Simplistically abortion is a process of terminating a pregnancy. It can be natural as in spontaneous abortion or can be a medically supervised procedure which involves choice. In the United States, that choice is legal and I believe that it should remain so. I would not introduce or support any legislation that would allow state decisions to supersede one’s personal choice in decisions about reproductive health.
BLACK LIVES MATTER:
Recognizing that people of color have faced issues of discrimination and profiling throughout our history and having seen continued incidents of excessive force by policing agencies, I support the Black Lives Matter movement. I also fully support our police nation-wide. I see no contradiction there. Most police officers are officers of the peace, most are not racially motivated nor do they use excessive force. The leadership of BLM does not promote destructive acts of violence any more than the leadership of policing agencies promotes excessive force. And yes, while all lives matter, the lives of blacks have not seemed to have mattered and we must work to change that.
CHARTER SCHOOLS AND PUBLIC EDUCATION:
As a teacher of 34 years, I fully support traditional public education. While regulation on charter schools has become more aligned with regulations on traditional public schools, there is wide variance in the actual services and outcomes of charter schools. They are not required to “take all kids” as the traditional system is—so there can be barriers for special needs students, for example. I do not support the diversion of taxpayer funds to for-profit charter schools or parochial institutions. Public education is a key cornerstone to a productive and informed citizenry.
The science of changing climate and weather patterns shows that the entire world has to consider the effect of global warming as real. Governments, businesses, farmers and every day citizens must work together to safeguard our natural environment. We cannot pollute, deplete, destroy or misuse our resources, nor deny man’s influence as a contributing factor in climate change. Scientific data, research and information must be more influential than immediate economic gain.
CONFEDERATE STATUES AND HISTORICAL MONUMENTS:
History should not be white-washed or sanitized. We are a great country with dark moments in our past. The treatment of Indigenous Americans was often brutal and their lands were stolen. The treatment of black people was often brutal and their futures were not allowed to be self-determined. To honor those who tried to tear our union apart, who fought and killed those who wanted to maintain the Union we had established was a misguided effort. It is time to remove those statues which glorify Confederate leaders and their acts of rebellion.
It is the basic right of all people to self-identify. There should be no laws that allow discriminatory practices based on age, ethnicity, faith, gender identity, race or religion. I would not support legislation that restricts the rights of the LGBTQ+ community including legal marriage, adoption, employment and health care options.
GUNS AND GUN CONTROL:
The Second Amendment assures that the citizenry has the right to own weapons and to protect oneself, one’s family and property. With that right comes the responsibility for the safe oversight of weapons one owns. In a civil society we agree that some restrictions on gun ownership are reasonable—that a person’s age, mental health, criminal history or behavior might necessitate some state oversight. I support the concept of “red flag” laws, but would only support legislation that is extremely limited and precise in scope. I do not support state action that would allow or demand that school personnel be armed.
Masks are worn to control the mist expiration of breath. To wear a mask is a courtesy to others since one can be asymptomatic and yet be spreading the COVID virus. It is not a political statement or a matter of freedom, it is simply a sanitary way to reduce the spread of disease. I wear a mask, expect others of my campaign to wear masks, and will follow the guidelines of our country and state at any given moment in time.
We have many reasons to be proud of our country, our core democratic values, our unity as well as each individual’s freedoms. To force demonstrations of loyalty to an office holder, to the flag or to the country itself goes against our founding principles of freedom of expression. We celebrate our country but we do not indoctrinate or dictate precisely what form patriotism will take. It is not unpatriotic to want to do better in striving toward a more equal American experience for all.
Religion is another intimately personal choice. Within the framework of democracy, people have the right to choose whether they will ascribe to a religious doctrine or not. It is not up to the state to determine if or what a person should belief. No one belief system should be favored by the government.
SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE:
The state should be remote from decisions of the church. The church should be remote from decisions of the state. Reality sees them intertwined, but any state actions should be scrutinized to assure that faith itself is not favored nor is any one faith favored. I believe that the society is enriched by the morality and ethical guidance that faith often brings, but also believe that decision-making by the state should not be faith-based.
The decisions about vaccines and immunizations rest with the individual. Michigan statutes require immunizations for children attending school unless a parent acquires a waiver from the county health department. Michigan Statute 333.9215 provides for vaccine exemptions for medical, religious or other reasons. I would not support rescinding that statute.
There is no doubt that this remains a very concerning issue in Michigan. As you might know, Judy Emmons is one of the Human Trafficking Commission Members and will continue to serve into 2021, when the term expires for many of the members. The 2014 legislative package contained 21 bills, which included the creation of the Commission. I intend to become very familiar with that package and work to increase support as needed.