"RIGHT TO WORK" IS WRONG FOR MISSOURI (AND AMERICA)
All one has to do is look what “Right to Work” has done for the state of Kansas. Are there any Missourians that actually say, “Hey we should be more like Kansas?” Heck no. We should protect and strengthen our workers not strip them of their wages and their rights. I am an ally of the working class; I myself have struggled to make ends meet. If we want to strengthen Missouri families we must do that by providing a livable wage. “Right to Work” will only drive down wages that are already too low and reduce the ability of our workforce to bargain with their employers. Our country’s prosperity depends on our workers not the lining of the pockets of the wealthy.
A LIVING WAGE
The federal minimum wage is not a livable wage. An arbitrary increase in the minimum wage is not sufficient and instead we must be focused on what a livable wage has to be for our citizens. Working multiple jobs at minimum wage might build a livable wage, but it does not support the needs of our Missouri families. There is no justification for allowing people in our country to live below poverty lines while working full-time.. We must get rid of “Right to Work” and find a way to pay America's workers.
MADE IN THE USA
Our own Federal government benefits from the great skill and industry that it has within its borders and they should be required to purchase everything it buys “Made in America” from American owned businesses. Whether it is pencils and paper or military aircraft, everything should be "Made in the USA." I believe we should support our workers, our unions, and our local businesses through our purchasing power.
HEALTHCARE FOR ALL
Healthcare is a right, not a privilege. It is not about money, it is about providing care to those who need it. I do not want people to confuse insurance with care and yet, the two are often interchanged. Let us try to view healthcare as it once was: A guarantee of medical care when needed. It is time to stop the bankruptcies and destroyed lives that come from unimaginable insurance costs and the resulting medical bills. Medical providers, nurses, and the support staff work long hours in a too often thankless field. They are trying to do their best for the patients that they serve while navigating the nuances of Governmental and Insurance restrictions. Our country’s healthcare is a difficult issue, but it did not have to become as complicated as it has while Congress sat around placing blame on one another. We need solutions, not political rhetoric.
HEALTHIER WOMEN AND BABIES
As in all healthcare, education is paramount in providing the best care and that is no different when it comes to Women’s health. I firmly believe that with more education and by providing better healthcare, the need to terminate a pregnancy will diminish significantly. A Physician Assistant's oath is to save and protect life when we can, but a part of that oath is educating the patient about their healthcare options, utilizing safe practices, and permitting a woman the right to choose how her body is treated. I am pro-choice. Being pro-choice is about healthcare. It is about education. It is about helping women carry out their choices and the full range of options available to them.
Everyday I see people and families that are destroyed by the Opioid epidemic. Each year since 2016 more Americans have died in a single year from Opioid related deaths than died in all of the Vietnam War. We have not even begun to fight this battle. We should open crisis centers in every major city that assist these people with everything from addiction counseling to the disposal of the drugs. We should also take a harder line so that doctor’s and providers follow the guidelines released by the CDC regarding the prescribing of Opioids. There needs to be a nationwide prescription drug monitor program to help in the battling of this problem as well.
Education is not just important, it is the most important thing. The erosion of our education system is the erosion of our future. The one thing that has been guaranteed in our country is the right to a public education and that right must be protected. There is not enough funding and the idea of taking funding away from schools is ridiculous. Our schools are understaffed and teachers are underpaid. Our schools are the backbone of the small towns that make up the 7th Congressional District. It is well past time that we remind Congress that providing aid to states for education is the only way to increase the performance of schools, their students and the next generation of workers.
FINANCIAL AID REFORM
Student loans cost too much. Paying back loans that students have becomes impossible when we barely pay a wage worth living on, let alone paying back loans. We must reform how we provide aid for college, or we must provide free higher education to all. The days of a higher degree meaning greater paychecks are gone and most Americans are swimming in debt. What was once a credit crisis with too much spending is now an education crisis. We need to seek logical and solutions that benefit all to this incredibly pervasive problem.
RESPONSIBLE GUN OWNERSHIP
Until the NRA becomes what the NRA once was, I will not support them or take money from them. There is a sensible and reasonable answer to gun violence in our schools, on our streets, and in communities. Following the advice of groups that seek reasonable legislation--not to one extreme or another--is where I look to find new gun policies. Like many Southwest Missouri citizens, I am a responsible gun owner--but the protection of our fellow citizens must also be a priority and I will not forget that. I support responsible gun owners and reasonable gun laws.
We are stewards of the earth. We must aggressively and proactively protect our environment and the future of our planet. The idea that environmental care is somehow not the responsibility of humans or that it is exaggerated in its importance is unethical. We were told from the beginning of time that we were to take care and manage and bring forth sustenance from the earth—not that we were to take it for what it had and drain it of energy and life. I promise that I will support legislation which takes into account the environmental and health impact of every policy. I promise that I will sign legislation that protects our farmers and our ability to keep our soil rich, our air clean, and our water safe. It is important that we balance our needs as humans with preserving our earth.
Everyone should be allowed to live the life they choose—this idea has been at the core of American values since the birth of our nation. We do not want people to take away our rights or freedoms and this must include the basic building blocks of being human: Relationships. No one wants to be told how to live their life or what to do in their own home. Therefore, people should be allowed to love whom they wish and marry who they want to marry. We must ensure that NO citizens are considered “second class.” No citizen should be left to fend for themselves and we should build our communities and the core units of our communities: Families. Therefore, I support MONA and legislation that protects citizens equally.
Despite what Representative Long has said in the past, the people in District 7 do care about Internet access and high-speed access. Internet access and high-speed access allows the people of southwest Missouri to access educational and employment opportunities that we have not had in the past. We know that it requires infrastructure and maintenance for the Ozarks to truly join the digital job market and to compete on a greater scale. Manufacturing jobs are good, skilled workers are important, but we also need to move our District forward in more job creation. It will not be an easy task to draw people to the southwest Missouri area and the Ozarks if they cannot have the same opportunities they have in other places. Our state and our cities in the District are full of fantastic communities and wonderful people willing to work together. There is a reason people stay in this area once they come here or are born here—it is because of the people of District 7. We should not change our people, but we do need to provide the opportunity for progress for all of our citizens.