League of Women Voters Questionnaire
The Utah League of Women Voters runs a questionnaire at vote411.org, and I recently submitted my responses. Since the questions are important ones, I thought I would also post my answers here.
Please tell us why you are uniquely qualified to serve the constituents in your district?
I am a software engineer that has spent the last 15 years using creativity and innovation to help businesses all over the country run more efficiently. I bring enthusiasm and creativity to every problem I help solve. I want to bring that experience, enthusiasm, and creativity to the State Legislature as I work toward Fair Representation, Compassionate Government, and Environmental Stewardship.
As our economy continues to change, I will work hard to make sure that rural Utah and the Wasatch Back have the resources they need to make the most of it.
How would you balance environmental and economic issues in your district?
Protecting the environment doesn’t need to come at the expense of economic success. In fact, people in my district realize that their economies depend on the protection of our outdoor places. I will do my best to support companies that innovate and come up with new ways to support Utah families while being responsible stewards of our environment.
We must encourage creativity and entrepreneurship so that people pollute less, and profit more.
What should Utah do to ensure access to affordable quality healthcare for all?
Poor health due to air pollution makes health care costs go up for everyone. First, we must continue to work towards cleaner air that makes fewer people sick.
Second, we must pass full Medicaid expansion. Right now, we are paying twice for the uninsured in Utah. Once through higher costs because of emergency room visits, and again through our taxes to the federal government. By passing Medicaid expansion, we can cover 150,000 more Utahns, slow insurance premium cost growth, and bring hundreds of millions of dollars that we have already paid back into Utah’s economy.
Third, we should encourage the growth and use of telemedicine. For rural Utah, telemedicine offers the opportunity to save hours of driving time and make healthcare more convenient and affordable.
What is crucial to creating a world-class education system in Utah? How should it be financed?
A world-class school system encourages students to be leaders and critical thinkers, not just good test-takers. We need to instill in our school children not only the knowledge to succeed, but the confidence and creativity that it takes to become leaders and innovators in whatever field they might choose.
We must also support extra-curricular activities that are so important to young people gaining confidence and building social networks. This includes music, art, theater, sports, vocation / technical, and more.
Funding schools in a state with the highest number of children per family is not easy, and it is a big investment for Utah families. I believe that education is crucial for opportunity and will fight to make sure that schools are well-funded. I will also work hard so that Utah tax payers feel confident with their investment. As a long-term technology professional, I believe there is no technological substitute for trained, professional, caring teachers. I will be a resource to make sure that technological investments in education are wisely made.
What steps would you recommend to ensure safe schools?
Schools should be given the resources to do what is best for their specific circumstances. Whether it is architectural changes, advanced security systems, staff training, or more resource officers, the school staff and administration would have the best ideas how to use these funds for their school.I would explore common sense gun regulations such as enhanced background checks for all gun purchases. I believe the CDC should be unshackled from the handcuffs that prevent them from making recommendations on gun violence. We should work to make mental health resources accessible and affordable.
We should continue work to reduce stigma towards mental health so that those who might seek help are not too ashamed or embarrassed to do so.