Representative G. K. Butterfield

Representing the 1st District of North Carolina


Jobs & Justice


Financial stability and social justice are deeply interconnected.  Today, this factor remains as true as ever. However, families have to work harder and harder to realize their American dream.

Our nation and workforce are strongest when all individuals- regardless of race or ethnicity, location, or family wealth- have the opportunity to work hard and build a productive life.

We need a plan that creates more high-paying jobs and provides the support needed for workers to have the opportunity to get ahead.  And we need to help every family get ahead so they can not only make ends meet, but earn enough to save for a secure retirement.

The Jobs and Justice agenda calls for a recommitment to our founding principles of the American Dream, working to reverse years of inequality and injustice, and leveling the playing field for all.

Growing Our Economy & Creating Jobs

Congressman Butterfield is committed to policies that will help grow our economy and produce job opportunities for the people of the First district and across the state. The strength and ingenuity of the First district can power North Carolina into a new era of prosperity. Congressman Butterfield has substantially helped the First District in terms of improving transportation infrastructure and accessibility and developing urban and rural areas. 


Congressman Butterfield has long believed that regional economic success is directly linked to availability of transportation options. Since coming to Congress, Congressman Butterfield has helped to direct hundreds of millions of dollars to North Carolina that have benefited his constituents and all North Carolinians. Some examples of this include:

  • Securing more than $12 million to the City of Goldsboro for redevelopment of its historic Union Station and downtown for redevelopment;
  • Ensuring over $320 million in federal highway aid to eastern North Carolina;
  • Supporting $4 million for high speed rail for eastern North Carolina.

When cuts from sequestration threatened local airports, Congressman Butterfield worked with his colleagues across the aisle and appealed to USDOT to ensure their continued operation. Thanks to Congressman Butterfield and his colleagues, Kinston Regional Jetport and Coastal Carolina Regional Airport in New Bern were able to continue their operations and were not impacted by the cuts. 

In 2012, Congressman Butterfield supported grants totaling $2.8 million that went to making critical improvements to seven airports in eastern North Carolina. The funds benefited Martin County Airport;Northeastern Regional Airport (Chowan County); Oxford-Henderson Airport (Granville County); Plymouth Municipal Airport (Washington County); Tarboro-Edgecombe Airport (Edgecombe County); Tri-County Airport (Hertford County); and Warren Field (Beaufort County).

Rural and Urban Development

The First Congressional District is largely rural, but is anchored by several sizable population centers including Durham (Durham County), Goldsboro (Wayne County), Elizabeth City (Pasquotank County), and Greenville (Pitt County). Congressman Butterfield believes in maintaining the unique way of life enjoyed by his constituents and this means supporting smart investment and smart development and not a one-size-fits-all approach to fostering growth. 

To help bring sustainable jobs and economic development to the unique cities and towns in his district, Congressman Butterfield has worked hard to secure federal funds to foster smart investments in the district’s diverse regions. Recent accomplishments include:

  • $1.5 million for Northampton County for the development and construction of the County’s state-of-the-art vehicle research center.  The center is used for the development and testing of vehicles and alternative fuels and has the potential to employ 2,000 people.
  • $100,000 for the City of Durham for construction and renovation of streetscape improvements in the downtown area.
  • Nearly $75,000 for the City of Henderson for downtown revitalization.
  • $238,000 for the City of Henderson’s Embassy Square project.  The money was used to bolster construction efforts for the police department, city hall, the library, and performing arts facilities all located within the Embassy Square footprint.
  • $767,000 for the City of Wilson for downtown redevelopment and revitalization efforts and its gang prevention initiative.
  • $115,000 to the Town of Littleton to help renovate the town hall.
  • Nearly $200,000 for the Aviation Research and Commerce Development Park at the Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Regional Airport for hangar construction.
  • $400,000 to the New Bern Housing Authority for development of New Bern’s Five Points area.

And, in 2009, he worked with his North Carolina congressional colleagues to safeguard more than 1,000 jobs at the PCS Phosphate facility in Beaufort County. PCS is the county’s largest employer and its continued success is integral to the regional economy.

Butterfield Takes Action:

Congressman Butterfield with an elementary school studentExpanding Opportunity

The people of the First District deserve equal and fair access to the tools and opportunities that allow them to compete in the global workforce, earn decent wages, and have a fair shot at obtaining the American dream.

