Here are my views on some common issues. If you have additional questions, please reach out to me here! I want to hear from you!

Something lacking in far too many of our representatives is HIA: Honesty, integrity, and accountability. When we elect representatives we expect them to... represent us. That means they work for us and should be answerable to us. Ask your representatives (current and aspiring), to provide details on what they have done for others, what they are currently working on, and what they will do if you elect or re-elect them. Demand specifics, don’t accept vague generalities. Ask them to clarify their stances and provide resources to back up what they say. Far too many representatives are getting away with blatant lies that no one ever fact-checks. Think about what issues matter the most to you, and then ask where they stand on those issues. Then follow up by checking their voting record. Your tax dollars pay their wages and expenses, you deserve a return on your investment.

We need to get the dark money out of politics and we need to preserve voting rights. Voting rights are currently under attack all across the nation. Special interest groups and their wealthy backers should not have more of a say than hard-working Minnesotans. Support candidates who put people over politics.

Below is a list of opportunities for improvement, but more importantly, what can I do for you? Please reach out and share what matters most to you. I am listening!

Click on an issue to show more information.

A living wage is a wage that ensures all of a person’s basic needs are met while allowing enough of a buffer to be able to put something away in savings. Many larger corporations rely on public assistance to subsidize their employees so that they don’t have to pay a living wage, offer full-time employment, or benefits such as health insurance, paid sick leave, paid vacation, or paid family leave. This needs to change.

The USA is the ONLY first-world industrialized nation that does not guarantee healthcare to all of its citizens. Fifty percent of Americans carry medical debt and it is the number one reason for filing bankruptcy. As many as one in three Americans say they skip or delay medical care due to cost.

Why do we have deductibles and copayments when we already pay premiums every month? That is paying twice—largely to sustain an insurance middle-man industry which can deny coverage or payment, even when it is deemed necessary by medical professionals. Doctors shouldn’t have to fight insurers to get their patients the care they require, and no one should have to risk bankruptcy to take care of their health.

We are paying someone to stand between us and our doctors to decide whether or not we can have the treatments our doctors are recommending. Why are we doing that? (Hint: because insurance companies are spending millions of dollars to influence our representatives to vote against Universal Healthcare…)

Prescription drug costs in the USA are more than two and a half times higher than other countries, amounting to ten percent of medical costs. Any medication needed for survival should have less expensive generic options available and a cap on cost. Private profits should NEVER take priority over human life. Also, it’s a little known fact that our tax dollars often subsidized the development of the medications that we then pay inflated prices for, thanks to big pharma spending millions to influence our representatives to first get the subsidies and then to block price regulation. This needs to change.

Opioid abuse has been on the rise in Minnesota for a number of years, particularly in the synthetic form with meth being the most common. Only one in ten Americans with a substance abuse disorder receives treatment, in part due to a lack of availability of treatment facilities. Alexandria is currently working on getting a new treatment center via the Minnesota Teen Challenge.

I think everyone is on board with addressing the problem of Opioid abuse/addiction. But there’s another side to the issue that has gone overlooked: legitimate pain patients who are currently being denied pain relief as a result of the pressure the “War on Opioids” has put on doctors to not prescribe pain medications. Like a pendulum, we have swung from one extreme to the other, and people are suffering needlessly as a result, often losing the ability to work or take care of their basic functions of life. We need to apply common sense to this issue to assure that those who need help, receive help, whether it’s help overcoming addiction, or help managing chronic pain to assure a decent quality of life.

I believe that the state of Minnesota should legalize cannabis and use the tax revenue generated to fund treatment programs for all addictions. Part of that funding should be used on education programs to reform how we view and treat substance abusers vs. drug dealers. One is a criminal, the other is not.

"Defunding" the police isn’t a realistic solution, but "blue lives matter" as a response to racial injustice doesn’t serve a benefit either. In this instance, two polarizing narratives arose without any willingness to discuss the ample gray middle.

I believe we all too often empower police to use excessive force, and treat any violation as something more criminal in nature than it is. Police are not the judge, jury, and executioner. Everyone has a right to due process, and there’s no denying the disparity in treatment between white people and people of color. Nobody chooses their ethnicity, but they do choose their profession.

I believe we should stress the responsibility working in law enforcement carries, and adjust accordingly. More education should be required to become a law enforcement officer than it does currently, with a national minimum level, and regular training on mental health and de-escalation. I also support body cameras and the right of the general public to film encounters. With this increased and more regulated requirement, I believe they should also be paid more, including more incentive for reporting misbehavior internally. Qualified immunity isn’t right; police are to uphold and enforce the law, not abuse it.

