Running for public office was something I never thought I would find myself doing at this stage in my life. I always told myself that perhaps one day in the far future I would have enough experience, enough time, and enough money to run in a local election. I would work my way up to a position where I could affect issues like criminal justice reform, the drug crisis, and providing support for our most vulnerable populations. Over the past few years, my experience working to support those on the autism spectrum and other developmental disabilities has shown me that now more than ever I can’t simply sit on the sidelines as our nation struggles to support millions of citizens who need it most.
I have had the pleasure of working alongside some of the most wonderful humans in the world in the clients, families, and coworkers that I have met over my career, I am lucky to have had the chance to speak with and learn about the perspectives of people from all walks of life, and now more than ever believe that we must build a society that works for all regardless of class, race, gender, sexuality, or ability. This is the core belief that drives every one of my positions, and although they may not all be perfect, I assure you that I want to listen to you to develop real solutions not just talking points. No matter what, I will always fight for what’s best for North Carolinians and make sure you have a voice in Congress.
– Curtis Joseph Sobie
Guaranteeing High-Quality Healthcare to Every American
In 2019, we as a nation will spend an unprecedented 3.8 trillion dollars to fund a healthcare system that does not meet the needs of the more than 90 million Americans who either cannot afford insurance or are underinsured. We spend double per capita what virtually every other developed nation spends for better healthcare outcomes in order to subsidize pharmaceutical company profits, huge administrative overheads, and massive salaries for corporate executives. Despite all this, patients and their doctors increasingly find themselves having to fight to make sure that even basic medical procedures and treatments are covered by their insurance providers.
By using the resources we already devote to healthcare in this country more effectively, we can implement policies which work for everyday Americans and not just investors. We can start addressing the layers-upon-layers of inefficiencies in our system, reverse the massive loss of providers in rural and other underserved areas, and improve outcomes across the board for everyone in this country. Together, we can build a system where patients can actually afford access the services that they need, doctors can actually provide those services without insurance companies interfering, and hospitals can actually focus on their patients and staff rather than billing services.
Making Sure Everyone Can Afford to Succeed
Nearly everyone in this country agrees that we need an education system that prepares our young people to participate in our society, our economy, and our government. However, we continue to fall short of this goal as we continue to underfund our schools and underpay our teachers. At the grade school level, we are allowing teacher salaries to stagnate at the same time as we are employing fewer counselors, psychologists, and other support staff as ever. At the college level, we are shifting the costs of our higher education system onto our students and expecting 18 year-olds to take on tens of thousands of dollars of debt to attend public universities.
We must reverse decades of neglect and invest the public funds necessary to guarantee high-quality education for our students. Attending public colleges, universities, medical schools, and trade schools must be an attainable for every American regardless of their income or their family’s financial situation. To get our students there, we must ensure that our school systems are paying enough to attract and retain the talented educators they need to make sure every student succeeds. And lastly, we must address the racial inequities of our educational system that impact the success of students of color and result in their disproportionate representation in disciplinary and dropout statistics.
Standing Up For the Most Vulnerable
Over the past three years, we have witnessed an unprecedented assault on the rights of Americans by the Trump administration. Congress must take action to reverse the damage done by the White House eroding protections for people who are only trying to live their lives, the two most clear examples being the systemic attacks on Latinx migrants and citizens as well as numerous policies which have targeted members of the LGBTQ+ community. We must work to immediately dismantle the system of mass detection, including the current administration’s traumatic family separation policies, at the US-Mexico border that has resulted in the deaths of thousands of migrants over the past decades. The brazen reversal of hard-won rights for LGBTQ+ American’s must also be overturned, ensuring that marriage equality remains the law in the United States and overturning policies targeted at transgender individuals put into place by the current transphobic administration.
Beyond fixing the damage done by the President and the GOP, we must continue to fight for the rights of every American who continue to face discrimination and unequal access to opportunities in this country. This includes working with black and brown Americans to address systemic barriers across the board in housing, education, and employment. Beginning with the restoration of the Voting Rights Act, Congress must work to examine and address legislation which intentionally or unintentionally enables discrimination in order to improve the lives of millions of Americans. Lastly, we must continue to work to improve the accessibility of our society and work with disabled Americans to build systems and infrastructure that allow every people of all ability to live as typical a life as possible.
Criminal Justice Reform
Recognizing Failures and Moving Forward
It is time to step back and recognize that our criminal justice system is fundamentally broken. In the United States, 90% of all criminal cases will never see the inside of a courtroom. Those who do go before a judge will likely wait a year before they stand trial only to rely on a public defender who on average has had less than an hour to prepare their case. Once inside, even non-violent offenders will be exposed to constant harassment, criminal activity, and inhumane conditions with little access to education, vocational training, or other rehabilitative programs. In North Carolina, almost 40% of those incarcerated will return to jail within three years repeating the entire cycle.
We must take immediate action to reform our courts, jails, and police while also addressing the disproportionate representation of black and brown Americans at every level of our criminal justice system. It is time to finally recognize our failed policies and create a system which prioritizes the rehabilitation of our fellow citizens and not simply locking them away from society, keeping non-violent offenders out of jail and equipping anyone who comes into contact with the criminal justice system with the skills and resources they need to be successful outside of jail.
Restoring Workers Rights
Fighting for Dignity and Respect For Workers
The American worker is the foundation of our society, every single one of our accomplishments has been built by the labor of the men and women who fuel the most prosperous economy in human history. Previous generations fought hard for our rights as workers, some even giving their lives to secure the 40-hour workweek, safe workplaces, and fair compensation. However, over the past decades, we have allowed corporate interests to erode those protections that workers were once promised. We prosecute less white-collar crime than at any point in our history, we have granted massive tax cuts to businesses on broken promises of increased wages, and allowed corporations to abuse workers by classifying them as independent contractors.
We must work to implement policies that will increase the wages of the everyday Americans, including passing a federal living wage pegged to inflation that guarantees no American who works full-time is unable to meet their basic needs. Our labor laws need to be reformed to protect workers from the wholesale use of forced arbitration employed by large corporations and the Taft-Hartley Act amended to allow workers to organize and fight workplace abuses. Lastly, we must work to create and implement policies providing paid parental leave and affordable childcare that will enable working families and mothers to balance their commitments and their job and their commitments at home.