All North Carolinians, regardless of income, deserve health care, nutritious food, a safe and stable home, and a living wage. It is time for an equitable economy in our state -- an economy with a robust and coordinated safety net that supports people in times of crisis and makes sure that we can all achieve a high level of well-being.
As we persevere through the darkness of a public health crisis, COVID-19 shows, more than ever, the need for policies that focus on people first. There are daily reminders that our fragmented and inadequate health and safety net systems contribute to poor health, especially for the poorest among us.
That affects all of us, as we are learning right now.
Poverty is a public health crisis for the millions of North Carolinians who struggle to make ends meet. It is the result of structural, systemic barriers put in place that prevent people from meeting their basic needs and accessing opportunity, and of deliberate public policy choices that leave people out.
Poverty and health are so intertwined that Americans who live in poverty can expect to die years sooner than wealthier Americans, while children who are raised in deep poverty experience negative health impacts for decades, well into their adult years. Part of the reason for this stark reality is the association between income poverty and the inability to obtain safe, healthy, and stable housing and nutritious food, along with the toxic stress that results from struggling to meet basic needs.
Your leadership is needed to fight poverty by enacting a set of policies that provide the opportunity for all North Carolinians to thrive by investing in a coordinated, public infrastructure that serves the basic needs of every North Carolinian and is focused on removing barriers to opportunity for those historically excluded.
We need policies that take care of all of our neighbors so everyone in our state can thrive.
We ask you to enact policies that:
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