Congressman Butterfield believes in the opportunities that come with a quality education and job training. He has consistently supported projects in his district that work to increase student achievement and expand opportunities for his constituents. And as a result, Congressman Butterfield has directly influenced over $4 million of federal funds benefiting job training and special initiatives for education in his Congressional District.

Elementary and Secondary Education

He secured $2.3 million in education grants that went to nine school districts in eastern North Carolina. The funds were used for teacher development and training focused on driving student achievement in low income communities. 

Congressman Butterfield helped to secure $400 million for North Carolina’s public schools by advocating the state be selected for US Department of Education Race to the Top funds. North Carolina was one of 19 states to win a combined $4 billion to improve their public education system.

During reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, Congressman Butterfield supported more than $57 million in Title I funds coming to eastern North Carolina to support disadvantaged students.

Workforce Development

Congressman Butterfield also secured a grant of over $930,000 for Wilson OIC that was used to help train unemployed and dislocated workers in five ‘green’ industries: renewable electrical power, energy efficient building, construction and retrofit, recycling and waste reduction, and manufacturing. 

In 2011, Congressman Butterfield worked with the US Department of Labor to secure $875,000 for Smart Choices for Youth, Inc. located in Wilson. The organization used the federal grant to prepare out-of-school youth for careers through hands-on construction training and high school completion and GED programs. Thanks to Congressman Butterfield, Smart Choices for Youth, Inc. was the only entity in North Carolina to receive federal YouthBuild dollars.

Additionally he helped HBCU, Elizabeth City State University, secure $800,000 to rehabilitate 30 owner-operated homes; provide housing counseling and financial literacy for more than 300 area residents; assist first time home buyers with down payment assistance; and modernize a computer learning center that serves 120 adults and 300 children.

Butterfield Takes Action:

Ending Poverty and HungerBuilding Healthy Communities

Congressman Butterfield understands that a weakened U.S. economy depresses incomes, strains households, and eliminates entire job markets, making it harder for families to stay healthy and provide for their loved ones. He will continue to protect and improve crucial safety net programs that help families get back and remain on their feet after unexpected challenges.

Health Care

Access to health care is a moral imperative and a right that should be enjoyed by everyone, not a privilege reserved for the few. Congressman Butterfield has worked to secure federal dollars to improve the health outcomes of all his constituents and to support important health care programs in his Congressional District, some of which include:

  • $400,000 for East Carolina University to reduce health disparities through chronic disease management;
  • $1.4 million low interest loan to help expand the Harvest Family Health Center in Elm City;
  • $1.3 million grant to Greene County Health Care so that vulnerable populations is Greene and Pitt counties could have access to primary health care services;
  • $300,000 to Washington County for upgrades to equipment and facilities for Washington County Hospital; and
  • $240,000 for Lincoln Community Health Center in Durham for upgrades to equipment and facilities.

Butterfield also worked with the US Department of Health and Human Services to bring $1.5 million to ten community health centers in his Congressional District to help enroll North Carolinians in the health insurance marketplace.

In addition, he delivered over $330,000 to Halifax Community College to support their Nursing/Allied Health Expansion project. The funds were used to create a state-of-the-art Human Patient Simulator lab for nursing students and to equip two lecture halls with audio, visual, and distance education upgrades. 


Congressman Butterfield is a strong advocate of safeguarding the environment for future generations. To protect his constituents and their access to safe and secure drinking water and North Carolina’s natural resources, he has brought more than $14 million in federal dollars to his Congressional District.

He has addressed urgent concerns from several communities around the district about aging water systems, by helping to secure grants to improve water quality. In addition, Congressman Butterfield has helped to secure:

  • over $2 million for the Town of Bethel (Pitt County);
  • $4.7 million for Wayne Sanitary Districts (Wayne County);
  • $3.6 million for the Vance County Water District (Vance County);
  • $1 million for the City of Wilson Wastewater Infrastructure Program (Wilson County); and
  • $750,000 for the Town of Ahoskie for wastewater infrastructure improvements (Hertford County).

Congressman Butterfield facilitated getting nearly $3.3 million for the operations and maintenance of the Dismal Swamp Canal,which is a significant and historic resource for the region, and $500,000 for the North Carolina Biofuels Center before the Republican-led North Carolina legislature stopped its funding.