Emotions run high on the subject of guns, but I find that the majority of responsible gun owners agree that common sense gun laws protect the general public as well as protecting gun owners. When asked point blank, most agree that an AR-15 doesn’t belong in the hands of a paranoid schizophrenic. They also agree that steps should be taken to keep all guns out of the hands of unsupervised children. After many in-depth conversations with gun owners, some of the most popular suggestions on the subject of gun safety are:

  • Requiring locked storage of guns and ammo in homes where minors are present.
  • Requiring background checks for all gun purchases that includes searches for violent crimeconvictions & domestic violence convictions, as well as mental health patients who have demonstrated documented violent tendencies, and mental health issues that required prolonged hospitalization for safety reasons (to themselves and/or others).
  • Businesses that hold an FFL (Federal Firearms License) provide a documented background check service to private gun sale transactions with a limit on fees they can charge for this service.
  • Raising the minimum age for purchase/ownership of assault-style rifles to twenty-one, with a mandatory waiting period for acquisition.
  • Increased funding for, and accessibility to, gun safety training conducted by qualified instructors.

If you have further ideas on this topic, I am receptive to discussing them with you!

Everyone has a right and a responsibility to question anything they so choose, especially when it comes to government mandates. But there’s a difference between that and allowing politics to compromise common sense. The Covid-19 pandemic is an excellent example of a situation where misinformation ran rampant and caused immense harm. People have taken unproven alternative treatment options to prevent or treat Covid-19 that were unfounded and dangerous, and many became sick—or died—as aresult.

Misinformation and smear campaigns against the Covid-19 vaccines has resulted in vaccine hesitancy, despite our nation’s long history of successful vaccine programs. General George Washington ordered the entire Continental Army to be inoculated against small pox, keeping the army healthy and saving thousands of lives. Polio has been essentially eradicated from the USA by a nationwide vaccine program. During the Spanish Flu epidemic, the cities that were hit hardest were the ones that didn’t implement social distancing and mask requirements.

Vaccines work, and it is important to provide factual information to the public from qualified experts, not snake oil salesmen with an agenda.

In school, many of us were taught about the three Rs: reduce, reuse, and recycle. To date, far too many of us don’t, and our wastefulness has just continued to climb. The USA is second only to Australia in our use of plastic, with approximately one hundred seventeen pounds of plastic used per American, per year. More than three quarters of that ends up in landfills—a whopping twenty-seven million tons in recent years. This is problematic because plastic does not break down quickly. Depending on the type of plastic it can take anywhere from four hundred and fifty to one thousand YEARS for plastic to decompose...and some of it just turns into micro-plastics that find their way into our water and food.

I believe we should incentivize recycling by passing bottle bill legislation in Minnesota. To date, only ten states have passed such a bill, and large corporate interests often lobby against them due to an increased cost of production. But the list of things that can be made from recycled material continues to grow every year, providing new opportunities for such programs, as well as creating jobs. We should strive to reduce single use plastics in general, as well as implement the use of biodegradable hemp- based plastics.

I believe we need to remove or raise the income cap for contributing to social security. The current limit is $110,000. Doing so would resolve current and future social security short-falls. It is important that we protect this popular program for current and future recipients. Hard-working Americans have contributed to the program for decades in anticipation of retirement. Due to the prolonged low minimum wage, many Americans now rely fully on Social Security for their retirement years. They deserve to receive the safety and security they were promised in their golden years. Minnesota is one of only thirteen states that currently taxes Social Security income. I feel this tax is regressive and should be repealed.

I also believe the retirement age for Social Security is too high and should not be raised further. Many plan their lives in accordance with when they can retire and qualify. They shouldn’t be forced to continue working into their seventies just so we can kick the can down the road, especially when so many are struggling with health issues in their sixties, after working hard for so many years already. We weren’t born to work, pay bills, and die. Everyone deserves to retire while they still have the health to enjoy it.

It is believed that the most critical years for brain development occur between birth and age six. The Economist Intelligence Unit ranks countries in early development based on four categories: social context, availability, affordability, and quality. The USA ranks twenty-fourth out of forty-five countries.

