There are plenty of people in Washington or Richmond looking out for billion-dollar corporations. I’m committed to fighting for middle-class families in Staunton, putting forward new ideas, and working to turn those ideas into a reality that makes a difference for people. With your help, that’s what I’ll do on Staunton City Council.
I want you to know what I believe, where I stand, and what I think is worth fighting for: I want to help rebuild Staunton’s middle class. I want a future filled with opportunities for those who work hard and want to provide a better future for their families right here, in our community.
We need a 21st century manufacturing base and expanded service capacity. We need a set of workable rules that don’t tangle up those who are trying to create something new. We need to be able to invent things, make things, provide for more of our own needs and then sell things to the rest of the country. Staunton did that once, and we can do it again.
Here’s what it will take:
- Education. Good public schools, affordable colleges and universities, and good technical training can give us a workforce better than any in the country. Investments in our people pay the highest dividends.
- Buying local. At one time, Staunton was the center of a thriving regional economy. But for too long now, Staunton has been bleeding jobs and businesses to outside areas. A town our size can thrive by partnering with Augusta County and its family farmers and foresters to rebuild an economy based on our abundant local natural resources, from local food and food processing to local services and handicrafts to small-scale local manufacturing.
- Energy and conservation. Right now, clean energy like solar and wind competes with dirty energy that gets lots of special breaks in Washington and Richmond. Staunton can lead the state by making clean technology affordable to give our families energy security and make our whole community more resilient. And conservation is a no-brainer. A city-wide insulation program could help families save on their heating bills while creating jobs.
- Fair taxes. In a tight economy, local government needs to find creative ways to save money and pay for necessary services without burdening property owners, small businesses and families that are already stretching every dollar as far as they can.
Now is the time to rebuild Staunton’s middle class. Instead of sending so much of our consumer spending outside our area, it’s time Staunton recognized the working people and small businesses who are still trying to build a future right here.