We must build our country so that all of our citizens have Opportunity, Security and Freedom.
The Elements of Opportunity
The key to our economic recovery is putting the 6 District middle class back to work by
Putting American Jobs First. When the middle class is succeeding, we all succeed. We cannot be distracted from this. We cannot continue to give our jobs away to overseas competitors. We must work with our community banks to make lending to small business easier. We must work with our major corporations to invest in job creation here. We must tailor our educational system to better prepare our youth for the 21st century jobs. We must invest in our infrastructure to keep our roads, bridges, and airports functioning and safe. We must consider broadband connectivity a part of the infrastructure so that we can create business even in the most rural parts of our district.
We need to make the proper investment in educating our children so that they are prepared for adult life. My proposal is to begin education at 3 years old instead of 5 years old. We need a more flexible community college curriculum to best match the opportunities coming to a specific area. This would call on the North Carolina State General Assembly to fulfill its responsibility to competitively fund our K-12 public schools and make public education a true advantage for North Carolina.
We are undergoing a technological change in American energy. Our priority should be to become energy independent. Then we should enable the shift to more environmentally friendly forms of energy such as solar, wind and natural gas. We should acknowledge that the shift will cause job transitions in the coal and oil industries. We must help those workers make a smooth transition.
We have a net reduction of undocumented immigrants in this country over the last three years. Building a fence to control the border is a false promise of security as it will only keep people here during this out flow. There should be a rational policy of guest worker visas that allow for workers to come, work and pay taxes while they are here. Workers that stay for a length of time, learn English and have a clean record should be able to apply for permanent status and ultimately for citizenship.
The elements of Freedom
I believe the Second Amendment of the Constitution is correct in allowing the possession of fire arms. The truth is that we have 350 million guns in the hands of 330 million Americans. The thought of control is naïve. We do need to enforce the laws that we have. If we cannot pass some common sense provisions to restrict sale to people on the no-fly list, the terror watch list and to undocumented immigrants, then nothing will pass. We should attack the issue that causes more gun deaths than any other and that is mental health. We experience 16,000 deaths a year because the government has cut resources for mental health providers and facilities. We need to rapidly expand our efforts there, not only to prevent suicides but also take care of our veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Family and Values
I think we should undertake a study of the structure of the family in America to understand that if there are policies that tend to cause separation, we should modernize our policies.
The incumbent would deny a woman the right of reproductive choice for any reason. Although abortions are an unfortunate choice they should be accessible, safe and seldom. I believe that a woman has the right to terminate a pregnancy for any reason within the first three months and then afterwards to protect her own life. Without a common sense policy like this we will sentence women back to the back alley with a coat hanger again which will end up costing her life. The reimbursement for services at Planned Parenthood should not be cancelled as they only apply to non-pregnancy termination services.
As it pertains to the issue of sexual orientation and gender identity, we are all God’s children and all should be treated that way. I am an ally and abhor laws that disenfranchise the LGBT community, as well as views that attempt to marginalize them.
The Elements of Security
- Being a Vietnam War veteran and the father of a Bosnian War veteran, I believe we need to do what we must to keep our country free and safe. Here are my tenants of our foreign policy:
Our sons and daughters should not be the world’s policeman.
- Our commitment to Israel’s security is resolute.
- We need to empower our allies to take care of their own challenges.
- We need to advance our technology to stay ahead of our adversaries, especially with lower cost unmanned capabilities and laser weaponry.
- We need to secure our cyber networks to protect our economy and energy grid.
- We must increase our human intelligence effort overseas to understand the threats.
- ISIS is a threat and we must employ all of our allies to confront them.
- Securing all nuclear materials all over the world is a key to our continued safety.
Veterans of our armed forces need to be cared for properly, quickly and completely to respect the sacrifices that they and their families have made. No excuses.
We must build on the success of the Affordable Care Act rather than repealing it. There are changes that need to be made in order for it to work in the long term. The guiding principle is that everyone should have access to affordable health care and coverage. The faster we get to that, the better the system will work. We must negotiate drug costs, eliminate the “Cadillac tax,” eliminate the medical device tax, expand the Medicaid program to cover the people in the gap, allow purchase across state lines and find a way to keep people in the plan once they have gotten their “big health issue” taken care of. We must also raise the hours for mandated corporate coverage to 40 hours and 100 employee minimum. This will allow folks to work a full time job and for small businesses to hire more workers.
Medicare should not be forced to go to a voucher system. This would violate the promise made at the program’s inception and has been validated by every Congress since then. It should be fully funded and appropriate collections should be made to keep it solvent.
Social Security is in jeopardy and needs to be funded so that the future of our seniors is secure. This is the essential savings program of this country and must be funded properly and its funds must be protected to provide this security.
Food Insecurity is a big issue in our district. We have 20% of our country living in poverty and 29.6% of our children have an insecure food supply. We must feed our people in need.