People keep coming here and then telling me that I need to post an "ISSUES" page that describes my position on various topics so that they can decide if they like me. (Or not!) With my philosophy on data-driven decision making. I like to make decisions based on all of the available facts, and considering subjects from all points of view after an in-depth analysis.
I am quickly learning that is not the way it usually works in politics, especially in the current year. Everyone seems to be lining up behind their biggest financial contributors, or the pre-determined party position. At least with me, you can be sure that I will consider the facts before making up my mind about anything, and that I remain open to changing it when presented with new information.
Also, I am not beholden to any corporate interests, lobbyists, or party.
With that said, here are some of my thoughts on some issues:
Science is real and doesn't depend on what you believe. It is just what we know so far about how the world works. If science tells us that the earth's climate is changing, and that human activity can affect it, then we should be doing everything possible to preserve and protect our planet for the sake of future generations.
Because I even had to make the above statement, I believe in the value of a good education. For everyone. I attended public schools and so did my children. My mother was a public school teacher. We all learned a lot. But the data says that Michigan achievement levels are not keeping up with the rest of the U.S. and the world. So something has to be done to turn that around. There are various proposals out there, and I am looking at them for a better understanding of what they could do. Above all, any action needs to keep the students in mind, and focus on improving the outcome for all of them.
Everyone deserves to have access to quality health care, no matter who they are, or what they do. There is so much that needs to be done on this, both at a Federal and State level. In addition to science these decisions also need to come from a perspective of empathy over profit.
The state is not adequately funding the upkeep of our roads, bridges, water/sewer systems, and communications infrastructure, and it is starting to show. The wear on your car increases by driving on bad roads, but school buses, farm trucks, mail carriers, etc are affected too. We should have learned a lesson from the Flint water crisis. Failing to do things right the first time will cost more later. It's bad for the economy. It's math.
It takes money to keep Michigan functioning. Taxes aren't inherently bad, and taking pledges regarding to how to manage them does not result in the best policies. As an engineer, I learned how to always seek efficiencies and improve value. I hope to use those skills when I'm in the house. I do know that improving people's lives eventually improves the economy which generates more funds for the services we all use. Greed is what holds us back.
People like to talk about how many women are running for office this year. That includes me and it's great! But having more women involved in the government is just one improvement towards what I think really needs to change. Women need respect. In the workplace, in society, in our culture and in our media. Respect women enough to value their work, their lives, and their ability to make their own choices.
I'm not talking about a bratty kid stealing money on the playground. Bullying is a mindset that whoever has the power gets to have their way without regard to anyone else. That is not a good way to run a government. I won't use bullying to get things done, but I will stand up to those who try to use bully tactics instead of listening and logic.
I respect the part that guns play in hunting, shooting sports, and protection and their importance to many residents in this district. Along with many gun owners, I also place a high priority on safety, especially regarding children, which is why I support the platform of the non-partisan organization Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action.
This issue has been used to divide us, but I believe that there is a space for common ground when we look at our values. If we share the common goal of reducing the occurrence of abortion in our country, there is data that tells us the way to do that is to make it more feasible to have and raise children by ensuring affordable health care, affordable child care, a higher minimum wage, maternity, sick, and family leave, and affordable post-secondary education, rather than criminalizing the procedure.