This election is more than just about our next President. Our local elections will determine the path we take in advancing racial equity in our local communities. We've asked candidates running for local government in Wake and Mecklenburg where they stand on these important issues. 

The ACLU of NC is a non-partisan organization that believes that voters should be fully informed about the civil liberties’ records of candidates before casting a ballot. We do not endorse or oppose candidates for office. We believe in educating voters about the issues at stake in key elections. Our voter education work is designed to protect and advance civil rights and civil liberties. 

Click here to view the full scorecard as a PDF.

Puedes ver el cuadro de respuestas aqui. 

Please note: This questionnaire was sent to all candidates running for Board of Commissioners. We have only included the responses of candidates who responded to our questionnaire. The candidates listed below are those who responded. If a candidate is not listed, it means that they did not respond to our request or declined to participate. 

In addition to capturing YES and NO responses, we gave every candidate the opportunity to share additional thoughts for each question. Additional information provided by candidates is below.

1. Sig Hutchinson (D1)

Q.Sig Hutchinson (D1)
A.
  • Will you support efforts to decrease law enforcement budgets and reinvest those dollars in community resources such as improving access to mental health, addiction, and homelessness services, as well as investments in funding recreational centers, trauma centers, and forgivable loans for Black-owned businesses? 

No. These two issues are not connected. We clearly need better training within law enforcement of which we have started conversations with our Sheriff. And I have been a champion on issues such as Mental Health, Homelessness, Affordable Housing, Vulnerable Communities and more as Chair of the Community Health Needs Assessment; Population Health Task Force, and our new Wake County initiative working to create safe and healthy communities called "Live Well Wake."


  • Will you commit to working with the County Sheriff's Department to expand the use of citations instead of arrest warrants for lower-level charges? 

Yes. I'm very interested in this issue as well as bail reform.


  • Will you commit to encouraging and supporting pretrial services, and seek funding to expand pretrial services in your county?

Yes. Definitely, as well as life skills and education programs while in detention and a reentry program after being released.


  • Do you commit to making private and public contracts with national law enforcement, medical services, and teleconference publicly available? And in addition to that, will you commit to holding public hearings on intergovernmental agreements? 

Yes. 


  • Will you commit to working with the Sheriff's Department to ensure community transparency and accountability? 

Yes. Definitely, in fact, we have already started conversations.


  • Will you work with the superintendent and school system to create an alternative to having police officers in schools? 

Yes. I am very interested in working with the school board and the superintendent to address these issues.

2. Maria Cervania (D3)

Q.Maria Cervania (D3)
A.
  • Will you support efforts to decrease law enforcement budgets and reinvest those dollars in community resources such as improving access to mental health, addiction, and homelessness services, as well as investments in funding recreational centers, trauma centers, and forgivable loans for Black-owned businesses? 

Yes. The status quo is not acceptable. We need to evaluate how we are funding law enforcement and assess if items on their budget are focused on serving and protecting all people in Wake County. We must look for ways to address issues before they escalate and need for law enforcement get involved. This will come from educational, public health, and human services programs. The priority is to find existing implementation in our county government plus explore ways that we may work with community organizations in providing positive solutions. As a start, I do support improved access to mental health, substance abuse treatment and homelessness services, and investment in Pre·K-12 school and neighborhood programs of understanding, community relationship building, and Historically Underutilized Businesses assistance. The focus is to pro-actively empower our children, families, and community so that there is a decreased need for law enforcement.


  • Will you commit to working with the County Sheriff's Department to expand the use of citations instead of arrest warrants for lower-level charges? 

Yes. Issuing a citation takes less time than arresting, transporting, and booking. The results would be that law enforcement may focus on more serious crimes. When it comes to young and first-time offenders, diversion from the criminal justice process using citations instead of arrests may keep them from becoming involved in the criminal justice system in the first place. Holding people in jail who do not pose a safety risk also exacerbates overcrowding, creates unsafe conditions, and places financial burden on taxpayers. Most importantly, it protects the rights of the accused. Pre-trial incarceration has collateral consequences: people losing their jobs, damaging their reputation, losing contact with loved ones, and accumulating financial debt. Pre-trial incarceration is based mostly on financial ability, which is discriminatory. There is a correlation between pre-trial incarceration and higher conviction rates; those who are not free to prepare for trial may be at a disadvantage in court.


  • Will you commit to encouraging and supporting pretrial services, and seek funding to expand pretrial services in your county?

