Learn where John stands on the issues that matter to you.
Providing top notch education is step one in forming the competitive backbone for North Carolina to compete in a global economy, and in order for the population to be active, informed members of our democracy. As such the NC General Assembly must prioritize our education system, which has sadly declined from ranking 19th in the nation in 2011 to 40th in 2018.
· Investment into infrastructure, it is estimated we need to invest 8 billion dollars into our state's education system over the next 5 years to provide enough classrooms for teachers and students to maintain a 35:1 ratio. That number will only get higher if we wait.
· Higher education must be affordable; the national student loan debt now exceeds 1 trillion dollars. As such we must stop burdening our youngest with a debt that will harm their economic growth and potential and push for affordable higher education.
· Skills define both a workers value for higher pay and the capability to be competitive as a state. We need to prioritize free community college to help train workers with new skill sets for the rapidly changing economy.
· Good teachers are the backbone of a good education. As such, they deserve to be paid like the well educated professionals they are, along with being provided the resources to do their jobs without paying out of pocket for supplies.
Economies are healthiest when people are able to invest in developing new skill sets and ideas, along with understanding that workers deserve payment that doesn’t force them to be dependent on the government to live a healthy life. A worker who is willing to work 40 hours a week should have enough income to keep food on the table and a roof over their head. This benchmark allows for people to have the time necessary to develop new skills and innovative ideas.
· We must get back to a living wage for our workers and require businesses to operate within these boundaries.
· No tax breaks for corporations that don’t pay a living wage to their workers. Expecting the tax payers to pick up the difference between earned income and the money required to live in dignity can no longer be rewarded.
GERRYMANDERING AND VOTING RIGHTS
A democracy is built on the will of the people. However, our legislature has focused on prioritizing the isolation of power to one party or the other instead of encouraging competitive debate of ideas. Voting districts should be logical and competitive, not blatantly designed to isolate political thought one way or the other. Furthermore, democratic republics thrive from an engaged population, we must be encouraged to expand the accessibility of voting, not attempt to make it harder for citizens to express their right to vote.
· I support pushing for 3rd party independent redistricting of State and Federal seats with a focus on competitive districts over that of party alignment.
· I will push for voter registration at the DMV; along with automatic voter registration forms being mailed out each election year to facilitate ensuring those who change address are registered in the right place come Election Day.
For far too long people have had to face the reality of insurmountable debt due to an unforeseen accident or illness. Healthcare should not be a privilege granted only to those lucky enough to have the funds to afford it. Anyone can be involved in an accident and illness doesn’t discriminate based on economic status. We have an obligation to reform our healthcare system to ensure that people can access life saving treatments along without having to worry about the costs.
· I support expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act to cover the gap of people who make too much money for Medicaid but too little to afford private insurance.
· We must make laws that allow workers to take sick leave both for their own well being and also to slow the spread of contagious illness through the population. Far too many retail and service workers must show up to work while sick due to the threat of being fired or unable to afford the loss of income. This is unacceptable and should not be our standard.
· Ultimately the for profit model of healthcare along with fiduciary laws makes insurance and pharmaceutical companies focus on improving their bottom line over that of providing life saving treatment to those in need. We have seen executive pay for the leaders of these companies skyrocket along with the cost of medication. This must end and we must create a system driven by treating healthcare as a human right, not a luxury.
Second Amendment Rights
I am a believer that one should be able to defend themselves, and that hunters and sports enthusiasts should be able to enjoy their hobbies in peace. We must also address that the level of gun deaths relating both to homicide and misuse is undeniable.
· I support a ban on the sale of Bump stocks. These attachments innately change long barrel semi-automatic rifles from highly accurate weapons to "spray and pray" machines that have no place in civilized society.
· I believe the 2nd amendment “well regulated militia” clause is often forgotten. We must establish mandatory background checks, red flag laws, and a licensing system to guarantee that those who wish to purchase firearms are capable, safe, and knowledgeable.
North Carolina is a beautiful state. For many this natural beauty is part of the reason they chose to stay or move to this state. We are not being good stewards of our environment and we have a duty to leave it in a condition to pass on to the next generation. We must prioritize renewable energy over fossil fuels, ensure the safety of our waterways and wilderness, and hold accountable companies that cause harm to the ecosystem and their neighbors.
· I support an amendment to the state constitution to ban offshore drilling along with fracking within the state. With the rise of new technologies to produce energy without the risk to wildlife or our drinking water there is no reason to open up our ecosystem to the damage potential of an oil spill or the injection of chemicals into our ground water.
· Renewable energy is the way of the future and limits our dependence on foreign oil. Self-sustaining energy production will lead to new quality jobs and a healthier ecosystem for ourselves and future generations.