| Bucks County Courier Times
Today, we see that our health care is only as good as our neighbors’ health care. Our safety, schools, and finances are inextricably tied to our neighbors. Together, with communication and compassion, we can weather this pandemic and build a better tomorrow. Families deserve leaders who understand that planning and preparation are the foundations needed to weather inevitable storms. Turbulent times should not come as a surprise. The question is, “Are we prepared when they arrive?” not, “Who can we blame?”
Bridges fail, snowstorms hit, economies slide, and viruses spread. Failing to plan is planning to fail. For too long, Harrisburg politicians have short-changed pensions, infrastructure, schools, and health care. They act surprised when inevitable events occur. We can do better. I promise to work as your representative as I have always worked: with energy, honesty, and a clear eye on the future.
I am a dedicated husband, father, and former small business owner. I’ve worked to create families wherever I’ve worked, studied, or played. I started a building products business in 2007, promising my employees we would work together and focus on customers. Then, in 2008, the Great Recession hit us like a hurricane. Our small company lost money for three straight years. I kept my promise, never missing payroll or a health insurance payment. By 2011, the economy was recovering and our business grew. We paid our debts, increased benefits, compensation, and our level of service to customers. That’s accountability. It is that accountability I will bring to Harrisburg.
Finding common ground and listening are keys to ending the divisiveness in our government. For thirty years, I have worked with bankers, builders, lawyers, and contractors — many holding political views different from my own. We worked together in good faith, building trust and respect. This is how to bridge the divides in government. In office, I will build alliances by listening, learning, and finding common ground to address tough problems. Our government should work efficiently for us. Indeed, this is how we learn to address social justice and end institutional biases.
COVID-19, the opioid epidemic, and rising medical costs are challenging us. Access to quality, affordable healthcare reduces the overall costs of care as the number of emergencies and the severity of illnesses are reduced with preventative care. Re-establishing school nursing programs, and mental health and substance abuse disorder clinics will reduce emergency room costs. Tough penalties for the criminals and industries that profit from the sale of addictive drugs will also lower medical costs. The regulated use of medical and recreational marijuana may play a role in cost reduction since licensing and tighter controls will improve quality and supply.
I support common-sense gun safety reforms to reduce mass shootings and gun deaths. I will advocate for universal background checks, required reporting for lost and stolen guns, and safe-storage requirements. Establishing extreme-risk protection orders will safely and temporarily remove guns from individuals in crisis. These policies will protect our communities and our rights and freedoms.
Our educational system has slid from being one of the most respected in the country. We have one of the highest illiteracy rates and lowest high school graduation rates nationwide. Our state has been ducking its responsibility, reducing its contribution to education from 60% of the cost to less than 40%. Local property taxes have risen while academic affordability and success have dropped. I support fair-funding and a stronger commitment to education. Additionally, we must create fair voting districts without the manipulation of gerrymandering. Together we can bring our state back with a strong economy, safe streets, and high-quality schools and healthcare.