Well-known in her hometown as the Chair of the Guilford County Democratic Party, Nicole Quick is running for the NC House against Rep. John Hardister. Hardister is well-known as one of the orchestrators of the infamous veto override vote on September 11th. We’re obviously very happy to help her take him out of office.
Nicole spoke with our Program Manager Devon Roberts while at home with her family.
Why did you decide to run for office and why now?
My primary reason to run for office is my son. He is incredibly bright, gifted, and he also has autism. When we sent him to our local school in 2015, there had already been huge cuts to the education budget. I found out the Exceptional Children’s teacher at his school had been laid off as a result of those cuts. There wouldn’t be an EC teacher there who was experienced with children with special needs. I decided to keep him home and homeschool for two years, which I had the privilege to do. Then he went to a middle school with an EC teacher but no working air conditioner. When it got hot, the teachers would go outside or into the cafeteria for classes. He also didn’t have a math teacher for an entire semester because she left to work in Virginia where the pay was better. My family’s experiences with the public school system were not unique to Guilford County. Parents across the state were experiencing this. When I was growing up our schools were a model for the nation. Now we’re ranked at the bottom. All of our kids deserve better. That’s why I jumped in.
The timing was determined by the redrawing of the district and my role as Chair of the Guilford County Democratic Party. I was a plaintiff in three gerrymandering cases, and we won all of them. My seat used to lean twelve points Republican, and then it was redrawn to be competitive. I’ve lived here 20 years. I know the issues and my opponent.
What do you think is the most important thing that the government can do to help people now and into the future?
This COVID-19 crisis has brought to light the need for investment in people. We should’ve already expanded Medicaid. More people would have medical coverage now if we had. We shouldn’t have stripped unemployment insurance. People are struggling because that safety net was not in place. We need to make sure we are staying invested in the programs that provide safety nets for North Carolinians.
What do you hope to accomplish for women and families in North Carolina if elected?
As a woman and mother, I have a greater understanding of what families need. My opponent doesn’t have children, so it’s harder for him to identify what children and schools need. I’m going to focus on family issues, and those are education, affordable healthcare, jobs that pay a living wage for working families and not just for shareholders and CEOS, and a clean environment.
What are the benefits of being a woman while campaigning?
Women think more collaboratively. It’s not competitive for us. We’re willing to work with others for a common goal and make sure everyone is taken care of. We can all rise if we work together. I think that attitude is unique to women.
Why are you a champion of reproductive freedom and gender equity?
I am a champion of reproductive freedom because women can’t achieve equity without it. Until women can control when they have children, they can’t plan their careers or education. It gives us greater control over our own success. I’m a champion of equality and the ERA. It’s common sense. We deserve to be paid for the same work; this has been something our country has taken advantage of for too long.
What would you recommend people listen to, read or watch to bring them some joy while social distancing?
My family has slowed down a lot. We’ve played board games and done jigsaw puzzles. We’ve all helped in the garden. The times I’ve been in nature have been really helpful for my soul. Spending more time with my family is great. My mother is isolated, and we try to FaceTime with her as much as possible. The other thing I’d recommend is the Facebook page called View from My Window. People are posting their views from home and there have been some gorgeous pictures from around the world. It’s been very uplifting.