Care Not Cuffs
Every dollar spent locking up a nonviolent drug offender is a dollar that should be used for treating addiction. Let’s be tough on addiction, not tough on addicts. Our jails are full and our police and state troopers are understaffed, overworked and underpaid. Prisons for profit are immoral and they should not be the first place we incarcerate nonviolent drug offenders.
Investing in Education, Infrastructure & Broadband
We must provide incentives for families to stay and live in WV. When every surrounding state has better schools and jobs with better pay, it’s clear that we must invest in education and infrastructure while we diversify our workforce to handle the changing face of the modern world. This includes pay raises for all public employees, which can initially be paid for by not allowing wealthy oil & gas companies to get a free ride on the backs of us taxpayers. We also need to bring all of West Virginia into the 21st century by having broadband internet access available across the state – thereby increasing access to education and employment opportunities while attracting new businesses.
Working & Middle Class Tax Cuts
Trickle down economics hasn’t worked and was actually never designed to help out working families. WV laborers have been providing America and the world with hard work and abundant natural resources, and yet we are nearly at the bottom of the barrel economically and educationally. The wealthy class benefits from this sort of exploitation because they get huge bonuses from corporations and tax breaks delivered from the lawmakers that they have bought out through corrupt campaign finance laws. The working and middle class deserves a well-earned break. At every juncture, I will vote in favor of working families and will support legislation that helps everyday WV citizens.
Insurance companies have no incentive to take care of people when they need it most. They are profit-driven and there is no place for business trying to make money on our illness and misfortune. Single-Payer models have been shown to save taxpayers money and provide more access to needed care without the looming fear of going bankrupt.
District 53 is ripe for an agricultural revitalization. A focus on value-added products from our bountiful farms and transitioning to natural farming methods is a top priority. We need to find ways to keep more money in WV instead of always being taken advantage of for cheap exports. I’ll work to provide farmers and small farmers’ markets with resources to educate, market, and grow their businesses in healthy ways. Agri-tourism is another area that would boost the economy in District 53. Promoting our farms as places for people to learn and understand more about how their food is grown and raised is a win-win with the potential to create lifelong customers.
West Virginia needs agricultural diversification, new industry, and better jobs. Industrial hemp literally has thousands of uses and applications. Some of its many uses are: medicine, food, fiber, fuel, high-tech batteries, building materials, and bioplastics. On top of that, it helps clean up toxic soils. It is already being researched here in WV and will be a boon to our economy. If money doesn’t grow on trees, let’s watch it grow in our fields and let it create jobs in our communities.
Election Finance Reform
The corrupting influence of dark money has no place in our electoral system. Our representative government has been hijacked by monied corporate interests and many of our elected officials no longer answer to the will of the people. Our democracy was never meant to operate like this and I’ll work to clean up the current mess and push for transparent public financing of all elections in WV.