Spiritual Grounding – Growing up, my family attended the Greater Morning Star Baptist Church in Mobile, AL. During those years attending Sunday School and participating in youth programs, my brother and I learned the great commandment: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and all thy mind; and Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” I believe love is the core unifying factor for those of us in the interfaith community and should be used to guide our decision making.
Honor – As an undergraduate, I attended the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. While studying, working, and living in a leadership laboratory, the members of my class and I learned the honor concept. It starts with a very simple statement: “Midshipmen are persons of integrity. They stand for that which is right.” As a former Naval Officer who has led sailors in dangerous situations at sea, I believe I am uniquely positioned to bring the honor concept to the U.S. Congress.
Affordable Healthcare - I support the progress made by the Affordable Care Act, such as expanding access to people with pre-existing conditions and eliminating lifetime limits. However, the law has some flaws that have caused healthcare costs to increase for Alabama families. These flaws need to be fixed. I am in favor of repairing the remaining issues in the Affordable Care Act. I am not in favor of repeal initiatives.
Public Education – As a product of the Mobile County Public School system, I believe that public education is the key to upward mobility and the American dream. We must ensure that every child in Alabama receives the same top-quality education, whether attending a public school in the Black Belt or an elite private school in a metropolitan area.
Fiscal Responsibility – I am a fiscally responsible Democrat who is the product of a government program that worked. Government programs can positively impact people’s lives; however, every government program should have the following three components: a) a goal, b) an evaluation timeframe, and c) a success criteria. Government programs that meet their goals during the evaluation timeframe should continue to receive funding. Programs that do not meet their goals should have their funding revoked.
Environmental Stewardship – Alabama’s economy is driven by multiple industries including agriculture, tourism, commercial fishing, coastal port activities, and manufacturing. These industries require clean water and clean air to operate effectively and efficiently. The current debate attempts to classify all regulatory initiatives as a binary choice between the environment and the economy. It’s time to move beyond the rhetoric and work collaboratively to move our environmental initiatives forward. As such, I believe that we should reshape the conversation to focus on a relatively simple concept: the environment is the economy in Alabama.
The Right to Bear Arms - I believe in the 2nd Amendment but we must focus more of our efforts on preventing guns from being sold illegally, and keeping guns out of the hands of criminals.
The Right to Privacy (Family Planning) – As a matter of public policy, I believe that the difficult choice to end a pregnancy is a family decision that specifically resides with the woman. As a person guided by faith, I believe our goal should be twofold: a) reduce the number of unplanned pregnancies though education and family-planning resources, and b) provide the women who experience unplanned pregnancies with the support and pre-natal resources to carry babies to term, if they choose to do so. We want women who experience unplanned pregnancies to understand the range of available options.
The Right to Vote – I believe that voting is a core freedom in our society. Voter suppression tactics, while historically focused on communities of color, are currently used by the individuals in positions of power to maintain power. As a former Naval Officer, I am particularly sensitive to efforts by the government to deny citizens their constitutional right to vote. Our goal, as a state and a nation, should be to make it easier for a person to participate in the election process. As such, I support and encourage early voting, same day registration, and additional polling stations to help Alabama become a leader in this area.