The Issues We Fight For.
People who are eligible to vote should be allowed to, easily and with confidence that their votes will be counted and certified. They should not be hassled, marginalized, profiled or refused their legal right to selected their elected officials based on political party, race, economic class or other limiting factors. It should be easier for those who are legally eligible to vote in Arizona to both register and cast their ballots, not harder. When you hear someone advocating for limiting the right to vote for others, it’s important to question those motives and see that it has less to do with combating the almost non-existent issue of so-called voter fraud, and more with rigging the system again you.
Cochise County is a wonderful place with a lot of natural beauty, and we should do everything we can to protect it. Fighting to protect our environment shouldn’t even be a partisan issue, but sadly it has become one. There are ways to protect the environment and still have a thriving business economy in our communities, it only requires business to focus beyond their bottom-lines and realize that we all have to live here and deal with the effects of how their business is conducted. We all should want to leave our communities to future generations at least as good as we got them, if not better. That means being better stewards, renewing our commitments and using regulations to ensure our communities are drinking water that is safe, breathing air that is clean, and not having our natural wonders altered or destroyed. This is our home, we need to protect it.
A LIVING WAGE
Arizona has made important strides over the past few years towards a fairer minimum wage, with increases over the past three years and another coming in 2020 that will raise it to $12 per hour. We have to credit all those who fought for and voted on these increases, but also admit that there are many of our citizens who still struggle to make their ends meet. We believe that everyone capable of work should at least be making a minimum wage that allows them to cover their needs, pay down debt and contribute to the local economy. A person working full time at the current minimum wage makes $440 a week before taxes. We believe that a fair minimum wage should be at least $15 per hour (or $600 per week at a full time schedule, before taxes,) and will promote an agenda, both at the state and local level, to see it happen.
In 2010, the Affordable Care Act was signed into law, and gave millions of uninsured Americans access to coverage, while also making it illegal to deny coverage to people with so-called “Pre-existing Conditions.” It was an imperfect solution to a very complex issue that everyone has to deal with, but gave access to those who would have otherwise been denied. Ever since, there has been a concerted effort by the Republican Party, pharmaceutical and insurance lobbyists and conservative media to demonize and repeal the ACA. The Trump administration has done everything within the law towards these aims, limiting enrollment, and slashing the budget to inform our citizens about their choices. We believe that Healthcare should a fundamental human right, as it is in every other developed civilization on Earth. We will continue to fight for that belief, and keep our people in Cochise County informed on their options and how to support our efforts.
It should not be controversial to believe that every citizen of this county, state or nation should be afforded their innate human dignity. That they should be paid equally when they do the same work. That they should not be discriminated against or denied housing, healthcare, voting rights, marriage rights, reproductive autonomy, education or fair policing, based on gender, age, orientation, identification, race, religion or disability. We will fight to protect the laws that respect this, against those that would limit or remove it, and forcefully advocate for victims of discrimination. It’s about basic decency and fairness, which should never be exclusive to any one political party.
COMMON SENSE GUN POLICY
The 2nd Amendment of the US Constitution protects the rights of the citizen to arm themselves, whether it be for hunting, sport, collection or home protection. Moreover, the right to responsible gun ownership is part of the culture of our nation, especially in the west. To deny this simple fact would be dishonest. We believe that there is a path forward that both respects this simple fact, while protecting the safety of our citizens and the law enforcement officers charged with their protection. We will fight for stronger background checks at the local, state, and national levels to keep guns out of the hands of felons, the mentally ill, and those with a history of domestic violence. And for the creation of a national database so that dealers can verify that they are making legal sales, and to close loopholes that lead to illegal sales. We will also fight to make weapons of war like assault-style rifles and extended magazines exclusively for the battlefield, and prevent those on the terrorist watch-list from being able to arm themselves in our communities.
There are those within our communities that need our help. They are not parasites or moochers, they’re our friends, neighbors, co-workers, and relatives. Almost everyone knows someone living under the poverty line, even if you’re not aware of it. Some may have even benefited from government aid programs for a limited time to get by during hard times. The vast majority of these people aren’t trying to game the system, and they aren’t proud of their situation. Many of them may be dealing with a disability, trying to raise a family by themselves, or have lost work and haven’t been able to find it again. Most of them, if given the choice, would gladly exchange whatever benefits they may be receiving for a good paying job, if they could. It’s time to be honest and realistic about the situational and how to address it. We need to give our less fortunate the same basic human respect we afford everyone, and assist them as best we’re able. That means protecting Medicare, Medicaid, SSDI, SSI, Unemployment Insurance, SNAP, WIC and other state and federal programs which benefit our neighbors in poverty, while also incentivizing local employers to hire those who are willing and able to work, and pay them a fair wage so they can rise into the working class. It’s not about giving a hand out, but a hand up.