If elected I will work towards the 6 pillars of RiseUpWV by the following:
- Support and expand union power and bargaining rights. I want to make it easier to unionize and harder to bust them. I want to end Right to Work and Prevailing Wage as do most candidates. But I also want to unionize state workers, enable sector wide bargaining, and include labor in every economic decision. My favorite quote is, “you can have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, or you can have Democracy. You cannot have both.” I believe that we need to rise up the salaries of all working people and the only way to do that is with a robust and effective union presence in all sectors of the economy.
- A strong social safety net is necessary to ensure those at the bottom are not left behind. I pledge to support and expand all efforts to raise people up. This includes raising the amount of resources and the time on assistance. Far too often people seek out employment only to find out they lose benefits once employment begins. That is a trap that keeps people forever on assistance. Redesign the system by tiering down benefits so that employment is encouraged.
- Fully fund the public education system and raise teacher salaries to the average of our surrounding states. End charter schools and lower bureaucracy to let our teachers teach. End the war on teachers once and for all. A strong public education system is the #1 engine to raise up a new generation of West Virginians. And we have a constitutional obligation to fully fund it.
- I pledge to bring all marginalized groups into a welcoming society. We are all stronger together. In particular I want to work towards ending the stigma of drug addiction and treating recovery as a lifelong disease akin to diabetes or cancer. We have lost an entire generation to this crisis and those in recovery are the largest marginalized group in WV. There is no solution to the drug and addiction crisis without a full reintegration of those into society.
- Our citizens need a transparent government. Only then can true democracy flourish. I pledge once elected to be open to my constituents at all times and once a week to host brown bag lunches where the public is invited to meet with me one on one. From a legislative standpoint I favor public financing of elections, an end to dark money in politics, and increased openness in all government actions.
- Climate change is the #1 issue facing the next generation. There can be no compromise with the threat of extinction. I feel we need a just transition of our economy away from fossil fuels that does not leave our coal miners out of work and our coal communities destitute. I am in favor of a robust green new deal to develop the renewable energy infrastructure necessary to protect our planet. I want these projects in WV and in coal communities. Only then can we get the necessary buy-in to protect our planet and secure our people’s economic future.