Even when I’m working in Dover, I’m laser-focused on the 10th District. I rely on feedback from my constituents to be an effective representative for them in Leg Hall – and more than that, each of them deserves a strong advocate for constituent services, from help with state agencies to potholes on their streets. That’s why I formed the Multicultural Coalition, which helps connect different communities in our area with one another, and it’s why I host routine constituent coffees and seminars for groups like local neighborhood homeowner associations and maintenance corporations.
CREATING JOBS & FIGHTING FOR THE MIDDLE CLASS
A strong middle class is the economic lifeblood of our country, and Delaware’s labor force is the heartbeat of our state. That’s why creating and preserving quality jobs that pay a living wage will be my top priority in the State Senate. I know from my work as an environmental attorney and New Castle County Council President that we can attract new employers to our state and district without compromising our quality of life. I will also fight for new job training programs that help our workforce adapt with our changing economy and for enhanced trades-focused educational opportunities for kids who choose not to pursue college.
IMPROVING SCHOOLS & MAKING COLLEGE MORE ACCESSIBLE
I am honored to have the endorsement of Delaware’s educators. The Delaware State Education Association and I have a shared com
mitment to helping children succeed, empowering teachers and paraprofessionals, and giving parents a louder voice in their child’s education.
To that end, I support a parent’s right to opt their children out of our burdensome state assessment. Our tests should tell parents and teachers where a student is struggling academically. The data should serve as a clear starting point for more in-depth parent-teacher conversations. The current state assessment does not meet those requirements, nor is it a fair mechanism to evaluate teachers. As things stand, too many resources – including instruction time and money – are being funneled into a test that does little to provide educators and parents with a clear picture of how a child is performing.
We also need to do more to attract and retain quality teachers and other educators by:
- Ensuring starting salaries are competitive with other states;
- Listening to our educators and providing them with better working conditions, more resources in the classroom and professional development so they can flourish in their careers;
- Rewarding educators who show leadership skills and innovation in the classroom; and rewarding those who further their education so they can better serve our children.
Finally, we must focus more on making college accessible and affordable, without forgetting that skills-based training in our Vo-Tech schools is a very valuable step in creating our own home-grown workforce to attract the manufacturing and distribution businesses that we need in Delaware to grow our economy. Education and jobs go hand-in-hand. We have an obligation to all of our students to prepare them for successful careers and lives. For those who are college-bound, last year virtually all of Delaware’s college-ready students applied and were accepted to college, and with the state’s landmark SEED Scholarship program, many were able to enroll at Del Tech tuition free. I want to help build on this impressive momentum by encouraging high schools to offer more dual-enrollment classes where college credits can be earned to help motivate students to pursue a degree.
PRESERVING OUR PRECIOUS FARMS & OPEN SPACE
Economic growth is critical for our state, but we must grow in ways that preserve the sanctity of our communities. As a state, we can better coordinate with county and municipal governments on smart growth strategies that incentivize redevelopment and preserve valuable open space. Like much of our state, District 10 has a rich agricultural tradition that we must take proactive steps to preserve. We also have significant traffic challenges in the district that may require us to rethink the way we plan communities and build our infrastructure. I am particularly focused on addressing the traffic on SR 299 and the dangerous intersection at U.S. 40 and SR 896.
The addiction epidemic has devastated families across the 10th District and Delaware. That’s why it was one of my biggest focuses on my campaign, and I work to honor that promise each day. My first bill in the Senate required insurance companies to cover 14 days of inpatient treatment for people recovering from addiction, no-questions-asked. That bill passed both Chambers and was signed into law in 2017.
Since then, I’ve been the sponsor on many bills related to addiction that have provided legal resources to those who believe they have been unjustly denied insurance coverage, opened up insurance coverage for non-opioid pain relief treatments, and enabled the creation of an Overdose System of Care where someone who has suffered an overdose can be immediately assessed and provided a pathway to recovery. But being in office isn’t just about passing legislation. There are many approaches to addressing a problem as big as our addiction epidemic. I’ve been making strides on many fronts through an informed approach where I have been visiting and assessing the facilities we have throughout our State that have some role to play in the addiction treatment continuum, reviewing their practices, and looking for the strengths and weaknesses in our system. I’ve been partnering with our State agencies to look for ways in which we can better serve those who are addicted and their families in crisis, and I’ve started conversations with members in our judicial system to better serve our justice-involved population who have an addiction. There is just so much to do and as long as the addiction epidemic continues, my work is not done. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, find help at HelpIsHereDE.com.
INVESTING IN INFRASTRUCTURE
Strong infrastructure isn’t just a building block for a strong economy; it’s also one of the biggest issues that residents of the 10th District deal with each day. With the possible exception of our schools, Delawareans interact with DelDOT and the DMV more than any other public service, and the 10th in particular relies on infrastructure upgrades to keep pace with the popularity and growth of our communities. My position as Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee means that you have a seat at the table on transportation policy and I’ve already been a prime sponsor or co-prime sponsor on three bills that keep our roadways safer and make trips to the DMV easier and less frequent.
ROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT
I’ve been fascinated with the natural sciences since I was a young girl, and I’ve carried that passion forward into my careers with DNREC and as an environmental attorney. I’ve also carried it to Dover with me – that’s why I sponsored legislation to create the Ecological Extinction Task Force, which spent months studying the alarming rate of species loss in Delaware and made recommendations to help reverse the trend – including replacing invasive plants with native ones, protecting open space, and making better use of public lands. In order to implement the recommendations of the task force, I then sponsored legislation that created the Delaware Native Species Commission comprised of experts in this area and today they are making strides to reverse this trend. A healthy environment doesn’t have to come at the cost of a strong economy, and I’ll continue to be an advocate for both.
STANDING WITH SENIORS
Delawareans who have spent their lives working hard, raising families, paying taxes and contributing to our economy should never feel the squeeze of our economy. There are real questions as to how the federal government will ultimately deal with Social Security and Medicare, but here in Delaware we must continue to do right by our state’s retirees. That’s why I support the preservation of property tax credits for seniors on a fixed income. I also believe we should be vigilant in making sure we’re doing what we can to control health care and prescription drug costs for seniors.