My years working as a chaplain in hospital settings have shown me health care is a fundamental right. I will work diligently to ensure access to primary and mental health care services through the expansion of TennCare in our state. I will fight any attempts to undermine the progress that has been made under the Affordable Care Act in Tennessee so everyone has access to health care. I believe our neighbors in rural counties should never have to worry about traveling long distances to receive quality health care services. We must invest in the infrastructural needs to ensure that all Tennesseans have access to the care they need when they need it, so their only concern is getting well.
As the father of two young girls, I know the challenges facing parents planning for their children’s future education. I understand not only do all children deserve free access to quality public education, beginning with free pre-school and continuing on to affordable college, but our community is better off when quality education is available. We must invest in our public schools and fight against those who would work to privatize our public education system into a voucher-based program that would further stretch funding and hurt schools in our district. I will work hard at the state level to protect our children’s right to quality public education.
Strengthening our local economy begins with ensuring access to top tier educational and vocational opportunities for all our citizens. We must provide workforce development opportunities that meet the needs of emerging industries in order to attract new employers to our district. We must also focus on the infrastructure needs of our district, such as roads, mass transport, utilities and communications, all of which have a direct impact on the efficiency of conducting business and which affect the competitiveness of our district in drawing new businesses.