The Class of 2017 – Rep. Mary Belk

The Class of 2017 – Rep. Mary Belk

- in Legislator Profiles

Editor’s note: N.C. Policy Watch is chatting with some of the newest members of the N.C. General Assembly to offer a bit more insight on who they are and what they plan on doing this session in Raleigh. Today we introduce readers to state Rep. Mary Belk.

Name: Mary G. Belk

District: 88

Occupation: Partner – New River Retreat Properties

Lives in: Charlotte, NC

From: Washington D.C.

Family: Husband – Ralph Belk Jr.; Children – Ralph Belk III, Hillary Belk , Allie Belk , Chase Belk

Campaign website:

Hobbies: Reading

Previous elected offices? N/A

Why did you run for office? My husband and I were able to build a business and a family here in North Carolina and I ran for office so I could make sure those same opportunities are available to all North Carolina’s families.

 What do you think will be the biggest issue at the legislature this year? The court mandated redistricting of House & Senate seats

What’s one specific campaign promise that you’d like to deliver on? Increase per-pupil education spending independent of teacher pay and infrastructure

Do you support a full repeal of House Bill 2? Why or why not? Yes, because it has been disastrous for North Carolina’s reputation, damaging to our economic growth, and at heart, legalizes anti-LGBT discrimination.

How do you feel about the minimum wage in North Carolina ($7.25 an hour)? Should it be raised or kept the same? I believe that $7.25 an hour is a poverty wage in any part of North Carolina, but living in Wake County is clearly more expensive than living in Pitt County. Citizens of cities and counties should be given the right to set local minimum wages that reflect the cost of living in their area.

Is the state’s funding for public education enough? No, additional funding should be provided to bring per pupil spending on educational costs (separate from teacher pay and infrastructure), teacher pay, and administrator pay up to the national average.

What changes do you think need to be made in the public education system? We should look at the school funding calculations to make sure that areas lacking in sufficient property tax receipts are still being adequately funded by the state.

What leader do you look up to the most? Why? Hillary Clinton, because she never gives up.

Name your pet peeve: Right-handed Scissors

Contact information: P.O. Box 33115, Charlotte, NC 28233-3115; 980-579-2800

About the author

Billy Ball, Education Reporter, joined Policy Watch in January 2016. In his 15+ years as a North Carolina reporter, he’s covered public schools, state and local politics, courts, the environment, criminal justice and immigration for publications like The Independent Weekly, The Sanford Herald andThe Monroe Enquirer-Journal. During that time, he’s won more than 20 state, regional and national awards for his reporting, including first place awards for education reporting and news feature reporting in 2016. His 2014 reporting on the death of Michael Anthony Kerr, which earned him a national award for “media impact” from The Media Consortium, exposed the mistreatment of a North Carolina inmate with mental illness in solitary confinement. His reporting led to ongoing reforms in how the state handles prisoners with a mental illness.