Jobs, Research and Innovation
As CEO of three tech start-ups, I know it takes research funding and talent to create good-paying jobs in competitive companies. For almost 20 years, our mobile robot company has brought millions of dollars into the New Hampshire economy. Over the past two years, I’ve worked with the Peterborough Economic Development Authority to attract youth and seed innovation. I have the tools and know-how to foster the combination of skilled workforce and innovative 21st Century companies that bring revenues from around the world into New Hampshire.
Children and Families
Children are our state’s most valuable resource. I will work to make sure every child has a chance to lead a mentally and physically healthy life. It's the right thing to do. It’s also the smart thing to do when you look at the bottom line of our state budget. Investments in early childhood education generate a huge return and produce major long-term savings by setting our children on a path toward a healthy, productive future instead of on a path toward needing expensive, long-term social services. I support home visitation programs and other proven methods for nurturing the well-being of vulnerable children and families and reducing social services costs.
Of course, kids can’t thrive if families don’t have resources to care for them. Full-day kindergarten is one way we can support healthy child development and reduce pressure on parents who work to support their families. Full-day kindergarten, like all schooling, should include plenty of physical fun as well as investigatory learning. I will fight to see that families have these resources and opportunities.
Equal Rights and Personal Control
I have watched the battle for equality backslide. However, I believe that it is because we have moved from "first they ignored us, then they laughed at us" to now they are fighting us. The next step, if we care enough to make it happen, is that we win. We will win equal pay, equal protection under the law and equal rights to control our own bodies when we have equal voice in government. Now, only 7 of 24 State Senators are women. And even some of those vote against other women's interests. They vote to let spousal abusers carry guns. They claim to want government to police women's healthcare. I say, no government inside our skins: government may not use embedded tracking devices, brain-computer interfaces or womb control! But if we want equality and control of our bodies, we must make it happen at the ballot box. Protest alone will not clinch it.
The Granite State must be a leader in quality public education. A solid education is the key to long term success in life and critical to attracting young families to the state. Without a well-educated public, New Hampshire will be unable to compete in the global economy. I will fight to make sure that teachers have the freedom and the resources to actually teach, not just prep their students for standardized tests. I will fight to assure that students are challenged, empowered and equipped to pursue their dreams in the 21st Century.
Health care costs remain a problem for many New Hampshire residents. No one should be forced to go bankrupt because of illness. We need to fully accept and fund the Medicaid Expansion program as outlined in the Affordable Care Act so local hospitals can stay afloat. We need to fund this and Planned Parenthood so that our less fortunate citizens have access to healthcare, including protecting a woman's right to choose. I will prioritize the use of telemedicine in hospitals to help connect doctors and patients and further reduce health care costs. Furthermore, I will call on our Congressional representatives to push for lower prescription drug costs.
As parents of a disabled son, Bill and I have participated in the struggle for people with disabilities to lead full and productive lives. For example, I helped found the Monadnock Valley Patriots adult Special Olympics team so that young people could continue to participate after they graduated from high school. New Hampshire has made great progress in its treatment of disabled citizens, but we still have a long way to go. Agencies that serve people with disabilities have enormous turnover – they spend resources to hire and train replacements twice a year. When partisan politickers in the legislature fund disabilities well one year and underfund the next, agencies cannot suddenly increase staffing levels. They are loathe to hire many new staff because it takes time to train them and they don’t know if the funding will be there next year to keep them. I will work to stabilize the funding of these agencies. Then people with disabilities and their families will know they can count on getting the care and support they need to lead full lives, instead of being pawns in a game of political partisanship.
Getting out in the community and listening to voters, I’ve learned a lot about the opioid crisis. I’ve spoken to people who have struggled with addiction and are working to get back on their feet, and with family members who have lost loved ones to this crisis. One thing is clear to me: putting those struggling to get clean into a 28-day program, then releasing them onto the street. does not work. We need to make sure people can get help without waiting for months, that they have support long enough for a path to long-term recovery. We need programs that emphasize “a reason to get up in the morning”, whether it be caring for a baby or working at a meaningful job. And we need to avert young people becoming interested in drugs by providing them with far more exciting opportunities in our businesses, schools and communities.
The Importance of Science
Our nation was founded by scientists: Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson were renowned for their studies in electricity and in agricultural practices. Nearly every Founder of our country believed in the Age of Reason; it is the premise behind our Constitution. I will follow in their footsteps in supporting the search for truth and the forces that underlie our universe and our innovation economy.
Natural beauty and bounty are key to the New Hampshire economy and way of life. We need common sense solutions that don’t handcuff us through too much regulation, since that discourages innovation and increases housing costs. Yet, at the same time, under-regulation encourages dirty industries to cut corners and pollute our communities, reduces property values and harms our health and environment, as Bedford residents are experiencing with PFOA contamination. As a legislator and budgeter, I will work to balance these two forces and ensure that sensible safeguards protect the health and well-being of our families and communities.
Property Taxes, Youth and Infrastructure
The hard working people of New Hampshire have been subsidizing the corporate dinosaurs who fight innovation for far too long. Property taxes have soared as legislators cut taxes for the wealthy. Young people are leaving because tuition is far too high and wages are too low. This is not only destroying our middle class; it is destroying our economy. It’s time to level the playing field for families and small businesses, and that’s what I’ll work to do.
We can’t afford to continue giving handouts to the old industries fighting to keep their monopolies. We need a smart budget in New Hampshire that fertilizes key industry sectors identified as our best growth opportunities: advanced manufacturing, medical products and tourism. We need to protect our state’s greatest resources: our environment and quality of life. It’s time to repair our roads and bridges and expand our broadband infrastructure. It’s time to prepare students for employment in a 21st Century economy.
I believe in good wages for good work. We must offer competitive wages to attract the labor force our businesses need to grow. Taxpayers are tired of subsidizing low-wage workers' food stamps and social services. Raising the minimum wage is the smart thing to do. In a country with unused production capacity, a wage increase does not spur inflation. It puts more purchasing power in people's pockets and raises all boats. As a successful business owner, I'll be able to make the fiscal case for raising wages.
We can’t mortgage our environmental future by continuing to use fossil fuels and catering to the dinosaurs who profit from them. The NED Pipeline and other risky infrastructure projects would prop up corporations that can’t keep up with the times and force New Hampshire residents to foot the bill through electricity rate increases. Meanwhile, utilities and their shareholders get guaranteed returns. I will fight to restore the ban on radioactive waste storage and against fracking. Yet we must reduce our energy costs. I will promote renewable energy and energy efficiency. I will support our consumer protection staff in fighting purchasing and pricing procedures that cause enormous price spikes and price-gouge consumers. I will work to assure that any energy project passing through New Hampshire benefits our state and our communities far more than it harms them.
I believe any adult non-felon, without a record of mental instability, has the right to own guns. However, I believe that the government's duty to protect life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is more important than any right to own large-magazine automatic weapons that can be used to mow down dozens or hundreds of people before anyone can respond.
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