CHARLOTTE – Over several months, Tera Long has attended many government events across the county. She thinks it separates her from other government officials and politicians, whom she has not seen at all of the events she’s attended.
She considers herself a grassroots organizer and plans to rely on the people to help spread her message as she campaigns for an at-large seat on the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners.
“I don’t want to take a whole bunch of money,” Long said. “You still have to fundraise some, but I’m not going to raise $100,000 to win this race. I’m going to show up, be available and rely on the people to tell my message.”
A big part of her message is focusing on healthcare. Long said while she goes to all events, her primary focus will be on healthcare policies as an advocate.
Long was part of a team that asked commissioners to take a second look at a proposed policy that garnish wages on delinquent bill payments for MEDIC.
She said the board put a temporary hold on the policy to look over it again. The new policy has not come out yet, but if elected, she wants to look at policies like MEDIC with a watchful eye.
Though she has seen good work from current commissioners, she thinks healthcare has not been given enough attention.
“You have commissioner Powell, who looks after the parks. You have commissioner Jerrell and commissioner Pat that look after the homeless,” Long said. “But the number two thing in the budget is health and human services, and I don’t feel that it’s really being monitored very carefully. That’s what I want to bring to the board.”
She feels her experience makes her a good candidate for the position. She has worked in the foster care and teaching fields. She also has a real estate license, though she does not practice. While she wants to advocate for healthcare primarily, she also wants to advocate for teachers and lower taxes across the county.
“This board overlaps all my interests,” Long said.
She is also eager to help with board appointments. She serves on the Charlotte Area Fund after being appointed by Cotham.
Long said she was interested in the at-large aspect of the position because of her history of working as a Medicare For All legislative advocate, a position that required her to travel around an at-large radius. She has already networked in the at-large area and has made an effort to learn the different issues around the county.
“Politics aside, Republican, Green Party, Democrat, I will work with anyone,” Long said. “And I think it’s important to hear from everyone and keep those positive relationships.”
Moving forward, she will continue to attend events and public forums to connect with citizens and hear their concerns.
“It’s so important for politicians and elected officials to show up for government events and learn the content,” Long said. “You can’t assume that you know the information. You have to show up for these meetings, and that’s important. That’s why I’m running. I show up.”