For over a century, the world viewed America as a global leader and reliable ally. Unfortunately, the erratic, often self-contradictory, messages Republicans continue to send out of Washington are straining our alliances and emboldening our adversaries. The world is a more dangerous place without America’s steadfast leadership and resolve. From cybersecurity to terrorism, the threats of the next century will not recognize borders. Strong alliances will be necessary for our national security, now is not the time to risk losing our allies.
I’ve spent most of my adult life in the 10th District. From my childhood on a farm in Yale, high school in Utica, and currently living in Lexington, to travelling the Thumb for fun — I love the 10th District. I’ve met people from every walk of life working to make their communities stronger by working together. Most of the time, politics has had nothing to do with it. I’d like to represent that reality. I have strong convictions, but I’m always open to talk, to find common-ground and do it in a respectful way that should never seem old-fashioned.
I was raised on a family farm in the Thumb, so agricultural issues are extremely important to me. I will work for fair farm policies — including common-sense subsidies that put family farms ahead of corporate agribusiness. I want to expand opportunities for a new generation of true family farms that take advantage of the organic and farm-to-table movements. I will also push to expand sustainable and diverse economic development like tourism and alternative energy production to make the 10th District thrive in every season.
There are 18.5 million veterans nationwide and for many of them their fight continues long after their service ends. 650,000 veterans call Michigan home. 13% of them have a service connected disability rating, nearly 11% are unemployed, approximately 8% live in poverty, and as many as 1,000 are homeless. They protected us and now we need to protect them by pushing for a more efficient VA guaranteeing they have the resources they need for treatment, education and job training. We need to keep working until every veteran has a home and the care they need.
I believe everyone has the right to affordable healthcare. I will fight any attempts that are made to take away health care from the over 40,000 people in the 10th District who gained coverage under the Affordable Care Act. I will also fight any attempt to bring back pre-existing conditions or cut Medicare or Medicaid coverage. Congress should come together to improve the ACA by covering more people and lowering costs — especially the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs. I am open to any proposals that expand coverage and lower costs, but I will fight with all my power to make sure we don’t turn back the clock.
Although largely unnoticed, an energy revolution is already well underway. Solar and wind industries are expanding rapidly, creating jobs 12 times faster than the rest of the economy. We know our energy infrastructure must be updated to meet the challenges of the future. Technological advances and falling costs of installation have combined to provide a unique opportunity for Michigan to make smart investments in the energy systems of the future and bring promising careers to Michigan at the same time. We need a representative in Washington that understands this opportunity and will work to make it a reality.
Roads and Bridges:
We need to elect leaders with the courage to make serious investments in our infrastructure. The American Society of Civil Engineers grades the national infrastructure at a D+. Right here in Michigan 21% of public roads are classified as being in poor condition (costing an estimated $540 per motorist each year) and 11% of our bridges are rated structurally deficient. Every year we delay the dangers from failing infrastructure rise, along with the cost we will be forced to pay in the future.
Many people believe Washington, D.C. is broken because of the corrosive influence money in politics. I will advocate for historic and real campaign finance reform that takes the special interest money out of elections so citizens can once again trust in their government. I’ll take on partisan gerrymandering, fight voter suppression efforts, and do all I can to make it easier for more eligible people in our communities to exercise their precious right to vote. I will also work with fellow patriots who want to make sure that our elections are safe from foreign attack, including advocating for paper ballots in all elections so who wins is never in question.
I am always about working smart. That’s why I will also support any common-sense legislation that will help our federal government run more honestly and efficiently, and work with both sides to make that happen.
K-12 Performance and Accountability:
Michigan and the nation have implemented several reforms to education over the years, almost always with mixed results. I believe we need to reevaluate what works well and design better accountability when policies fail. The primary focus of K-12 policy should guarantee our children are the first priority. We need to empower great teachers to use the methods that work best in their own classrooms and we need to hold public and charter schools equally accountable for their performance.
University and Technical Education:
Secondary education is a necessity for more career fields now than ever before. We need policies that increase access to universities and technical training, support for young people willing to work hard and invest in their future, and oversight to punish predatory scams designed to take advantage of students.
The United States began with a simple idea liberty and justice for all. Liberty to pursue one’s own interests and justice to ensure equal treatment in that pursuit. We cannot avoid the fact that throughout history someone has been condemned to second class citizenship on the basis of race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation preventing them from achieving all they otherwise would. I want to be part of the fight to change that because every step forward strengthens our communities and our nation.
Our Great Lakes are the largest fresh water bodies in the world. Beyond the source of clean drinking water for the people of the 10th District and beyond, these waterways play a key role in the economy of the region. With responsible oversight and commonsense protections, this vital resource can continue to be a sustainable resource for future generations, and one of the economic drivers that keeps them here.