Priorities on Climate & the Environment

Western North Carolina is not immune from the effects of climate change. Although climate change is a universal threat, our policies must reflect the needs of Ashe, Alleghany, and Watauga Counties to be effective.

Climate change is one of the biggest threats to our quality of life and North Carolina has begun to suffer its consequences with impacts on our economy, environment, and people. Our State’s average annual temperatures are warming with 2019 being the hottest year on record so far. Hotter days and nights, together with higher humidity, will present a significant public health risk and threat to agriculture. Extreme rainfall events are becoming more common with flooding expected to disrupt our inland communities while droughts will become more severe, increasing the risk of wildfires.

Protecting rather than Exploiting our Natural Resources

Clean Air and Water

The right to clean air and water is essential to the prosperity of our communities and those who call them home. While regulatory oversight must be strengthened to avoid the exploitation of our natural resources, we must also balance environmental protection with economic prosperity, especially for the sake of our local businesses.

Weatherization

Fighting climate change starts at home by insulating our homes so we use less energy and make our homes more cost and energy efficient. But weatherization can be an expensive process for low-income households. State funds are available to help our families with these costs so that they can live more comfortably, sustainably, and cost-effectively. We need to increase awareness of these funds and expand the eligibility so that they are available to more homeowners and landlords. Every dollar invested results in over two dollars’ worth of benefits. Through home weatherization, households can save hundreds of dollars each year, providing a financial boost for families. By improving the energy efficiency of homes, we can decrease energy use resulting in fewer greenhouse gas emissions.

Investing in Infrastructure and a Green Economy

Green Industry

As new green industries look toward our mountain counties for places to settle, we must provide an attractive economic and environmental area to encourage them to come here. We will also need to provide job training options to create a workforce ready to reap the full benefits of a new reinvigorated green local economy.

Transportation

Investing in improved infrastructure is crucial to connecting our communities, reinvigorating local economies, and building for our future. Expanding stormwater drainage areas and daylighting (opening up buried waterways and restoring them to more natural conditions) our streams will help prevent flooding during extreme rain events. Improving neglected roads will save commuters dollars at the gas pump by improving vehicle gas efficiency while also connecting our communities. Expanding public transportation opportunities will allow for reliable and sustainable commuting alternatives to ensure interconnectedness. These investments will help boost our local economic opportunities by attracting new businesses and helping existing ones thrive. It is important that we establish electric charging stations throughout the counties. More folks are going electric and a host of electric pick-ups and utility trucks are getting ready to hit the market. We need to be ready. The bipartisan infrastructure bill passed by Congress last November includes funding to get us started.

Staying Climate-Centered

Sustainable Land Use

As our economy grows, we cannot allow our local farmers to be forced out of their livelihoods. Safeguarding our forests, rivers, and farmlands will allow us to protect agriculture with voluntary land conservation initiatives working to promote sustainable land use. Our farmers markets provide amazing fresh produce, a sense of community, and economic security for countless residents. Fresh produce from local farmers and home gardeners is the backbone of our health promotion initiatives. The success of our farmers allows for the success of our district and everyone who calls it home. It is also important that we strategically plan to protect land for recreational space. Areas in flood zones where development is inappropriate can be ideal for parks, greenspace, and local trails.

Tackling climate change requires immediate and comprehensive action, but we must keep the uniqueness of our communities in mind. By ensuring clean air and water, promoting home weatherization, investing in infrastructure, and safeguarding our farmlands, we can implement climate-centered policies to work toward a sustainable future while making sure that these policies also work for us along the way.

“Because Alleghany, Ashe, and Watauga counties are comprised of unique rural communities, our climate policies must reflect the diversity of our District to ensure that no community is left behind.”  — Ben Massey

child swinging in a park

“It’s no surprise to you to know that we probably fall in different places on some of the issues and challenges that face our state and nation. But I am absolutely committed to see people of Character and Integrity like you in the state and national legislatures.”

Wadsworth Duane (Skip) Roy, III, Registered Republican

 

 

“I believe we need individuals like you who will bring to our government an open mind and the ability to seek reasonable outcomes.”

Robert Bartlett, Registered Republican

 

 

“It takes guts, will and social commitment to have the courage to run. Your attitude of helping others, and your reasonableness in debate to ideas of others makes you what our society needs.”

Robert G. Johnson - Registered as Unaffiliated

 

 

Also endorsed by Mrs. Phyllis Goss, wife of former State Senator Steve Goss from Jefferson, who served in the NC Senate, 2007 – 2010

 

 

“I can tell you with all sincerity, that I have always seen you as a member of the North Carolina General Assembly. You have an extraordinary intuition for the legislative process, as well as the innate skill for blending the toughness of negotiation with the art of compromise.”

Randall C. Stewart, Former Member of the NC House of Representatives and Registered Democrat

 

 

"I am most happy to endorse Ben Massey for NC House Representative in the 93rd District. Ben cares about people and knows the issues that impact the lives of hard-working people in the 93rd House District—Affordable healthcare, Quality education for all, Clean air and water, Creating economic growth, and Assisting farmers. He has my enthusiastic support."

Ray Russell, the NC House, 2019 -2020

 

 

"Congrats for making the decision to run for NC district 93! Wow. And Thank You God! No one is more suitable & qualified than you, my Gentle Ben. Our country needs your knowledge & service, so much more than ever before. Good Timing, Good Man! Thanks with my Heartfelt Gratitude."

Bonnie Wooten

 

 

Also endorsed by Representative Cullie Tarlton from Blowing Rock, who served in the NC House, 2007 – 2010

 

 

 

Proudly endorsed by Progressive Turnout Project, the largest voter contact organization in the country, specifically dedicated to mobilizing the Democratic Party and defending democracy.

 

 

 

The National Association of Social Workers North Carolina Chapter (NASW-NC) Political Action for Candidate Election (PACE) committee would like to offer our endorsement of your campaign for the upcoming 2022 General Election for House District 93.

 

 

 

"I know Ben Massey from our years as physical therapists. He possesses tremendous leadership ability with success serving on both national and state organizations. Ben has integrity and the desire to serve. Our mountain counties will do well having a people-caring person like Ben representing them."

Charlotte Hanes