Open Communication

The voice of the people should not be limited to elections.  As a member of Congress I would not only advocate for the issues that are important to the people of District 4, but I would welcome their input on a daily basis.  When you call your representative in Congress, you should be able to speak with them directly, not leave a message that perhaps no one will hear.  I am running because I am passionate about my community, not because I believe I have all the answers.  We must communicate to make sure every vote cast in Washington is to the benefit of the Upstate community.  Our government succeeds when everyone educates themselves on the issues and takes an active role in the implementation of new policies.


Immigration

The immigrant communities in District 4 are vibrant and play a vital role in our local economy.  Unfortunately, they are often disregarded or even attacked when it becomes politically expedient.  Most immigrants risk their lives to seek a quiet and peaceful existence where they can experience the freedom we too often take for granted as citizens.  This country should be a beacon of light and prosperity, and we need to uphold our founding principles by welcoming new immigrants who only want to work hard and create their American dream.  I am in favor of increased border security and deporting individuals associated with criminal gangs, but those policies must be accompanied by a pathway to citizenship for current residents, and a faster process at the border for accepting new immigration applications.  We cannot continue to characterize a large segment of our population as something less than a human being.  Immigrants are people, and they have an equal right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  

Healthcare

Access, cost, and transparency are the essential elements of a healthcare reform initiative that benefits all Americans.  In modern society, all people must have access to quality healthcare options.  Additionally, we must return the decision-making power to the patient and their doctors.  In a health system that has become convoluted and irrational, it is imperative to restore market incentives that help control prices and ensure that everyone knows the real cost of the services they receive.  The United States has the best doctors in the world, but government interference has fractured the relationship between physicians and patients and turned our healthcare system from a community-based approach to a nationalized calamity.   

Student Loans

The avalanche of student loan debt is likely to cause the next financial crisis in America.  The repayment of student loans has already become a costly burden in millions of households, but few solutions have been presented.  Grant-based aid is stagnant, yet tuition continues to outpace inflation by a significant margin.  College graduates must begin repayment within six months, and instead of searching for gainful employment in their desired field or industry, they are forced to accept any available opportunity to avoid defaulting on their student loans.  A new repayment system is needed to eliminate the hardship American families face as a result of mounting debt.  To create a sustainable financial foundation, graduates should have the opportunity to focus on finding the right job, growing their savings, and making economically beneficial purchases such as a home.  It is unethical to promote the financial incentives of higher education without offering a sustainable repayment plan.

Community Development

My candidacy focuses on community development rather than accruing political power.  The access and influence of a seat in Congress should benefit more than a single individual or their party.  The Upstate of South Carolina has a plethora of great organizations and incredible people, and each one should benefit from our representation in government.  I will fight to raise the profile of such agencies to ensure the needs of the community are being met.  From volunteer opportunities to donation requests, I will use my platform to promote and support the people who work tirelessly to help those in need.  When we all get involved, it strengthens our bond as citizens and demonstrates to others the power of community relationships.

Small Business Development

The Upstate has a flourishing small business community.  To better support further growth and development I will pursue policies that relax regulations, reduce taxes, and provide funding for business owners.  As a small business owner myself, I understand that the multiple roles we take on to stay busy and provide for our families leave little time or patience for government obstruction.  Our goal is to achieve the American dream, and the government should be supporting our efforts by unleashing the economic might of each individual who is fighting to succeed.  

Ethical Hiring

A man or woman working full-time should not be deciding between the electric bill and food on payday.  We must demand more from companies who purposefully pay employees less than they need for basic living expenses.  Businesses may be the lifeblood of our economy, but the dedicated employees are the backbone of every business.  In a country where millions of people struggle to make ends meet, corporations that unethically use their leverage to maintain low wages should be held accountable.  Alternatively, employers who appreciate the value added by their employees and pay accordingly deserve recognition for promoting capitalism with a conscience.

Drug Crisis

The drug crisis in this country is abhorrent.  Significant changes in our approach to drug enforcement are required to begin winning the battle against addiction.  First, we must recognize that by the time an illicit substance makes it to the street dealer the battle has already been lost.  Street dealers are regular people who seek the economic benefit of participating in a multi-billion dollar industry.  Attacking the problem from the bottom-up is a failed strategy with an outdated theoretical framework.  Rather than overwhelming our justice system with petty criminals, we should focus our attention on fighting the drug trade at the source.  We cannot afford to play political games with neighboring countries while millions of Americans die from addiction, and families are torn apart by mass incarceration.  The source of our drug crisis is not on a street corner, and the problem will not be eliminated until we focus our resources on destroying the cartels and stemming the flow of narcotics through our northern and southern borders. Additionally, we need to drastically increase our financial support of first responders and rehab facilities on the frontlines of the battle against addiction.  

Foreign Policy

American foreign policy should be developed through thoughtful consideration as new information becomes available.  I am not currently privy to the classified information that is used to formulate military and diplomatic responses to geopolitical events, so it would be ill-advised to propose concrete solutions.  Philosophically, I believe that life is a precious commodity, and war should be the last possible option.  However, I also believe that when a direct conflict is warranted or instigated, the full might of the United States military should be employed to eliminate the threat quickly and efficiently.

Second Amendment

The Second Amendment should be upheld and protected as a fundamental right for every American.  However, the rising concern over gun violence requires an adequate response from political leaders.  I will support the second amendment, but I will fight to make sure guns in possession of private citizens are safely stored, and correctly used.  Additionally, the right to possess a deadly weapon should require initial and continuing education, background checks, and a mental health screening.  Owning a gun is our right, but protecting the innocent from gun violence is a legislative imperative.