SIGN ME UP: You'll see this phrase throughout my campaign and, if elected, my legislative tenure. So, what does it mean? Well, for starters, it's a tribute to the beautiful language of American Sign Language. It also means you can count on me signing up to listen to and advocate for the issues important to the residents of District 22! What's important to you is important to me, and I humbly accept the responsibility of my signature representing your voice. In addition to fighting for the variety of needs in our district, there are three specific issues I personally look forward to addressing in Bismarck.
DEAF AND HARD OF HEARING ACCESSIBILITY AND SERVICES
Did you know there are nearly 40 million people in the United States that are Deaf/Hard of Hearing? Did you also know that, in deaf-friendliness standards, North Dakota ranks among the bottom? In a state that tops charts for its abundant workforce and leading innovation in technology: equality, accessibility, affordable aids, and interpreter availability are still unnecessary battles the Deaf/Hard of Hearing community of North Dakota faces. Imagine how many of the over 15,000 job vacancies could be filled if we had services in place to recruit and attract even a fraction of the skilled and talented Deaf/Hard of Hearing workforce. In 2020, we can and must do better for our Deaf/Hard of Hearing residents, which is why I will work to increase North Dakota's deaf-friendliness by:
Standardizing movie theater open captioning.
Expanding coverage for hearing aids and batteries.
Maximizing the effectiveness of the North Dakota School for Deaf.
Streamlining Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services.
LANDOWNERS ' RIGHTS TO SUSTAINABLE LAND-USE DECISIONS
Agriculture is an artery in North Dakota lifestyle and economy, and I have the pleasure of working for an organization that assists landowners across the Dakotas. Many of them have one thing in common - a respect for the land. Too often, we encounter landowners that are being forced to make a decision between profit and planet regardless of their operational goals. Whether it be a landowner who has grazed cattle on native prairie for decades or one who recently inherited expiring CRP land, a landowner should have access to programs that allow them to operate sustainably, if they so choose. It isn't democratic to offer subsidies for programs that degrade the land without offering equally available subsidies for those that conserve it for future generations. My goal in Bismarck is to give the power of choice back to landowners by upholding and expanding thoughtful existing conservation programs.
RESPONSIBLE PROPERTY TAX SOLUTIONS
North Dakota property tax has been an issue for too many years. It's no secret that it plays a key role in over-all cost of living concerns, and it is time to find responsible resolution. There are as many opinions and proposals as there are people in the state as to how to approach this problem; however, it's critical that all options are given just consideration. An issue this complex demands a long and challenging road to solution, but I am committed to supporting North Dakota Legislators in working together - until the job is done - to develop a course of action that is acceptable to all residents.
AFFORDABLE ACCESS TO GENERAL AND MENTAL HEALTH CARE
General and mental health care is an intricately woven and critical component to quality of life and community. Access to care at an affordable cost where and when it's needed better positions people to be involved, valued, contributing members of the community. It is near impossible to be your best self - for your family, your colleagues, and yourself - when the struggles of physical and mental health conditions are compounded by access to or ability to pay for care. I know...because I live it. Not only have my personal battles and victories with OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), Anxiety, and Depression awarded me an intimate understanding of mental health care, but the choices I have been forced to make to forego seeking physical and mental care due to inability to cover the cost has motivated me to reduce this burden for others.
Access to care is a dual-faceted issue. It means protecting North Dakota's rural healthcare facilities while also ensuring care is affordable. An accessible and healthy North Dakota does not come without a cost; but the cost of the current gaps in care have a much higher price tag - human lives. A vote for me is a vote for the health and well-being of everyone, regardless of proximity to a city or income/insurance level.
Want to know more about my positions on these or any other policy issues?
Please contact me. I welcome the opportunity to discuss and answer your questions.