redrawn at that time, we were kind of waiting for it. And I had said casually, like maybe I'll run for one of these new districts I'm going to redrawn. And and then of course Trump got elected. And so the first thing I did in 2017 was sign up with Lillian's List to take trainings to learn how to be a candidate. And once you're on their list of maybe you might want to run for office, they don't ever let you forget. And they called me many times over the summer. What are you going to run for? You know, you're ready. What are you going to do? And I kept saying, I dunno, I dunno. And I had literally intended to run for the Senate seat that Senator Marcus now has. But Representative Graig Meyer came down here and gave this wonderful presentation about House District 98 to a room about a hundred people. And at the end he said, this is kind of like a church revival, so who's going to come forward and raise their hand and run for this seat. And I kind of looked around and said, well, I will. And the room erupted and people were shocked. They had no idea I was intending to run. So there I was, then Graig be sat down next to me and he goes, I guess we need to talk. And I said, yep, let's do that. And so here I am running for the third time. 

JD Wooten: That's an amazing story. And State Senator Sydney Batch recently told me that she threw out a statistic. She said, women take on average seven times to be asked to run. 

Christy Clark: Yep. 

JD Wooten: And that men often don't have to be asked. 

Christy Clark: Sounds right. That was true for me. I prove that statistics myself. 

JD Wooten: Well, I'm glad you did. And you stepped up to fill that role and what important work y'all did there being able sustain governor Cooper's veto and really changed the dynamics of the state there, almost immediately. Then in an interesting twist in 2021, you became an elementary educator. What led you to the classroom in particular, and how's that experience been so far? 

Christy Clark: Yeah. So after not getting reelected in 2020, I spent time kind clearing my head and my heart reading a lot of books, doing some yoga, going for walks with my dog and hanging with my family. And was sort of casually looking for a job and was sitting at the pool with one of my friends who's a teacher over the summer and she said, hey, you should probably you should apply to be in teaching assistant or, you know, something like that. And I was like, oh, maybe I don't know if I want to do that. So I just kind of casually started applying. And then these guest teacher positions opened up and I apply for one. The school where I work was the first one to call and they, they met me and they liked me and they put me like parachuted in and assigned me to help out with kindergartners that are, were struggling to make the transition from being at home during a pandemic to being in a classroom. And then also I sub classes when people aren't there. And I think it's been one of the most wonderful and fulfilling experiences of my life. It really fills my bucket to be around kids and help them and watch their little lights turn on when they learn something. Whether it's how to read or how to solve a math problem or something, they were struggling with then to have their you know, trust in me to help them. And it's just amazing things. So I can't say enough about teachers and what they do and how magical they are and how wonderful they are and the care they give to students that is completely overlooked by all the media and the other like silly arguments that go on about public education.

JD Wooten: Well, we'll come back to public education in just a moment, because now I'd like to shift gears into this year's campaign, and public education's certainly going to be part of that, but I've recently been asking all candidates this next question up front. So, you know, why stop that track record now? Every poll I've seen so far has the economy or inflation as the overwhelming number one priority for people right now.

Christy Clark: Mm-hmm.

JD Wooten: What would be your first priority when you're back in session in January 2023, to help everyday North Carolinians in the current economic climate? 

Christy Clark: Yeah, I have a, a few things in mind for that. One of them of course, is learning the cost of healthcare and that's expanding Medicaid that will create jobs in rural North Carolina, where they've hospitals have been closing. And that's, I think a great step to just give people money in their pocket to start with. When I was in office, I actually had a study done on how we could raise the minimum wage around the state in a way that would not you know, bankrupt our small businesses in rural areas, but would allow the more metropolitan areas to raise wages in a reasonable way. And so that was something that was important to me to find a reasonable way to do it, but also to make sure that our, you know, working folks got more money in their paychecks. And that's something I'd like to continue working on that. We, as a state did not have pay the family medical leave and that's something that we could help out our working families is they have to take care of folks, their babies, or their elderly parents, or, you know, maybe disabled sibling or whatever. And we don't have that in this state anymore. And that's something that could really help people if, because in this time of, especially with COVID, when people are having to take time off to take care of each other that would really help folks. And so there's just a couple things there's, you know, there's tons more we can do, but those are the top of my mind right now. 

