I moved to North Carolina 22 years ago when my four children were grown. I found Beaufort and fell in love - with the coast, the weather, the music and the people. What a community!
Graduated summa cum laude (in three years) from Green Mountain College, VT while working full-time in Rutland, VT and raising 4 kids. Double degree in Education, K-6 and Special Education. Additional graduate credits in Reading Specialist, Library Science and Educational Research from ECU. Nationally-certified from the NBPTS, National Board of Professional Teaching Standards.
Served as Education Coordinator in Danby, VT and Special Ed teacher at WCHS and Beaufort Middle. Left teaching to paint professionally in 2004, financed the remodeling of my Beaufort home selling work up and down East Coast. 2008 came along ... nobody buying big oil paintings so after a few more shows I learned to double clutch and traveled the country hauling a 53 ft trailer behind me.
It was great fun and wonderfully instructive. But more than anything, it let me experience firsthand how incredible our blue collar work force really is! I was 58 years old and a grey-haired lady of 5 feet nothing .... in a world of .... well .... NOT 58 year old ladies! What a wild experience! I met NOTHING but wonderful people! If you've NOT heard of the brotherhood of truckers, I can tell you it exists .... in fact, they accepted this mother trucker without a second thought. :)
But then, Bernie Sanders burst onto the scene and his platform inspired me and got me interested in politics. I knew I had to come home and try to deal with what was happening in our country.
When the election was over I was ... well ..... shocked. I had to continue fighting to promote democratic values.
With a dear friend, I started a local chapter of Indivisible, a national activist organization. Our group, Indivisible Careret, promotes progressive ideals of civil liberties, responsible conservation, forward-thinking education, universal health coverage and fighting the opioid/substance abuse epidemic.
As the filing date drew near, friends started pushing for me to run. Politics would have been my last choice but I DID realize that change could only come from within.
The nation has woken up. We realize that if we don't pay attention, we deserve the government we get .... and if we don't like it, we better work to change it.
I'm paying attention. Are you with me?
I’m Pene diMaio and I’m mad. I’m running for the State House in the 13th District, Carteret and Jones County, because I’m horrified at what’s happening in our country and in the state of North Carolina. And I’ve been horrified, almost apoplectic, since November 2016.
I am running for office, something I NEVER imagined I’d do, because I need to see a change … And I need to do it. Basically because I just can’t sit still anymore.
I’ve spent a year writing letters, stamping postcards, sending emails, faxes, calling office after office. I’ve attended rallies, heck, I’ve organized rallies and even marched a little. … a very little. I just realized that it was not enough. I could do MORE..
So I want to try and effect some real change. I’m an educator and an artist. I work with facts and I work with creativity. I’m potentially inspiring and hopefully inspired … sometimes. These are the tools I would pull out in Raleigh. And of course a good dose of humor to make it all easier to swallow.
So what do I want to do in Raleigh? I want to play nice but I also want what I want.
I want responsible environmental policies - no drilling off OUR coasts and clean and sustainable energy. The current Madame Representative voted to discontinue the successful plastic bag ban in the Outer Banks and her main donors are Duke Energy and other petroleum based companies. I doubt clean energy or clean beaches are her top priority. (VoteSmart.org)
I want to keep politics out of our schools – Who voted to make the school boards partisan behind the voters backs? North Carolina was until recently, a model of good education and forward-looking policies. But we’ve been moving backwards rather than forward.
I want civil liberties for ALL – my opponent voted for the unnecessary “bathroom bill” that made us an embarrassment in front of the whole country. Need I say more?
Finally, I NEED accessible health care for ALL! I NEED to fight this opioid horror that we’re all facing. I NEED to fight for more accessible addiction and mental health treatment. I NEED to promote Recovery Communities where recovery is supported and celebrated. I need these goals because I have one near and dear to me that is fighting addiction on a daily basis … and all without treatment because she can’t afford it. It is UNACCEPTABLE.
So, I will TRY to play nice but as I said … I’m mad.
But I promise you one thing....
I will work for the future, beholden to no one but you!
I will be ... An Independent Voice.