Statements on Current Issues

Education
Public education is a pillar of the American education experience.
*Public schools must be strongly supported.
*Actions which weaken public schools such as voucher programs must be opposed.
*The many excellent teachers who work hard educating our young people must be appreciated.

Jobs
Although the economy is doing very well in other parts of the US, East Tennessee has not seen the recovery from the 2008 recession that is needed.
*Infrastructure development would promote creation of new jobs.
*We must ensure that our citizens have opportunities for the training they need to do well in the modern economy.
*Tax plans must reward activities that create new jobs, not just give more money to the richest Americans and the corporations they own.

Healthcare
We cannot tolerate a system in which our neighbors are unable to obtain the health coverage they need in order to work and care for their families.
*A goal of universal healthcare access for all Americans will require a responsible search for new methods and processes.
*Fiscal responsibility is a key component in the design for the healthcare system of the future.
*Healthcare quality must be maintained and improved.

Second Amendment
The preservation of second amendment rights is very important to significant numbers of East Tennessee citizens, but the tragedies inflicted by gun violence must be acknowledged.
*Existing US laws involving gun access must be enforced.
*Current laws have regulated civilian access to machine-guns (also called automatic weapons) since 1934. Embellishment add-ons such as bump stocks which allow existing guns to function like machine guns should fall under these same restrictions.
*Government officials do not have the right to take guns away from law-abiding citizens.

Women’s Rights
All men and women are created equal
*Sexual harassment must stop.
*Government officials do not have the right to interfere in private medical decisions between a woman and her doctor.
*People should be paid for the work that they do based on the job contribution. Gender pay gaps must be addressed.

Environment
People in the current generation should leave the world better than they found it, not worse than they found it.
*We need to promote renewable energy sources such as solar power.
*Climate change is real. The US must be a global leader in climate control through the Paris accords.
*Environmental preservation starts at home. Appalachian forests, streams, mountains and wildlife are a precious resource.

Human Rights
Love your neighbor as yourself applies to everyone
*Discrimination against anyone based on gender, religion, disability, sexual orientation or race is unacceptable.
*Respect for the dignity of all people is the foundation of peace, prosperity and justice for our country and for the world.