State employees name Wray, Jordan as Legislators of the Year

Sep 11, 2017

GREENSBORO – EMPAC, the political arm of the State Employees Association of North Carolina, presented Rep. Michael Wray (D-Halifax) and Rep. Jonathan Jordan (R-Ashe) with Lisa B. Mitchell Legislator of the Year awards Saturday for their efforts advocating for state employees and retirees during the recent legislative session.

Wray has been a SEANC member since he was elected to the General Assembly, and attends SEANC District 56 meetings regularly. In announcing the award at the 34th Annual SEANC Convention, Statewide EMPAC Chairman Tony Smith said Wray is a tireless advocate of state employee and retiree issues, and is willing to go the extra mile for his fellow SEANC members.

“He stays in touch with our lobbyists on a daily basis,” said Smith. “His door is always open and his eyes are always open for any issues that may concern state employees and retirees. If there is anyone who understands working with your colleagues on the other side of the aisle, it’s Rep. Wray. He is a go-to person and he truly cares about us as a workforce and as people, and that’s a rare find in politics these days.”

Rep. Jordan stood up for retirees in the past legislative session by filing House Bill 497, which would have given state retirees a much-needed 2-percent cost-of-living adjustment. The bill received bipartisan support in the House and built the foundation of support that resulted in the first true COLA in years in the state budget. Jordan also filed a bill to give equal pay raises to all state employees, as well as a bill to give a Christmas bonus to state employees. 

“(Jordan) is a fighter through and through and an invaluable friend to state employees and retirees in the General Assembly,” Smith said. “When we ask for his help, he not only answers the call but goes above and beyond. He is not only a man of his word, but a man of action.” 

SEANC delegates re-elected President Stanley Drewery of Grifton, and elected Darius McLaurin of Raleigh as First Vice President, Jimmy Davis of Forest City as Second Vice President and Chevella Thomas of Durham as General Treasurer. Delegates also heard speeches from Gov. Roy Cooper and State Treasurer Dale Folwell, voted on important bylaws changes to move the association forward, and contributed more than $16,000 to set up a fund to help families of members in need because of natural disasters or death while on the job, among other business at the annual event.