"The trouble with being poor is that it takes up all your time." - Willem de Kooning
Clearly, words spoken by someone who has been there unable to get ahead and in need of a hand up. Sadly, too many people who live here in NC's 8th district know this all too well. In fact, it is a bellwether District – a harbinger the rest of the nation should heed.
In so many ways, my District is like a microcosm of America. We have suburbs, farmland, small towns, a military base, as well as the big banking hub, Charlotte. We also have the highest unemployment in North Carolina with one in ten looking for work in some of our more rural areas, and an Associated Press ranking as one of the most economically devastated Districts in the nation. Our schools face challenges just like anywhere else, with the dropout rate in big cities now at a 6-year high, and the number of homeless children in our school system doubling this year even in our suburbs.