Ensuring a quality education for Wisconsin's future workforce and next generation of innovators must always be high on our state's priority list. The public school funding model is not strong and lends too much uncertainty for scholars and parents. Significant investment in special education is imperative in order to simply keep pace with the current need. I'll provide an open minded approach to ensure schools are funded properly and tangible accountability measures are put in place for both public and choice schools.
Health care is a basic human right. Every single Wisconsinite should never have to choose between their health and their economic place in life. A healthier population leads to benefits for everyone. We would have a stronger workforce to boost the economy, lower health care costs, and provide affordable prescription drugs. The often ignored topics of mental health and addiction also need significant overhaul. Truly addressing these also helps contribute to drastically reducing homelessness in Wisconsin.
Legislative leadership in Wisconsin has long relied on antiquated tax laws to claim faux tax cuts while passing the buck to municipalities and counties all over Wisconsin. In order for Wisconsin to thrive, we must maintain and grow 3 key sectors of our population. Our eager innovators who want to start or invest in a new business need to have incentive to remain in Wisconsin. Our middle class cannot continue to see their local taxes rise and rise each year because of the out of date expenditure restraint program. Our experienced population need a tax friendly environment to spend their retired years in our beautiful state. The need for changes in our tax laws is significant and will simply require many new leaders at the table to provide a solution that benefits both metro and rural areas.
Gun Violence Prevention:
Just as with all amendments to the Constitution, I believe in the 2nd amendment. Many in the 97th district and all over Wisconsin are lawful gun owners. Hunting is a Wisconsin pastime and the right to bear arms is not and will not be infringed upon. What disappoints me is that this one amendment has been politicized and used to divide. All this while gun violence has taken far too many lives in ways our society. Like the large majority of residents, I believe in universal background checks; this includes gun show sales. I do believe in red flag laws because the unfortunate fact is that mental health problems in our country have grown faster than our laws have been able to keep up. I do want to make something clear: I do not support the NRA. The NRA is not the 2nd amendment. But a resident is free to support both if they so choose. My opponent will surely post a picture with a firearm. I will not. I've used firearms and been trained, but I just choose to stick to the issue of your rights and not platitudes to earn votes.
Fair Map Redistricting:
For Wisconsin to ever achieve a truly fair representative government we must no longer allow already elected representatives to choose their voters. I am in favor of having a non-partisan commission take over the redistricting of Wisconsin's assembly maps. The best example of this is what the state of Iowa adopted. Our current system ignores the will of the people and forces "upset victories" in many cases to enact change. The only way a seat should be considered "safe" is when the elected person earns it. This should be the same for both republicans as well as democrats. As a member of the common council in the city of Waukesha I asked my colleagues to at least allow a non-binding referendum question for the voters to weigh in. Even they voted it down. The majority passed the buck to the state (who won't act), leaving the will of the people without a voice. When I'm elected this will change. It's unfortunate that a fair map has become a partisan issue but our state in a prosperous place when everyone's vote matters and there are fair options on your ballot. You have that in 2020 in district 97.
I believe in a woman's right to choose. Since January of 1973 that has been the law in our country. Regardless of Republican or Democrat majorities, that has not changed. The topic of "abortion" is often used by Republicans to raise money and lure voters, yet the law has never changed. To be clear, no one likes abortion. How a woman, either single or married, chooses to plan a family is a personal decision between them and their doctor. I support equal health care options for women just as I also believe equal pay and treatment is an area of opportunity for Wisconsin. I will not vote for a law that makes it more difficult for women to get the proper health care as they see fit.
I fully support marriage equality, and I always have. I believe it is government's job to aide in the pursuit of happiness and not push specific religious beliefs on constituents. Thankfully the courts and society agree with this and many strides have been made. But work still remains for equality. Banning conversion therapy needs to happen at the state level. Until recently, when the Supreme Court ruled, an employer could discriminate against an employee for their sexual orientation. I support equal rights for all, and treating everyone with the respect and dignity they deserve. Love is love.
I believe in science and that the majority of climate issues are man made. Here in Wisconsin we are blessed to have a mix of urban and rural areas that incur their own challenges but also need their own solutions. The Trump administration and the Wisconsin Republicans who support him have spent the last 4 years crippling family farms that has been here for generations. Our rural areas maintain the needed environment stabilization that urban developed areas cannot. Clean water and sustainability are two areas we need to be proactive on the state level. We found in the case of Waukesha that obtaining a long term clean water solution takes a lot of time, work and money. Other communities in our state will face a similar dilemma over the next decade. Municipalities all over the state need to be conducting sustainability studies that will not only help their long term impact on the environment but will also lower costs over time. Both issues need to be addressed by leaders in Madison like me. I would first promote the grants already available, both state and federal, and after cannabis reform is passed, a percentage of the revenue to the state from recreational sales would be reinvested in these grants.