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Things of note happening in Wake County.

Wake Women’s Equal Pay Day

“Happy Equal Pay Day,” said no woman ever. June 7 marks Wake Women’s Equal Pay Day. This date symbolizes how far into the next year women in Wake County must work to earn what men earned in the previous year.

You may recall that National Equal Pay Day was April 12. There’s a reason why Wake’s Equal Pay Day is so much later.

69¢ on the Dollar

Nationally, women earn an average of 79¢ for every dollar a man makes. In Wake County that amount falls to 69¢. This has a tremendous impact on every Wake County family.

The following infographics shine a light on some of the biggest issues as documented by State of Employment for Women in Wake County—a report published by the Wake County Commission for Women.

Download the infographic PDF.

Task Force on Women’s Employment

The report made some immediate suggestions:

  • Incentivize private employers to help ease the high cost of childcare
  • Expand existing GED programs to include college-level offerings
  • Encourage workplace flexibility to help close income gap
  • Offer “return to work” programs and paid internships for women who have taken a break from the workforce
  • Create a task force to take action on these recommendations and evoke real change in our community

On May 25, the Wake County Task Force on Employment and Wage Issues for Women met.  They are working over the next nine months on further recommendations to address this important issue.

What can you do?

Take part of the conversation with #WakeEqualPay. If we work together we can help get equal pay for equal work.

Open Data, Transparency, and Collaboration

Back in June, I had the opportunity to speak at CityCamp NC about a subject that’s especially important to me: Open Data in County Government.

We are facing complex problems. We also have the most educated, creative and engaged citizens in the country. I truly believe that if we work together and collaborate effectively, we will be able to help solve these problems.

Renowned statistician William Edwards Deming once said, “In God we trust, all others bring data.” I could not agree more.

Opening our public data enhances government transparency and collaboration while encouraging a more participatory democracy. Wake is leading the country in making county data available to our community. We’ve moved beyond the expected available data of simple electoral and real estate information to include more complex and detailed information including animal center data, county financial reports, water testing and restaurant sanitation reports.

While that work has positioned Wake County as front runner in making collected data available, we’re not finished yet. We’ve recently launched a beta version of our new portal. This beta makes this wealth of information much more accessible thanks to a friendlier user interface.

We’ve also worked to make this wealth of knowledge available to the community in everyday life.

For example, sharing restaurant sanitation grades with the popular online service Yelp. Wake was the third community in the country to make access to this information so straightforward. In hindsight, it makes a lot of sense: Why shouldn’t sanitation grades be in the same space where thousands of people turn for recommendations on where to eat?

You cannot have effective public policy today without data transparency. I believe Wake County’s new open data portal will fundamentally change how citizens learn about their government and how we can work together to maintain—or even improve—our community’s quality of life.

State of Employment for Women

Earlier this month, the Wake County Commission for Women (“WCCW”) released State of Employment for Women in Wake Countyto the Board of Commissioners.

The WCCW report made several key findings which include: the median earnings for women over 25 in Wake County are only 69 percent of that for men, which is 10 percent below the national average; more than 79,000 women have only a high school diploma and in 2014, half of these women lived in poverty; and very few resources are available to women in Wake County looking for a job after taking a break from work for an extended period of time for reasons like illness, child rearing or taking care of a family member.

It’s statistics like these that show the importance for the Wake County Board of Commissioners to work with community members in closing the gender wage gap and addressing other pressing issues women face in the workforce.

From the Wake County press release:

The WCCW recommends creating a task force to take action on its recommendations and evoke real change in our community.

I am currently working in collaboration with the Wake County Commission for Women and my colleagues on the Board of Commissioners to appoint a task force to address these issues.

Read Wake County’s full press release or download the entire report.

Thank You!


As the fall settles upon us, the holidays approach, and we have a little distance from the election, I wanted to take a moment to again say thank you all so much for your support and confidence in me.  It was due to your efforts our campaign was successful.  I look forward to working with all of you to move Wake County forward and put solutions first.

I would also like to take a brief moment and thank Erv Portman for his service to our County.  He set an outstanding example of what it takes to be a thoughtful, responsible Commissioner, and I will no doubt call upon his wisdom when I begin serving on the Commission.

The election is over, but I’m keenly aware the real work now begins.  Thanks again for your continued thoughts and prayers of support, and please do not hesitate to bring any questions or concerns to my attention.



Wake County Mayors Endorse Sullivan

Raleigh – Several of Wake County’s Mayors have endorsed County Commission candidate Caroline Sullivan. They include Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane, Cary Mayor Harold Weinbrecht, Wake Forest Mayor Vivian Jones, Garner Mayor Ronnie Williams, Morrisville Mayor Jackie Holcombe, Knightdale Mayor Russell Killen, Wendell Mayor Tim Hinnant, and Zebulon Mayor Bob Matheny.
Caroline Sullivan said, “I am honored to have the endorsements of these outstanding local officials who are on the front lines of our economy where the rubber meets the road. They understand Wake County is bigger than the sum of its parts, and we are better when we work together.”
“These Mayors are from across the political spectrum, and their endorsement is recognition that local government requires moving beyond partisan politics and putting solutions first, “Sullivan said.
Wendell Mayor Tim Hinnant said, “Caroline listens and understands the issues facing our communities.”
Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane said “We need leadership that is going to focus on our economy, not on an extreme agenda that has nothing to do with creating jobs. Caroline will be a breath of fresh air to keep us moving forward.”