Dec. 12, 2013. Sue Counts announced her candidacy on Wednesday at the Democratic Women’s Club luncheon at Golden Corral. A release of her announcement and her biography is below:
I am announcing my candidacy for the North Carolina House because I can no longer sit by and watch my beloved state wander down a path which is destroying the gains we have made in education, infrastructure, scientific research, job opportunities, and environmental protections.
Since the new Republican majority in the North Carolina General Assembly took over control in 2011, and especially after they cemented that control with the election of Governor Pat McCrory in 2012, they have worked overtime to turn the clock back on every progressive program in the state that benefits working people, retirees, the poor, and others. Their budgeting priorities are aimed at helping the very wealthy at the expense of the hardworking people in our mountains. They have actually raised taxes on many goods and services that disproportionately impact low- and middle-income citizens while cutting corporate and higher-income taxes for the richest 5 percent of North Carolina taxpayers. It’s Robin Hood in reverse. And it’s wrong-headed.
At a time when unemployment was soaring in the state, the new majority in Raleigh cut the length and the amount of unemployment benefits being paid to those struggling for work. And in a spiteful act based on nothing but shameful partisan politics, they refused to extend Medicaid to some 500,000 North Carolinians, an extension that would have been 100% paid for by the Federal government for the first three years, and 90% paid for after that. These decisions are hurting the people least able to fight back. Furthermore, the failure to extend Medicaid is crippling, and in some cases closing, our rural hospitals. It is simply immoral to condemn our fellow citizens to preventable suffering and even to early death for lack of medical care.
Our current representative from House District 93, Jonathan Jordan, has voted in lock-step with the new majority in Raleigh. Instead of being an independent voice who stands up for the people of Ashe and Watauga counties, Mr. Jordan has been a mere rubber stamp for bad decisions and worse legislation.
Why I’m Running Against Incumbent Politician Jonathan JordanI Am Ready To Work For You.
We can — and must! — do better for the citizens of the 93rd House District and for all of North Carolina!
If I am elected to the NC House, I will work to reverse this appalling history of regression and oppression. Our public education system must be rebuilt and nurtured. We must reclaim our state’s assets of clean water and clean air for all our citizens, not just the powerful and privileged few. We must increase ballot access for all citizens and guarantee that our democratic form of government remains vigorous and responsive for the generations who will follow us.
Sue Counts Candidate for NC House, 93rd District Biography
Percilla Sue Counts retired in 2008 as Watauga County Extension Director for the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service. Sue began her career with Cooperative Extension in 1993. As project manager for the Southern Appalachian Leadership Initiative on Cancer, Sue had extensive field experience in Ashe, Alleghany, Surry, and Wilkes counties. . She already had 27 years of experience in public health, nutrition education, and in teaching/consulting at the local, state, and federal levels.
Sue is a native of Dickenson County, Virginia, and is a graduate of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg (with two degrees in home economics and in nutrition). She was a registered dietitian for over 30 years through the American Dietetic Association. She has worked as a nutritionist for the Dickenson County Head Start, the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Hyattsville, Md., the New Jersey Department of Health, the Howard University School of Dentistry, the Avery County Health Department, and at Appalachian State University.
Sue has had extensive leadership training at the Institute for Systems Leadership at NC State University, the Southern Region Community Development Institute, the NCSU Community Planning Action Team, and the Natural Resources Leadership Institute. Before she became Extension Director for Watauga County in 1998, she worked for three years as Family and Consumer Science Agent for Cooperative Extension in Watauga County.
Sue’s inspirational leadership during her tenure as Extension Director for Watauga County brought over a half-million dollars in grants to the county. She helped start and often wrote the grants for a host of innovative and forward-looking projects: The High Country Sustainable Agriculture Project which helped transition tobacco farmers into growing organic vegetables; the Appalachian Regional Initiative for Sustainable Energy (ARISE), focusing primarily on solar energy projects; the High Country Amigos, which was an outreach project to the Hispanic community; the Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture project, on a grant from the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation administered through Appalachian State University’s Appalachian Studies Center. She helped to establish an endowment in honor of Robert Shipley with the Agricultural Foundation at NC State University, and upon her retirement in 2008, she established the Sue Counts Family and Community Development Endowment to fund deserving programs designed to support family and community development.She has received many awards and recognitions from local, state, and national organizations, among which were the National Extension Association of Family & Consumer Sciences (their Distinguished Service Award in 2005 and their Continued Excellence Award in 2008); Epsilon Sigma Phi, the professional extension workers organization (their Visionary Leadership Award in 2004); the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce (their Ben E. Suttle Special Service Award for Leadership); and North Carolina State University (their Edgar and Ethel Boone Adult Education Award in 2005). She has also found the time to serve on the board of directors for the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce (and as Chairwoman of the Board in 2007-08), the North Carolina Community Foundation (Watauga affiliate), the North Carolina Family and Consumer Science Foundation, the North Carolina Extension and Community Association Foundation, and as an active member of the Professional Women’s Network.
Sue has two adult children and four grandchildren. She is a member of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Boone. She is a tireless and energetic advocate for community and for improving the lives of people through active and personal service.