These questions have been carefully crafted with the input of over 20 nonpartisan, nonprofit organizations with expertise in each subject area. Topic areas include:

  • Health
  • Agriculture
  • Environment & Energy
  • STEM Education
  • Water Quality & Infrastructure
  • Transportation and Electrical Infrastructure.

These issues affect voters’ lives as much as the foreign policy, economic policy, and faith and values views that candidates traditionally share with journalists on the campaign trail.

These answers were submitted to

General perspective on science
What are your top 3 scientific priorities for the upcoming year?

Science is the process that takes us from confusion to understanding in a manner that’s precise, predictive and reliable- a transformation, for those lucky enough to experience it.( Brian Greene) My three scientific priorities for the upcoming 2021-2022 will be to be precise, predictive, and reliable. The people of my district deserve to know what they voted for is what they will get.

How do you plan to ensure access to COVID-19 testing, tracing, treatment, and personal protective equipment (PPE) for all North Carolinians, especially workers in the highest risk jobs?

There is no way to predict the future of COVID-19 and therefor I believe it is more essential now than ever for state government to gain flexibility in the operational use of the federal money supplied in the CARES Act. The budget must be prudent and show responsible spending to provide core services while anticipating what we do not know and hoping for better than we planned. I was disappointed to find H1037 Bill, on 4/29/20 actually addressed many of the concerns in this question but never made it to the GA floor. I would have worked to help pass H1037.

Scientific studies have shown that Black, Latinx, and Native American US residents are disproportionately affected by COVID-19. How do you plan to address the immediate crisis of those disproportionately affected as well the systemic issues that this data has brought to light?

I do not differentiate between one group of people and another. I have read the articles stating the mortality rates and feel the loss of one life, is one to many. The question does not seem to reflect the truth of science. Asians were even less likely to contract the virus than the other ethnicities. Life styles and habits need to be added into the factoring process. Addressing those factors, taking into an account those most affected, location, and life-styles verses those least affected, such as those from the Middle East and Asia, reason of deduction would permit us to then arrive an accurate summation, permitting us to benefit from the experiences of others thus reducing the spread to all by applying information gathered from those who have not been affected. When I make laws, it will be for the better governing of all the people. By having family members and loved ones from a variety of ethnic backgrounds this allows me to intentionally have an interest in caring for “We the People.”

What legislation can be used to mitigate infection risk in hot spots that contribute to community spread such as meat processing plants, nursing homes, and prisons?

I believe this is the question of the hour. The guideline from the experts keeps moving, making it difficult to trust the science based data. I encourage using the up-to-date data currently provided, then building upon that as we add what we have learned. Continuing to build upon those precepts adding to that the encouragement of personal hygiene, proper PPE in areas where A-symptomatic individuals may be, and promoting individual self-care and awareness. We must choose to build confidence rather than build walls of fear between North Carolinians.

How will you ensure that rural constituents maintain access to health care, given that many rural hospitals are facing financial hardship during the pandemic?

Many of the hospitals are not experiencing hardships due to the pandemic but because of the lack of the ability to perform elective surgeries. According to CNN reporters Cayse Tolan, Ashley Franz and Collette Richards collectively they stated that more than 170 rural hospitals had shutdown since the pandemic but were known to be struggling long before. According to UNC”s Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research, 19 rural hospitals closed in 2019 long before the pandemic. However, many have since struggled to stay afloat admits the drowning executive stay-home order. Hospitals were forced to send support staffers and nurses who would have proven essential.

Do you think Medicaid should be expanded in North Carolina? Why or why not?

I do not believe Medicaid has proven to have a solid foundation, serving well those it was originally designed to service. According to John Locke contributor, Jordan Robers, The problem of rural hospitals closing isn’t a new one for the United States. Between 1990-2000, 208 rural hospitals closed. It isn’t reasonable to think the health care problems in rural NC started with the state’s refusal to expand Medicaid beginning in 2014. Medicaid expansion supporters have made countless claims such as the program won’t cost the state any money, or that there wouldn’t be any negative consequences in the health care market, or that expansion would create 40,000 jobs in North Carolina. Until Medicaid is serving well the members of my community in which it was designed to service, it will not have my vote for expansion.

Would you support efforts to standardize requirements for factory farm animal waste management for all animal agricultural sectors in North Carolina?

I do not believe one size fits all. Standardizing requirements on farms that are as different as the family structure running them, does not appear to allow for creativity or the development of better solutions. One issue has been the waste treatment lagoons and though I smell the pain of our growth, I do not want to threaten the North Carolina Constitution of other members of our community but would encourage the science and technology community to help creatively solve the issues we face as a agricultural state.

Do you support the use of state tax dollars for incentive-based environmental conservation programs for farmers? If so, do you support designating any of those funds to help farmers pay to implement practices that sequester carbon or reduce on-farm carbon emissions? Why or why not?

I do support the use of incentivizing for the betterment of our environment. However, I do not value one over the other. To allow 350 acres of forestry to be wiped out for solar farms but stress carbon emissions on farmers is talking out of both sides of one’s mouth. Let’s strive to leave the world better than we found it, but stop throwing stones. We all could do better.

As small- and large-scale farmers embrace robotic technologies and digital advances in farming equipment, what would you do to ensure that farmer's agricultural data is protected from sale to third-parties groups?

I encourage the science and technology community to help creatively solve the issues we face as a agricultural state, permitting us to outshine our boarding states of South Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee.

Environment & Energy
North Carolina is threatened by rising seas and retreating shores, increasing hurricane intensity and flood risk, as well as increasing wildfire risk. What would you do to ensure the resiliency of NC communities and natural ecosystems, especially in low-income communities that are disproportionately threatened by these issues?