Public Safety

Congressman Butterfield's commitment to ensuring the safety and security of his constituents is one of his top priorities.  He has been a strong advocate of equipping first-responders and municipalities with the tools they need to protect their citizenry. He successfully directed over $6 million to his Congressional District to support public safety and service. Specifically, Congressman Butterfield secured:

  • $2.1 million loan and $200,000 grant for the City of Williamston that was used to renovate the public safety center housing first responders and emergency operations;
  • $600,000 for the City of Greenville Emergency Operations Center; and
  • Mor than over $68,000 for Washington County’s Creswell Fire Department to modernize and retrofit its fire truck to enable first responders to provide lifesaving services.

Butterfield Takes Action:

Congressman Butterfield speaking about civil rightsProtecting Voting Rights

As a former civil rights attorney and advocate of voting rights, Congressman Butterfield believes the right to vote embodies the spirit of American democracy. He works tirelessly to eliminate barriers that prevent North Carolinians from exercising their right to vote in free and fair elections. North Carolina is on the frontline of the new struggle for equality in voting, and Congressman Butterfield has fought the recent discriminatory changes to North Carolina’s election laws from the very beginning--bringing national attention to the issue. Butterfield is also a leader in Congress in restoring the voter protections contained in the Voting Rights Act after the Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the law leaving American voters across the country vulnerable to discriminatory and suppressive election law changes.

In North Carolina

Exactly 30 days after the Supreme Court struck down Section 4 (b) of the Voting Rights Act (VRA), opening the door to election law changes in North Carolina without the need of federal approval, the Republican-led North Carolina General Assembly seized the opportunity and passed one of the most suppressive voter ID laws in the country. Without evidence of widespread voter fraud in North Carolina and the knowledge that hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians could be disenfranchised, Governor Pat McCrory enacted the voter ID law on August 12, 2013. The voter ID law also contains election law changes that reduce early voting by a week, eliminates same-day registration, ends a high school civics program that pre-registers 16 and 17 year olds, and eliminates Sunday voting. The elimination of these programs will severely suppress North Carolinians’ ability to vote, especially African Americans, college students, and the poor. 

Congressman Butterfield has led the charge to fight against North Carolina’s suppressive voter ID law. He condemned the North Carolina Senate for passing the bill and called on the North Carolina House of Representatives to reject final passage of the bill. After the bill passed the North Carolina Legislature, Congressman Butterfield sent a letter to Governor McCrory urging him to veto it.

Since enactment of the voter ID law, Congressman Butterfield has spoken out against it on national news stations and from the Floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. He has also joined in Moral Mondays protests, and successfully urged the U.S. Department of Justice to file a lawsuit against the State of North Carolina under Section 2 of the VRA, challenging the constitutionality of North Carolina’s voter ID law.


Butterfield Takes Action:

Congressman Butterfield at the 2014 Bull City Stand DownSupporting Our Military & Veterans

As a veteran of the U.S. Army, Congressman Butterfield believes we need to do more for our veterans and servicemembers. One of the most important aspects of his job in Congress is to proudly represent and support servicemembers and their families.

Our nation’s resilience is largely owed to our brave men and women in uniform. The courage and conviction they bring to their jobs every day serves as an inspiration and it is critical they have the tools and resources necessary to defend our country and its citizens. 

As a result, Butterfield secured $3 million for Operation Re-Entry NC, a program run by East Carolina University that helps returning war veterans with the transition back to civilian life. 

Over a two year period, Congressman Butterfield helped to secure $28.3 million for the US Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City’s Rescue Diver Training facility.  Every USCG Rescue Diver is trained in Elizabeth City before they are stationed at Coast Guard installations around the country making the facility is absolutely integral to the Coast Guard’s mission. He also worked with the US Department of Homeland Security to bring $36 million to the Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City that was used to renovate the 500-person Thurn Hall Barracks.

For nearly ten years, Congressman Butterfield fought the US Navy’s efforts to bring an Outlying Landing Field to Gates County, North Carolina. He was ultimately successful when the Navy abandoned its Draft Environmental Impact Statement which was required in order to move the project further. The residents of Gates and the surrounding counties were unified in their opposition to the project because of its anticipated impact on the environment and resident’s daily lives. 

Butterfield Takes Action: