The issues facing North Carolina's 8th Congressional District often times mirror the issues facing the rest of the nation with some unique differences related to the rural makeup of most of our counties. As the soon-to-be congressional representative for the counties of Rowan, Cabarrus, Stanly, Montgomery, Moore, Hoke, and parts of Cumberland, I will champion the causes below to keep our residents educated, healthy and safe:
I believe healthcare should be considered a right.
The Affordable Care Act (commonly derided as "Obamacare") was an important step in that direction meant to make health insurance available to more people - especially those at or near the poverty line. But, the Trump Administration is trying to take away the Affordable Care Act and have filed in the U.S. Courts to Strike it Down.
This will not only affect 133 million American's, but it will destabilize the industry. Bring back "pre-exisiting conditions." Since the ACA was implemented, we've seen every attempt to repeal and replace. The sitting Republican-controlled Congress has been completely heartless in their efforts to rip health insurance away from those that need it most.
I will partner with forward-thinking members of Congress in a bi-partisan manner to bolster and/or modify the Affordable Care Act so that it works for all who seek to be insured including
Gun Rights and Gun Safety
I consider myself a pro-Second Amendment Democrat. I agree with the Supreme Court's 2008 ruling (District of Columbia v. Heller) that the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to possess a firearm for lawful purposes such as self defense and home protection. I also agree with their conclusion that gun ownership rights are not unlimited and that some common-sense regulations serve the purpose of making all of us safer.
I will protect the rights of our nation's gun owners but will work towards implementing the following:
Veterans Affairs Effectiveness
On a regular basis, our active military members leave their families behind in order to answer the call to serve our country. These men and women in uniform deserve our utmost respect and anything less than exceptional treatment upon their return or discharge is unacceptable to me.
Our Department of Veterans Affairs has, in some ways, served as a perfect example of a governmental bureaucratic process behind on the times. Each day brings new stories about waiting times for treatment, denied claims, and more. With my proximity to Fort Bragg, I can no longer stand by and allow that to happen.
While in Washington, I will:
I started offering Internet access through my small business to rural North Carolina communities in 1995 first through dial-up service (remember those obnoxious screeching modems?) and eventually high-speed broadband. But monopoly and anti-competitive behavior from far larger organizations squashed my long-term business goals as federal and state regulations were heavily skewed in their favor.
Broadband upgrades occur faster in densely populated areas allowing consumer access far sooner. That’s the low-hanging fruit that big monopolies like AT&T and Verizon thrive upon. The costs to expand into rural markets, on the other hand, don’t have the same return on investment that Wall Street demands and consumers like those of us in North Carolina's 8th Congressional District suffer by being behind on the times.
Internet access isn't just about streaming movies and connecting to social media. The Internet provides each of us with a gateway to new ideas and new ways of understanding each other. As such, I believe that Internet access should be treated as a utility where all of the data streaming through our copper and fiber-optic lines is treated the same with no limitations placed on information going to or coming from any single source.
The FCC's repeal what has become known as "Net Neutrality" does just that - it provides Internet Service Providers (ISPs) with the ability to institue "toll roads" where data is treated differently based on its source and/or destination and, in the long-run, costs each of us more money for access.
I criticized Congressman Richard Hudson (R-NC) for voting to restrict the FCC’s ability to enforce Net Neutrality and again when he accepted $130,000 from AT&T for the sale of our internet privacy and the repeal of Net Neutrality.
I understand the complexities of providing Internet access because I’ve worked in the industry for 23 years. I know all too well that people want this unfettered access at home so that their children can complete assignments and so that their businesses grow and compete in the 21st century.
When elected to Congress, my experience will be used to reverse the repeal of Net Neutrality and reclassification of the Internet as a utility. I will work to reassign Internet Service Providers as common carriers who, by law, will not be able to treat some data passing through their infrastructure differently than other data. This will keep costs down and improve access to rural communities in North Carolina.
Fund and Equip Public Schools for the 21st Century
In North Carolina's 8th Congressional District, we have a great disparity in wealth distribution in some counties and school districts. One such example is in Moore County where a pocket of wealth at the center of the county skews the way in which state and federal funds are provided with the North Carolina Department of Commerce designating the county as "Tier 3", or needing the least amount of assistance.
One drive through Moore County, though beautiful as it is, reveals a contrast. Palatial estates situated atop beautiful fairways with schools a few miles away packing children into makeshift classrooms and trailers - a less than ideal learning environment. Indeed, some of the schools in this county are more than 60 years-old, have simply outlived their purpose and are no longer suitable for the style of learning so badly needed in this century.
From Washington, I will: