Wake County’s success depends on strong, forward-thinking leadership from its local government. For eight years, the people of Wake County have trusted Matt Calabria to be an advocate for great schools, a growing economy, and opportunity for all. Matt has worked to create landmark worker training programs, make housing more affordable, invest in transportation, and protect veterans and LGBTQ workers from discrimination. He has consistently voted to raise teacher pay, championed new anti-hunger programs, and spearheaded innovative early childhood education programs.
But our work isn’t done. Matt has a bold vision for Wake County. To meet tomorrow’s needs, Matt will increase support for our educators and children. He will continue to advocate for sensible transportation options, adequate affordable housing, and an economy that works for everyone. He will work to protect our environmental assets by preserving our open space and ensuring that residents have an adequate supply of clean drinking water.
Putting students and teachers first
As the son of a high school principal and a proud product of North Carolina public schools, Matt knows first-hand the power of strong public schools. He believes firmly that teachers should be treated like the professionals they are. That’s why he voted to increase the local portion of teacher pay by 46% - a $2,600 average raise - making Wake County’s teacher salary supplement the highest in the state. To make sure that our schools are nationally competitive and our students get the best education possible, Matt will:
- Continue Wake County’s bold investment in our students and teachers.
- Further expand early childhood educational opportunities.
- Fight child hunger by investing in food security programs in every Wake County school.
- Work collaboratively with the Wake County School Board to avoid petty, partisan fights.
- Implement a multi-year plan for school construction to address future needs in a thoughtful, predictable, and fiscally responsible way.
- Advocate to state government leaders on behalf of our students and teachers.
Creating real transportation and housing solutions
Wake is one of the fastest growing counties in America, and we need thoughtful, prudent leaders like Matt to help manage this historic growth. That’s why in 2016, Matt led an effort to pass a transportation referendum that will decrease traffic and spur on economic development. In the coming years, Matt will work to:
- Implement the new Wake County Transit Plan, which will more than triple bus service and create commuter rail service that runs across the county. This plan will decrease gridlock, better connect us to the airport, afford residents more travel options, and make sure every region of the county benefits.
- Increase the county’s investment in affordable housing, ensuring that people from all walks of life can afford to live here.
- Continue to listen carefully to experts and diverse stakeholders when making community decisions about housing and infrastructure.
Building an economy that works for everyone
Matt believes Wake County should be a place where, if you work hard and play by the rules, you will have an opportunity to succeed. Beyond helping to create thousands of jobs over the last four years, Matt expanded worker training programs, and authored the county’s first living wage ordinance as well as protections for veterans and LGBTQ county employees. Matt will fight to keep our competitive edge by investing in our quality of life and enhancing our thriving economic environment. He will:
- Create good jobs and recruit top talent by focusing on high-skill jobs and growth industries.
- Ensure that no county employee is discriminated against because of their LGBTQ status.
- Continue to create programs that ensure working class folks have access to job training and other resources we need to be successful.
- Leverage the advantages created by our many institutions of higher education, including Wake Technical Community College.
- Facilitate connections between Triangle businesses and industries—for example, between our entrepreneur and research communities.
- Accommodate the varying development needs of all of Wake County’s cities, towns, and regions.
- Listen to the needs of Wake County businesses that are already here.
- Preserve Wake County’s AAA bond rating.
Preserving the environment
As a new father, Matt knows that protecting our state’s air and water is vital to our children’s health and future. That’s why he worked to form the Wake County Water Partnership to ensure that Wake County residents continue to have an abundant, clean drinking water supply. Matt has also fought to preserve more open space, improving our quality of life for decades to come. To protect our drinking water, the quality of our recreational spaces, and the wallets of taxpayers, Matt will:
- Advocate for environmentally conscious public and private development practices, especially in watershed areas.
- Engage in long-term water supply planning to make sure we are prepared to meet the needs of our growing community.
- Advocate for Wake County’s environmental interests. That includes, for example, pushing for the application of the Jordan Lake Rules and opposing out-of-county polluters who put contaminants in our drinking water.
Advocating for you
As a County Commissioner, Matt has been our last line of defense against the reckless attempts by the legislature to gerrymander Wake County Commission and Wake County School Board districts, underfund public education, delay the implementation drinking water protections, cut funding for transportation services for the elderly and disabled, and impose various unfunded mandates on local governments. Because common sense should win over narrow ideology, Matt will:
- Stand up for our citizens by advocating to the North Carolina General Assembly to protect our schools, economy, and environment.
- Work to preserve local authority to handle our own affairs, including public schools, zoning and taxation matters.
- Oppose gerrymandering as well as burdensome and unnecessary laws and regulations.