JD Wooten: I love all of them and I don't think I've heard any of them mentioned recently. So I, I love hearing new, fresh ideas that, that maybe we could be tackling cause I do get the sense there are just so many tools in the toolbox here that a lot of opportunities. 

Christy Clark: Yeah. Yeah. There's lots of things we can do that have just been kind of way laid or sidelined by that Republican majority in Raleigh that we can, you know, we can do better and we should, we have no reason not to. 

JD Wooten: Yeah. We definitely need to make sure that we keep Democrats at the table. And you know, if you manage to pick up 61 or more seats, total, who knows what we could do. 

Christy Clark: Yeah. 

JD Wooten: So in 2020, you co-sponsored the 2020 COVID-19 Relief Bill that appropriated over one and a half billion dollars in aid across our state. And you also helped hundreds of constituents navigate the complex unemployment system and receive their payments. How do you think we're doing on those two fronts now? And what more should we be doing? I know you just mentioned some COVID relief stuff, but tying all those together maybe? 

Christy Clark: You know speaking back to that our web pages and technology for the state is antiquated. Man, did you really see that come to light when way more people were applying for unemployment than anyone had ever anticipated. That department just did not have the capacity to receive that many requests all at once like that. And so that would be a place to start is to modernize that experience for everyone. Most people who were hit by, you know, not having job and during the pandemic had never applied for unemployment in their lives. And so they really had no way to know how to do it. And we can also make that a little easier too, for folks when they have something unexpected that it causes them to be unemployed and they need to apply for unemployment. And I think that those things are in the works. You know, the COVID relief funds have gone to a lot of things. You know, working in a school, I kind of see some of those things. So I do see you know, they bought technology for kids who are learning from home. And I think that's been a fantastic thing for folks to have hotspots and access to iPads and Chromebooks and things they would never have had before, especially for our lower income families. And then, but I also do see some things that, you know, didn't quite work out. I see, you know, stacks of face masks that maybe are not the greatest. And those kind of came into somehow, you know, through the chaos of all the different face masks being made. And that, you know, there are things like that that probably could have maybe had done a little bit differently, but you know, generally speaking, those funds weren't right into the school systems, into the counties and the communities to help them stay on track during COVID. And I think that's what that money was for and we're, we did a good job with that. And then the counties kind of did their own thing. 

JD Wooten: Yeah, I wholeheartedly agree. I think we in the big picture did a good job responding initially, but I do think it also highlighted some of those in enormous shortfalls or shortcomings that we're still working to close things like you just mentioned, you know, nothing like that pandemic and sending everybody home and possibly losing their job to recognize the gaps we had both in the amount of unemployment insurance we had and the ways we achieve it, but also the rural broadband and infrastructure, whether you're working from home or a student. 

Christy Clark: And it doesn't even have to be that rural. There are parts of town where I live, Huntersville that do not have access to high speed internet because their providers refuse to lay the wires there. And there could be a box for, you know, fiber, you know, 20 yards away and they won't do it. They're going to make the, try to make the residents pay the fee to connect to that versus them just modernizing their system. And that's people that live right here in Huntersville, in Mecklenburg County that don't have access to high speed internet. So that you know, that we can do better on that front. And we are like next to last in the nation for unemployment benefits. So we have a long way to go there. I think we can help out our folks who are unemployed better than what we're doing right now. And maybe get off the next to the last ranking and move up maybe to the middle and like, we can do better.

JD Wooten: Yeah. And I mean, I think that disparity also comes through in what you're talking about with the difference in, you know, if we're relying on service providers, there's going to be huge disparities across different communities. There are certain service providers that they won't stop banging on your door until you let them connect your house. You know, versus the story you just told, which doesn't come as any surprise at all, and just different companies having different approaches. But that does a real disservice to the people of North Carolina who are just left at the mercy of which company happens to be covering their area. 

Christy Clark: Yeah. And even where I live in Huntersville in the decade that I've lived here, we first moved here. We could not get any kind of high speed internet up here. And it, you know, it took, you know, about probably five to six years for it to be available in this part of north, you know, north of Charlotte. And then now we have it here, but the go out past us to the more rural parts of Huntersville, you know, they don't have it at all. So that, that doesn't make any sense to me. 

