Cary Election

Candidate Questionnaire: Ya Liu

Cary, NC – This is an installment in our Candidate 2019 series, in which candidates get to respond in their own words to the same three questions.

We publish the responses in the order we receive them. This questionnaire is submitted by Ya Liu, running for the District D seat in Cary.

Why are you running?

13 years ago, Cary embraced me with open arms when attended graduate school at NC State, and my husband and I have since raised three beautiful children here. I am proud to call Cary home and am eager to give back to this great community that has given so much to me and my family. I decided to run because our district needs a hard-working, representative and forward-thinking leadership as our town changes. I look forward to the opportunity to work with citizens and the council to update our infrastructure, balance development and sustainability, protect our environment, and implement age-friendly policies.

What are your top three priorities and how will you accomplish them?

For Cary to continue to enjoy its high quality of life, we are going to have to have to be in front of Cary’s rapid growth. We know that growth presents tricky problems for housing, transit, sustainability, and maintaining quality municipal services. My top three issues are strengthening infrastructure, promoting sustainable growth, and improving the quality of life across generations.

Ever since I started my campaign, I have had the privilege of talking to many citizens, and one topic that comes up a lot is growth. My vision for Cary is a town with balanced growth. We should continue to welcome businesses that bring jobs and prosperity. At the same time, we must also ensure that growth doesn’t overwhelm our infrastructure and doesn’t compromise the quality of life for current residents. For example, traffic and school overflow are two top issues. As your councilwoman, I will work with ALL stakeholders on creative solutions to balance growth and alleviate pressures on housing, transit, and schools.

I will also work hard to build Cary into a more environmentally friendly town. We need to reduce energy and water consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and waste. We need to increase greenspace, plant more trees, and protect our natural resources. We should diversify our transit system, expand bus routes, build safer bike lanes, and make it easier to use public transportation.

Another key issue in our town is our growing senior population. Cary is a municipality with the second largest population of seniors in our state. We add about 5000 seniors every year, and Cary must be prepared to manage the demands of this demographic change. I grew up living with my parents and my grandmother who was paralyzed from a stroke in her 50s.  For more than 30 years, my parents were her primary caregivers and it’s from these experiences that I know first-hand what it’s like to care for a family member with disability. I will champion initiatives that provide sufficient housing, quality care and services to our seniors. With 20 years of experience conducting research on family sociology and public health, I am the candidate you can count on to make Cary an even better place to live, not just for seniors but for everyone.

Give us a brief bio and tell us about your relevant experience

I am a faculty member at Duke Law School, teaching research methods in law. I am also an attorney, specializing real estate law, corporate law, and immigration law. My background in academics and community service demonstrate my ability to problem solve and lead. I received a Ph.D in sociology at NC State and a J.D. from NC Central. I published over 20 articles on issues of aging, caregiving, public health, judicial behavior, and government agency rulemaking.

As an active citizen of Cary and leader in the Asian American community, I have given my time and energy to schools, political candidates, senior centers, and community events to help contribute to the vibrancy of this town. Through my involvement in planning the 2018 Taste of China Festival and the 2019 LIGHTUP Festival in Chapel Hill, I know first-hand experience of what it takes to involve and inspire a community. And this is what I enjoy doing and what I do best: bringing people closer and strengthening the fabric of our community. With my legal background, extensive research and leadership experience, and a track record of building community, I have the right skills and qualities to take on those challenges and work collaboratively to address the challenges in our town.


Facebook: YaLiu4Cary

Twitter: @YaLiu4Cary

Instagram: YaLiu4Cary

Read more in the Candidate 2019 series.

3 replies
  1. Kazi Rahman
    Kazi Rahman says:

    Congratulations on your win. As a long time resident of Cary, I always felt that Cary Town Council should look like population of Cary. It is real finally!

  2. Marshall Edgell
    Marshall Edgell says:

    George McDOwelll’s whole reason for running is to be in a position to get Cary to addressee global warming.His plan t o plant an enormous number of trees and see that the trees that are planted in response to mandates associated with development are planted in a sustainable fashion.would be a major step forward in terms of Cary’ air quality.

  3. George McDowell
    George McDowell says:

    Dr. Liu – I find it nearly incomprehensible that none of the candidates vying for the District D seat on Council have addressed the United Nations Secretary General’s recent warning that we [society] have but little time to act before climate change becomes runaway, and our technology will not have the ability to reverse it.

    We have had in Cary four days in 2018 where our air quality has been so poor that active healthy adults have been warned to avoid outdoor activity. [We were warned by the State – not the Town.] So far in 2019 there have been three more days where the air quality was so similarly bad that the same warning was issued. — “Active healthy adults,” not just the elderly or vulnerable children, but “active, healthy adults.”

    The asthma and bronchial rate among children aged zero to 14 in Wake County has tripled in the last 30 years, even as Cary has no heavy industry or other smokestack pollution. It is caused solely by the increase in pollution caused by the increase in the number of vehicles – which increases at the rate of five per day, every day – combined with the staggering rate of loss of the ONLY things that drawdown that pollution – trees.

    We hear the palliative mantra so often that it becomes ingrained in our minds, and we are seduced by it: “Cary is a great place to live, work, and play.” Even as we and our children are slowly suffocated.

    Do you believe that climate is changing as a result of human action?

    Do you believe that a Town that adds five cars per day – every day – while chopping down 120 trees per day – every day – will improve its air quality? How? By a miracle?

    How far down the road can we kick this particular can? This Council should consider its legacy, and how it [and each member of it] will be remembered by future generations.

    I realize that in certain circles in Town it is de rigeur to avoid principled discussion of these difficult issues, but such avoidance – while allowing entrance into the inner circle – is ruinous to us citizens.

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