Special Election: Saturday, February 25th
Creating Jobs & Fighting for the Middle Class
A strong middle class is the economic lifeblood of our country, and Delaware’s labor force is the heartbeat of our state. That’s why creating and preserving quality jobs that pay a living wage will be my top priority in the State Senate. I know from my work as an environmental attorney and New Castle County Council President that we can attract new employers to our state and district without compromising our quality of life. I will also fight for new job training programs that help our workforce adapt with our changing economy and for enhanced trades-focused educational opportunities for kids who choose not to pursue college.
Preserving our Precious Farms & Open Space
Economic growth is critical for our state, but we must grow in ways that preserve the sanctity of our communities. As a state, we can better coordinate with county and municipal governments on smart growth strategies that incentivize redevelopment and preserve valuable open space. Like much of our state, District 10 has a rich agricultural tradition that we must take proactive steps to preserve. We also have significant traffic challenges in the district that may require us to rethink the way we plan communities and build our infrastructure. I am particularly focused on addressing the traffic on SR 299 and the dangerous intersection at U.S. 40 and SR 896.
Improving our Schools & Making College More Accessible
I am honored to have the endorsement of Delaware's educators. The Delaware State Education Association and I have a shared commitment to helping children succeed, empowering teachers and paraprofessionals, and giving parents a louder voice in their child's education.
To that end, I support a parent's right to opt their children out of our burdensome state assessment. Our tests should tell parents and teachers where a student is struggling academically. The data should serve as a clear starting point for more in-depth parent-teacher conversations. The current state assessment does not meet those requirements, nor is it a fair mechanism to evaluate teachers. As things stand, too many resources - including instruction time and money - are being funneled into a test that does little to provide educators and parents with a clear picture of how a child is performing.
We also need to do more to attract and retain quality teachers and other educators by:
- ensuring starting salaries are competitive with other states;
- listening to our educators and providing them with better working conditions, more resources in the classroom and professional development so they can flourish in their careers;
- rewarding educators who show leadership skills and innovation in the classroom; and
- rewarding those who further their education so they can better serve our children.
Finally, we must focus more on making college accessible and affordable, without forgetting that skills-based training in our Vo-Tech schools is a very valuable step in creating our own home-grown workforce to attract the manufacturing and distribution businesses that we need in Delaware to grow our economy. Education and jobs go hand-in-hand. We have an obligation to all of our students to prepare them for successful careers and lives. For those who are college-bound, last year virtually all of Delaware’s college-ready students applied and were accepted to college, and with the state’s landmark SEED Scholarship program, many were able to enroll at Del Tech tuition free. I want to help build on this impressive momentum by encouraging high schools to offer more dual-enrollment classes where college credits can be earned to help motivate students to pursue a degree.
Ending the Addiction Epidemic
Last year, we lost more Delawareans to drug overdoses than we did to car accidents. The good news is addiction is slowly losing its stigma and we are starting to treat it as the public health crisis it is. We have a moral obligation to help people who suffer the ravages of addiction, we can’t simply lock them up and pretend they don’t exist, or that their problem will go away. These are friends and loved ones, and as a state, we can’t abandon them. In the General Assembly, I will push to ensure we have a range of treatment resources across our state for those struggling with drug or alcohol addiction. By getting people the treatment they need, we can save taxpayer money and help them return to school or the workforce, where they can realize their full potential. My goal will be to attract and build a new, state-of-the-art mental health and addiction treatment center in the 10th Senate District.
Standing with Seniors
Delawareans who have spent their lives working hard, raising families, paying taxes and contributing to our economy should never feel the squeeze of our economy. There are real questions as to how the federal government will ultimately deal with Social Security and Medicare, but here in Delaware we must continue to do right by our state’s retirees. That’s why I support the preservation of property tax credits for seniors on a fixed income. I also believe we should be vigilant in making sure we’re doing what we can to control health care and prescription drug costs for seniors.