I support fully-funded public schools from Pre-K to grade 14 – 2 years of community college.
Public funding should be for public education, not private. Citizens in this country have a choice of schools for their children: they can open-enroll into other districts if they do not care for the schools where they live. They can enroll their children in their local charter school. They can pay to enroll their children in parochial or private schools. School choice IS available in this country, but private or religious (parochial) schools should NOT receive public funds. We decided as a nation many years ago that an educated populace was important for a healthy society. Therefore, the education that is FREE to the public should be paid for and regulated by the public. The public regulates the education system by electing school boards and legislators who reflect their ideals and goals for their local school districts.
What we do with our bodies is an essential freedom.
This freedom covers a wide array of choices that individuals make. Should they seek counsel from their doctor, partner, friends, God -or other deity-, and family, that is also a personal decision and the government has no place in that decision. The government should not be regulating any personal bodily choices including, but not limited to, family planning, choice of partner, and expression of culture or gender.
EQUITY IS EVERYTHING!
I will work toward:
- Equity of educational spending throughout the state
- Systemic changes for increased inclusivity
- Removal of barriers to encourage economic and community success
- Protected classes should remain protected
LOVE IS LOVE…
and the civil rights that come with a civil partnership under the law should be extended to any and all kinds of partners.
Partners should have the same legal rights as traditional married couples when it pertains to Power of Attorney, Adoption/Parental rights, and Medical Decisions.
People should have the power to live as they chose to live and present themselves in the way that they feel is correct for them. Should this involve more than clothing and hair – things such as hormone therapy or physical changes in the body – all people should have the right to make these choices (see bodily autonomy section) and they should have these processes covered by insurance.
Bullying or any type of discrimination against those in the LGBTQIA+ community should be against the law.
Economy of SD19
I am often surprised at how disconnected some politicians are to the ACTUAL cost of living for citizens: milk, meat, electricity, heat, and, of course, fuel costs are continuing to go up.
My goal is to speak to local business owners, both small and large, and learn about their needs for the future. What will make the economy of SD19 grow? I believe a good start is with a well-educated and -trained workforce and then we see how far we can take the economy of our communities from there.
Maintaining healthy, productive farms is essential to the economy of our part of Minnesota.
As a state legislature, we should continue to subsidize cover crops, and help farmers implement more sustainable practices. *See also: cannabis / hemp section
We must increase our care of those who served.
Services in the areas of mental health and occupational therapy should be more readily available to our veterans. We should always fully fund veterans’ programs.
COVID-19 brought out both the best and the worst in us.
It shined a light on how some very bad practices from major corporations make the entire economy vulnerable. Offering a minimum paid sick leave of 10 days per year should be required of every employer. It shined a light on how important our front line and service workers are to our economy and started a trend of workers’ empowerment that I hope continues to gain strength. It showed our communities how important in-school learning is for children. It also showed us that our schools do much more than just teach our children – many schools provided free meals to students even when school was not in session.
Cannabis / Hemp
Cannabis should be legal, all cannabis-related events should be legal, and previous convictions should be expunged. Cannabis production, sale, and use should be regulated, taxed, and restricted as alcohol is.
Hemp is an amazing agriculture product that grows quickly and can be used for many, many products: from fabric to paper, from building materials to fuel. We should be exploring and expanding hemp production in the state.
We must attack climate change aggressively from both sides: the input (fuels) side and the output (polluter) side.
The need for more reliable, affordable, and sustainable alternative fuel sources has never been more prevalent than right now. Subsidizing home improvements like electric vehicle charging stations, solar panels, and water-saving products will also help encourage citizens to make those changes in their homes.
The supply chain issues coupled with the Russian invasion of Ukraine has put dependence on oil on the hot seat. Yes, we must follow the 3-Rs of Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle, but that is only on a small individual scale. Large factories, giant livestock farms, and vehicles are the largest polluters and we need to find some good solutions to their impacts on the environment sooner rather than later.
Basic, universal health care is a human right.
No one should go bankrupt because of cancer, a long NICU stay for their infant, or any other reason. The Emergency Room should NOT be someone’s primary care facility. People should be able to go to the doctor at first onset of symptoms, when catching and curing an illness is more likely and successful rather than waiting until they are emergent or have no other option because their symptoms are so severe, they have no choice but to go in and deal with the costs. No one should be rationing insulin. No one should be trying to decide if they purchase antibiotics for their child or feed them supper.
People should also be able to purchase private insurance options, but basic, universal health coverage- including prescription drugs- should be the norm in one of the wealthiest nations in the world.
The right to bear arms against a tyrannical government has never been in question in this nation. I do not oppose people owning guns for hunting or personal protection. Minnesota already has good regulations and requirements in place for people who want to buy firearms. However, the private sales and gun shows or flea markets should not be exempt from those regulations and background checks. We need to close those loopholes and require ALL gun sales – or transfers / inheritances – be regulated as strongly as purchases from a store are.
I believe that public transportation should be more readily available to all citizens. We must improve our infrastructure in Minnesota to have safe roads and bridges, expand passenger train use, and support smaller communities’ expansion of public transportation plus encourage citizens to use it.
I think our elections do a good job of holding government officials accountable for their voting records and how well they represent their constituents.
However, for specific accountability, the government officials should be reminded that they serve their people and not business or lobbyists. Often the objectives of the lobbyists and companies they represent are contradictory to what the people want or need, and no government official should keep their job if they continually vote for what the companies want and not what the people want.
I believe that we have a lot of work to do to close loopholes for large corporations as they avoid paying taxes every year.
The average ($30,000-$75,000 per year) citizen should NOT be paying more in taxes than a single person making more than $750,000 per year or a household making more than 1 million dollars per year.