Growing up in a single parent household, Alma saw that the best way to get ahead was through dedication and hard work. Her mother’s sacrifices motivated Alma to not only complete her own education, but to pursue a path that led her to teaching in the classroom too. Alma raised two wonderful children–including a daughter who followed Alma’s lead and became a teacher herself.
Alma’s introduction to politics was on her local School Board, where she became the first African-American woman elected to that body and was a strong advocate for educational opportunities for everyone in her community. After serving on the School Board, Alma was elected to a seat on her City Council where she led efforts for affordable housing and neighborhood revitalization programs.
Alma was appointed to the General Assembly in 1994 and had a distinguished career of service in the North Carolina House of Representatives. During that time, Alma fought to improve the lives of women, children and families. She fought to increase North Carolina’s minimum wage; sponsored and supported legislation to strengthen domestic violence laws; worked to improve adolescent pregnancy programs; and supported legislation for quality, affordable health care for seniors and children.
As former chair of the North Carolina Women’s Legislative Caucus, Alma has helped to introduce numerous bills to strengthen laws to protect children, women and families and has been a key and vocal supporter of women’s health and reproductive rights.
In 2014, Alma won a special election for North Carolina’s 12th Congressional District to fill the remaining term of Representative Mel Watt. During her time in Congress, Alma has fought alongside President Obama to protect Social Security from radical Republican policies; continues fighting to increase the minimum wage; worked to expand the Charlotte Area Transit System and Douglas International Airport to ensure Charlotte is a competitive hub for travel and commerce; and launched the Adams’ Hunger Initiative to combat child hunger in North Carolina.
Alma Adams received her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in Art Education from North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro and took her Ph.D. in Art Education and Multicultural Education from The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio and has been a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority since 1978.
U.S. Representative, California’s 31st Congressional District
“I strongly support getting rid of dark money from politics and I have been actively campaigning on the need to overturn Citizens United to reduce the influence of of special interests. Under my leadership as Mayor, the city of Redlands, California was the first city in San Bernardino County to issue a resolution advocating for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United.” – Pete Aguilar