Lisa Grafstein, candidate for NC Senate District 13

Lisa Grafstein

Name: Lisa Grafstein

Political party: Democrat

Age as of Nov. 8, 2022: 56

Campaign website:

Occupation: Attorney, currently litigation counsel with Disability Rights NC

Education: B.A. Northwestern University; J.D. UNC Chapel Hill

Have you run for elected office before? No

Please list highlights of your civic involvement: Commissioner, State Personnel Commission; Board co-chair, NC Justice Center; president, Women’s Forum of NC; president, NC Association of Women Attorneys; volunteer with a variety of non-profits during my 32 years in Raleigh

What are the three issues that you see as most important to your district and what will you do to address them?

Provide and protect access to healthcare by expanding Medicaid, ensuring reproductive freedom and strengthening our behavioral health care system. Ensure economic opportunity by fully funding our schools, as required by the North Carolina Constitution and the Leandro decision, and increasing access to affordable housing and good paying jobs. Protecting voting rights by ending partisan gerrymandering and making voting accessible and secure.

At a time when costs are rising, state government has a surplus. How should it be used?

The surplus includes funding that should have been allocated to education, as required by the Leandro decision. Providing high quality education is a driver of economic development, and therefore an investment in future growth. Likewise, investing in behavioral health care saves money in the long run by helping people live, work and thrive in their communities. Finally, allocating funds to affordable housing is a moral imperative and a good investment.

Will you vote for Medicaid expansion in North Carolina?


What has the legislature gotten right, and what has it gotten wrong, about public education in North Carolina?

First and foremost, the continued failure to adequately fund public schools has created an ongoing crisis. On the positive side, there appears to be a growing commitment to our community college system as an important component of economic opportunity.

Should North Carolina change its abortion laws? How?

There should be no restrictions on abortion.

Please add anything else voters should know about your position on the legality or availability of abortion in North Carolina.

Whether to have an abortion is a deeply personal decision, and one that some have to make because of developments during a pregnancy. When these issues arise, the question is: Who decides? Extremists want the government to decide — and many work to prohibit all abortions based on inaccurate beliefs about pregnancy and childbirth. I believe these are individual healthcare decisions that should be decided through medical consultation and not political debate.

Should medical marijuana be legalized in North Carolina?


What, if anything, should the legislature do to shape curriculum dealing with topics of race, sexuality and gender?

In our current climate, we see politicians attempting to gin up support by making false claims about what is being taught in our schools. We rely on our education professionals to teach any number of topics in factual and age-appropriate ways, and these topics should be no different. We are not going to change our history by refusing to talk about race, and we can only change our future by reckoning honestly with the past and present.

Do you accept the results of the 2020 presidential election?