State Senator Jeff Jackson, candidate for U.S. Senate, made the second stop of his 100 county tour this Saturday in Yadkin County. Senator Jackson (D) is running for U.S. Senate to replace Richard Burr in 2022 and has launched a 100 county campaign focused on listening to and learning from North Carolinians across the state.
Senator Jackson began the day by visiting Yadkinville Community Park where he spoke with a young family. They discussed what it meant for their finances to have two children in daycare, and how it adds up to more than their mortgage payment.
“As a parent with two kids in daycare, I get this loud and clear,” said Senator Jeff Jackson.
The mom of the young Yadkinville family shared that she has to travel to another county to work at a hospital because Yadkin Valley Community Hospital closed five years ago. Senator Jackson then drove to Yadkin Valley Community Hospital and met with Dr. James McGrath who used to work there. Dr. McGrath explained how losing the hospital had hurt the community and left people who need emergency care driving to a different county, 30 minutes away, to receive it.
“Medicaid expansion would make a world of difference to places like Yadkin,” said Sen. Jeff Jackson. “We have over a dozen hospitals in North Carolina, all in rural communities, that are on the brink of insolvency. It’s just the mother of all no-brainers that we should do this.”
Senator Jackson then held a virtual town hall from the Yadkin Cultural Arts Center, where he shared why he launched a 100 county campaign and the importance of physically showing up to every county in the state.
“I have learned a lot about the state since I became a state senator, but one of the things I’ve learned is how much I still have to learn,” said Senator Jackson. “Which is why when we launched this campaign, we made a decision to make it a true 100 county campaign. This campaign is about a genuine effort to learn what the roadmap to helping actually looks like. What does it mean to make a difference in your home town? And there’s just no easy way to do that, there’s no quick way to do it. It involves actually going places and learning.”
He then fielded questions for 30 minutes on a range of topics from redistricting, to education, to student debt. He spoke with the owner of a local farmer’s market about the need for more than dollar stores to provide nutrition and the importance of finding a model that allows local farms to be sustainable. He also spoke with a teacher who was concerned about the impact of COVID-19 on teachers and students, and the need to increase teacher pay in North Carolina.
In response to a question about rural broadband, Senator Jackson said, “We’ve seen through this pandemic how the digital divide affects educational outcomes but also health care outcomes. Telehealth is now a huge piece of health care provision, and that’s not going away. And then there’s just your ability to participate in the economy. We have to stop seeing broadband as a luxury. It’s like electricity, it’s like the roads outside. It’s a utility. And in this economy, it’s absolutely a necessity.”
Senator Jackson shared a detailed wrap up of his visit to Yadkin County on his Facebook page.
Senator Jackson also visited Hoke County on Friday, Transylvania County on Sunday, and will visit Durham County on Monday.
Senator Jackson became the second-youngest senator in the state Senate in 2014. He was new to political office, but not new to public service, having enlisted after the attacks of September 11th, trained at Ft. Bragg, and served in Afghanistan. He continues to serve today as a Captain in the Army National Guard. He is currently in his 18th year of military service.