Art Sherwood Refutes Claims by McCrory of ‘Carolina Comeback’

State Senate candidate cites report that says region could lose 34 percent of jobs in coming years

LENOIR, N.C.Art Sherwood, the Democratic candidate for North Carolina State Senate District 45, today said that the policies of Republican Governor Pat McCrory and the GOP-led General Assembly have led to a dismal economy, especially for Northwestern North Carolina.

Art Sherwood

Art Sherwood

“The claims by the Republicans in Raleigh of a ‘Carolina Comeback’ are ludicrous,” claimed Sherwood. He cited a recent article in the online edition of the Watauga Democrat, which reported “ … that the northwest region of the state, including Watauga County, was estimated to lose about 34 percent of all its jobs in the coming years.”

Sherwood explained, “Why are we projected to lose jobs in our region? Because the Republicans have cut taxes on the most wealthy, shifting the tax burden to the middle class. They have raised taxes on goods and services. Thousands of jobs were lost when McCrory refused federal funds for healthcare for our state’s poorest citizens. The attack upon public education by the GOP is driving teachers out of the profession. I have heard loud and clear from them that they will not stay in the classroom if the attacks continue.”

Sherwood continued, “It is time to quit blaming others or past officials for our problems today. Our job is to fix them, not complain about them. That is what citizens rightfully expect of their elected officials. To that end, I will work to ensure that none of our communities become dependent upon boom-and-bust mono-economies, such as what happened in Caldwell County with the furniture industry. While it is true that it provided many wonderful jobs and the dignity that goes with it, it is also true that the industry has largely abandoned the area.”

Sherwood said, “Whatever the reason for the loss of jobs, it is our responsibility to diversify our economy and support small businesses and agriculture. We know the value of Google in Lenoir. The impact of Appalachian State on Boone’s economy is massive and critical. Health care offers many good jobs in our areas. For that we are thankful. But it’s not enough. We must remember how important agriculture is and has been for the five High Country counties in Senate District 45. We must encourage and support small business owners, who are the backbone of every community’s economy.”

Specifically, said Sherwood, “As we move forward, local sustainability will be as important as ever. We must make small businesses a priority. We need to ease the burdens of starting a new business. We should support permaculture, microlending, green taxes, ecological footprinting, and fair trade as ways of strengthening communities within our region.” He added, “Many in the arts community are working hard to revitalize their communities. They deserve our support through grants and micro-lending.”

Sherwood pointed out that a law took effect in North Carolina in October 2015 that recognizes the potential importance of industrial hemp and established a commission to create and regulate an industrial hemp program. It also established licensure and reporting procedures and distinguishes hemp from marijuana. Yet the commission has not been funded by the General Assembly. He responded, “The legislature has seen the importance of this crop – a crop by the way that three of the Founding Fathers grew on their Virginia estates. Ben Franklin owned a mill that made paper from the plant, and the Declaration of Independence was drafted on hemp paper. It is time for the commission to be funded so that the agricultural potential of hemp – known for 10,000 years – can be realized in this farm-rich region.”

Sherwood noted also, “Our climate is ideal for solar and wind power. In fact, the solar industry now employs more people nationally than the coal industry. We must tap into that future. It is also the responsible thing to do to reduce our ecological footprint.”

North Carolina State Senate District 45 includes Allegany, Ashe, Avery, Caldwell and Watauga counties. Sherwood is a resident of Caldwell County.

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 Contact the Campaign

To speak with Art Sherwood, please call (828) 434-0563. To speak with Campaign Manager Michael Barrick, please call (828) 434-8520.

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