"I come from proud a family that has been involved with public service for as long as I can remember. I want to work for you. We need to create more living wage jobs, improve our schools, and make public safety - especially getting guns off the streets, a top priority. With nearly three decades of community experience, I know what it takes to find solutions, navigate the complicated governmental agencies, and get things done."
LIST OF ISSUES
Education & Workforce Development
Increasing adult education programs to enhance workforce development opportunities.
There are many reasons why a student decides to make the life altering decision to drop out of high school. No matter the reason, the outcomes are usually the same. High school graduates earn about $1,600 more a month than GED recipients, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Less income means less access to high quality secondary education, affordable housing, and overall
equity in life.
I started MADE MEN Inc., to equip people in Wyandotte County with the education they need to prosper despite past choices. MADE MEN Inc., is responsible for over 300 people getting their GED. The nonprofit has served individuals in Wyandotte County for the past three years and has seen many successes which I intend to replicate on a state level. Our GED recipients have gone on to pursue higher education and are employed in the workforce making livable wages.
We must create a more qualified workforce in Wyandotte County. A workforce with employees equipped with skill sets that companies need in the next century. To accomplish this, we’ll need a Bold New Voice of Leadership in Topeka to secure education and workforce development funds for District 35.
Increasing funding for reentry programs to help returning citizens find housing, jobs, transportation and education.
Wyandotte County has the highest number of returning citizens coming back to our neighborhoods and communities trying to find gainful employment and affordable housing.
Most job opportunities available require a GED or some level of higher education. We can’t successfully reintegrate people back into District 35, without getting them a GED or specific skill training for technical careers.
Healthcare, transportation, warehousing, and manufacturing are the top job industries in Wyandotte county. Those job categories provide livable wages; however, many of those jobs are not available to people in District 35 because our residents don’t have the technical training required.
In many cases workers come out of prison with critical skills that should transition to these warehouse and manufacturing jobs. We must leverage state education funds to create opportunities for GED programming, technical training classes and financial aid to those who need it most.
Expanding KanCare for 8,736 uninsured residents of Wyandotte County will improve access to care, and create economic impact and job creation.
The expansion of medicaid will close the coverage gap and make sure that all Kansans have access to healthcare. These are our family members, friends, and fellow Kansans who don’t make enough money to afford quality health insurance but have incomes that are too high to qualify for KanCare. Most are employed and many work multiple jobs to provide for their families. These are Kansans stuck in the coverage gap, with no affordable insurance options.
More Kansans with access to routine and preventive care will bring down costs and create jobs for doctors, nurses, medical support staff and others, helping to boost local economies and grow small businesses. Over the next five years expanding KanCare will add more than 13,000 jobs in Kansas, including new jobs here in Wyandotte County.
I will work hard to make sure District 35 residents and all Kansans have improved access to care.
Increasing child welfare by leveraging the services of non-profits to support children in need and by implementing child support programs for struggling mothers and fathers.
Made Men Inc., is the Community Agency CarePortal in Wyandotte County. CarePortal connects the needs of hurting children and families in Wyandotte County and communities across the country with local churches and non-profits who can help. When a child welfare worker uncovers a need, local organizations can connect and respond immediately. For more information and to see the impact, visit www.careportal.org. Over the past two years in Kansas, we’ve connected 7,846 children with the services they needed.
In a 2018 report, Kansas parents owed approximately $840 million in child support. There are a number of reasons parents neglect their child support. Despite those reasons, financial support for the child is critical and the custodial parent has a right to receive the support. At Made Men Inc., we worked to help parents pay their child support and begin to repair their broken family relationships.
Through leadership at the state level, we can create more opportunities for these men and women who owe support to have access to stable jobs that pay a living wage so they can meet their child support obligations. Creating strong fathers, creates strong families which are the foundation of strong communities.
Increasing affordable housing by attracting developers to the district to increase and rehab the district’s housing stock.
Affordable housing is key to helping families thrive in District 35. With high numbers of homelessness and low-income renters, we must address the challenges of affordable housing to maintain a sustainable District 35.
There is a need for new housing options for middle-income families and assistance for those who can only afford to rent. As state representative for District 35, I will make securing funds for Tenant-Based Rental Assistance programs a priority. These
funds will help income-eligible households with rent, security deposit, and/or utility deposits.
For those who want to travel the path of home ownership, I will work with my colleagues in the legislature to make more funding available for my district. Kansas has a First Time Homebuyer Program that helps income eligible households purchase their first home by providing a down payment.
I will work tirelessly to make sure District 35 residents have access to all state programs offered for affordable housing assistance. I will regularly schedule workshops and community meetings to get our District 35 resident the information and assistance they need to take full advantage of these taxpayer funded programs.