Issues & Political Concerns
The most critical message of my campaign is unity. The polarization of partisan politics often saddens me. I believe it is time for people of all political beliefs and backgrounds to come together and find common ground. I believe the people are better served when the mission is to serve the needs of the people rather than win political battles for our parties.
LISTEN, STOP ASSUMING
My second message is a call for elected officials to listen to the people’s voices to determine their needs. I believe the time of elected officials simply assuming they know how to meet their constituents’ needs is over. There needs to be more public forums and opportunities for citizens’ voices to be heard directly by their elected officials, not just through email. Even if elected officials do not always agree with what is being said by their communities, there still must be a considerable effort to seek out their thoughts and opinions on matters that will ultimately affect their lives. As your representative, I will always be clear and transparent about my decisions and the sources that inform them.
The third message of my campaign is to emphasize the need to develop the education system, infrastructure, and small businesses within my community. Teachers and schools are doing everything they can to provide quality education, and the legislature should equip them with all the resources necessary to make that a possibility. I think it is critical for legislation to be structured to remove the red tape for non-profit organizations to obtain the resources they need to serve their communities better. I believe small business owners should maintain their life’s work while still paying their employees a liveable wage.
As a former educator, I care deeply for our education system. I’ve witnessed limitations placed on individual schools that directly affect their ability to provide quality education to students. The quality of one’s education should not be based on a student’s zip code, and the expectations placed on a student should not be based on socioeconomic status or race. We've seen teacher shortages, which directly reflect the lack of appreciation and compensation for educators. As your representative, I will fight for a raise in teacher pay and benefits.
Over the course of the history of our country, we’ve seen the perils of inequities in our justice system, especially as it pertains to the treatment of black and brown people. This inequality touches us all and creates a community where there is more distrust than trust in the system. One key piece that must be reviewed on a national level as a local and state are the laws that have been created and enforced to exacerbate this issue. Laws that aren’t enforced equally are unfair laws and must be removed or modified to ensure that they can not be used to unfairly target a specific racial demographic.
ENDING VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
South Carolina has a strange habit of being at the bottom of areas that we’d like to be at the top and at the top of areas that we’d like to be at the bottom. When it comes to violence against women, this applies directly. There needs to be a more concerted effort to ensure that violence against women is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law to act as a deterrent for future offenders. Also, preventative measures including in-school programs that directly address conflict resolution and identifying healthy behaviors in a relationship can act as mitigating activities. This is something that I have experienced through my work in the non-profit sector. As a husband and father of four daughters, I find it paramount that we do everything we can to protect our women and end domestic violence as much as humanly possible.
In South Carolina, there’s been a renewed effort to attack and limit LGBTQIA+ rights. These attacks go after the basic human needs of citizens and they should be protected via legislation. Our campaign will be an ear to the LGBTQIA+ community and be an ally to their cause. Specifically, I oppose any legislation that denies medical treatment to a person based on “moral” disagreement.
REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS AND JUSTICE
Women should have the right to choose what happens with their bodies in all instances withstanding medical advice. Women’s right to choose must be protected.
I believe in term limits. When a single person can hold office for any amount of time they desire, it creates a concentration of power that I believe to be problematic at a minimum. A transfer of authority allows new voices to come to the table with fresh perspectives and provides much-needed creativity with legislation. New faces in the legislature make room for representatives to be in touch with their community, which is left to be desired in politics today.
The people of the state of South Carolina are better served by having a fair shot at the American dream. This dream is more and more difficult to achieve when there are significant gaps in wage, education, lifestyle inequality due to no fault of the impacted people. There must be a concerted effort to identify and eliminate these gaps where they exist. As Dr. King once stated, “A threat to justice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Economic justice is no different.
There are legislative ways that we can mitigate the gaps and the impacts thereof by partnering educational institutions with nonprofit organizations and workforce development programs but also more thorough oversight of hiring and wage distribution audits within organizations as well.
BIGGEST CHALLENGE IN SC
The greatest challenge to the state of South Carolina will be to first correct the issues in education. We can not continue to be amongst the worst states regarding educating our children. We have to find a way to support our schools' teachers, administrators, and staff members. This particular issue will bleed into every other area of our state’s viability if we don’t make our schools a priority.