Name as it Appears on the Ballot: Larry D. Hall
Date of Birth: 53 years old
Campaign Web Site: VoteLarryDHall.org
Occupation & Employer: Attorney; Self-Employed
Years lived in North Carolina: Approx. 50
1) What do you see as the most important issues facing North Carolina? If elected, what are your top three priorities in addressing those issues?
Most Important Issues
2) Are there specific needs in your district that you would add to that list? How do you propose to address them?
Home ownership and mortgage foreclosure protection are additional items. Efforts are listed in #3 below regarding efforts toward addressing them.
3) What in your record as a public official or other experience demonstrates your ability to be effective on the issues you've identified? Please be as specific as possible in relating past accomplishments to current goals.
I have made a concerted effort to be involved in developing solutions by volunteering to work on house select committees on School Construction Funding, the Mortgage Loan Foreclosure Crisis, which drafted legislation that was ultimately passed to address these issues in the last session as follows:
HB 2623 - Emergency Foreclosure Reduction Program
HB 2463 - Regulate Mortgage Servicers
HB 2188 - Earlier Notification of Mortgage Service Fee
HB 2436 - $3 million -- Home Protection Program
HB 2436 - $2 million -- Housing Trust Fund
I currently serve on the State Economic Development Board and I have volunteered in many capacities working for the empowerment of small & minority business as follows:
Rights of Passage Program - Business Mentor - 1995
12th (now 4th) Congressional District Exec. Committee Parliamentarian
Durham Branch NAACP - Economic Committee Chairman 1994 - 2000
Triangle Assoc. of Minority Contractors - Legal Counsel
Durham Business & Professional Chain Board - Secretary '95 - '97
Durham Business & Professional Chain Board Chairman - '97 -- '99
Durham Minority and Women Business Enterprise Advisory Board -- '98-2002
Durham Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors
4) How do you define yourself politically, and how does your political philosophy show itself in your past achievements and present campaign platform?
I am more concerned with human rights and development of our human resources than capital resources. I have worked for safer work place conditions, to stop executions, to increase human rights protections, to stop predatory lending, to allow collective bargaining rights and to reduce gun violence and domestic violence. The areas I have worked in and emphasized
5) The Independent's mission is to help build a just community in the Triangle. Please point to a specific position in your platform that would, if achieved, help further that goal.
My position on improving transportation and making it more accessible and affordable so that the broader public will be able to use it for accessing employment, schools or other required activities. (See 7.b. below)
6) Identify and explain one principled stand you would be willing to take if elected that you suspect might cost you some popularity points with voters.
Establishment of mandatory health insurance by employers with mental health parity features.
7) If these issues haven't been addressed above, would you please comment on:
a. Poverty: What steps, if any, do you advocate to lift up the poor in N.C.?
We have taken one of the best steps by increasing the earned income tax credit, but ensuring citizens know about and claim the benefit in essential. We should also look at maximizing the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program to move more families from welfare to work, assign in finding jobs for poor parents and reduce the number of families receiving cash assistance.
b. Transportation needs in the state, including roads and transit in the Triangle?
We need to maximize the current surface options for mass transit via dedicated bus and high occupancy vehicle lanes among others. Since the gas tax is capped and prices are already high due to market forces, we need to look at revenue by placing tolls on newly constructed roads. This in compliance with the state policy that any route that has a toll road will have a parallel non-toll route that citizens can use to reach the same destinations. We need to look at other ideas such as user fees based on the number of miles driven in a vehicle per year. Due to federal funding cuts, we are going to have to have cost sharing between state and local governments to move forward with surface transit options like light rail, similar to Charlotte, NC.
c. Crowded prisons: Should we be moving toward more alternative-sentencing programs instead of prison time?
YES. The cost of prison construction as well as the loss of productivity and impact on communities is a huge drain. We have taken steps recently to make job training and community college more available to recently released prisoners.
We should also work toward making skill training mandatory while in the corrections system and place a greater emphasis on this type training.
d. Health care: What should the state do next to address the problem of adults and children without adequate health care or insurance?
We should move toward more incentives to ensure more individuals and smaller employers participate in a pool to provide coverage which would provide greater competition and lower cost. We should also look at expanding medicaid to cover more low-income citizens and provide need based subsidies to moderate income families.
e. Foreclosures: What more should the state be doing to help consumers avoid foreclosure and hold onto their homes?
f. Energy: Do you support off-shore drilling in the state's coastal waters? Other state initiatives to reduce gasoline and other energy costs?
