As growing partisanship threatens to deepen the divides in our country, we join together as political independents to declare five common principles that we believe can unite a new movement to repair our politics and restore the American dream for future generations.
Unite America is a movement of Democrats, Republicans, and independents who are committed to bridging the growing partisan divide in order to tackle our largest challenges and leave a better country to future generations.
· The best interests of many, many people in our communities are not currently being represented in Boise.
· I spent 39 years as an educator/administrator (most of it in this region). I see an alarming contrast in the way my take-home pay provided for my family 2 -3 decades ago and the way those in the same income level find themselves struggling today. Increased child care costs, student debt, higher housing costs, and health insurance costs all strap families, even those with two or more incomes. For the sake of Idaho’s future, I run for my children and grandchildren; for you, your children and grandchildren.
· My son Rob taught me the expression “2nd paycheck,” which is the idea that people in Idaho are willing to subsist on less income because of the desire to live in this amazingly beautiful place. Increased demands on time that was once recreational and spending that was once discretionary are causing the enjoyment of the 2nd paycheck to diminish for all too many. Unfortunately, many of our best and brightest (some of your kids and grandkids) have chosen to leave because of our region's lower wages and fewer opportunities.
I don't believe our current house members vote on behalf of the people in our district who truly NEED their voices heard. Nez Perce and Lewis counties deserve representatives who are willing to seek solutions to help those who struggle to reach their own "American Dream.”
Currently, Idaho appears to have a robust and growing economy. Is this the case here in District 6? Why do we have more “Payday Loan” businesses than ever before? Why do we have more food banks than ever and so many more people forced to utilize these services? Why are our non-profits scrambling and competing for every available dollar? To me, it looks like our region and especially our rural areas are being left behind.
Unemployment numbers appear to be very low right now; yet too many people are underemployed, forced to work 2-3 jobs without health benefits or opportunities to build up retirement funds.
I recently met a bank loan officer who shared his family's situation. He said he and his wife have together five children. The two oldest are able to have low cost health services, while they youngest three are without health insurance. He said both he and his wife work and still cannot afford to insure the three youngest. These issues never used to be a part of the struggle of the middle class.
In 2018, 93 of Idaho’s 115 school districts were forced to ask their patrons for override levies totaling over $197 million.
Simply put, our legislature is NOT fulfilling its responsibilities outlined in the Idaho Constitution.
Each year, about 1,500 Idaho public school teachers leave the state's teaching pool . Of that number, 24% are retiring. This loss is alarming and higher than the national average. Numbers are also down for college students majoring in education. These realities are not what Idaho's children deserve.
I will fight for adequate public school funding and against the continued attempts to “privatize” public education.
The Idaho Legislature dropped the ball in not dealing with health care issues in the last session. Too many people in Idaho do not have adequate health coverage. I support (and worked for) the Medicaid Expansion Initiative that will be on the ballot in November. It was encouraging to see prominent members of both the Republican and Democratic parties working the booth at Art Under the Elms trying to get some final signatures for the initiative.
Contrary to what Rep. Labrador said at that famous town hall meeting in Lewiston... Yes, people DO die from lack of health care!
Our healthcare system is broken. We need some honest forward-thinking discussions with all shareholders present.