District 3 Candidate Felicia Thompkins

What steps will you take (or have you taken) to ensure LGBTQ+ people are included in decision-making, including on advisory boards and commissions?

My passion is to promote equality and be fair to all people. I will be a stronger advocate to advise them of all opportunities and encourage them to apply for Boards and Commissions. I am very supportive of the LGBTQ+ community. 

How would you rate the County's efforts in addressing rising cases of HIV/AIDS in Mecklenburg County? Please provide a rating of "Very Poor", "Below Average", "Average", "Above Average" or "Excellent", and why you provided this rating.
Do you support expanding the"Getting to Zero" Campaign for Mecklenburg County?

I would rate the County's efforts as Average, because the HIV diagnosis rate has returned to pre-pandemic levels. I worked with residents in assisted living facilities to ensure they were tested and received meds timely. Although we have several testing sites, we still need more. We must have more clinics and educational centers to address HIV. We all can work together with our local faith leaders, community leaders and medical staff to find various ways to outreach. We must ensure our local health department is equipped to offer and encourage residents to be tested and treated since we have one of the highest rates of HIV in the state.  Yes I support the Getting to Zero campaign.  The campaign three key strategies directly align with the opportunities I've seen firsthand and believe would be beneficial to push in our county. 

What actions do you support (or have you supported) to ensure people have equitable access (including transportation and housing) to jobs that provide a living wage, including supporting minority-owned businesses? How are you addressing the Leandro ruling to ensure equitable access to education? 

I would rate Mecklenburg County's efforts as Average. There are several contributing factors for my rating of "Average". The county's Getting to Zero campaign planning stage began during an unfortunate time--the COVID 19 pandemic. Despite that fact, I believe the county did an admirable job of pivoting to Zoom meetings to keep conversations about the strategy from being dormant. However, it does not appear from current reporting, which I believe is lacking in transparency, that the county is on track to hit their self-imposed goals of the four key indicators by 2025. There should be clearly communicated benchmarks for each of the goals in the key indicators to diagnose, treat, prevent, and respond to the HIV pandemic. I do support the Getting to Zero campaign, but a good strategy is always flexible enough to pivot on areas where forward progress is not being made. In this case, I do not believe there is enough data to support whether the strategy has made forward progress.

What will you do (or have you done) to maintain equitable access to green spaces and parks in Mecklenburg County? What plans do you have to ensure affordable housing is accessible to Mecklenburg County residents?

I would advocate and support green spaces and parks. Being raised in Mobile, Alabama and directly across from a park (Kidd Park), I know the importance of having an outlet for our community to have meetings, play ball, learn how to swim and stay out of trouble. I am a very strong advocate because green spaces will improve our physical and mental health. Many residents enjoyed raising vegetables and plants to survive. I will ensure we continue to work with local leaders, parks and recreational departments, police departments and the community so we can maintain equitable access.

I believe all citizens in the county should have opportunities to affordable housing. The plan is to work with city, work with developers and work with potential homeowners. We need to look at empty buildings that are county owned and work closely with the city council. We must increase funding sources including bonds, rental assistance and hotel conversions. This is a process that wont be fixed overnight but will continue to look at all options.

What actions do you
support (or have you supported) to ensure people have equitable access to jobs that provide a living wage, including supporting minority-owned businesses? How are you addressing racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities to ensure equitable outcomes for students in our public schools, including through adequate funding?

I support providing people with better job opportunities by offering hands on trainings, free educational programs. We must invest in our labor intensive industries. I also support minority owned businesses by increasing training and funding. We must educate our community about all opportunities and encourage them to apply.

In 2020, the County Commission declared racism a public health crisis. What steps do you support (or have you supported) to address the racial inequities that exist in Mecklenburg County? These include but are not limited to environmental racism, overpolicing, and healthcare access.

I plan to address racial, ethnic and socioeconomic disparities outcomes for students in public school by providing more social workers, increasing mental health workers, teachers and adding summer school programs.   I do understand that racial inequities do exist in the county, as a social worker in Foster Care, I witness this firsthand. Areas must be addressed with local organizations and community involvement. I believe in accountability and willingness to support programs and process to help the quality of life for our citizens.

Any other accomplishments or priorities you'd like our Scorecard Committee to consider?

Students need support to achieve academic performance and eliminate these gaps.I helped while being a social worker and 1;1 learning during the summer months.