How do we make higher education opportunities available to all who want them? What role does government play in ensuring people have equal access to healthcare? How do we build policies to reduce the rate of gun violence in our state and around the nation?
These questions – and more – are what I plan to ask people around the 8th district over the course of the summer. To truly and adequately represent a group of people, you must first take time to listen to the diverse viewpoints within the population. I’ve encountered too many politicians who claim to “listen” to their constituents, while really waiting for their moment to speak and push their own political agenda. I’m dedicated to making the next 80 days a conversation, not a campaign.
However, anyone looking to run for public office must address the issues that drove them to that pursuit in the first place. The Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party Platform embodies my values and it is a set of principles I seek to promote in my daily life. Below you will find a few issues I’m particularly committed to progressing in my public and personal life. I’m determined to listen and learn from the people of the 8th district this summer as we seek to find solutions that address the pressing issues of our time.
Early Childhood Education – Putting our children on a path to success starts at birth. At the Humphrey School of Public Affairs I focused my thesis on closing the achievement gap for low-income and minority students through increased access to Kindergarten Readiness programs. Studies show the mathematics achievement gap is particularly stark for students in rural areas when compared to their suburban counterparts. I’m dedicated to ensuring families have the resources they need to prepare children for Kindergarten and beyond.
Public Safety and Crime Prevention – I’ve spent the bulk of my career in law enforcement and have seen firsthand the toll that violence and crime takes on our communities. Securing adequate resources for our local, state and federal agencies to combat these problems is essential. The establishment and maintenance of public trust is also critical. We must help to elevate the conversation surrounding law enforcement community relations and work towards a more fair and effective criminal justice system for all.
Infrastructure and Broadband Access – In the information age, reliable access to the internet has become indispensable to economic prosperity, educational success and civic engagement. Rural counties with a higher number of households connected to broadband have lower unemployment and higher incomes than those without widespread access. Schools increasingly integrate online courses and teaching tools into the curriculum, which may help decrease incidences of school absence. It is imperative we improve and expand access to broadband services in rural areas, a goal that can be furthered by including rural broadband in an anticipated federal infrastructure package.
Is there a specific issue you’d like to see addressed in your community? Contact me to discuss it!