The term "transparency" was used a lot in the last general election. However, that is the best term to describe this page. There are a lot of issues, and we still remain very divided. With most candidate websites, they only touch on a few issues and give their viewpoints. I am posting as many as possible. If there is something missing that you would like my stance on, please contact me and I will get it posted. Hopefully this page will help us find some common ground to use common sense, to start coming back together and making progress for our district, state and nation.
First and foremost on issues that I am worried about, is education. It is my belief, to truly solve today's problems, we must do a better job at educating the youth of tomorrow. We have to increase funding for public education. We need better facilities and textbook costs need lowered. How can we worry about tuition-free college, if we can't provide a child a good K-12 education? We must address those issues first. Curriculums need reviewed and revised. Children not learning such basics as cursive handwriting or how to count change, means that they are not job or life-ready. Ironically, more and more children are getting left behind, maybe not in grade advancement, but personal development. Some schools in our district have as low as an 80% graduation rate. We have to make sure our school boards and superintendents are held to ethical standards, and there is a process in place when they are not. Take a look at the recent mess in my hometown. The school system is a disaster, and we have to ensure that does not become a wide-spread problem. Teachers need the utmost level of financial support so they are not having to fund their own classrooms, and taking more money out of their already underpaid salary. I would like to find some type of buddy system to pair higher ranking state schools with lower ranking schools to help them find success. We have to stop putting such financial emphasis on test scores and start making sure these children are receiving the development they deserve for a fantastic future.
2. Southern Indiana Bridge Tolls
This is a high priority on my issues because it interferes with a large number of consituent's income, and is another complete disaster. In 2014, the average daily crossings of the Kennedy Bridge was 140,640. In January 2017, the first month of toll crossings, the average number of daily crossings for all three toll bridges, was 81,000. That means, approximately 60,000 have taken to the second street bridge, the 64 bridge, or have decided to stay on their sides of the river, potentially hurting commerce. It was originally stated that tolls would make up for half of the $2.5 billion dollar cost. If these toll rates were renegotiated, and all means of transportation for all crossings to a flat rate of $1, and we re-couped those 60,000 daily crossings, the toll portion of the bridges would be paid for in the year 2041, not 2068 as some reports are suggesting. I look forward to working with Kentucky leadership to shorten the time span and costs of these tolls, and putting more money back in your pocket.
We hear all politicians say that we need to create better paying jobs, but it never happens. I am of the belief that we need to make our current jobs better. My campaign motto of "we are an overworked, underpaid, tired, anxiety-driven, unhealthy nation", is derived directly from our current state of workforce. Big businesses have become untouchable when it comes to discrimination and ethics. They are getting away with paying people $8 an hour for $16 an hour expectations. Paying salaried employees $35,000 a year, but expecting 55-60 hours of their time, and providing no work life balance. This has to stop. The United States of America has one of the lowest average vacation time rates in the world. We need to make it less glorious to stay at home receiving government assistance, and make people want to get back to work. I would like to see minimum wage increased to $10 per hour. I would like to see the 40 hour work week cut to 35 hours per week, with overtime paid thereafter. It used to be that people lived near their job. Now the average commute is 25 minutes. Reducing the daily schedule to 7 hours, gives people back an hour of their day. Rested employees are productive employees. I would like to see the nonsense of being open on hoildays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas put to an end. We need that time to cherish with friends, family and neighbors. I would like to see more support for small business. This is America. There needs to be more opportunity for people to live the American dream. If you can cook, you should be able to open a restaurant. If you can sew, you should be able to open a clothing store. The list goes on and on. If you want to get behind the phrase "Made In America", nothing rings more true than supporting local businesses. That includes purchasing from them at a consumer level and support from a government level to ensure their success.
This is a completely different topic than healthcare and insurance. I am referring here to the wellness of our bodies and minds. Did you know that the top three causes of death in the Ninth District are lung cancer, heart disease and vascular diseases. Reasons for these issues can be contributed to stress, smoking, and diet and exercise. By taking on workforce expectations, I believe we can make a positive impact on stress. I look forward to working with stellar organizations such as the American Heart Association to raise awareness of the dangers of smoking and to bring more attention to heart healthy habits. We need a more national presence on holding the fast food industry accountable. Calorie counts should be mandatory, and 50% of menu choices should be healthy options. There is no reason an avocado should cost more than a mcdouble.
Mental health needs to become a priority. We are filled with anxiety. 40 million of us are affected with anxiety and it is usually dismissed and swept under the rug. Therapy sessions need to be more affordable and available through insurance programs. Doctors need to stop being so quick to prescribe anti-depressants and uncover other viable options for treatment, as some of these make conditions worse. We need more access and understanding of structure-function care. A lot of times, disease processes can be solved by vitamin or mineral imbalances in our body that regular doctors do not uncover. Personally, I had a thryoid issue that nearly all primary care doctors left untouched, but with structure-function care, my thryoid levels were normalized within a year.
We also have to solve the pill and drug epidemic in parts of the ninth district. By providing better treatment options to those already addicted, we can help reduce this issue.
5. Insurance and Healthcare
It's as simple as this, it's time for one plan, one price. It's 2017, it shouldn't be this difficult. There should be no outrageous deductibles to meet, pre-existing conditions should not even come into play. Doctors should not be allowed to charge $750 an hour, but only spend 10 minutes with you. It's complete extortion. You can be assured that I will be fighting for fairness in the medical industry. Doctors and hospitals must be held accountable. Again, it's time for one plan, one affordable price.
6. Livable Housing and the Environment
Among the two places I have lived in Clark County, one has left me with a leak that was full of E. Coli for over two months, and in Charlestown, the water is as brown as it is in Flint, MI. Apparently it's a long standing problem that seriously needs addressed. If I have experienced both of these issues, I can only imagine what other issues lie within the ninth district. We have to uncover these issues and hold landlords accountable, as well as cities to provide clean and safe drinking water. We are not a third world country. We shouldn't have living conditions that represent one.
7. Adoption Awareness
Now for the elephant in the room, abortion issues. I prefer to call it adoption awareness, because I feel like we need to do a better job at promoting adoption, rather than being so anti-abortion. Let me just give you my three thoughts on the subject:
1. As a man, I do not think it is my right to make a decision on what a woman should be allowed to do with her body.
2. As a human being, I don't think it is my right to dictate or judge what another human being decides to do with their body.
3. I think it is a safe, viable option, decided by the courts a long time ago. Though I would still like to see more emphasis on adoption.
8. Credit Card Reform
Let's face it, credit cards are a big issue of most of our financial problems. There needs to be some type of proposal to crack down on the credit card industry. 30% interest rates need to be a thing of the past, and the lenders need to be held accountable for allowing more credit than a person can afford. We need to establish some type of forgiveness program, to allow people to get their credit scores back on track, and on the road to financial freedom.
9. Election Integrity
I do not deny that perhaps there were illegal votes cast in the last election. I also do not deny that Hillary Clinton, like Al Gore, was completely screwed over by the electoral college. We have to take a new look at this antiquated system, and make sure our elections are fair and every vote is truly counted.
10. Equal Rights
As an openly gay male, fortunately I don't feel like I have ever been discriminated against, based upon my sexuality. That doesn't mean that it doesn't exist however, and there is still a lot of fight to be had on equal rights. On discrimination disclosures the sentence should be, "We do not discriminate against human beings." We have to remove the labels on discrimination completely. There should be no discrimination based on age, sex, gender, marital status, economic status, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity, PERIOD. If you are a breathing person, you are not subject to any discrimination.