Representative Yvonne Lewis Holley is the Democratic nominee for North Carolina’s Lieutenant Governor. She has represented Southeast Raleigh in the NC House since 2012.
Yvonne is self-isolating at her home in Raleigh and her daughter has come down from New York to stay with her. Many of the issues Yvonne has been championing for years, expanding Medicaid, affordable housing, and food security, are crucial during the COVID-19 crisis. While Yvonne has represented an urban community for several years, health care and housing apply to everyone across the state. Yvonne took a few minutes to speak with Lillian’s List Program Manager Devon Roberts about how she is campaigning from home and staying occupied during her down time.
Why did you decide to run for Lieutenant Governor?
I had more to give. I had ideas and I saw that no one was doing anything on a statewide level for housing and food security. I realized that as Lieutenant Governor would have the platform to work on the issues I care about on a larger scale. We don’t have a Department of Housing and Urban Development in North Carolina, or an agency that handles these issues, but it can be done out of Lieutenant Governor’s office.
What do you think is the most important thing that the government can do to help people now and into the future?
Governor Cooper is doing exactly what he needs to be doing in this crisis. He’s showing leadership and making sure the community is safe. We need to continue to push for expanding Medicaid. People need health insurance right now. Housing is also a big problem at the moment. Women and families are living in hotels and being put out by the hotel owners. Evictions will come down the line. We need my ALI (Affordable Living Initiative) program to keep people safe.
What do you hope to accomplish for women and families in North Carolina if elected?
I hope to bring stability to their households. Lots of women make minimum wage which used to be enough for one person to live off of. That’s not true anymore and you definitely can’t support a family. People want a living wage and dignity. I want to help make people self-sufficient.
What are the benefits of being a woman while campaigning?
Women show more compassion. We bring something different to the table. A mother knows how to take care of all of her children and give special attention to the one child who needs it a little more. A woman knows how to be equitable in what they care about. Women listen with a different kind of ear.
Why are you a champion of reproductive freedom and gender equity?
Because a woman has a right to take care of her own body. Men are in control of theirs. A women’s choice to become a mother is between her, her doctor, and her faith. Everyone needs the ability to take care of her body and that includes healthcare. This is not for a man to decide for her.
What would you recommend people listen to, read or watch to bring them some joy while social distancing?
Just yesterday I enrolled in the Happiness class at Yale. It’s a free online web class about Happiness. I cleaned out my closet. I’ve been spending more time with my daughter. I recommend slowing down and taking some time to learn about yourself.