Yes. I would commit to pre-trial services, and seek funding to expand pre-trial services in Wake County. As in the response for Question 2, it is to the benefit of the accused, law enforcement, the criminal justice system, and the taxpayers to implement pro-active policy and practices to avoid pre-trial incarceration. By working and communicating with the accused with low to no cost pre-trial services, there is a show of commitment and respect to their rights at the pre-trial period. Through pre-trial services tailored to an individual’s needs, there is a building of trust and a direction towards positive outcomes especially in the potential reduction of conviction and recidivism.


  • Do you commit to making private and public contracts with national law enforcement, medical services, and teleconference publicly available? And in addition to that, will you commit to holding public hearings on intergovernmental agreements? 

Yes. Having publicly accessible contracts provides residents, leaders, and the media with a vital tool for understanding the management of Wake County Government, and builds an environment of greater accountability, trust, and political stability. Yes, holding public hearings helps in obtaining public input and participation on important policy matters that affect a wide range of citizens. Specifically, they: communicate concern about an issue, and clarify needs, take the pulse of the community, gather information, offer citizens a chance to share their opinions, increase community awareness about the issue, and find a solution to a community problem or issue.


  • Will you commit to working with the Sheriff's Department to ensure community transparency and accountability? 

Yes. I am committed to working together with the Sheriff’s Department to have transparency and accountability. This work needs to consistently bring together the Sheriff, the department, and the community to ensure success. We need to explore: requiring the Sheriff’s Department to show specific, demonstrable evidence of a proactive plan and efforts to combine public safety and civil rights protections, establishing Civilian Review Board, conducting a regular Community Survey to gauge their experiences and perceptions of the Sheriff’s Department, collaborating with the local bar and legal aid to demand that problematic deputies are held accountable, strengthening community’s right to record law enforcement, requiring use of body-worn cameras, requiring that deputies provide Miranda warnings prior to conducting a consensual search.


  • Will you work with the superintendent and school system to create an alternative to having police officers in schools? 

Yes. We need systemic solutions by changing policies and practices within WCPSS and the juvenile justice system. There is a major concern that our current system contributes to the school to prison pipeline, which is disproportionately affecting Black and Brown students. School safety is our highest priority but having police officers in schools without a thoughtful plan is not in the best interest of either the children or our communities. To create safe, quality schools, we should promote strategies that foster care and support in an environment of understanding. School resource officers rarely encounter real crime in schools. The criminalization of minor infractions of school rules leads to students being criminalized for behavior that should be handled inside the school by an administrator, social worker, counselor, or psychologist --- together with family. We need to give students an opportunity to resolve problems by talking about them and solve problems together.

3. Shinica Thomas (D6)

Q.Shinica Thomas (D6)
A.
  • Will you support efforts to decrease law enforcement budgets and reinvest those dollars in community resources such as improving access to mental health, addiction, and homelessness services, as well as investments in funding recreational centers, trauma centers, and forgivable loans for Black-owned businesses? 

Yes. 


  • Will you commit to working with the County Sheriff's Department to expand the use of citations instead of arrest warrants for lower-level charges? 

Yes. 


  • Will you commit to encouraging and supporting pretrial services, and seek funding to expand pretrial services in your county?

Yes. 


  • Do you commit to making private and public contracts with national law enforcement, medical services, and teleconference publicly available? And in addition to that, will you commit to holding public hearings on intergovernmental agreements? 

No response.


  • Will you commit to working with the Sheriff's Department to ensure community transparency and accountability? 

Yes.


  • Will you work with the superintendent and school system to create an alternative to having police officers in schools? 

Yes. 

4. Vickie Adamson (D7)

Q.Vickie Adamson (D7)
A.
  • Will you support efforts to decrease law enforcement budgets and reinvest those dollars in community resources such as improving access to mental health, addiction, and homelessness services, as well as investments in funding recreational centers, trauma centers, and forgivable loans for Black-owned businesses? 

Yes. We have already started this process.


  • Will you commit to working with the County Sheriff's Department to expand the use of citations instead of arrest warrants for lower-level charges? 

Yes. The Sheriff is a duly elected official. IF requested I will work with the Sheriff to expand the use of citations.


  • Will you commit to encouraging and supporting pretrial services, and seek funding to expand pretrial services in your county?

Yes. 


  • Do you commit to making private and public contracts with national law enforcement, medical services, and teleconference publicly available? And in addition to that, will you commit to holding public hearings on intergovernmental agreements? 

Yes. This information is currently on our Website.


  • Will you commit to working with the Sheriff's Department to ensure community transparency and accountability? 

Yes.


  • Will you work with the superintendent and school system to create an alternative to having police officers in schools? 

Yes.