The fact remains our North Carolina shorelines are receding. I believe and support the beach refurbishment program. I will work with the stakeholders and  to include the Army Core of Engineers to help sustain and protect one of NC’s most valuable assets.

Do you support statewide efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and accelerate clean energy innovation, development, and deployment? Why or why not?

I am willing to be part of the discussion, but I have not yet been convinced this is most cost effective and beneficial for my community. However, I am willing to have a conversation.

STEM Education
County spending ranges from only $434 per student to as much as $5,256 per student. What will you do to ensure equity and resource availability for students in under-served regions?

I believe 2020 has created an opportunity everyone to reevaluate the infrastructure and how it is servicing our students. I believe the money should follow the students, allowing the family to have a choice in choosing the best educational opportunities suited for the needs of their student/child. PPE outcome has no evidence of performance. We are missing the mark. Utah spends the less PPE and yet has one of the highest performances rated outcomes. I pledge to properly fund for the best of the students of my district. One size does not fit all and to suggest otherwise is ignorance. As each student’s needs are different so it is true for the needs of each county. I want to see the needs of our students met, giving them the tools and opportunities to excel. Temporary government should not be making permanent decisions for our children.

How will you cultivate a strong STEM workforce across the state, especially in key transition regions like rural areas?

I believe partnerships within the community among the businesses, high schools, and community college is the key. Living in Wake County, I have benefited from Wake Technical Community College and the partnership it has with the town councils, businesses and community leaders. I would like to assist in building and cultivating those relationships in other counties, throughout North Carolina. H387 has made powerful strides to assist in enacting change to rural areas of NC. I believe in the statement “Strong as our weakest link” and believe North Carolina has the ability to be rock solid through and through.

Water Quality & Infrastructure
How would you work to ensure North Carolinians have access to reliable and affordable water?

I believe we need to work together, ensuring our water for tomorrow. We will not get a do over so we need to do it right the first time. Water is supplied by municipalities, regional agencies, privately and private agencies. Everyone wants clean water, but we must educate one another to guarantee clean water for all. I believe repeat offenders should be held accountable. I would like to see the coveted positions upon the utility commissioner board to be filled by knowledgeable consumers and not insiders for favor. Our policies should be as transparent as the water we desire to drink. The state agency prevents price gouging for affordable water access to the people. I would like to see more municipalities partnering with the care of North Carolina water. If we all will work together, how much happier we will be.  

What steps would you take to help safeguard North Carolina's water resources against pollution or other threats?

I would develop a working relationship, pledging to listen to both reports from the Department and the Commission, regarding the 17-basinwide managements. These reports given on or before November 1st to the Environmental Review Commission are the established progress developing and implementing basinwide water quality management plans and on increasing public involvement and public education in connection with basinwide water quality management planning. The report to the Environmental Review Commission by the Department shall include a written statement as to all concentrations of heavy metals and other pollutants in the surface waters of the State that are identified in the course of preparing or revising the basinwide water quality management plans. Article 21 Water and Air Resources. Organization and Powers Generally: Controlled Pollution addresses this question even further

Transportation & Electrical Infrastructure
With schools relying more heavily on remote learning strategies during the pandemic, how will you help increase access to broadband internet for rural and low income populations?

HB 1105 provided immediate help due to the COVID-19 relief bill. Session Law 2020-97 Section 4.17.(b) (8) states: Federal Communications Commission attestation that either speeds greater than those identified in the application guidelines or the proposed upstream and downstream broadband speeds identified in the pursuant to G.S. 143.B-1373(g)6), are available throughout the project area prior to any end user connections. A single grant award shall not exceed 2,800,000. No combination of grant awards involving any single county may exceed five million six hundred thousand dollars. (9) The office may cancel and agreement and the grant recipient shall forfeit the amount of the grant received if it fails to perform, in material respect, the obligations established in the agreement. In addition, (10) projects that will provide a minimum download speed of 200 megabits per second and a minimum upload speed of 20 megabits per second, or greater, shall have a score multiplier of two points.Next year and or within 5 years every bit of communicational connection will be wireless. We are fastly approaching 5G technologies. 6G will be able to send electricity through the air, though at what capacity I do not know. Google halted all move to be the next cable provider as it projected the fast approaching wireless world that would make the trillion-dollar investment obsolete.  Our best approach for a strong future is to invest in the top wireless technology companies entering into North Carolina and into public/private partnerships with us.

What are your transportation spending priorities, and how will you allocate funding across different transportation modes (roads, highways, bikeways, mass transit, walkways) in North Carolina?

I appreciate this question. As I often admit while submitting a survey, I have grown as a person by taking time to answer the questions provided.  Such is the case regarding transportation. I have learned to adequately be prepared for the future needs of our community; we must not look in the rearview mirror for our answers but to the growing needs of our community, counties, and state. With 5G autonomous vehicles already on our roads, we need to make room for all modes of transportation. All modes may not be needed tomorrow, but knowing our tomorrows will come, we steward well our today so when arriving there, we find a plan was well in place. In my twenties I road the New Jersey commuter train to work, and though I do not think Raleigh is in need of a railway system today, I believe one day we might be. On a completely different spectrum let us consider scooters. The scooters in Charlotte were proven to be a huge success. Though my own talents do not thrive in the science and technology industry, I look forward to the advancement and strides as a community we will achieve. Let's work to achieve these goals both wisely and efficiently.

by Kim Coley


Kim Coley. Candidate for North Carolina House - District 36.