In this episode of #FocusOnTheState, I sat down with my state senator, Jeff Jackson who sits on the North Carolina state legislature. Jackson was very gracious (and charming) in availing himself for this interview to break down what is role as a state politician is, and how I’m impacted as one of his constituents. He really highlights the significant impact state legislatures have, even though they are largely overlooked in the conversation of voting that springs up every four years around the presidential election.
This interview is a great roadmap for anyone looking to become more informed about their state politics. How do I learn about my state politics? How do I get involved in my city, county or state politics? Which elected officials draft the laws we see being challenged during the protests? Check out this informative interview and get ready to take notes.
I apologize in advance for the audio issues in the middle of the video, as this was the first interview I recorded. But there are captions on the video, so turn them and hopefully the echo isn’t too bad.
This series was made possible via my patrons on Patreon, who support my commitment to producing content that provides a socio-political education.
- 00:00 Intro
- 01:47 Title Card
- 02:19 Intro of NC State Senator Jeff Jackson
- 02:32 Overview of how North Carolina’s State legislature is assembled
- 04:07 Does running for office every two years keep you more liable to your constituents?
- 04:43 Does the power of donors/fundraising connect to the change in campaign finances from the SCOTUS ruling on Citizens United?
- 05:43 For someone who is politically unaware, where can they turn to for education on how their local government is shaped and what role they have as a constituent in shaping that state government?
- 07:48 Elected officials using social media to connect their constituents.
- 09:30 What does your role as a state senator accomplish and how is that relevant to me as a resident in your district?
- 10:33 The impact of the state legislature on criminal justice reform.
- 13:30 How “soft on crime” rhetoric stops criminal justice reform.
- 14:47 Criminal Justice reform that Sen. Jackson has attempted to pass.
- 17:37 Do you need a law degree to run for office?
- 18:43 The commonality of lawyers as elected officials and how that impacts their constituency?
- 19:56 What are the hurdles that you’ve incurred and noticed in general in running for local office?
- 22:51 The significance of the special session held after NC elected a Democrat Governor, Roy Cooper, in 2016.
- 25:17 The influence of the state legislature in how things like, Senate replacements, are handled.
- 26:45 Why are the state congressional maps important?
- 28:30 The significance of the GOPs strategy, REDMAP, to control state legislatures.
- 29:46 The last court update on North Carolina’s congressional maps.
- 31:02 Why are the antics of the GOP during the budget discussions at the state legislatures relevant to me as a constituent?
- 31:48 How do you help to shape the state policy around the coronavirus response
- 33:28 What data is being collected and what do we have to look forward to for COVID-19?
- 36:03 Ideally what would you like to see w/ regards to COVID-19, and what elected officials on the state level would have a role in making that happen?
- 37:36 The chances for the North Carolina state legislature to flip to Blue.
- 38:44 Jeff Jackson doesn’t agree on my review of Jordan Peele’s US.