As a husband, a father, and an elementary school guidance counselor I’ve devoted my life to helping families thrive. If I have the honor of representing you in Madison, I will work every day to help all of our families build the foundation for success. Every family needs a strong foundation to not only just survive but then begin to thrive. That starts with jobs, healthcare, and housing.
We need to do much more to support our small businesses, start-ups, and small farmers. I’m not out to put large corporations out of business, but over the last decade the playing field has been tilted way too far in their favor. Imagine if we took just half the money and effort that was put into massive giveaways and special treatment for Foxconn, big-box stores, and other large corporations and focused that on helping the thousands of hardworking women and men who are creating jobs and spending money in our communities.
We need to do everything we can to expand access to quality, affordable healthcare for all Wisconsinites. That starts with expanding BadgerCare, which would save state taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars while covering thousands of additional families. You read that right. The Wisconsin legislature has chosen, year after year, to refuse billions in federal aid (i.e., taxes we already paid to DC) and thousands of families have been reduced to poverty because of healthcare costs or become ill because they can’t afford healthcare. We are better than this.
We should also give everyone the option to buy-into BadgerCare for a reasonable price. Everybody agrees that increasing competition is the quickest way to drive healthcare prices down for everyone, but most families in our area are tied to their employer's choice of healthcare.
Our hardworking families in the 75th are having an increasingly difficult time finding affordable places to live. It's due to lack of affordable housing and static incomes. We need to increase the amount of housing to fill vacant jobs. One way to address this is affordable housing tax credits and other programs offered through WHEDA (WI Housing and Economic Development Authority.) Unfortunately too few communities in Northern Wisconsin have been able to benefit from these important programs.
Over the past decade we have seen our tax dollars go to large projects in Southern Wisconsin while we pay, not only financially but in quality of life as well. I will fight like mad to get our hard earned money to stay here and stop the unabashed flow of our dollars that has gone south for years to Southern Wisconsin.
Policies that Connect to the Foundation of Jobs, Healthcare, & Housing...
We need to get serious about extending high-speed broadband to every corner of the state. It’s absolutely essential for attracting people and businesses to rural Wisconsin. As we’ve learned in this pandemic it has a huge impact on access to education and healthcare as well. The state’s existing broadband grant program has been chronically underfunded and its results pale in comparison to what’s been achieved in rural areas of Minnesota. With strong broadband we can produce jobs, keep citizens healthier and increase rural housing.
We take pride here in Northern Wisconsin and the beauty of where we live. We have done a good job of being stewards of nature. We know the impacts of our footprint and have worked to clean and protect our environment, but we have more work to do.
Climate change is real, it’s caused by human activity, and we owe it to our children and grandchildren to invest in renewable energy and conservation now. The longer we drag our feet on this, the more expensive it will be to deal with its impacts on the back-end. We know this is also a huge opportunity to create new jobs and new businesses right here in Wisconsin.
Maybe more than anywhere else in the world, Northern Wisconsin is defined by our abundant, clean water. It’s vital to our health, our economy, and often it’s the number one reason why people choose to visit or move here. I support efforts to safeguard this vital resource for generations to come.
Education is the pipeline out of poverty. Having strong public schools is a great way for families of all economic backgrounds to have an equal chance at the American Dream. Wisconsin public schools have had to do more with less for quite some time. Funding has been cut from K-12 on up through the UW system. How we fund our schools needs a closer look so we can better serve all of our communities.
As a result of decreased funding and support, our schools have seen a shortage of qualified teachers and substitute teachers. Schools have also experienced a shortage of bus drivers, aides and custodians. Already dealing with this shortage of workers, schools now face their greatest challenge, COVID-19. School boards have a tough task ahead of them as they figure out how to educate students while keeping in mind the testing, tracing and treatment that is needed to control the spread of this highly contagious disease. They are working hard to ensure the safety of children and their families and our communities while educating our students.
It's important for us all to do our part to protect the health and welfare of our communities. Wear a Mask, Social Distance, and Wash your Hands Regularly.
Politicians shouldn’t get to choose their voters. Rigging district maps for partisan gain (aka “gerrymandering”) is wrong when Republicans do it, and it’s wrong when Democrats do it. Districts should be drawn by a non-partisan body, out in the open, with public input.
When I get to Madison I will not do to the Republicans what they have done to the Democrats. Gerrymandering is just plain wrong and it sets up “safe” districts where politicians’ only fear is being primaried by someone more extreme (to the right or the left). Candidates in many of these districts no longer need to appeal to people on both sides or voters like myself who are closest to the middle. What we get stuck with is partisan gridlock where nothing gets done.
I support a number of proposals to make us all safer, and each and every one of them - body cameras, additional protective equipment, deescalation training, and more crisis intervention workers - requires more funding for our police and first responders, not less.
Our police should not continue to bear the brunt of all of society’s problems. That's not sustainable financially, and more importantly, it's not fair to those who put their lives on the line for us every day. Surely, some of the responsibilities around mental health, substance abuse, homelessness, poverty, and child services could be performed by specialized professionals outside of law enforcement, easing the burden on our police and resulting in better outcomes for our communities.