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Name: Deborah Ross
Political party: Democrat
Age as of March 5, 2024: 60
Campaign website: www.deborahross.com
Current occupation: Member of Congress
Professional experience: Lawyer, private practice; state director, American Civil Liberties Union, 1994-2002; member of the North Carolina House of Representatives, 2003-2013; member of Congress, 2021-present.
Education: Brown University (B.A.), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (J.D.)
What offices have you run for or held before? Have you had any other notable government or civic involvement? I served in the North Carolina House of Representatives from 2003 to 2013. I also ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate in 2016 and have represented North Carolina’s 2nd Congressional District since 2021. I’m a former advisory member of YMCA Lightner Y Achievers and board member of the Brown Alumni Association.
What is the issue that you see as most relevant to constituents in your district, and what will you do to address it?
Wake County is one of the best places in America to call home and we continue to attract new residents and businesses from across the country and around the world. While this growth has largely been positive, we have also seen rising rents and housing costs as well as lagging investment in modern infrastructure to meet our region’s needs. In Congress, I’m committed to securing greater federal resources for affordable housing and transportation for the people of Wake County.
Is there an issue on which you disagree with your party? What is your position on that issue?
In contrast to some in my party, I believe good governance is about the art of the possible and that compromise often produces better results than confrontation. As Democrats, we should always remain faithful to our values but never be afraid to negotiate across the aisle. And unlike some Democrats, I believe it’s important to work with – and listen to – our local business community, especially the small business owners who form the backbone of our local economy.
What is the government doing, if anything, that you see as a waste of taxpayer money?
We spend tens of billions of tax dollars every year to sustain an immigration system that almost everyone agrees is badly broken.
Should spending increases trigger automatic increases to the U.S. debt limit so that political gridlock does not cause the country to default on its debts?
I support eliminating the debt limit. It serves no practical purpose and has instead become the means by which extreme Republicans in Congress attempt to extract legislative concessions from Democrats. Instead of this kind of irresponsible brinkmanship, we need to come together across party lines to adopt a balanced approach to fiscal policy, including making smart investments in America’s future and requiring big corporations and the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share.
What federal legislation, if any, would you support on abortion?
I am a proud cosponsor of legislation to codify Roe v. Wade.
What changes in U.S. immigration enforcement and restrictions would you support?
I support the creation of a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who contribute to our communities. I also support allowing young immigrants to stay in the country they love and call home. In fact, I passed a measure through the House last Congress to protect the children of long-term visa holders from deportation. We need to work together to mold a better immigration system that keeps families together, invests in effective border security, and meets our nation’s economic needs.
What legislation would you support to make Americans safer from mass shootings and other violent crime?
I’m proud to serve on the Judiciary Committee as an advocate for sensible criminal justice reform that will keep our streets safe. I secured funding for Wake County to purchase equipment to analyze crime scene evidence. I also passed legislation to help survivors of child sex abuse seek damages in court. To combat the epidemic of gun violence in America, I voted to approve the most significant gun safety legislation in 30 years and continue to call for a ban on assault weapons.