I've been going door to door, talking to the residents in District 43 for a couple months now and I wanted share some of the questions I've been asked.
Why are you the best candidate for this position?
My history of community service. I’ve served Grand Forks with a purpose and a desire to make it a better community. I’ve witnessed the gaps between the needs of our community and our ability to serve those needs. I’ve seen the daily struggles our citizens face and how they feel their voice is not heard. I’ve experienced the impact government actions have on small businesses and their ability to survive economically. All this provides me with the broad perspective that is needed to serve in this position.
If elected, what would be your top three priorities?
The economy is on the minds of everyone I speak with. The rising cost of goods is impacting all of them and our seniors are worried about their shrinking retirement accounts.
Education is the foundation to building successful career paths for our youth. We must provide resources to make sure students receive a quality education while reducing the burden on our overworked teachers.
There is a mental health crisis in our country and we need to improve 1) access to treatment and 2) delivery of services.
Are there any steps you would take to build collaboration, rather than polarization, between parties, as well as rural and urban communities?
I believe anytime there is discord, the best course to resolving it is with frank and honest conversation. Conversation needs to include listening, not just hearing. Too often, all we see is people voicing their opinions and not listening to ideas outside of their own. It is only through an open dialogue that issues can be resolved. We need to invite all stakeholders to the table, let them voice their concerns and then listen so we can collectively collaborate on developing effective solutions.
How would you ensure election laws do not create barriers to North Dakotans’ freedom to vote while ensuring safe and secure elections?
I believe that North Dakota does a great job of providing its citizens the ability and freedom to vote. The state has taken an active role in providing non-driver photo ID’s to Native Americans, which in the past has created issues with their ability to cast their vote because of how residential addresses are listed. I believe in the integrity of our election system here in the state, and believe it to be both safe and secure.
What other issues do you believe will be most pressing in the next session of the North Dakota legislature, and what are your positions on these issues?
Attracting and retaining a work ready workforce is a challenge we are facing throughout the state. What is it that attracts people to any community? Affordable housing, strong schools and a safe and family friendly community to raise a family are the prime motivators. It also involves the availability of childcare services within our communities. Each of these is an issue that can be impacted by sound investment by the legislature.