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  • Writer's pictureKimberly Hardy

"The Silence of Our Friends"

This time of year is one for marches and commemorations,

including MLK Day, the Women's March, and here in North Carolina,

HKonJ. It's been a busy time on the campaign trail, knocking doors,

making calls, and above all, talking with voters.

As I think about this campaign, a quote from Dr. King's "The

Trumpet of Conscience" keeps coming into my mind: "In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the

silence of our friends." This quote always makes me think. When am I being silent, when I should be speaking up for friends? And who is my neighbor? Social work has also taught me that what's often needed isn't to be a "voice for the voiceless," but to pass the microphone, to help neighbors, help communities get their message out. Running for office should be a way to amplify voices that aren't getting heard. The recent report from the News & Observer on infant mortality hit me like a ton of bricks. My NC roots go back to Ahoskie. Our state has one of the worst rates of babies dying before their 1st birthday in the country. And so many of the causes of infant mortality come down to a lack of access to healthcare, particularly for African American mothers and babies. . I have always been a fan of Medicaid expansion. The math makes sense; the funding guarantees have proven durable. And research has shown that states that expand Medicaid have avoided the recent increase in infant mortality, in part because more African American mothers and babies are able to get the medical care that they need. It's astonishing that the state budget writers still didn't include it last year.

I started my professional life as a school social worker. I'm training the next generation so they have the skills and knowledge to make a difference. And I'm running for office because of a simple message that needs to be amplified for our friends and neighbors:

"Government by the people, for the people." On healthcare, on our schools, on cleaning our water, it's what will make the difference for Cumberland County and North Carolina's future. If you're with me in this fight, I hope you donate before the primary. Even just a few dollars helps get our message out. Donate here today. Thank you!


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