Name: Maria Cervania
Political party: Democrat
Age as of Nov. 8, 2022: 54
Campaign website: https://mariafornc.com/
Occupation: Wake County commissioner
Education: University of Illinois, Chicago, Master of Public Health(c) in Epidemiology and Biostatistics; University of California, Berkeley, Bachelor’s in Integrative Biology/Physical Education, Minor in Population Studies and Demography
Have you run for elected office before? Wake County commissioner; Maricopa County (Arizona), Camelot Precinct committeeman
Please list highlights of your civic involvement: Wake County Commission for Women: chair; Wake County Community Health Needs Assessment: member; Town of Cary School of Government: graduate; Town of Cary Police Department Citizens Assisting Police Team: member; Poe Center for Health Education: board member; Wake County Smart Start: board member; Wake County Pre-K: board member; Alliance Behavioral Health Services: board member; Cal Alumni Association — North Carolina Chapter: founder/president; Berkeley Homeowners’ Association: president
What are the three issues that you see as most important to your district and what will you do to address them?
The most important issues in this race are to: Ensure that individual rights — including reproductive healthcare, marriage equality and voting — are protected and maintained; improve access to quality healthcare, expand Medicaid, close the healthcare coverage gap in physical and behavioral health and protect personal choice in medical decisions; fully fund and support public education from Pre-K to university graduate programs.
At a time when costs are rising, state government has a surplus. How should it be used?
The state government surplus should be used to fully fund public education. Ultimately, we must have the assurance of a sound, high-quality education. Public education is not only for our children but also an asset to our economic development and community well-being. From multinational to small businesses, one of the first questions asked is about the quality of our public school system. We must fully invest in public education because it is our legal and moral obligation.
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?
The North Carolina public school system was nationally known for being one of the best school systems in the country. Now, we rank in the bottom quarter of the United States. We have a responsibility to provide students with the best possible future. We cannot let the political environment continue to underfund public education. Every child deserves the same access to sound basic education and a good, high-quality education. I am hoping for the opportunity to be part of the solution in the NCGA.
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.
The issue is about taking away individual reproductive rights and removing the ability to control one’s reproductive health care and reproductive freedom. Individuals and their medical health professionals should make these decisions under the protection and right to privacy. It is now on each state if women can have those rights. I will always protect women’s rights and essential health care. I will always fight against government interference with intensely personal medical decisions.
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?
As a woman of color, I am committed to working on awareness and leading conversations about race, sexuality, gender and class. We made decisions about these issues based on the great discussion opportunities with parents, educators, librarians and the educational system. Open conversations and collaboration have helped us make the best decisions for our community. We are all one and are only as strong as we work together and recognize how we contribute to a better North Carolina.
Do you accept the results of the 2020 presidential election?