As part of his “100 Counties in 100 Days” tour, North Carolina Senator Jeff Jackson, who is running for the U.S. Senate seat of retiring Senator Richard Burr, hosted a Cleveland County Town Hall at Shelby City Park June 21. Close to 100 people came out to hear what he had to say.
According to Senator Jackson, his reason for holding 100 town halls is to hear the concerns of the people from every county across North Carolina, to find out what’s going on and how he can be of service — in preparation for the job of representing North Carolina in the U.S. Senate. The senator said he looks at it as a job application, and that the people in attendance must decide if they want to hire him.
Senator Jackson began by greeting the crowd and thanking everyone for coming, followed by a deeply passionate speech in which he addressed a multitude of issues facing North Carolinians including Medicaid expansion, teacher shortages, universal broadband, water quality, cost of child care, paid family leave, minimum wage, gerrymandering, gender and racial equity, police reform and decriminalization of marijuana. He also addressed the challenge of dealing with an unprecedented amount of media misinformation and discussed various ways of combating it such as attending town halls to meet and hear directly from the candidates. Senator Jackson received much applause throughout his speech, as many of the issues he touched on hit home with the local people in attendance.
After his speech, Senator Jackson spent more than 45 minutes fielding questions from the crowd. The questions ranged from issues that addressed teacher support, gender discrimination in schools, threats to election officials, voter suppression efforts, gerrymandering, ongoing election audits, filibuster reform, jobs, poverty, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the challenges of working in a bipartisan manner with Republicans. He then stayed even longer to answer more questions on a one-on-one basis.
In talking with the attendees and sharing opinions after the Town Hall had ended, there was a consensus that Senator Jackson was sincere, well informed, intelligent, and committed to improving the lives of North Carolinians.