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KARLA ICAZA: Cumberland County Board of Commissioners candidate

'I would like to educate our constituents on the importance of their votes and what it is that Commissioners and local elected officials do'


Office sought: Cumberland County Commissioners, District 2

Party affiliation: Democrat

Lives: Fayetteville

Age: 43

Works: Spanish Interpreter with Language Line Solutions.

What’s your motivation for seeking office? My motivation for seeking office is seeing that since 2017 our County has not been able to resolve the PFAS water issue in Grays Creek; the fact that we have no shelters for our homeless community and have had people bussed to other cities; we have no in-house treatment for substance addiction; mental health access is needed; funding for our public schools and teachers' pay; health insurance for all our constituents; and also that there is very little Latino and military representation in our County.

The list goes on and on, but I want to continue to serve this County even after my Army service. It is where I retired and bought my home. I want to help those that cannot speak for themselves. I would like to educate our constituents on the importance of their votes and what it is that Commissioners and local elected officials do. I think that my time in service with the Army, working with the VA Medical Center in Suicide Prevention, serving as Lead Peer Support Specialist for Mental Health at Renew Counseling Center, and serving as an interpreter with Southeastern Medical Center and now with Language Line Solutions has given me the experience and the insight as to the needs of our County and State. I want to help to move Cumberland County Forward in 2024.

What uniquely qualifies you to serve? I'm a bilingual Army Veteran, I have been the President of Latinos United For Progress here in Fayetteville, I have served in the Latino Committee with Governor Cooper, I am two semesters from finishing my Social Work in Mental Health Masters Degree, I have served with Suicide Prevention at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, I have worked as Lead Peer Support Specialist for Mental Health at Renew Counseling, I have served as an interpreter at Southeastern Regional Medical Center, I was a field organizer with Democracy NC, I was the President of the Young Democrats and 2nd Vice Chair for the Women of Cumberland County Democratic Party, there may be other things I have forgotten. I have been serving in Cumberland County since 2012.

Fill in the blank: The top three issues in my municipality/district are ____, ____ and ____; and I would promote positive change by _____. Public water access in Grays Creek and countywide, homelessness, and mental health access. I would promote positive change by supporting water lines to be extended out to Grays Creek for now, as we come up with a long-term solution and research the well waters. I would also advocate for a countywide pulling together of resources for our homelessness issues. Building a shelter is not enough, we need to help them get IDs, mental health services, job/skills training, medical/dental care, it is a multiple resource approach that will help us to lower and end out homelessness issue. Mental health is the umbrella over which Homelessness and Opioid issues stem from. No one in their right mind decides that they want to be homeless and be out in the elements, or that they want to be addicted to any substance. There needs to be better access to the resources for these communities that already feel disenfranchised and left out.

What new policies or practices would you bring to your municipality/district that do not already exist? A multiple resource and community approach to end homelessness. Building a shelter alone is not enough, we need to not just feed them fish but we need to teach them how to fish. We can help them to restore their dignity and stand on their own again. Also, to work with PWC to extend water lines out to Grays Creek.

For more:

voteicaza@gmail.com; voteicaza.com; voteicaza on Facebook and Instagram