Our state needs a Medicaid expansion. First and foremost, a medicaid expansion serves to benefit all of us. It will give working families access to the medical coverage they need. It will help us to battle the opioid crisis that is gripping our western communities.
It will also provide economic benefits to our area in the form of new, good paying, jobs. When more people can afford to go to the doctor, those doctors need more staff. We will be able to bring much needed specialists and clinics to our rural communities so people don't have to drive an hour to see a doctor. We will keep the protections in place for those with pre-existing conditions, something our GOP legislators have been working feverishly to undermine.
Lastly, it will not cost our citizens a dime. We already have the money, it is federally guaranteed. All we have to do is pass it.
raising the minimum wage
There are many reasons to raise the minimum wage to a livable wage. The biggest? No one who works 40 hours a week should struggle to pay rent, buy groceries, and pay for childcare. Unfortunately we have too many families who fall into this category. Families who are earning too much to qualify for public assistance but not earning enough to provide basic necessities.
Raising wages benefits all of us. It will give people a path to get off public assistance. It will push wages up in every sector of employment. Jobs that require degrees/specialized training will have to raise wages to compete. When people earn more we get a boost to our local economy. That money goes back into local businesses, those businesses can hire more employees. Its a "trickle-up" economic theory.
We need to invest more in public education, plain and simple. Our children are our future, they deserve the best education possible. That means decreasing, if not stopping altogether, the public funds going into private school voucher programs and increasing the funds going to our western mountain counties. We still have schools who don't have access to something as basic as broadband internet.
We need to pay our teachers, support staff, and assistants more. It's time we give them pay that recognizes the responsibility they have willingly taken on. Without teachers, we wouldn't have doctors, lawyers, scientists, or any other profession. Our children deserve to have a school they can be proud of and we need to be enticing good teachers to want to teach in our schools.
We need to significantly step up our funding into early education. The earlier our children are introduced to education, the better. We have so many working families who fall into the gap of making too much to qualify for headstart but still can't afford to pay for pre-school. By expanding funding to NC Pre-K we can meet that need and give our children the best possible start.
The evidence of climate change is all around us and we can no longer ignore it. From our amazing mountains to our beautiful coastline, North Carolina is a special place. I know we all want to keep it that way. We need to make continued investments in renewable energy, protect our mountains and coastline, and hold polluters accountable. Every North Carolina family deserves access to clean water and air. Let's work to keep our state beautiful for generations to come.
The 2nd amendment
I believe in our second amendment right to bear arms. I also believe in common sense gun legislation. That means universal background checks, registration, and red flag laws. The fact is, in my lifetime, every single mass shooting has been carried out with legally purchased weapons. I do not blame the weapons. Guns don't kill people, people do right? However, it is obvious that in every single case our gun laws did not do what they were designed to do. We should not have to have armed guards at every church, grocery store, or school. We should not be pushing to arm our teachers, they have enough responsibility educating our children. I think we all can think of someone in our lives who shouldn't have access to a weapon, right?
I have to have a license to drive, hunt, and fish. I have to register every vehicle, boat, and RV I own. Why should we not have to do the same with our weapons? It's common sense guys.... and if it will save even one life, it is worth it!
I support a woman's right to choose. Plain and simple. I will always defend that right.
The fact is there are many reasons a woman chooses abortion, and none of those reasons are any of our business. Who are we to think we know whats best for someone else? If we really want to bring down abortion rates there are areas in our society that we can work on that do not involve banning it. For instance, eliminating the abstinence only policy in schools and giving young people actual sex education that teaches them how to properly protect themselves. Making sure birth control is easily accessible and affordable. Bringing down the poverty rates in our communities. Addressing those issues will bring down rates of abortion while making sure the procedure stays safe for the women who choose it. If we ban it or restrict it, we will not stop women from having them, we will only make unsafe for women to have them, leading to more loss of life.
While we can not do anything about the federal legalization of marijuana, there are things we can do at the state level to legalize it. I support every bill designed to legalize marijuana for medical and recreational use in North Carolina. We have done good to decriminalize it, but we can do more. There are many benefits to legalization, both economic and social.
Legalization will create many new jobs. We will need growers to cultivate and process, leading to many new local jobs. We will need retailers to sell the product, leading to more local jobs. We will have to have people that can inspect and regulate the product, keeping it safe and bringing more jobs. All these jobs lead to more revenue, money that can be invested back in our public school system. Money that can be invested in continuing the fight against the opioid epidemic. We are talking hundreds of millions in revenue and tens of thousands of new jobs. It just makes sense financially.
Socially there are a number of benefits as well. Studies have shown marijuana's potential to treat a number of illnesses. It will help to decrease the strain on our criminal justice system and free up resources that can be used to fight other criminal activity. There is also strong evidence showing marijuana's potential to help us battle the opioid crisis. There is no evidence that teen use rises in states that have legalized. Furthermore a majority of people, 2 out of 3, now agree with at least some form of legalization. I think it's time we listen voters.