Deborah Ross – 2016 Progressives to Elect

Deborah Ross – Law Professor Duke University North Carolina –

US Senate

Economy and Jobs

The best way to grow our economy is to create good jobs so that working people can realize greater economic security. Far too many work hard but are unable to gain economic security because the deck has been stacked against them. That’s why Deborah is working to make sure economic security is achievable for all people. As a state representative, Deborah supported measures to boost small businesses, attract companies to North Carolina, retain high quality jobs, and raise the minimum wage. She led the charge on increasing our state’s public transportation and championed infrastructure improvements for schools, roads, and water and sewer systems. She worked to preserve, modernize, and maintain North Carolina’s highway and transit system. Deborah understands that when women are paid fairly our economy grows for everyone. On average, women are still paid less than men for the same work, collecting just 79 percent of the wages men do. This disparity not only sets women back, it negatively impacts dual-income households and households where women are the primary or secondary breadwinners. In the U.S. Senate, Deborah will work to end tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas and reward companies that keep and create jobs at home. She will work to raise the federal minimum wage, institute paid family leave and strengthen Social Security and Medicare.


Deborah learned the value of education at a young age from her mom, a preschool teacher. In junior high, Deborah’s American history class became the foundation for her lasting interest in and passion for public service. In order to strengthen our economy every child needs access to a high-quality public education. This starts with expanding early learning and pre-school access, so that all children, regardless of their parents’ income or zip code are well prepared for school. This extends to investments in K-12 education, so that all children are guaranteed a high-quality education. This culminates in the chance for all students to be able to attend a community college or four-year college Deborah will prioritize inclusive, accessible, and affordable education that enriches students, grows our economy, and keeps our nation globally competitive. Deborah is committed to increasing funding for Pell Grants, capping student loan interest rates, helping students refinance loans at lower rates, providing debtfree community college for students who work hard and make good grades, and expanding income-based student loan repayment options for those with unmanageable debt.

Energy and the Environment

A strong environmental champion, Deborah earned a 94 percent lifetime score on the North Carolina League of Conservation Voters’ Legislative Scorecard. She voted repeatedly to support clean energy, oppose fracking, address climate change, and protect North Carolina’s land, air, and water. In the State House, Deborah supported renewable energy policies by voting for the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard, which has been credited with attracting billions in investment and creating tens of thousands of jobs. Deborah supported tax credits for businesses that invested in renewable 2016 Progressives to Elect energy and advocated for smart environmental policy. She fought against attempts to ban North Carolina from basing coastal policies on scientific predictions and supported legislation preventing manufacturers from deceiving customers about the biodegradability of their goods. Our mountains and coasts are national treasures. To protect them and bolster our tourism economy, Deborah will fight to slow the harmful effects of climate change.


All people should have access to affordable, quality health care. For too long, our nation’s healthcare system let too many Americans slip through the cracks. The Affordable Care Act did a lot to fix these injustices. The law isn’t perfect, and Deborah believes we should be working to improve it, not wasting time and tax dollars on countless repeal efforts. In the State House, Deborah fought for expanded and improved health care for all North Carolinians that aimed to make sure all people had health care, regardless of pre-existing conditions, gender, and income. She supported expanding Medicaid in North Carolina to about 500,000 low-income residents. She was also involved in pushing two proposals that would have brought Medicaid funding relief to struggling counties and hospitals.

Rebuilding our Infrastructure

Deborah is committed to rebuilding our state and country’s crumbling infrastructure. She has a long history of supporting investment in infrastructure projects to create jobs, keep people safe, and grow North Carolina’s economy. In the State House, she led the charge on increasing our state’s public transportation and championed infrastructure improvements for schools, roads, and water and sewer systems. She worked to pass legislation to preserve, modernize, and maintain North Carolina’s highway and transit system. In addition, she fought to end the digital divide in North Carolina by working to get broadband to every family in every community, both urban and rural. In the U.S. Senate, Deborah will work to make sure we bring our infrastructure into the 21st century while creating jobs and growing competitiveness nationwide.

Government Reform

Deborah has consistently been a leader of good government efforts to increase transparency and enhance ethics laws . She helped pass ethics reform legislation that restricted lobbyist influence through gifts and created an independent body to enforce ethics laws. Ross led the State House to ban the use of campaign funds for personal expenses Following the Citizens United decision, Ross helped pass legislation that overhauled political disclosure laws. In 2009, she introduced the “Open Government Act,” which would have penalized government agencies that violated public records law. She fought to end pay-to-play culture in North Carolina by limiting the campaign contributions that state vendors could make and defending public campaign financing. Ross has received praise for the transparency of her campaign finance reporting as well. As U.S. Senator, Deborah will apply the same level of integrity to Congress. She believes that Citizens United has made it so the voices of everyday Americans are drowned out by huge, anonymous donations. No one should be able to hide behind corporations and SuperPACs and make undisclosed and unlimited campaign contributions. In the U.S. Senate, she will work to put an end to the adverse effects of Citizens United and give the people a greater voice. North Carolinians can count on her to always keep her work and always stand up for working people, not the special interests. Not the big money. Deborah has been endorsed by End Citizens United.

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