Get to know Sen. Joyce Waddell

October 5, 2022 at 11:52 a.m.

By Colin Campbell
NC Tribune

Sen. Joyce Waddell is a Democrat who has served Charlotte and Mecklenburg County (currently the eastern corner) in the Senate since 2015. She was previously a school board member, and much of her work in the Senate has focused on education issues. Last year, she sponsored legislation to eliminate the wait list for pre-kindergarten services and restore longevity pay for educators. She is facing Republican Bobbie Shields, a former Mecklenburg County executive, in the November election.

Age: 78

What are the current and past jobs you’ve held outside of politics? Teacher, school administrator, Realtor, family therapist  

What lessons from those roles have you applied to your elected position? The value of a good sound education, why we need good dedicated educators, why we should provide adequate funding to school system, and why we should ensure our students have updated technology and that students have opportunity for a higher education or successful careers in the world of work. 

If you could enact a single piece of legislation into law today, what would it be? Adequately funding our education system. 

Where do you most enjoy taking an out-of-town visitor in your district? Carolina Panthers Stadium because it is a state-of-the-art facility and because of the entertainment factor. 

What is your favorite hobby outside of work? Volunteering to help tutor students. 

Who do you most admire, and why? Former President Barack Obama. He seemed unshakable during his two terms of office in a hostile environment, and he really tried to create good laws that were applicable to all, not just a few people. 

What’s the best advice you’ve received about how to get legislation passed? Work across all aisles to ensure legislation benefits all.