JD Wooten: No, and I think there's a lot we could do there, but again, as promised now, let's go back to public education because vitally important.

Christy Clark: Yes.

JD Wooten: Multiple state court judges, and even most recently, a Republican Business Court Judge have found that the state is underfunding public education by as much as $785 million, but the General Assembly continues to underfund our public education. You've now spent some time as an elementary educator. I'm curious, what impacts have you experienced firsthand from these massive funding shortfall? 

Christy Clark: Yeah. I tell the story a lot that I can see what a decade of Republican leadership has done to public schools. You know, first of all, we have a shortage of educators, you know, one of the things that happened, that's one of the reason my job was even created in the first place was to help out because we were having lots of openings, especially during COVID. And you can see that happening. Many teachers have retired or quit because we don't pay our teachers enough. We don't have benefits that are good enough for them, especially after retirement. We don't pay for their professional development. We don't acknowledge their master's level educations they have. We're just turning our backs on teachers in this state. And, you know, and I can see that in the workplace. Now I work at a fantastic school with a bunch of wonderful people who are happy to be there and helping kids. So, these are my observations from, as a person who has both an education mind at heart and political mind at heart. And then of course I work closely with a lot of the teaching assistants and they are way underpaid and they are very much the backbone of keeping the educational flow in the classrooms. And from the minute we open car doors to the minute we put kids in the cars at the end of the day or on the buses and they aren't paid enough. And we can do more, we can do. Nurses, school psychologists, you know, especially right now after the pandemic, the kids are, some of the kids are in a state of mental disarray, so to speak, and they need extra help, and they need extra care. And, you know, we work our two school psychologists to the bone. And we're lucky we have two, some schools don't have any, or they have one, or they have one on a rotating basis and we can, you know, get, make sure we have more help for our kids in schools and that comes from funding. 

JD Wooten: Yeah, I think unfortunately, what gets a, lost a lot in the coverage and then holding the current majority's feet to the fires. The fight is okay, we need better funding for our public education. They come back and say, well, we just gave a three or 4% pay raise. And we say, well, that doesn't even match inflation. And somewhere in that, we almost implicitly concede that it's about teacher salary. And, and we we get sidetracked by that. And then what about all these others? 

Christy Clark: Mm-hmm 

JD Wooten: Things that we need, just like you're talking about the, the support staff, the, you know, hey, even the school bus drivers. 

Christy Clark: Mm-hmm yeah, yeah, definitely the school bus drivers, and also the maintenance of the schools. And, and then I skipped over the whole part about maintenance of buildings. You know, we Governor Cooper and the Democrats and legislature have tried to get on the ballot, a school bond building bond, and the Republicans will have nothing to do with that. They won't even let it be heard on the floor to talk about it. And, you know, watch, let you know, we're thinking about school safety and gun violence. One will talk more about that, but you know, when you're standing in a what we call it from cottages, but their trailers not attached to the main building. And you're thinking about there could be, you know, a mass shooter coming through there. They aren't that secure, and why are we having kids being, learning in trailers in these small little spaces when we could pass the school bond and expand our schools and have more room for them to have safe and bright and wide open classrooms for them to learn. But instead we have to have a partisan arm wrestling situation going on about this when it's not about Democrats or Republicans, it's about our kids. And that's really where we have to put our focus back on them. 

JD Wooten: I couldn't agree more. Why don't we shift gears for a second to something that's hopefully a little more positive. CNBC recently ranked North Carolina as the number one state for doing business. I believe CNBC cited major economic development and bipartisanship, despite what we're just talking about, between lawmakers, at least on the economy, as really supporting this ranking. What do you think are the most important ways that we can continue to work and maintain this business friendly environment moving forward. 

