CURRENT ISSUES TN DISTRICT 14 IS FACING
In 2019, our Republican-led State House voted on the ESA, better known as the voucher bill. This bill pulls money away from our public schools and pumps it into private schools. History shows that the voucher program has led to failing schools and corruption. My opponent, Jason Zachary, initially voted against the bill. Zachary claimed that the voucher bill was a bad bill for the state. After a break in the voting and a back-room deal, Jason Zachary flipped his vote in support of the voucher bill. He sold out our students, our teachers, and our future. Now, Zachary and other lawmakers are under federal and state investigation for corruption. I am firmly against the voucher system. I believe that we must fund all public schools in our state equally so that all children get a fair chance to succeed.
I will fight to get pay raises for all teachers and school staff. The teachers in our state are underpaid and deserve to be paid a wage that is competitive with the best paid American teachers. We must seek to better fund our classrooms. Too often, teachers are being forced to spend their own money to purchase school supplies, without compensation. We are better than this.
I will also seek to enhance technical and vocational training in our schools. I will look to partner companies with local schools so that when these students graduate, they have good paying jobs waiting for them and Tennessee companies can strengthen their workforce.
Healthcare, Opioids, and the Pandemic
Opioid use has become an epidemic that is destroying lives and families. We can seek to enhance drug counseling and detox centers to combat addiction. We must also seek to eliminate the big money from pharmaceutical companies that are pouring into hospitals and the pockets of doctors and politicians.
Our state continues to close rural hospitals, limiting access to care for thousands. We must seek to better fund our healthcare system while also lowering costs. We can start by cutting much of the unnecessary administrative red tape and expanding Medicaid. Medicaid expansion is essential. This is especially true as we face a pandemic. My opponent and his colleagues in the State House have laughed off the pandemic, meanwhile, thousands are sick and dying. They even passed legislation claiming the media was “sensationalizing COVID 19 coverage”. Meanwhile, no real legislation has been passed that will help Tennesseans who have lost jobs or become ill due to the virus. Our people deserve the best care possible and I will fight for them each day.
Jobs & Economic Prosperity
Simply bringing jobs to Tennessee is not good enough. We need to bring quality employment to Tennessee so that workers are not being forced to work multiple jobs.
We can improve infrastructure and encourage business growth by assisting new entrepreneurs and small businesses. We can lead the way in research and renewable energy jobs. And, while my opponent caters to big business, I believe must do more to protect and boost the working class. We must raise the minimum wage so that our citizens are not forced to work multiple jobs just to make ends meet.
If elected I will fight to hand the government back to the citizens. I believe that the biggest problem in politics is big money and career politicians.
Since the Supreme Court decided on the cases of Citizens United, we have witnessed a tsunami of money flood and corrupt our election system. Career politicians consistently ignore their constituents. They are being bought by large corporations. This has disrupted our election system and is destroying our country.
Here in Tennessee, we can seek to limit campaign contributions from large corporations. We can increase the number of referendums on the ballot so that Tennesseans can make the choices that will affect their lives. I think we should also lead the way in setting term limits on government offices. Serving as an elected official should be a service to the state, not a career.
By instituting term limits, we can limit government corruption. Term limits also will allow more citizens the opportunity to serve and to bring about fresh new ideas.
There is a consensus that the earth’s climate is drastically changing. In recent years we have experienced the damage caused by drought and wildfire. Despite President Trump withdrawing from The Paris Climate Accord, we have witnessed many states and corporations make the decision to continue to abide by the agreement.
I think Tennessee should make the same commitment. We should seek alternative energy sources that will benefit our environment as well as create new job opportunities for Tennesseans. We must seek to protect our environment today, we can no longer wait.
Tennesseans are proud of our beautiful lands. We enjoy outdoor activities like hiking in the Smokies, hunting, fishing, and boating. We must ensure that we are doing all we can to protect our beautiful lands and precious resources. We must provide incentives to move toward clean energy while also creating more greenways and protecting our lakes and rivers.
Our state cannot succeed if we are holding back half of the population. Therefore, I believe we need to ensure women receive equal pay for equal work. This is something that is long past due. When women are not paid equally then they suffer, families suffer, and our state suffers.
We can also lead the way in ensuring that women receive paid maternity leave. No family should suffer financially because of the birth of a new child.
Additionally, we need to work towards creating work environments where sexual harassment is not tolerated and employees feel safe reporting such matters. It is time that our state takes care of its women.