Children and families are the cornerstones of Alabama. When they are healthy, safe and on the path to self-sufficiency, so too, is our state. Providing stability and necessary safety nets for our citizens is not only a moral imperative, it’s in our economic self-interest to:
- Protect access to QUALITY HEALTHCARE by ensuring the viability of our hospitals and programs such as Medicaid and CHIP.
- Provide ELDERCARE and CHILDCARE TAX CREDITS
- Fund EDUCATIONAL and ADVOCACY programs that build strong families
- Ensure the safety and cleanliness of our state’s precious resources, especially our DRINKING WATER
We can create jobs immediately by rebuilding our infrastructure. But that’s not enough. It’s time to ensure all Alabamians qualify for better-paying jobs with better benefits through having access to the training necessary for a modern, global economy. We will recruit industry and commerce that will keep our best and brightest right here, as well as motivate Alabamians to return home, when we:
- Immediately CREATE JOBS and attract new industry by investing in our failing INFRASTRUCTURE
- Provide CUTTING-EDGE workforce TRAINING to attract the best industries and quality employers to the state
When county commissioners are prioritizing which roads to tear up and return to the potholes and mud-pits of dirt roads, and when interstate travel looks more like a parking lot than a freeway, Alabama’s infrastructure is screaming for attention. Good roads for the transportation of people, goods and services are the backbone of a thriving economy and a higher quality of life for all Alabamians. I will work immediately to:
- Implement a MODEST gas tax and build toll-roads that PROVIDE BYPASSES to major traffic congestion. Alabama lacks the quality of roads and bridges found in surrounding states because it trails in the revenue raised by gas taxes and optional toll-road.
- REPAIR, REPLACE and REENGINEER our roads, bridges and tunnels that have been deemed unsafe by the engineers. Officials from The American Society of Civil Engineers have determined that 20 percent of our transportation infrastructure is obsolete.
- Position Alabama as a major TRANSIT HUB for the American South through CAPITALIZING on the convergence of our rail, road and waterway connections. For example, deepening the port of Mobile will be a priority.
Two-thirds of Alabamians want a lottery. AGREED. It’s time that we join over 90% of US states through introducing our own lottery. We desperately need the revenue it generates. Unlike other states, however, the Alabama lottery will operate with transparency and only fund:
- CHILD CARE and EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION programs that are proven to work.
- CUTTING-EDGE VOCATIONAL TRAINING options that reduce high-school drop-out rates and vastly improved state industrial recruitment.
- SCHOLARSHIPS to ensure that all Alabamians can afford a college or technical education. We must fill the gap between Pell grant funding and the cost of attending two-year technical schools and four-year colleges.
Many Alabama prisons exceed their capacity by as much as 150%. Prison Riots and escapes are on the rise, as prisons have become unsafe for corrections officials, inmates and the communities that surround them. While other candidates talk about symptoms, we are ready to address causes—Alabamians agrees that it’s time to fix people rather than fill prisons. It’s time to implement cost-effective, proven programs that will ensure public safety, hold offenders accountable, and reform lawbreakers. Our administration will work quickly to:
- REFORM our broken Criminal Justice and Juvenile Justice systems through the creation of regional diversion community centers and work-release programs.
- Expand special accountability courts for VETERANS, DRUG AND MENTAL HEALTH Treatment, such as those currently working successfully in other states.
- Increase access to long-term, quality, low-cost substance abuse treatment programs for non-violent and drug addicted offenders.
- Provide adequate MENTAL HEALTH CARE for inmates
It’s time to elect leaders who demonstrate honesty, transparency, and integrity by honoring the law and being true to their word. It’s time for a leader who will lead by example and according to universally accepted moral principles. It’s time for a leader, filled with compassion for every Alabamian, to lead us to common ground. It’s time for leaders who are committed to team play and civility—no more drama, division, or embarrassment. If elected governor, I pledge to:
- Exercise a TEAM APPROACH to leadership through holding regularly scheduled inter-governmental branch meetings with the Executive, Judicial and Legislative branches so that we all are working toward unified goals.
- Ensure TRANSPARENCY and RESPONSIVENESS to citizens’ concerns through holding town-hall meetings in all 67 of Alabama counties
- END DIVISIVE PARTISANSHIP through putting people above politics. Our state will never move ahead boldly without becoming unshackled from haunting, self-inflicted mistakes of the past. Our next governor must reach across the aisle to work with all legitimate political interests if we are to realize the lofty yet elusive prosperity and quality of life that all Alabamians, and especially our children, so richly deserve.