Other Important Issues
West Virginia roads have been rated fifth worst in the nation. We need to commit to regular maintenance of our highways for safety and for economic reasons. Poor road conditions cost car owners hundreds of dollars in repairs. Keeping them in shape will cost money, but save in the long run. As they say, “You can pay me now, or pay more later.”
Opioids & Homelessness
Drug abuse and homelessness have become major issues for the state. Both are tied to a poor economy. We need to put tighter controls on the distribution of opioids and other medications to make it more difficult for people using them for illegal purposes. The homeless population needs to be given shelter and proper nutrition. Providing mental health services to those in need and putting people in touch with family members will help take down the numbers. It is a proven fact that an uptick in the economy will help with both those issues. People who have the opportunity for steady employment tend to stay off the streets and stay away from drug abuse.
Protection for workers: It is imperative that workers be kept safe from termination by employers because of age, race, sex or religion. Everyone should have the right to be free from worry that they will lose their jobs because of issues beyond their control. I favor doing away with non-compete clauses that prevent free-market movement for workers. I am pro-union and am proud to say I have worked for two different unions in my life, and it is no question that as union membership has dwindled in the past few decades, the economic inequality has increased across the entire country.
As a career TV Meteorologist, I have been well aware of the effects of climate change across the world in the past several years. I feel the time has come to join the rest of the world in trying to address its effects on the environment and to push for more renewable energy sources. West Virginia has a huge abundance of natural gas to lead the way, and also has areas in the eastern mountains that are perfect for wind energy. Coal will always be a part of the West Virginia economy, but as the market continues to fall we must be prepared to move forward. I believe in renewable energy and the potential for industries like solar power to bring thousands of jobs to the region. I am also in favor of taking care of our coal miners as we have promised to provide health insurance and to retrain those wanting to move into other areas of employment.
This year has brought the worst worldwide pandemic since the 1918 Spanish Flu. We have faced sacrifices never seen before, yet we are pulling together tremendously as we know this will only be a temporary setback.
West Virginia has done well through the outbreak because of fast and proper procedures by the government as directed by medical experts. While we also have no major population centers and are not a state with much international travel, it was our immediate action that helped keep us at one of the lowest infection rates in the country.
This brings up the point that some states became careless and reopened public areas too quickly because of political pressure. The lesson here is we need to listen to the scientists when it comes to issues involving science.
As a scientist running for the House of Delegates, I can promise you I will not react to a problem because of political expediency. I will always put the safety and well-being of the people first.
Term Limit Pledge
A recent study shows 83% of West Virginians favor term limits for elective office. I am making a pledge that if you elect me to the House of Delegates and I have a very successful first term, I may run for a second. After the second term, I am done. I will not serve more than four years in this office.
The simple reason is that I am going in with a few basic plans: 1) Work on bringing jobs and businesses into the state, 2) Work to make our education system better with more opportunities for all students, and 3) Make healthcare more affordable and more accessible.
If I see those goals becoming a reality after four years, there is no reason to stay on. If not, it may be time to step aside and give someone else a chance.
I have already had a wonderful career as a TV meteorologist, and I do not need to start another. My goal is to serve the public in the best way I can and not become too comfortable in the process.
I will work hard for you and do everything I can to achieve the goals I have set as fast as possible.