I support the efforts of the state to reduce energy use costs by taking aggressive energy and water saving measures. I do not support off shore drilling at this time and would support those resources being put in conservation, renewable sources and efficiency efforts.
g. The mental health crisis: Everyone agrees it's a mess. Now what?
We need to pursue greater insurance parity for mental health and substance abuse coverage. Further we need to empower local LME's to have greater control and provide greater training for both service providers and administrator.
An increase in funding is needed for services for severely handicapped patients and we need to increase our commitment to the mental health hospital system in view of impending military veterans with delayed stress and seniors maladies.
h. Taxes: Given the needs, are they too high? Too low? Too regressive? What direction should the state be taking on the revenue side?
The state has to be concerned about the taxing of businesses (corporate tax rates) and individuals. But that concern must be balanced with the use of revenues in recruitment and business retention efforts. Our rates are certainly higher that some other states, but we are a more sound state financially in part because of it. Changing our tax structure will require some caution especially in the present economic times. We must guard against letting these exceptional times alone, dictate our future. As a part of the changes we must ensure that local options are not used in a regressive manner. Local governments may need alternative revenue sources, but those efforts must not be regressive. At the state level we have to make sure that we get our value in job creation and utilization of state businesses when we grant incentives.
i. School vouchers: Should the state provide vouchers to parents who choose private (K-12) schools for their children? If so, for what amount?
NO. Vouchers do not improve performance, do not cover the full amount of most private schools and schools have restrictive admissions policies.
8) What is your position on capital punishment in North Carolina? If in favor, will you support a moratorium on executions while the question of whether the death penalty can be administered fairly is studied by the General Assembly?
I am opposed to executions overall. Further, I support a moratorium and creation of increased safeguards and disclosure requirements to ensure that no innocent person is exposed to the possibility of death. I further support efforts to ensure that if the death penalty is imposed that it is done so fairly without any bias at any stage of the process.
9) What is your position regarding LGBT rights? Please address whether gay marriages or civil unions should be made legal in North Carolina; also, whether sexual orientation and identity should be added as a protected class under state anti-discrimination laws, including state personnel laws.
Civil Unions should be legalized and all the rights attendant to marriage should be part thereof. I believe it is a matter of human rights and civil rights being respected and protected.
Sexual Orientation and identity should be added as protected classes and this has become necessary due to the intentional and misguided efforts to victimize people because they do not fit the ideal image of some. Finally, diversity has to be both respected and protected as we go forward in a more multicultural world.
10) Do you support women's reproductive rights, including the "right to choose" as set out by the U.S. Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade? Given that North Carolina has the ninth highest teen pregnancy rate in the nation, do you support medically accurate sex education that includes information about birth control?
I support "choice" for women as set out in Roe v. Wade.
I support medically accurate sex education, we have a duty to give our children all the resources to fight/avoid STD's and unwanted pregnancies.
11) Should public employees have the right to bargain collectively in North Carolina?
Yes. The labor movement's efforts at creating safe, efficient and productive work places have been critical to the health and safety our citizens in private industry. The jobs and services performed by public employees are just as dangerous and essential as those in private industry and in many instances more so. Collective bargaining will function as a mechanism to develop and ensure safe, efficient and productive work places for state employees also.
12) One of the most controversial issues in this election year is illegal immigration. Recently, several N.C. counties—including Alamance, Johnston and Wake—have employed the 287(g) program, which streamlines local law enforcement and federal immigration enforcement. What is your assessment of the success, or failure, of these programs?
The program has been of limited for several reasons. First, it has diverted resources away from more serious law enforcement challenges and become a part of the blame game in community safety. Second, it has given the public a false impression of the potential for effectiveness since there was an extensive wait for the federal training component training in the program despite increased state funding. Finally, it has given some cover to those who would use "racial profiling" in law enforcement which is counter productive and strikes at the very heart of integrity and professionalism needed to develop confidence in our law enforcement agencies.
13) Despite the Department of Homeland Security's finding that admitting Illegal Immigrants to college did not violate federal Immigration law, the N.C. System of Community Colleges ruled to maintain a moratorium on admitting Illegal Immigrants to degree-granting programs. How will you vote on legislative proposals to either ban, or permit, Illegal Immigrants attending college In North Carolina?
I will vote to permit undocumented immigrants to attend Community College as they paid tuition as out of state rates, made up only a small percentage and did not significantly impact the availability of opportunity for other students. Further, they already comprise a large percentage of the work population and will continue to be critical to keeping jobs and industry here at home rather than moving overseas. As a significant part of the community and labor force we will need to ensure they have the highest and most marketable skill sets.