"I come from a proud family that has been involved in public service for as long as I can remember. I want to work for YOU. I am ready to work for YOU. Together we need to create more living wage jobs, improve our schools, and make public safety, substance abuse in particular, a top priority. With nearly a decade of government experience, I know what it takes to find solutions, navigate complicated governmental agencies, and work together to get things done."
LIST OF ISSUES
ECONOMIC GROWTH and DEVELOPMENT
The economic future of our state is a huge concern. There has been a considerable decline in our states population and a decrease in available jobs for a workforce. Since our predicted peak level of employment isn’t until 2021, we must work hard to find solutions to address these issues. These hard-economic times have prompted West Virginia to make a positive thrust toward encouraging in-migration as a strategy to lessen the severity of our natural population decline and look toward generating a push toward those more non-traditional industries that can provide a future with positive outcomes. In addition to those non-traditional industries of natural gas, construction and manufacturing industries, economic development strategies need to focus on ways to improve health and education outcomes in the state to make West Virginia’s workforce more attractive to potential businesses.
Not only is education the key to attracting potential businesses, it is one of the largest employers in our state. For this reason alone, education must be considered as a critical and fundamental area in need of improvement for West Virginia. Recruiting, preparing, and retaining good teachers must be the central strategy for improving our schools and it is my intention to bring those issues to the forefront among legislators during my term. It is imperative that we find a way to provide our child-ren with qualified and certified educators. And to do so, providing competitive salaries and benefit packages that are more likely to attract suitable candidates who have strong academic credentials and who have completed a rigorous teacher preparation program is the direction we must proceed. In addition, collaboration with higher education to target and recruit top candidates to enter teaching is imperative. And we must be able to establish and maintain intensive, long-term induction programs that focus on helping new teachers meet challenging professional performance standards.
COMPREHENSIVE ADDICTION and RECOVERY PLAN
Heroin and opiate addiction is destroying lives, disrupting families and destabilizing communities. The opioid epidemic that has spread so much despair and death across our state over the last two decades must be eliminated. We have only just scratched the surface in addressing the issue and must continue developing more workable solutions to effectively reduce and hopefully, eradicate this devastating epidemic from our great state. By supporting and improving access to treatment and recovery services; promoting the use of overdose-reversing drugs; strengthening our understanding of the epidemic through better public health surveillance; providing support for cutting-edge research on pain and addiction; and advancing better practices for pain management, we can win this war together.