As a part of our platform to improve access to educational opportunities, we want to find a plausible solution to the income inequality in our area and across the nation. An educated population is a more healthy and productive population.
No person should have to live paycheck to paycheck or below the poverty line when they work a full-time job, no matter where that job is. I strongly support the establishment of minimum pay standards based on the education level of the individual. By doing this, we not only increase minimum wage to livable levels, but we also create a practical incentive for everyone to strive for higher education.
When we think of the men and women who served our country in the armed forces, it is most often the families of these patriots who pay the greatest price. Let us expand the support for our veterans and their families. Programs aimed at suicide prevention, homelessness prevention, and criminal justice reform are all common-sense programs that will benefit our veterans and their families in the long run. The suicide rate among our men and women of the Armed Forces exceeds the national rate of the general population, and we will work to decrease and hopefully eradicate those numbers by proposing and/or supporting the best services for those veterans.
I'm prepared to work for a bi-partisan, reasonable approach to find solutions that will assist our veterans, their families and our existing veterans administration.
We will explore the option of placing a facility centrally-located within our district that has the ability to track, monitor, and administer all necessary services to our veterans. This facility should be designed to accommodate and service all veterans who live in the 3rd Congressional District. A centrally located veterans facility will provide convenience to our veterans, shorten wait time for services, and create opportunities for both our veterans and citizens of our district. There should be no limit to our resolve to be committed to the well being of our veterans and their families, who have given so much in their service to our country.
Over recent years, mass shootings and gun violence seem to have become the norm, while many of our elected leaders in Congress have refused to take the necessary action that may help stop this deadly and senseless trend. I support the 2nd Amendment to our Constitution, and in no way intend to infringe upon law-abiding citizens owning firearms for personal protection or sport; however, it has become increasingly obvious that is unreasonable for the average citizen, let alone our youth, to have access to assault style rifles and gun modifications that turn semi-automatic weapons into mass murder machines. We join our children who are now leading the call that “Enough is Enough.”
In our schools, where we prepare our children for life; concert venues, where we go to enjoy music, entertainment and each other; our houses of faith, where we seek guidance in our own lives and have traditionally throughout history been places of sanctuary; and in many other places outside of our own homes, we have the right to feel safe. The events of the past few years, particularly the increasingly frequent attacks on schools and churches, have steadily eroded the sense of safety that is due our citizens while they pursue their educational goal or worship experiences.
I will support firearms safety education programs conducted by law enforcement, community outreach to help law enforcement get to better know the citizens they serve, increased funding for mental health care, and taking steps to ensure that firearms remain in the hands of responsible adult citizens and out of the hands of the mentally ill, criminals, individuals with ties to terrorist organizations and our children.
Immigration reform and border control are issues that have been in the national spotlight for over a decade. As congressman, I would advocate for, support and even propose if necessary, legislation that not only effectively secures our borders, but treats those people who are here and that seek a path to citizenship with respect.
As a pro-education candidate, I am a strong advocate for our public education system. There is no greater investment for our children and our future than education. Our public education system in District 3, and throughout South Carolina, should be among our greatest concerns. Our school buildings should be safe, our buses should be well maintained, our educators need to be appropriately compensated and our children should be equipped with the most innovative learning tools.
When originally constructed, the United States Interstate Highway System was considered a wonder of the modern world. Now, after decades of deferred action, both state and federal highways, as well as local thoroughfares, are in a dangerous state of decay. In Congress, I will support, and if necessary, propose legislation aimed at updating and maintaining public infrastructure in South Carolina, and throughout the country. Not only will I address the federal highways, but our state roads and bridges as well. I will fight to bring our tax dollars back home to the taxpayers of this district by supporting the matching of federal government dollars with the state to fund the repair, maintenance and upgrading of our infrastructure throughout South Carolina.