Chris Walters—teacher, Hendersonville native, and long-time HCDP volunteer—has launched his campaign to represent NC State Senate District 48, saying he believes we can all make politics better by talking with and listening to one another in good faith. The 48th district includes all of Henderson, Polk, and Rutherford Counties.
“I see politics and electing good people to government as a way to promote the common good,” he said. “I’ve always liked politics and have actively participated on the local and state level for many years. Almost every part of our lives is affected by the votes of our elected officials and if we want to have a voice, we have to participate.”
Chris grew up in a family of 12 and attended public school as well as Immaculata and Asheville Catholic High School. He attended college at Notre Dame for two years before leaving to work and travel, gaining important life experiences along the way.
“I worked as a construction worker, a janitor, one year as an attendant in a psychiatric hospital, a groundskeeper in a cemetery, and a restaurant worker. In the 1970s, I worked for two years on the Alaska pipeline south of Fairbanks. I was a member of Alaska Laborers Union local 942 and learned the value of good union representation.”
After eight years, Chris returned to college at UNCA and graduated with a degree in history and a teaching certificate. He got married and built a house in Crab Creek.
“I was in education for 34 years, including eight years in Migrant Head Start and 26 years as a teacher in elementary and middle school,” he said. “Teaching in public schools for years grounded me in the reality of people we are serving in our community. In public schools see a good representation of our community members, with all kinds of students from all different kinds of family arrangements, some highly advantaged and some disadvantaged. When I was a teacher, we welcomed everyone and we tried to do the best for every student. Teaching in public school was very rewarding, interesting, and a great honor for me.”
Key priorities for Chris’s campaign are to:
Conserve and protect farmland and open space.
Guarantee women the right to make their own healthcare decisions.
Provide affordable and accessible healthcare to all.
Support early childhood education.
Teach real American history and fully fund public schools.
Protect the right to vote and support competitive voting districts.
Chris is the quintessential life-long learner and adventurer. He learned to speak Spanish by living and studying and travelling in Mexico. “I love the Mexican people and have never forgotten their kindness and generosity to me,” he said. “I later taught elementary Spanish for ten years. When I was younger, I learned about the USA by hitchhiking by myself up and down and back and forth across the country many times.”
He also enjoys playing piano and reading and memorizing poetry, and he has studied Buddhist meditation for many years to stay grounded and balanced.
Honest communication is important to Chris as he campaigns. “I’m open and accessible and I like people. I like hearing their stories about who they are and what they want to accomplish in their lives. I can read and listen and take in lots of information and then make that available to people.”
Chris enjoys organizing and getting out on the street demonstrating and supporting issues. “I frequently attend public meetings. I like the challenge of making visible what is hard to see. That is particularly important now when politics is so noisy and filled with misinformation.”
To learn more about Chris’s campaign visit his website at www.chriswaltersnc.com