As your elected leader in Frankfort, I will strive to make government work for you. That means listening to the people FIRST. My vision is to be a state representative who is responsive to you. This vision requires several commitments to citizens of the district and goals to achieve the vision.
1) Education funding is our top priority. Our public schools are the backbone of our counties and the district. I have worked in education for nearly 30 years and see it for its faults and benefits. However, we cannot fix what’s wrong with our public schools if we adopt short-sighted policy. Starving our public schools of funds will not fix them. It only sets our schools on a path to decay. I will protect public education both in Frankfort and in the 74th.
2) I will focus on the bigger picture. A state representative should have a 30,000-foot view, not be lost in the weeds. Too much of what goes on in the state legislature is attention to minutia, things that do nothing to serve the district, improve the state, or solve our big issues. While it is important for a representative to serve the district, we must remember that the best way to do that is to take high-level thinking to the job.
3) I will continue to meet with everyday citizens in my commitment to understand how to serve you best. Once elected, I will continue hold regular meetings for constituents, attend community meetings, and give my time freely to anyone who is interested in making our communities a model for the rest of Kentucky. This begins with listening to the people.
4) I will work to introduce legislation to enact voting by mail. This will expand participation in our democratic process, ensure greater protection of public health, and provide a fair and efficient way to run elections. Other states already do this and we can learn from them. My goal will be to phase in the plan over several years, with a fully functional system in operation by 2024, with in-person voting options still available. The measure would improve our low participation in elections and also shift resources to support the United States Postal Service, which is vital to our rural communities.
5) I will continue to provide useful information to all of my constituents. That includes my best attempt to provide data about the 74th District and provide insightful policy considerations. I will seek input from our citizens during our legislative sessions. Democracies perform best when citizens are informed. My responsibility to citizens is to use my training to inform you about things that affect you.
6) I will promote unity in our neighborhoods. In Frankfort, I will seek to work with people, regardless of party, who also want to promote strong communities. As your representative, I will seek to bring people together to solve our problems. We are in the same boat, and it is up to all of us to treat one another as we wish to be treated. I will always advocate for our better angels.
7) Healthcare should be accessible for all. As a progressive leader, I will do my part to support smart policy that will improve the health of our citizens. I will advocate and promote legislation that guarantees fair and affordable healthcare for everyone.
8) I will prioritize environmental protection and cultural preservation. Our natural beauty and historic assets are vital to our economy and a large part of our unique culture and heritage. We are blessed with the Daniel Boone National Forest, Cave Run Lake, Red River Gorge, beautiful farmland, historic buildings…the list goes on. We must continue to protect what makes us special in the 74th District.
9) I will develop opportunities for young people in the 74th to engage in volunteering and community efforts. I would like to build on my experiences in higher education and develop a district-based youth development program. As Appalachian youth continue to leave their homes at an ever growing rate, it is vital now more than ever that we create programs and infrastructure that keep youth engaged and supported. Our young people can make an immense contribution if they are empowered and equipped to do so.
10) My vision is to make government work for us, not against us. We must do our part as citizens, and our leaders must carefully consider the impact of legislation before voting on it. Our leaders are not elected to improve their lot first, and they should make a solemn promise to not profit from their service. I pledge to use my professional knowledge to ensure that in matters of money and direction, our interests are protected.