Christy Clark: Yeah. And I think you, they hit on it and you hit on it with bipartisanship is really the key to making the General Assembly work. You know, those of us who broke the super journey in 2018, the red carpet was not ruled out for us. We were not exactly welcome to the General Assembly. And we hadn't had to kind of had to find our own way and to fit in and to be accepted. And, you know, that took some time. But one of the legislators there when I was speaking to him about the budget and at that time, and why can't we compromise? Why can't we find a pathway on his budget to make it to where it's not about us, it's about North Carolinians and giving them the services they need. And he used the, the term it's political warfare. And so, you know, I reject that. I think for our state, we have to have on bipartisanship because that is the only way we're going to get things done for our state. We gotta put our egos aside, put our politics aside, put our label by our name aside, and do all those things to make sure that we're focusing on the right things. And that, that really is the key to keeping our state as one of the, you know, best for business, you know, that is the key to it.

JD Wooten: I love it. Agree. We've gotta keep the investment going to keep the investment coming. 

Christy Clark: Yeah. 

JD Wooten: So there are really so many other issues facing North Carolinians right now. I'm sure we could spend hours talking about all of them. I know, for example, you know, a couple times you've mentioned gun violence and that may very well be your answer for this next question. So what's one other area. Maybe it is gun violence that you really want to highlight for our listeners as the 2022 campaign season really starts to heat up?

Christy Clark: Well, you know, I'll, I'll start with two things is you know, one issue that is going to be, you know, a possibility for us after November elections is having a super majority of Republicans in Raleigh. And that means that one party will decide every single policy for the state, with hardly any debate or any input with anyone else in the General Assembly. And Governor Cooper will not be able to, he'll be able to veto them, but it'll be overwritten. And, you know, I don't believe that we should have a government where it's one side only. And I mean that from our side too, I don't think it should be all Democrats there either. You know, you have positive discourse and good ideas come from both sides of the aisle and having a super majority of one party, other is not great for the state. And you know, we as Democrats did it back in the day and you know, there's been some, you know, you things start to come delight as like negative things that we did when we. When the back in the day, when those folks were in power and you know, that's something we have to just stop with. We cannot cannot allow a super majority. We have to keep it at least the way it is or not, you know, elect more people like me. But you know, my number one issue, the thing that I work with the hardest on, and I'm have the biggest passion for is gun violence. And gun violence is the number one cause of death for children and teens in this state and or in this country, sorry. Not in this state, in this country. And so that's something we have, you know, made incremental work on. But in this state we have only been in defense mode because every session Republicans want to repeal our pistol purchase permit process, and they want to allow guns in schools and they want to allow guns in every public building and all things. But despite the evidence showing that, people around the country, want a background check on every gun sold in the state or in this country too. And so that's something that, you know, I'm not ever going to stop working on that. That's going to be, that's one of my number goals. Just that one little thing. Like let's have a background check on every gun sold. There's so much more we can do to end gun violence. But that one thing is the first step. And that's something that majority Republicans and Democrats and people in this state and across the nation agree on. And so there's no reason not to do that. And so, you know, electing people who care about that and want to keep our kids safe in school and want to keep our community safe. And now it's just not about, you know, school shootings, it's hospitals, and movie theaters, and malls, and grocery stores, mostly everywhere you go, churches too. And so we have to do better. We're not going to have that with a Republican led General Assembly. So if you want that to change, you have to elect more Democrats. 

JD Wooten: All right, elect more Democrats. I like it. So then let's shift to the most important question of the day. Where can people go to learn more about you and your campaign, sign up to volunteer, donate, and so forth? You know, elect more Democrats.

Christy Clark: Yeah, elect more Democrats. You can first follow us on Twitter and Facebook. ChristyClarkNC for both of those places. And then my website is And you can also reach me at Don't forget that NC. It won't go to me. There's a British politician who's named Christy Clark. All the emails will go to her if you forget the NC. She does not care about what's going on North Carolina.

JD Wooten: Yeah, I think they've got enough stuff going on over there with their own government. I'm sure that they could just set aside the issues in North Carolina. So well, Representative Clark, thank you so much for joining us today. It's been a real pleasure. 

Christy Clark: Thanks for having me, it's great to see you.

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JD Wooten: Thanks again to Representative Christy Clark for joining us today, and to everyone for listening. Links are in the show notes for everything from today’s episode. If you have questions or comments, send me an email at And again, please subscribe wherever you get your podcasts and share this episode with a friend. Together, we can achieve a better North Carolina for everyone!


Interview with Christy Clark
Closing Notes