A champion for North Carolina women and families
Alma Adams grew up the child of a single mother who cleaned other people’s houses for a living. Alma has said her mother “did that because she knew it was important for me not to do it.” Her mother’s sacrifices inspired Alma to pursue her doctorate and become an educator. Alma is the proud mother of two children — including a daughter who is also a teacher — and a grandmother of four. She became the first African American woman elected to the Greensboro City School Board, and two years later ran for Greensboro City Council and won. Alma was later elected to the North Carolina House of Representatives, where she spent nearly two decades fighting to raise the minimum wage and improve access to education, and standing up to attacks on women’s access to health care. “I have always fought for those who otherwise didn’t have a voice at the table,” she has said. In 2014 Alma ran in the special election for North Carolina’s 12th Congressional District, emerging from a crowded field to win and make history as the 100th woman in the 113th Congress. She has been a champion for North Carolina working families, and in 2016 ran for reelection to represent the newly drawn 12th District after a court decision gave the North Carolina legislature just two weeks to draw a new congressional map.
An advocate for choice, voting rights, and opportunity
Alma has been defending women’s rights from the radical Republican agenda for decades. “Not on my watch,” she has said, and as she fights back against anti-choice legislation she reminds her colleagues in Congress that women of color are disproportionately impacted by policies restricting access to reproductive health care. Alma has cosponsored and supported legislation to increase women’s access to health care, including the EACH Woman Act, which would repeal the Hyde Amendment. Alma continues to be an outstanding pro-choice champion. As voting rights have come under politically-motivated attacks in North Carolina, Alma has always been a fierce defender of this fundamental right. “I believe in a democracy, and in a democracy everyone is represented,” she has said. “By not having a vote, you really don’t have a seat at the table. Full representation requires a vote.” Alma fights for everyone’s voice to be heard. As an educator, Alma believes that all North Carolinians deserve opportunities to get ahead. She has long advocated for policies that strengthen schools, colleges, and universities — as well as policies that ensure that the most vulnerable children’s basic needs are met so that they can come to the classroom prepared to learn and succeed. Alma has fought to raise the minimum wage and to end gender discrimination in pay, and she has said that “if this were in the reverse, and men made less than women, we wouldn’t even be talking about it because we would have resolved it by now!”
A competitive race in a newly drawn district
Alma represents North Carolina’s 12th Congressional District. When President Obama appointed former Congressman Mel Watt to serve as Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency starting in 2014, Alma entered a crowded field in a special election — and was voted overwhelmingly to both finish the remainder of the 113th Congress and to begin her own full term in January 2015. Alma became the first Democratic woman elected to Congress from North Carolina since 1992, and when she was sworn in she became the 100th woman in that Congress — marking the first time there had ever been 100 women serving in Congress concurrently. Alma is the only African American woman in the North Carolina delegation as well as the only Democratic woman representing North Carolina in the House. Alma doesn’t back down from a tough fight because she knows how high the stakes are for working families. When Alma faced a competitive race in a newly drawn district, the EMILY’s List community gave her our full support to help her continue her lifelong fight for North Carolina women and families.