A spirit of optimism and fair opportunity has long defined the Tar Heel State.  The last hundred years are remembered as the American Century because we looked beyond short-term fears and made far-sighted investments in education, industry, and infrastructure. We foresaw huge challenges, and we met them head-on.

Today, that spirit is being tested. We live in a tougher and more competitive world, a world that demands new ideas and renewed energy from our leaders. We can’t be satisfied with lowered expectations and narrowed vision. Hacking away at public institutions, neglecting basic infrastructure, and handing out tax giveaways to the wealthy won’t offer the kind of widely felt prosperity that North Carolinians deserve. We need a different path, a new direction that builds on the strengths of our state and prepares our people for the opportunities ahead. We need a new roadmap to guide us into the future.

Roadmap 2025 offers ideas for a new direction.  Focused, effective action can strengthen our civic institutions, build crucial infrastructure, and make North Carolina a more inviting place to live and work. With sound ideas and the research to back them up, our leaders can map out a better future for all North Carolinians. 

Our state has a history of looking forward, especially in tough times. We became the “Good Roads State” when our leaders saw a clear need and made smart investments in the future. We banded together to build a statewide school system so that North Carolina’s children could prepare for a changing world. And we protected the land and water that make our state beautiful, refusing to spoil our timeless heritage for short-term gain.

Today, we need new visions upon which to build. Everyone deserves access to the information economy, and we can ensure that even the farthest reaches are connected and able to compete. Everyone in our growing state needs a safe and modern transportation system to get our economy and our people moving. Everyone benefits from rigorous, up-to-date public schools, and we ought to respect and support those who teach our children. Everyone has a stake in clean water and a strong environment, and we should have clear rules to protect it.

Too often, we’re made to believe there’s a tradeoff between making a living and making a life. We’re told to lower our sights, go along for the ride, and accept what comes.

We are not spectators on North Carolina’s journey. We don’t have to accept a future of low pay, slow growth, and receding opportunity. We can do better. With sound ideas and smart leadership, we can set a new agenda and choose a better direction. North Carolina has always been a state that works, that builds, that drives confidently forward. We must be ready for the road ahead.