KIM ON THE ISSUES
ECONOMIC & ENVIRONMENTAL RECOVERY
I’ve seen many changes in our district over the last 20 years. I’ve seen sleepy villages become bustling hubs for economic growth, and tax dollars and grants become available for businesses and infrastructure. I’ve seen organic agricultural come to life. I’ve seen the expansion of value-added production such as artisan cheese makers. We now have our own “Wine Trail.” We have two renowned open water fishing tournaments. Silent sports, ice fishing, and pond hockey are fast-growing winter events supporting our the economy in our District.
At the same time, I’ve seen large employers and good paying employers, like Algoma Hardwoods and the Kewaunee Nuclear Plant, close. We need to work with the Door and Kewaunee County Economic Development Corporation to replace those good-paying manufacturers. We need to help existing companies attract young blue-collar workers and to keep our graduates from leaving by offering good-paying jobs with benefits.
In Northern Door, we need to make better use of grants for tourism infrastructure to help with levies on the tax bill of the year-round residents, as many of our residents are unemployed when tourism and crops are dormant. I will hold our businesses accountable for providing a better living wage and well as being sustainable and always standing up for clean air, energy and water. With this income flux, more than 60% of our school-aged kids are on federal meal assistance programs or rely on faith groups to provide weekend meals. Door County was 8th out of our 72 counties in tax revenues in 2019. We have a very large voice when it comes to providing for our district. I plan to start using it!
As a business owner myself, we need to be able to come up with year-round solutions for our workforce. Affordable housing, healthcare, childcare, and living wage issues need to be the top considerations for our families. Supporting my work family is what keeps me doing what I love, and moving toward a year-round model must propel all public policy and infrastructure decisions. Bringing leaders in our community to the table to find solutions for broadband and infrastructure will give us a united voice for fair wages and living conditions throughout our district.
There is much discussion about farming in District 1. It is in our blood! Our farmers and fisherman need to be recognized as the original economic leaders in our district. Wisconsin is #2 behind California for organic food production. We have a very real industry to tap into. So, why is our current representative standing behind government-backed big farms that aren’t appropriate for the Peninsula’s geography? We know the type of farming that works here and has for generations. Family farming is the sustainable future of farming for District 1.
As your representative, I would be working to bring these crucial business models together. Tourism, manufacturing, farming, and infrastructure all need to support one another to grow our district together. This is the only way to protect our pristine waters and land. No one business is more important than the other. They all contribute and affect to our way of life, our resources, and our environment.
Education is a human being’s way of providing for their future. And, it’s something (as I have learned) that doesn’t always mean concentrating on only academics in high school and the 4-year path of college. Education is the empowerment needed to provide an individual with the confidence to go out and test their knowledge and go after more when needed.
This idea is instrumental when it comes to who I am today. Like many students, I struggled with academics — and it definitely affected my confidence. For me, I was very lucky to have arts to propel my confidence, which gave me the perseverance to stay after school and work with teachers until I finally understood what they were trying to teach me. Our individual paths are shaped by great teachers, who are able to unlock our brains and help us with the information we need to succeed.
We need to let our educators use their education and talents to teach their students the way they know how. And, forcing voters to vote on referendums to fund public education needs to stop. The funding needs to stop coming with strings attached at the state and national level and get to the heart of what our children need in their educational experience. This means the arts, needs of our children’s right to get an education. This means arts, vocational classes, and academics working together. We need artists, welders, mechanics, programmers, and Ph.D.’s to make our state competitive. None of these careers work without the others.
I would have never made it into a 4-year college without the arts— they raised my GPA. On the other hand, I would have never gotten to where I am today without the academics I learned when my 4-year college plans changed and I relied on technical and art schools to pave my path. We need to get back to well-rounded, well-funded public schooling for all. Voucher monies need to be put back into public school funding where it is proven to work the best. We can’t look down on those of us who are working-class citizens, so insisting that trades get the same funding and support that academics receive is crucial to getting America back to manufacturing in the USA — not relying on foreign entities. And, while we’re at it, we need to stop funding private schools with our tax dollars.
How much more partisan politics can we take before our laws and constitution are meaningless words that we allowed our representatives to change by voting party lines and not representing all of their voter’s voices? We need to vote representatives into office that will hold listening sessions and actually listen and show political courage. We need representatives that are willing to go toe-to-toe for their district, and vote with common-sense values — not party lines. I will be that voice and will hold myself accountable to you — the voters of District 1.
What the GOP runs on is not what they rule on. They run on little government involvement, but have district representatives vote to consolidating at the state level. Gerrymandering, lame-duck sessions, voter suppression, and the loss of federal funds for infrastructure, unemployment, and Medicaid are a few issues that we need to hold our elected officials accountable for. I will be that leader, that will look out for District 1 interests.
I will stand up for clean air, energy, and water. We all have the tools to contribute toward solutions in these key issues. One key piece to this is that our state leaders fight for people, and not align with any foreign or special-interest agendas. The Back 40 mine and Foxconn are examples of how our leaders rolled back our environmental standards on wetlands, and waterways. Joel Kitchens proved he can’t be trusted to prioritize District 1 when he voted with the Republican Legislature to give away billions in state dollars to Foxconn. For District 1 voters, the impact on air pollution and our Great Lakes affects our way of living.
COVID-19 and the recent riots are showing that the power balance is not equal for all, that foreign and corporate manufacturing is affecting supplies and medicine, and that our government’s infighting needs to stop. Our great nation was built on shared values for the good of the whole society. Commonwealth democracy is needed to get our great state back on track, and we need to vote blue — from our local school boards all the way to the White House. We need to show up and vote in November to get us on the path to equal governing and representation of the majority of our nation.
As citizens, we all deserve affordable health care. Being a business owner, I have seen the inability to provide affordable good health care to my employees. I have had employees suffer through minor and major health issues because they fear the cost of healthcare. My husband and I have seen our rates start to go through the roof — and we’re just a two-person household. We do a lot of “self-care,” as we can’t afford large deductibles on top of the 20% patient portions on all surgeries and hospital stays. It is unbelievable to me that emergency procedures are covered and not basic health checkups to keep our health care in a preventative — not a reactive mode.
Our health values need to put pharmaceuticals, insurance companies, and government games in check. It’s a woman’s right to make her own decision— not a legislature. Employers should not be able to handcraft what they will cover due to their beliefs. COVID-19 is exposing the deep issues we have with government programs that are failing to support basic supplies, the ramping up of critical supplies, and basic health messaging. Families are having to depend on government subsidies, while pharmaceutical and health insurance companies are making well over their profit margins must be a thing of the past. Medicare and Social Security benefits need to be there for our aging population, who worked hard to fund these programs — not stockholders.
We need to have a voice in health issues. We should be able to support our families with affordable basic healthcare coverage without government and employer oversights. We need to have a public option, along with an individual mandate to get the big insurance companies into the game and allow for more affordable healthcare. We are the fabric of our great America and need representatives who will keep big business and government in check when it comes to healthcare.