The Republican takeover of the N.C. legislature, the first time the GOP has led both houses since 1898, is a huge shift in power that's brought a lot of new faces, and people new to doing business on Jones Street. In what we hope is a regular feature this session, N.C. Policy Watch will try to talk with some of the newest members to offer a bit more insight on who they are and what they plan on doing this session in Raleigh.
This will be an ongoing feature, with the goal of profiling all the new members. Haven't been contacted for your profile yet? New legislators can contact reporter Sarah Ovaska at email@example.com.
Rep. Marcus Brandon
Name: Rep. Marcus Brandon (Democrat, replacing Earl Jones)
Hometown: High Point
Occupation: political consultant, KMB Consulting
Education: currently studying at N.C. A&T
Previous political experience: No.
Campaign website: http://www.marcusbrandon.com
Other: second openly gay member of the G.A.
Civic organizations: member of NAACP, volunteers for Beloved Community Center, member of Transportation Equity Network
Biggest political influencer: Dennis Kucinich, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.
Hobbies: avid tennis player, political junkie
Any pet peeves? "My pet peeve is, I don't like hate. I don't like people being disrespectful for any reason."
How you plan on unwinding from the legislative grind? "I plan to exercise and play a lot of tennis, as much as I can play to unwind."
Why'd you run?: Representation was a big thing for me. I felt that everything was backwards. I felt that people in Raleigh came to Raleigh and figured out what to do, and then it took back to their districts. I felt it should be the other way around. I felt that they lost the element of civility and being able to work with each other regardless of background and political parties. The biggest threat we have to our country is not nuclear wars in Iran or North Korea, it's the lack of civil discourse we have."
What do you expect from this session ? "While I have an optimistic view, people are thinking it will be bad this session. I think we have a tremendous opportunity. I'm a big sustainable community person and I really want to educate on that. When we have a $3.7 billion deficit we get to have a conversation about doing more with less. Whether you're a progressive and you're talking about sustainable communities or you're a conservative and talking about self-reliance, it's the same conversation
What (policy-wise) keeps you up worrying at night? I represent a very poor district and one that has felon, addicts and people that are outside the system. It keeps me up at night because I don't see a lot of opportunity for those people.
If you had only one victory this session, what would it be? The one thing I really want to do is look at the way we look at workforce development. I'm really not satisfied at the fact we spend millions of dollars to train people to work instead of people just working."
Contact: 1209 Legislative building, 733-5825, firstname.lastname@example.org