UAC05112204 PUB PEN Sometimes we receive letters from the community that are just too important and relevant to ignore. Below is one of them. I gladly relinquish my space to share this message with our readers and the entire Fayetteville community.
—Bill Bowman, publisher, Up & Coming Weekly

I am Margaret Dickson, a business owner, journalist, former state senator and representative from Cumberland County.

I am Rick Glazier, a lawyer, former Cumberland County school board member, Fayetteville State University professor and state representative.

I am Dr. Eric Mansfield, an Ear, Nose and Throat doctor in Fayetteville and former state senator from Cumberland County.

I am Diane Parfitt, a nurse, local downtown business owner and former state representative from Cumberland County.

Together for many years, we represented Cumberland County in the NC General Assembly.

Together, we fought for public education, affordable health care access, housing affordability, consumer protection, economic development, and environmental and social justice.

Today, we write together to support one of North Carolina's best qualified, most effective and deeply respected state senators, Kirk deViere.

When COVID-19 hit, he answered by fighting for and securing tens of millions of dollars for Cumberland County to prevent evictions, home foreclosures and utility cut-offs.

When public education needed a voice, he answered by effectively negotiating with the Republican legislative leadership. He did this for, quite literally, hundreds of millions of dollars in teacher pay, additional school nurses, textbooks, teacher assistant positions, early childhood education funds, broadband funds, school lunch monies and more social workers in the schools. He has led the fight for full Leandro funding.

While many have failed for 10 years in the executive and legislature, Kirk has been at the forefront of negotiating for Medicaid expansion and finally has gotten all parties to a place where that expansion may finally occur this summer.

When our waters were polluted along the Cape Fear River basin, Kirk led the charge to go after the polluters and get the state and the polluting companies to take responsibility, stop the pollution and begin to effectively remedy the damage.

When voices cried out for social justice and civil rights, he has been on the front lines of criminal records expunction, driver's license restoration, removing occupational licensing barriers and vigorously fighting for voting rights for all and equal justice for our daughters as well as our sons.

When predatory lending companies tried to enter North Carolina, he stopped them.

When community watches meet everywhere in the county, he is there, listening and always responds.

Kirk has always been that way; as a military veteran of 11 years, Fayetteville city councilman, local business owner and state senator. That is why he is immensely respected by his colleagues in Raleigh and is thought of as one of the brightest state senators in the country.

He is the first in his office most days and the last to leave at night.

He is thoughtful, intelligent, informed and compassionate, just as the four of us tried to be in our public service. Only — he does it even better!

He is a statesman and a rare commodity in public office; someone there for all the right reasons; someone who listens and not just talks; someone who values authenticity and morality over ideology and expediency; someone who delivers for our children, our families and our community.

He is, in our collective opinion, everything you want and we need in public service, in leadership and a model of community engagement. He is a man of uncommon sense and sensibility.

Together, we are proud and honored to endorse Senator deViere for re-election.*

*Our endorsements are personal and are made in our individual capacities and not on behalf of any organization to which we are a member.

Pictured above: (left to right) Margaret Dickson, Rick Glazier, Dr. Eric Mansfield, Diane Parfitt.

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