Time for Change
Here in the state of New Hampshire, there is a huge imbalance in education funding from town to town as in NH the majority of funding for education comes from municipal property taxes. Not only does this lead to uneven education quality but it leads to uneven taxation across the state. Here in Amherst, surprisingly, we were below the state average for taxable property value. This means that Amherst is paying more in taxes than the state average by town. This is why we as the state of New Hampshire need to restructure the way we fund our schools, we must increase state funding for education so that the people of Amherst save money on local property taxes and so that our residents who live on a fixed income do not get forced out of their homes due to ever-increasing property taxes.
LIBERTY AND FREEDOM
Our motto, “Live Free or Die” is a perfect representation of how our state believes in individual liberty and freedom. It is my firm belief that we should be promoting and defending these individual liberties. When your actions do not affect others, and the consequences will only affect you, those actions are your responsibility - not that of the government. We already have seatbelt laws and helmet laws that allow you to make the choice of protecting yourself while driving or biking. We all know that it is safer to use seatbelts and helmets, but if you want to take that personal risk, that is your own choice. I want to break down government barriers that infringe on our personal rights - starting with legalizing the sale and use of cannabis. The government has more important responsibilities to its citizens than to dictate what they do in their own homes.
RANKED CHOICE VOTING, ELECTORAL REFORM, AND ENDING POLARIZATION
To reduce partisanship and to build a better, more representative, and democratic government we must move forward with ranked-choice voting as it allows citizens to freely express their beliefs and support the candidate they agree most with without fear of "wasting" their vote or "spoiling" the election. People should be able to vote for who they support the most, not who they dislike the least. This not only would open the door to an increase in voter participation but also lead to a more productive government dialogue. When a party or people are forced to compromise and work together, not only is it more productive and effective, but it leads to a less toxic political dialogue and atmosphere.
As someone who has had and who has beat cancer and seen the American healthcare system first hand, I am uniquely placed to tackle these issues. We should not let anyone go bankrupt from getting necessary medical care. No one should struggle to fill a prescription and ration their medication. We must work to lower the cost of prescription medications and healthcare as a whole.
PAID FAMILY AND SICK LEAVE
Granite Staters work hard for what they have. The least we can give them is more time to care for themselves and for their families. Healthy workers and happy workers have been proven to be better and more productive workers. We are the only developed country in the world that does not provide their workers with time to care for themselves when sick or when a family member is ill.
The Environment is a critical issue for my generation. In the coming years, we will face rising sea levels, increased severity of storms, and a new era of global migration by climate refugees. We must tackle these issues through a pragmatic and forward-thinking lense, one which creates good-paying jobs for granite staters and increases our energy independence. We live in a beautiful state with many natural wonders which we can use to harness energy such as wind and solar energy. These projects will lead to significant savings for all our state's residents, especially needed after Eversource's ever-increasing prices.
In an era of Black Lives Matter and renewed calls for police accountability, we must rise to the occasion. Some ideas we should be advancing include Mandatory Body Cameras, which increase objectivity in a court of law, and Civilian Oversight Boards to independently review potential misconduct and afford due process. Our officers at Amherst Police Department do a wonderful job and I am thankful for their service. Together we can make Amherst safer and better for its residents.
It is time that we bring commuter rail to southern New Hampshire. Not only will this reduce the stress on our highways, but it will reduce the massive frustration many people endure every day as they are stuck in traffic. This will also make our state more environmentally friendly as we are able to take more cars off the road. Let's improve life for our workers and our environment.
LOWER LOCAL PROPERTY TAXES
Here in New Hampshire, we are known for our nonexistent income and sales tax. Yet this means we have very high property taxes. Here in Amherst, I have heard truly heartbreaking stories of our elderly and retired residents being forced from their homes now that they are living on a fixed income. This is truly unacceptable, we must find a way to reform our system of taxation in the Granite state so no more will our retirees have to fear being forced from their lifelong homes that they built and bought with their own hard work and determination.
The War on Drugs has proven to be a failure. One that has cost the lives and freedoms of many of our fellow Americans. Cannabis has proven to be one of the least dangerous substances, safer even than alcohol. Not simply is it the right thing to do to keep the government out of our own affairs but also it can be another major source of revenue for the state of New Hampshire. Through the taxation and regulation of Cannabis, we as a state can raise the revenues we need for projects such as increased education funding, tax breaks for working people, and environmental tax incentives. We have the opportunity to raise revenues without taxing working people, shouldn't we take it?