It's time for the state legislature to tackle our affordable housing crisis in South Carolina. Too many people in the Charleston area have to drive an hour or more just to go to work, all due to gentrification and the skyrocketing cost of housing.
I'll be a champion for more affordable housing and make sure that you spend more time with your family and less time in your car.
WOMEN'S REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH
I support a woman's right to choose and believe that we need to protect that right, and improve resources for women to make that choice, without government interference. We need to fully fund women's health clinics and increase public support to improve facilities, particularly in underserved communities.
We need to reform our healthcare laws to increase our focus on women’s health. This includes improving access for women in vulnerable situations to see top physicians and procuring services in a safe and uninhibited environment. It also means making sure that these services are fully covered under all employer-sponsored health plans, including in the public sector.
Finally, we need to fight the efforts of anti-choice advocates by properly educating the public on the benefits of investing in women’s health across the board. This is something that I would put a regular focus on at town-halls and in other public-facing outreach, to ensure that our residents are aware of the services available.
A GREEN ECONOMY
Business interests and conservation should not be mutually exclusive. We should expect business owners in our state to be good corporate citizens and always have the protection and conservation of our state's natural resources and beauty in mind when making business decisions. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, and as such, I would not only support business regulations to prevent the degradation of our environment, but also incentivize businesses who make conservation-focused decisions to protect it.
Climate change is both real and man-made and the impacts of it are far too-often felt the earliest and hardest in minority and underserved communities. It's past time for our elected leaders to accept the overwhelming scientific evidence that proves the fact, end the debate on climate change, and begin working toward a new green economy.
As a product of the public education system, I understand the gaps in educational outcomes - high school graduation rates, college readiness and workforce advancements based on race, class and geography. These issues are magnified in underserved communities and it is the role of the government to help bridge this divide. I believe that in order to succeed we must invest in ourselves and our children. If given the honor to represent District 109 I will work tirelessly to be that bridge to make sure that every child - no matter their socioeconomic status - has an opportunity to further their own learning.
THE RIGHT TO VOTE
I support expanding absentee, early, and mail-in voting and will work tirelessly to improve and ease every South Carolina resident's right to vote.
I also support automatic voter registration at age 18, and the overall easing voter ID laws. We need to expand the accepted forms of ID with which someone can provide as proof as name and/or address to include things such as a high school or college ID, library card, or even a fishing license.
COVID-19 has resulted in unimaginable death tolls and economic peril, disproportionately impacting our vulnerable and underserved communities. Now, the challenge is two-fold: How do we recover from this pandemic, AND, how do we prepare ourselves to better handle similar crises in the future?
First, in order to recover, we must continue to rely on sound medical guidance to lower the rates of infection now. This includes adhering to social distancing recommendations and increasing testing and tracing, particularly amongst vulnerable communities.
We also need to put people back to work. This means not just re-hiring people to the jobs that were lost. We need to sustainably transform our economy and uplift our lower and middle classes by investing in our communities. This means increasing funding for education, healthcare and transportation, and incentivizing conservation-focused ventures across our district and state.
And finally, yes, we need to prepare for future health pandemics. Our biggest failure in handling our current crisis has been our reactive approach, when we should have been acting proactively from the beginning. On the health front, this means the appointment of a South Carolina Pandemic Task Force, consisting of top healthcare officials and leaders in a number of scientific fields assigned to tracking infectious diseases across the country and state, and putting in place guidelines, policy recommendations, and safety procedures for any and all scenarios.
We must be prepared economically as well. This means making sure so-called 'rainy-day' funds are protected and used efficiently to support individuals and small-business who suffer hardship and/or job-loss due to crises like this one, exponentially higher rates of which come from communities like ours.