There are a number of issues for which I care deeply, and the reality is that so many of them are interconnected and complex, making it difficult to simply list a “platform” of issues. Instead, I have a broad set of goals for which I’m striving. Some are related to policies and some are related to the process--how our government works.
I’ll start with the area over which I have the most control: me. I take my job as State Representative very seriously, but I don’t take myself too seriously. I find that things start to get ugly in the Statehouse when one lets their personal interests and ego drive decision making. I prefer to work collaboratively with my colleagues--finding common ground whenever possible and respectfully disagreeing when not. Unfortunately the polarization of the national political scene has made its way to Topeka, which means it’s increasingly difficult to move good ideas forward. I will do my part to promote a collaborative and transparent legislative process that is informed by facts and thoughtful debate.
I don’t believe that our elected leaders are doing doing enough to support the health, development and education of children in Kansas. Rates of childhood poverty are increasing. Funds are being syphoned away from programs designed to children who need the most support in order to pay for tax cuts for corporations. Classroom sizes are increasing, making it harder for kids to receive the attention they need from teachers. I will promote and support policy ideas that make it easier for kids to develop the skills, knowledge and attitudes they need to become happy, healthy and successful adults.
I think we need to reimagine how are state government operates. Whether we’re eating at a restaurant and shopping online, we expect exceptional customer service and a product that works. We should expect the same from our government, which impacts our lives on a daily basis. Like any good company, we need to be recruiting and supporting talented employees, investing in the best infrastructure and technology, and keeping up with what our customers want and need. In some cases, this may mean cutting services or programs. In other cases, this may mean creating or expanding them. The better that our agencies and state programs function, the better our students, families and business will do.