In 2018, the USA ranked thirty-eighth in math scores, and twenty-fourth in science. Many experts believe that inadequate funding in education is the cause of falling test scores in recent years. For far too many years, public education has been under-funded and stretched to the limit, resulting in a loss of job skills, employment opportunities, and critical reasoning skills. It’s time to prioritize funding our schools to give our children the best possible educational opportunities. Their futures depend on it.

The effective tax rate of mega-corporations and their wealthy owners has continuously fallen over the past forty years, under the guise of “trickle-down economics.” This has exacerbated income inequality to greater levels than ever before in our nation’s history. The top ten percent control seventy percent of the nation’s wealth, and the top one percent control nearly half of that: equal to about one third of the total wealth nationwide. It is concerning enough that many of these most wealthy have manipulated the system and lobbied legislators to avoid their tax responsibilities, but they have left America’s workers—who they often underpay—to foot the bill. They benefit from America’s infrastructure, they should help pay for it, too.

Tax cuts for the wealthy don’t trickle down...and never have. A teacher or a construction worker shouldn’t have to pay more in taxes than billionaires pay.

As your representative I will do everything in my power to provide you with the facts on every issue. I will speak out against injustice on either side of the aisle, without bias. I will hold others accountable, regardless of their party affiliation, and I will be responsive to your inquiries. My allegiance is to the facts, not to partisan narratives and agendas.

Farmers are an important part of our society, locally and nationally. The pandemic ravaged the industry when shut-downs brought supply lines to a halt and forced the destruction of produce, dairy, and livestock. Now, despite inflation, farmers are receiving an even smaller slice of the pie as a result of price-fixing by major meat-packers.

While the price of beef has increased by more than twenty-five percent, livestock prices for farmers fell by seventeen percent. Milk prices plummeted forty percent in 2020 and hundreds of dairy farms were forced to close indefinitely. While they have rebounded some, the cost of production is currently so high that many farmers lose money every time they milk their cows—which must be done, regardless. Cows can’t "hold it" until it’s convenient for us. Many aid subsidies during the pandemic went to the large corporate farms, instead of the smaller family farms. This is a problem.

We MUST prioritize protecting small family-owned farms. They are important to our community. If corporate farms continue to gobble up the small family farms, it won’t be long before a small handful of corporations control our entire food supply. Need I say more?

If the 2020 election taught us anything, it’s that expanding the ways that people can vote does not compromise integrity. Despite the hundreds of unfounded accusations of fraud, the recounts, and the audits, none were substantiated. There is however, a concentrated effort to suppress the right to vote, with nineteen states enacting over thirty laws last year to restrict voting. Those laws include removing same day voter registration, reducing the quantity of ballot drop boxes, reducing or altering polling locations and hours, shortening the early voting period, and criminalizing giving food and water to those waiting in line to vote.

They made it more likely that people will be waiting in long lines, and then made it illegal to bring them food or water. Imagine your ninety year old grandmother standing in line to vote on a hot day, for hours, and you can’t even bring her a bottle of water...

Voting is our most fundamental right as Americans. We must protect and defend that right from these obvious efforts to suppress voting.

What do all of these laws have in common? They were all proposed and passed by Republican majorities. Furthermore, Trump-endorsed extremist candidates have promised to primary moderate incumbents. Many have pledged to repeat the same tactic that Trump used in 2020. Namely, they will declare the results of elections that didn’t end in their favor as fraudulent - regardless of how baseless a claim it may be.

The purpose of this ploy is to undermine voter confidence in our election process, with an eye toward eventually eliminating it altogether - effectively silencing the voices of every American. This fascist tactic undermines our democratic process and the will of We the People. Those who think this is a great idea because they just want to win, are not looking far enough into the future to realize that their voices will eventually be silenced as well.

As your Representative, I will fight to protect voting rights for everyone.

It is my goal to earn your vote and then keep earning it every day that I am in office. My door will be open to all the residents of 12b, whether you voted for me or not. To represent you, I need to hear from you. While today’s political landscape seems to have devolved into finger-pointing and fear-mongering, my plan is to set goals and then work to achieve them.

Anyone can point out the pimples on their opponent’s backside, but what does that accomplish? Absolutely nothing. I’m going to stay focused on the issues that affect all of us and do what I can to resolve them. Government is serious work that requires serious people who are ready to do the work—not clowns who want to turn politics into a circus side-show just so they can get a sound-bite to put on their social media page.

Let’s keep our priorities straight and make Minnesota a model for our nation in rebuilding the middle class, helping those who need a hand-up, and restoring the American Dream!

I can’t do it alone, but I promise to lead the way. Together, we are strong.