America is known as “The Land of Opportunity.” That’s because America is a country founded on independence, and I work hard to promote policies - like the new Trump Tax Code - that empower everyone to climb the ladder of opportunity and achieve your goals.
Thanks to our reforms, businesses are expanding and creating new jobs, workers are getting more money in their paychecks, and families are seeing real tax cuts. We’ve made great progress, but there are still many families who are struggling to make ends meet. We must continue to work to ensure we lift up communities that have been left behind in previous years.
This is where our new opportunity zones come in. Did you know that under the new tax bill, 252 areas in North Carolina have been designated as opportunity zones? These opportunity zones are designed to spur investment, economic growth and jobs in economically disadvantaged, struggling and low-income communities throughout the country. They are granted special status to encourage investment and deferred tax benefits.
These areas in North Carolina feature: a total population over 1.1 million people; nearly 45,000 families with children in poverty; and over 50,000 businesses. This is the first new community development tax incentive program signed into law since the Clinton Administration. And we have 20 areas right here in our district.
Last week, the White House welcomed state, local, and community leaders for an Opportunity Zone Conference. I appreciate President Trump for continuing this important conversation with Fayetteville Mayor Mitch Colvin, North Carolina Secretary of Commerce Tony Copeland and other local leaders to maximize opportunity zones and help foster job growth. This is why I worked so hard to have opportunity zones included in the tax reform legislation and why I worked to make sure communities in our district were included.
Another area I’m continuing to focus on to improve opportunities for people in our district is the opioid crisis. This crisis doesn’t care where you’re from or how rich or poor you may be. It robs opportunity from all people equally. We will defeat the opioid crisis, and we continue to make positive strides to make this a reality.
Last Congress, I took the lead on bipartisan legislation that focused on the safe and responsible packaging and disposal of unused opioids. My bill was called one of “the most important opioid bills,” and I was proud to see President Trump sign it into law along with H.R. 6, the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act. This is considered the most significant congressional effort against a single drug crisis in history.
As part of my efforts, I wanted to let you know about an upcoming opportunity for you to help defeat this crisis. The DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is this Saturday, April 27. This is a safe, convenient, and responsible way to dispose of excess prescription drugs. It’s also an opportunity to raise awareness of the opioid crisis and to educate our friends, family members, and neighbors about the potential for abuse of medications. To find a collection site near you, visit takebackday.dea.gov.
These are a few ways we can ensure everyone has equal opportunities – regardless of their circumstances. I will continue to work to achieve that goal.
Richard Hudson represents North Carolina’s 8th District, which includes Cabarrus and other counties.