A two-time Lillian’s List Featured Candidate, Marcia Morgan is again running to become the District 19 representative in the NC House. As a former educator and retired Army Colonel who served two tours in the Pentagon, Marcia’s unique experience would help her in Raleigh. If elected, Marcia is determined to fight for equality, our public schools, and to protect our environment. She also believes that we really need to elevate access to health care and expand Medicaid.
Sarah Preston, Executive Director of Lillian’s List, caught up with Marcia last week. They talked about how the American people rise to a challenge and Marcia’s campaign and the policies she would pursue in office. “Normally, when we are challenged as a people, our instinct is to join together, we rally,” Marcia told Sarah. “Now we need to find a way to join together when we can’t be together.” Marcia believes that now, more than ever, we should be holding our leaders accountable to help us through this pandemic and push back against those who are downplaying its impact. Read more about how Marcia would bring accountability to elected leadership and why she is running for office now.
SP: Why did you decide to run for office in 2018 and why are you running again in 2020?
Marcia: After the 2016 election and the feeling of devastation that followed, it just became obvious that more had to be done. I thought I was doing my civic duty by voting every election, but it became clear that wasn’t enough. I started out by figuring out what a precinct was and went to my first meeting and then that quickly escalated to looking at the legislature. I knew that I could do a better job than who is representing us now. I made the commitment to run at that time. I thought that my military experience gave me useful skills for the NC General Assembly.
SP: What do you think is the most important thing that the government can do to help people now and into the future?
That one has really changed–really evolved over the last few months. I think we need to do a better job of communicating with the voters, being transparent and clear about what the elected officials are doing, but we also need to listen and hear what is really important to our constituents and voters. We need to build trust in our government and I see that as a phenomenal challenge. But in the long run, figuring out how we take care of our communities without intruding too much into their own decision-making is the critical question.
I also think we have to expand Medicaid and access to health care. We are losing so much right now because hospitals have had to close down and we have health care professionals who left the state because we didn’t expand Medicaid. Now we are paying the price as a state.
SP: What do you hope to accomplish for women and families in North Carolina when you are elected?
Marcia: I want to ensure access to medical care, including full reproductive health care. Beyond that, we need equal pay for equal work.
SP: What are the benefits of being a woman while campaigning?
Marcia: I think at this point in time there are a growing number of people, including men, who know that we should be giving women a chance. Men have held all the levers of power for a long time and things aren’t going that well. Voters understand that we need people in place who can get the job done and the research shows that women are more likely to work collaboratively. We don’t get involved in the chest-thumping that can go on in politics. We are also used to having to do more things at one time and we can walk and chew gum at the same time. We can get things done.
SP: Why are you a champion of reproductive freedom and gender equity?
Marcia: My response to both of those would go back to my upbringing. My mother was a single parent and I was the youngest of four kids. I saw the inequity that she had to deal with in trying to raise a family. She was paid less than her male counterparts. I also learned about reproductive freedom from her. When she was a teen, she found a very good friend of hers after she had bled out from a botched abortion. She taught me that access to safe and legal abortion was necessary to save lives so I never thought it was a question.
When I was in the military and I was a young captain, I went to my supervising officer, a woman I thought of as an ardent feminist, about speaking more about women’s rights. She said, “It’s not about women’s rights, it’s about human rights,” and I thought, “Well, duh!” There should be no difference. That was an informative moment for me.
SP: What would you recommend people listen to, read, watch, or do to bring them some joy while social distancing?
Marcia: The first thing I would say is to turn off the TV and stop watching the news for a little while. I believe very much that staying healthy and active physically is very important to keep your mind healthy. I enjoy going for walks. I also enjoy reading a good book. Just find whatever it is that brings you some peace–maybe it’s reading or watching movies, or working with your hands to build or create something. For me, what brings me peace is feeling like I have done something for other people. For example, you may have opportunities to help make masks or find other ways to reach out to your neighbors and make sure they are okay. But whatever it is that brings you peace, do it now.