Graig Meyer announces NC Senate run
My name is Graig Meyer and I’m running to be your N.C. state senator in Orange, Caswell and Person Counties.
In 1998, I moved to North Carolina to start work in our public schools. I had a passion for service and for education. In my younger days, I was fortunate to be one of a very few kids from my working class neighborhood who had the chance to go to college. I saw how that opportunity opened doors for me, and I became invested in giving the same chance to as many kids as I could.
I spent 16 years working in North Carolina’s public schools. I loved my job and was proud to help hundreds of kids be the first in their family to go to college. I saw firsthand on a daily basis how our public schools play an essential role in binding us together as North Carolinians and as Americans.
In 2013, Republicans took control of the General Assembly, and immediately started to drain support from our public schools and universities. I took it personally—they were taking away opportunities from the kids I felt called to help.
That’s when I decided to run for the North Carolina General Assembly.
Since then, I have used my role as state representative for Orange and Caswell Counties to help my constituents gain the strength, skills and opportunity to live their best lives.
Serving Orange and Caswell counties has been a privilege and also an education. The two counties have diverse constituents, all with their own unique needs. I have had to carefully listen to the starkly different voices that make up the community I serve. I have had to bring people together—forging unlikely alliances— in order to maximize our collective ability to get things done and make lives better.
As a Democrat in the General Assembly, I have spent my entire time serving in the minority party. That’s not been easy. Watching the Republican majority consistently put the interests of the super-rich and giant corporations—not to mention their own wallets—ahead of the needs of my hard-working constituents is difficult to stomach.
But I am a tough leader and I have never stopped fighting. Despite divisive rhetoric from the right, I have seen in my own district that the most unlikely of partners can come together. And together we are stronger.
It may be trite to say that most of us want pretty similar things, but it is also true. We all want to take care of our families and loved ones. We want them to be healthy. We all want jobs where we can make a decent wage and have the opportunity to advance over time. We want our children to have a bright future full of rich opportunity.
My job as a public servant is to help my constituents meet these core needs. To listen to struggles. To figure out solutions. To recognize common interests and to build strength and power through community.
The farmers in Caswell County might look a little different than the artists I represent in Hillsborough. What isn’t different is that they all want good broadband so their kids can get a good education. They all want to be able to afford healthcare when struck down by a global pandemic. They all want the right to vote and have their voices heard.
During my time in the NCGA, I have been proud to champion issues that lift us all up. I have continued to fight steadfastly for education. I have never let go of my goal to make sure as many kids as possible can reach for the skies and be who they want to be. I have supported affordable healthcare for all—it is impossible to get ahead when we are sick or deeply in debt. And I have fought hard to secure good wages and working conditions that are fair and equitable.
I have also been a leader in creating solutions that meet multiple needs. For example, this session I advocated for using our state’s substantial budget surplus to put solar on every school rooftop and convert our school buses to electric buses built in NC—a solution that would save schools money, create jobs, and bring significant environmental benefits. I was the primary sponsor of marijuana legalization legislation that would bring in new tax revenue, provide new jobs for farmers, and right some of the devastating harm done by our inequitable criminal justice system. I even reached across the aisle to author bipartisan legislation that would have made our elections more honest and less divisive.
Sometimes it is frustrating when our government struggles to do big things, and that’s why I also try to focus on the little things that I hear about when listening to constituents’ everyday needs. During COVID, I helped restaurants stay in business during the shutdown, aided dozens of unemployment seekers, and helped families of the sick navigate the healthcare system. My job is to help the people I was elected to serve. I will always do so—in whatever way that I can.
That’s the kind of leadership I will bring to the North Carolina Senate as your senator for Orange, Caswell and Person Counties. I will always stand proudly alongside my constituents—whether they voted for me or not. I have spent my adult life working tirelessly to lift people up and help provide the opportunities that we all deserve. I lead with compassion, and I lead with force.
As your senator, I will hear you, I will unite with you, and I will fiercely pursue a brighter future for all.