Rep. Alma Adams Delivers State of the District Address
In her address, Congresswoman Adams emphasized her 4H’s Plan: Housing, Health Care, Higher Education, and Hunger
On Thursday, January 25, midway through her two-year term, Congresswoman Adams traveled to both Cabarrus and Mecklenburg counties to meet with constituents and to provide a review of legislation and funding that have impacted District 12 over the past year. Congresswoman Adams addressed Cabarrus residents who live in District 12 Thursday morning, and then Mecklenburg County residents on Thursday evening at Mallard Creek High School in Charlotte. Attendees were able to submit questions to the Congresswomen in advance.
For residents of the Town of Davidson, it is worth noting that Representative Adams will not be on their ballots in the upcoming 2024 primary and election. Redistricting maps passed in October by the North Carolina Legislature have moved Davidson out of District 12 and into a newly created District 14 that stretches west through Gaston, Cleveland, Rutherford, Burke, and Polk counties.
Adams addressed the upcoming changes in the boundaries of District 12. Beginning in January 2025, District 12 “will be consolidated to only include the city of Charlotte and a small portion of Mint Hill,” said Adams. Cabarrus County and the towns of Huntersville, Cornelius, and Davidson will no longer be in the district. “Although the physical boundary of our district continues to change, my passion and commitment to bettering the lives of its people has not changed,” stated Adams. In her five terms in Congress, Adams has experienced “six different configurations of this district” and she is “terribly concerned about that, particularly for our citizens.”
Adams reported that “the state of our district is strong.” In the current 118th Congress, Adams stated that she has successfully “secured over $162 million in federal funds for the 12th Congressional District.” Of those funds, over $17 million was specially identified for community funding projects including local infrastructure projects, new investments in our schools, colleges, and universities, support for health and human services, and local renewable energy initiatives. She noted that “our district and our state are growing and continually bringing new economic opportunities.”
Adams addressed her continued legislative focus on housing, identifying housing as a fundamental “human right.” She noted that many of her constituents in District 12 are working hard on the issue of affordable housing. As the area grows in population, many neighbors are struggling to find quality housing to rent or buy. “Reporting shows that North Carolina has a shortage of over 200K affordable housing units. Charlotte itself makes up nearly a quarter of that shortage,” said Adams.
Adams recently introduced the American Neighborhoods Protection Act. The bill would require corporate owners of more than 75 single-family homes to pay an annual fee into a housing trust fund to be used as down payment assistance for families. In Charlotte and other cities, corporate investors are buying large numbers of houses as investment properties. This has led to a concern that would-be homebuyers who rely on mortgages are being outbid in tight housing markets by corporate investors who are able to pay cash. The corporate investors then hold the properties as rentals, resulting in fewer properties being available for single-family homeownership.
Turning to the issue of health care, Adams touted some successes: the expansion of Medicaid access in North Carolina, an impending reduction in the cost of life-saving drugs, particularly insulin, and the passage of the PACT Act, a new law that expands VA health care and benefits for Veterans exposed to burn pits, Agent Orange, and other toxic substances.
Adams said that much still needs to be done to address the national crisis in maternal health care. “Moms in America are more likely to die in childbirth today than mothers in any other developed nation. With proper care and treatment, 80% of pregnancy-related deaths in the United States are preventable,” said Adams. Especially troubling, she added, is the fact that “Black women, regardless of education level or socioeconomic status are nearly four times more likely to die from preventable pregnancy-related complications than women of other races.” In response, Adams has reintroduced the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act, a legislative package of 13 separate bills addressing the leading causes of maternal death, morbidity, and maternal health disparity in the United States.
An extensive Q&A session followed the prepared address. Of the questions submitted for the Q&A, two issues predominated: the shortage of affordable housing in the district and resources to address the shortage, and concerns about the state of our democracy and threats to our democracy. Congresswoman Adams spent additional time addressing those issues in depth.
News of Davidson was able to get a short one-on-one with Congresswoman Adams following the event. Given her experience with redistricting, News of Davidson asked Adams what guidance she would give to active and involved voters in the Town of Davidson who find themselves in a newly drawn congressional district with a new and unfamiliar representative.
Adams responded, “While we don’t know who your new representative will be, you need to make sure that that representative knows what Davidson needs. I’m certainly going to miss that community.” She advised, “even before the election, you need to find out who is running, sit them down, let them know what your needs are, what you’re used to.” Adams concluded: “Know what your priorities are and make sure that whoever that new representative is knows what those priorities are and will work with you, on your terms. That’s what it’s about.”
Photos and videos of Rep. Adams’s “State of the District” address can be found here.
Lyn Batty, a Charlotte native, practiced law in North Carolina for 15 years before transitioning to academic librarianship and teaching. Lyn and her husband David have lived in Davidson since 2009. Lyn previously co-authored the “Common Laws” legal column for DavidsonNews.net.