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PRIORITIES

Andy Craighill-Middleton is dedicated to prioritizing education funding and opposing school vouchers, advocating for LGBTQIA+ rights, environmental justice, and responsible marijuana legalization. He supports measures to alleviate student debt, ensure affordable housing, and improve mental health care. Andy emphasizes enforcing existing gun laws, reforming police culture, and regulating AI technologies. His political priorities aim for a more equitable and prosperous future for North Carolinians.

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Teacher and Student

Better Schools for All of Us.

According to Andy: “You cannot rob a generation of good schooling. We've seen legislators try to pull school funding away from our public schools here in North Carolina, and we must make sure it does not happen everywhere.”

 

Schools are crucial to the economy; the training children receive early on in life impacts what they can accomplish throughout their lifetime. Simply put, if we do not fix our schools now we are going to be missing qualified people to fill jobs.  We require good quality public education to keep us and our economy safe and healthy.

 

Public schools should have their full funding - because our kids are worth it. Teachers deserve competitive wages- from new hires to veteran employees- they are educating our next generation.

 

We need to make sure we have a local schools to local jobs educational pipeline. That means good community colleges, trade school programs, and accessible retraining classes and certifications for people who are switching industries. Community colleges should be within everyone's reach. 

 

Guilford Technical Community College is a good example of what community colleges could be like in NC and throughout the nation. Their HondaJet progam and new partnership with Toyota is a classic example of how to build a local workforce, and Andy wants to bring our district's successes to the national stage.  All people deserve the chance to succeed.

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HBCUs

HBCUs need to be funded - they provide nurturing environments, fantastic traditions, and are crucial to student success. 

 

Andy has said: “My mother, Dr. Silvia Middleton, helped get engineering programs off the ground in NC HBCUs, and that’s something I’ve carried with me to this day as both one of her proudest achievements, and one of the core values I was taught as a child. 

 

We have to push to overcome racial barriers, and HBCUs are critical institutions.  We must keep them alive and well funded. The closure of Barber-Scotia college near my hometown was a complex choice, but overall a loss to our entire community and state; I’d love to never see that happen again. Funding would have alleviated most of the issues that led to its closure.”

Graduation Ceremony

Marijuana

Legalization is important because:

  1. Too many people are in jail for non - violent offenses

  2. There are legitimate mental health and physical health uses for marijuana, for instance in treating PTSD in veterans

  3. It's a potential good source of income for farmers and for the state of NC through taxes. 

 

Legalization needs to be carefully planned and managed.  If we jump on it, we could see the same financial benefits as when the state of Colorado went through legalization.

Anchor 3
Rainbow Flags

LGBTQIA+ Rights

Everyone should have the right to be themselves. Period. 

 

The attack on individuals for the “crime” of existing needs to stop. We have bigger issues to deal with than trying to legislate religious beliefs. Andy is a transgender man married to a man; so this issue hits very close to home.

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Libraries

When we fund libraries, we fund learning, fund community, and fund opportunity. This should not be controversial in any way.

 

We also need to stop the partisan and childish attempts at book bans- they do not serve anyone. If you do not want your child to read a particular book, have a conversation with them about why- do not try to control the parental decisions of other people.  

Library

'North Carolina is the third highest state for PFAS exposure'

Water Flowing Out Pipe

PFAS

PFAS are a serious issue because while we do not yet understand their full health effects, they seem to attack the immune systems of children. They are not just a city problem - they are also found in well systems across the state, which means that even if you are on well water, you are not safe. We need to find a solution.  

 

Recently the UN declared PFAS pollution in NC to be a human rights violation. We should all take notice. 

Student Debt 

Student debt hurts people and their families. It is not only not good, but prevents people from seeking the education they need to thrive.  This impacts their ability to start families, buy homes, and participate in the American Dream. 

 

Andy was forced to drop out of college because costs were too high.  We need to help forgive student debt and make sure that schools are charging a fair price.

Farmland

Foreign Companies Buying Farmland 

Andy watched NC farmland get bought up by foreign interests in Waxhaw, NC.  His aunt owns one of the last farms in the area.   We should not let foreign companies force North Carolinian families off their land.   Andy will fight for our farms.

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1

Affordable Housing

We need affordable housing for everyone.  Large companies buying up housing and raising the rent is not a solution. It is a large factor in our mental health crisis and cost of living crisis- even in places like Rowan and Davie Counties. 

 

Rent should not take most of your paycheck. Children succeed when they are in households without housing insecurity.

Municipalities need to create affordable single family homes and increase the availability of affordable housing in general.  When Andy is in DC he will fight for programs to help first time homeowners and renters- along with everyone feeling the crunch.

2

AI

If we want to successfully navigate AI, it needs to require watermarking. The use of deepfakes and creation of deepfake pornography is not just a school prank - it is a traumatizing event for our young women, who are currently the primary victims.

 

Simply put - AI without watermarking should be illegal. AI deepfake pornography must be policed as creation of pornography without consent. We must also make an effort to educate the population about AI.

3

Fentanyl Crisis

Andy is trained on how to use Narcan and carries it everywhere- opioid overdoses are a serious issue within his community.

Treating addiction requires a multifaceted approach.  Andy is always open to listen and learn .

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4

Unions

Andy is pro-Union. Unions help protect workers and ensure quality products by treating workers fairly and paying them more than the minimum wage.

Too many workers are subjected to dangerous working conditions and that needs to stop. Labor unions are a good tool for helping ensure workplace safety and fair wages.

5

Veteran Care

We need to fund our VA hospitals. This is non-negotiable. We need to assess what is working and what is failing our veterans. 

 

Right now veterans are not getting adequate care in many places- that is not okay, and we cannot allow it to continue. Many people in Andy’s family have served in the USAF and Navy, so he understands the needs of veterans and military families.

If we cannot protect those who have served us, we are failing as a nation.

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6

Digital Privacy

Andy grew up with a local tech company headquartered in his home. Privacy is a right - and he would love to see that enshrined. This includes topics like addressing forced ID verification online.  It is both ineffective and a distraction from more effective actions, like increasing digital literacy. ID verification also has other negative implications for safety, privacy, and digital surveillance of citizens.

 

That being said, apps created by groups funded by or controlled by external governments should be heavily scrutinized prior to being allowed on US devices, particularly military or governmental ones. We are in our current situation with TikTok because many of our elected officials do not understand how digital surveillance works.  How can you legislate on something that you do not understand.

 

If Andy were in Congress, TikTok's implementation would have gone very differently.  The tracking and recording software it automatically installs on phones would have been removed, and all data storage and processing would have been done and kept solely on US soil. 

 

There would never have been a controversy, because TikTok in its current form would have been stopped at the door. 

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