Over the past few newsletters, I have shared with you steps your State Government is taking to improve the general welfare of all the citizens here in North Carolina.
My office also provides services to ensure that government addresses the needs of individual citizens in my district.
Over my tenure at the General Assembly my office has received thousands of calls and letters from constituents asking for assistance. We work to assist every citizen, and in many cases we are able to help these constituents address their needs. I have set forth below a few examples of specific situations during the past legislative term where we have been of assistance.
My office is always open to you and every citizen of Senate District 7. If you are experiencing problems interfacing with government, please do not hesitate to contact me. I will do everything in my power to help rectify the problem.
A Problem with Financial Aid
My office was contacted by a young constituent who was just days away from enrolling at Elizabeth State University, but a mistake made by the University in her financial aid application led to a three week delay in her financial aid being disbursed. As a result, the University demanded that she pay a portion of her tuition up front to secure her place at the University. She was just days away from reporting to school and did not have the funds to pay the amount demanded by the University. Our office contacted both the UNC System and the University, and we were able to have the initial payment deferred until the constituent’s financial aid problem was resolved. She moved into her dorm room on time and is currently in her 1st semester freshman classes.
Emergency Home Repairs
A constituent who had serious trouble with her home encountered difficulties in coordinating with state programs who assist citizens who are dire financial need. Her home was in need of significant repairs, most notably to the roof. The problem was that the provider for the program addressing this type of need was not in our district. We contacted the NC Housing Finance Agency, which oversees the providers, to intervene and facilitate a solution. A timely solution was reached. The constituent’s roof is being repaired so that there will be no leaks and drafts come winter.
A constituent’s home in Warrenton fell into foreclosure because she was experiencing a health crisis and unable to work for an extended period of time. In addition to herself, the constituent’s daughter and granddaughter lived in the home with her. She had exhausted all of her available options to forestall foreclosure before she contacted our office. We reached out to both the NC Banking Commission and Franklin-Vance-Warren Opportunity. The foreclosure proceeding was delayed, and to our knowledge, the constituent is still living in her home in Warrenton.
Military Personnel Assistance
A constituent whose son was a military officer and an Iraqi/Afghan War Veteran solicited help from our office for his son. Shortly before being deployed overseas, the son received a small speeding ticket. The court date set was during his tour overseas, so the soldier’s father hired an attorney, who failed to appear for court. (The attorney has been disbarred for various reasons, including multiple instances such as this). Neither the military officer, nor the father, was aware of this. The military officer returned home, and was stationed at Camp Lejeune. In the spring of this year, he was charged with driving with a suspended license stemming from this missed court date. In addition to the criminal charge, the officer faced a demotion in both rank and pay because of the situation.
Our office contacted both the Vance County DA’s office and the Wayne County DA’s office where the officer was charged with driving with a suspended license. With the help of our advocacy, the officer’s father was able to resolve the tickets in both counties. He was also able, with further assistance from our office, to fast track the procedure for removing the suspension of his license so that it could be issued before the officer was redeployed back to Afghanistan.
Health Care Issues
In a response to one of our newsletters, we were made aware of a difficult health care situation facing a constituent and her family. The constituent had a 23 year-old son who was in need of follow up care from brain tumor surgery, and the young man did not have the resources to afford health insurance or the appropriate health care follow-up for this serious surgery. Through communications with NC HealthNet, we were able to put this constituent in contact with a charity care program for individuals in similar circumstances, where patients can get low-cost health care.
These are just a few examples of the services that our office can help with. If you or anyone you know is experiencing problems related to government services, or whenever you feel that my office can be of some help, please do not hesitate to contact us. I will always try to help my constituents navigate their problems that can be addressed by government. First and foremost, my duties as a Senator are to represent you, and these constituent services are just one way in which I strive to fulfill that duty.
As always, I look forward to your thoughts and comments on the issues discussed in the newsletter. Please feel free to respond to any issue whether it was covered in the newsletter or not. It is an honor to serve as your State Senator, and I will do everything in my power to live up to that honor.