The Lieutenant Governor serves as the chair of the Energy Policy Council, which recommends energy legislation to the Governor and the legislature. I would revisit much of the legislation that has pulled back our environmental laws. I would work with the legislation to develop new effective ways of cleaning our lakes, rivers, and streams through prevention, not just clean up. I would also work to bring like-minded community groups and organizations together in a formal capacity to come up with solutions.
Yvonne Lewis Holley
For NC Lieutenant Governor
Representative Yvonne Lewis Holley was born in Raleigh and was part of the changing south. Early in her life, she learned the values of hard work, dedication, and honor.
It was learning from her parents the importance of public service and courage that serve as motivation today. Her mother stressed the importance of education and strength while her father was a living example of community leadership. With these roots, she brings a history of reverence, hope and accountability to public service.
Educated in the Wake County Public School System, Yvonne is an advocate for education. As a student at Enloe High School, she was one of the first students of desegregation. While there were many difficult days, she was able to cross barriers one relationship at a time to build friendships. This same quality gives her the foundation of life experience working with all types of people from various backgrounds. This is a quality of an effective leader with the ability to get things done.
Working her way through Howard University, she began a career dedicated to education, health, economics, youth development and political advocacy. Yvonne's heart for public service includes twenty-five years dedicated to working as a state government employee. This life path is a direct link from a humble beginning of community awareness.
Growing up she watched and learned from community leaders and her father, J.D. Lewis. Lewis was first African-American TV Broadcaster in the Raleigh/Durham market. As Director of Minority Affairs for WRAL-TV, J.D. Lewis is an iconic broadcasting legend, host and editorialist. He is remembered today as having contributed significantly to the positive dialogue between polarized sectors during an epic time in the nation’s history. The dedicated work of her father and other community and business leaders resulted in significant growth, development and shifting race relations in our state. Yvonne witnessed this first hand from her own living room and is continuing this legacy today as the Representative of the 38th District of the North Carolina State House.
One of the most notable accomplishments during Representative Holley’s tenure in the NC House has been the extensive work to relieve Food Deserts in areas across the state. She gathered support from both sides of the aisle; Democrats, Republicans and Independents, to achieve what others hadn’t. Her efforts resulted in funding to support closing the gap in food insecure areas. Her skill and influence brought parties together to battle a common issue and garnered bipartisan support. This is the leadership we need in 2020 and forward!
Issues Yvonne cares about
In order for people who have served in the criminal justice system to become viable citizens, there must be some criminal justice reform. Let’s begin with money: the state needs to fund the Raise the Age juvenile program, and provide more funding to programs like the Juvenile Crime Prevention Council.
We must end the use of bail as a punishment for people who are not at flight risk and have not been found guilty of any crime.
I strongly oppose taking away driver’s licenses for non payment of fines. We must end this form of punishment for non-traffic violations.
We must work with and support the Second Chance Act and other re-entry programs, which allow people who have served their time to begin rebuilding their lives. I have and will continue to work to help find and establish a process to reinstate ex-offenders – who have served their time – to get or regain certifications and licensures. This will allow them to earn a living and take care of themselves and their families.
I’ve worked directly with expungement programs, like NC Justice Served, and I support Durham’s DEAR Program. These programs have proven track records and must be duplicated and/or expanded across the state.
I will continue to support and push for mental health and drug treatment programs over incarceration. These life changing initiatives will help keep families together, save people, allow everyone to become viable citizens, and will save the state millions of dollars in taxpayer money. Treatment is less expensive than incarceration, not just in monetary value, but in what it costs people and the lives around them.
I support legislation that bans assault weapons and magazines. I believe we need to require background checks and licensing permits for all firearms. The gun show loophole needs to be closed; private to private sales must require the firearm be registered to the new owner (like vehicle registration transfers). I support Extreme Risk Protection Order legislation, also known as Red Flag Laws. Our safe storage legislation needs to be strengthened and required in all homes and locations with firearms, not just in homes with minors.
Healthcare -I support legislation to guarantee access to quality healthcare and safe abortion care without dangerous delay, isolation, or obstruction.
Equal Pay – I support equal pay for women and living wages for all of North Carolina.
At the federal level, I do support comprehensive immigration reform. However, that would be outside my scope as Lt. Governor of NC. At the state level, I support allowing local sheriffs to determine their departments’ cooperation with ICE and to end 287G agreements, granting in-state tuition and financial aid to undocumented students, and allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain a driver’s license.
Throughout my professional career, I worked for the NC Department of Administration in the Purchase and Contract Division. While there, I handled purchases and contracts for DEQ. I made sure that the DEQ had quality testing equipment for air, water, and service contracts that provided clean up services which had a positive environmental impact. The top environmental issues affecting this state are declining water and air quality. For example: the hog waste in Eastern NC, building the gas pipeline across the state, the GENX problem, and the continuing pollution from coal ash ponds. Much of the hog waste pollution of air and water are located in poor and minority communities with little resources to fight back or get fair compensation for loss of quality of life. Much like the hog waste issue, the proposed gas pipeline would be built across poor and minority communities. Our forgotten communities have little power and resources to fight for fair compensation or access to the courts to get compensation when the pipeline inevitably causes damage to their health and property.
I strongly oppose drilling for oil or gas on the coast. We have a beautiful and unique coastline where fishing and tourism are its biggest assets. Not only do we need to protect these assets, but we as a state need to lead the nation and make the move away from fossil fuels.
I fully support offshore wind development because it keeps in line with the agenda to move away from fossil fuels. An additional benefit is the economic development in providing more jobs and employment. Some of our coastal areas haven’t experienced employment growth as other parts of our state. This is a means of employment that will provide a path to success for our citizens that want to work and are looking for ways to take care of their families.
Governor Cooper’s Executive Order 80 calls on NC to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 40% below 2005 levels. To get there, the DEQ clean energy plan calls for NC to reduce its carbon footprint 70% by 2030; which will require a move away from fossil fuel power generation. The order also has an environmental justice component. I support the efforts of Executive Order 80. I believe state government should lead by example. In that spirit, I would make sure that State Agencies see this order as a priority and I would lead initiatives to make sure our infrastructure is more energy efficient. I would ask my cabinet to make formal plans consisting of goals and expectations to meet the new standards. This would ensure we move away from fossil fuels and provide avenues for departments to meet and exceed their environmental goals with funding and provide them with the tools needed to accomplish them.