Arkansas can provide every child in our state with a world-class education.
As the mom of four children currently enrolled in the Little Rock School District, I understand firsthand the importance of making sure every child in Little Rock and Pulaski County has access to an excellent, well-funded public school. There is no reason why Arkansas public schools shouldn’t be nationally competitive. Our kids – no matter their ZIP code – must have access to a world-class public education, and it’s up to us to make sure they have that opportunity.
We MUST invest in universal pre-K for Arkansas families—disparity in access to opportunity starts before Kindergarten. Let’s empower every family in our state to enroll their child in an excellent public pre-K program. Let’s also pay teachers more, ensure that every teacher is doing their job in an environment that has robust wrap-around services, and hold public school administrators accountable to the schools and their communities.
Public education really is a silver bullet. Strong schools strengthen families, neighborhoods, economies, and futures – for all of us.
Arkansas can make sure every Arkansan has access to excellent, affordable healthcare.
Our elected officials should be doing everything they can to make it easier, not harder, for Arkansas families to access affordable healthcare.
Thanks to Arkansas Works, tens of thousands of Arkansans are insured, and dozens of clinics and hospitals across our state are still open for business. Healthy Arkansans lead to healthy communities and improved opportunities for everyone. Expanded Medicaid coverage also protects our rural hospital systems, which are vital to providing critical services and care. We must prioritize protecting and improving the lives of the people not only in our community, but in every corner of the state.
Let’s protect and strengthen Arkansas Works, and make sure all private healthcare providers in the state have the tools they need to provide Arkansans with excellent healthcare.
Arkansas can institute smart gun safety measures.
I support bipartisan common sense gun safety measures. Like a lot of Arkansans, my husband and I are gun owners. As a responsible gun owner, I want to make sure that convicted felons, violent offenders, and domestic abusers do not have access to firearms, and most importantly I want our kids to be safe in their classrooms.
Universal background checks should be required for every new gun purchase. In addition, I don’t think legislators have the right to tell any educator in this state – whether at a public college or a local elementary school – that they should be required to allow firearms in the classroom or to carry firearms as part of their job. Campus carry is a bad idea, and recent legislative proposals to arm schoolteachers or school resource officers without sufficient training – or consent – is dangerous.
I don’t think the legislature should be able to tell any school that they must allow guns on their campus. I think we should take seriously the judgment of security offices, school administrators, and local law enforcement agencies when we make these serious and important decisions.
Arkansas can honor and serve its veterans.
My husband Cliff is a Marine combat veteran (infantry squad leader), so we have lived the sacrifice Arkansas military families make every day. From family separations for deployments, to dealing with combat injuries and disabilities when they come home, Arkansas veterans and their families have truly given us their very best.
Now it’s our turn to give veterans OUR best.
Let’s make mental healthcare services more available at a state and local level for veterans and their families to access, even if they don’t have a VA or VA clinic nearby. Let’s honor veterans’ service with the resources they need to succeed in Arkansas’s economy. Let’s work on a Hiring Veterans Tax Credit, and invest seriously in job skills retraining. Let’s work with our VA systems in Arkansas to make sure that our veterans’ care is the best in the country, so that they are able to access the tools they need when they come home, no matter where they live in Arkansas.
As a Marine’s wife, I understand sacrifice. I also understand that I’m lucky—Cliff and I have crucial support at home and in our community. But so many don’t. Our state’s elected leaders must do better to close the gaps in care and services for our state’s heroes. Our warriors have fought for us; it’s time for their representatives to actually fight for them.
Arkansas can become a world-class business incubator.
I want to make sure that Pulaski County is the best place in our state to start a small business. Last year, Republicans gave a tax cut to our state’s top earners, but they didn’t need a tax cut. The middle class, small business owners, and next-generation leaders in our economy do need that tax cut. I want to work hard to make sure that the middle class in Arkansas isn’t subsidizing millionaires and billionaires, and I want to make sure that our state’s lowest earners have a shot to get ahead. Our state should be open for business – for everyone.
Companies today aren’t making decisions about new locations simply based on start-up costs. Instead, they are laser focused on whether they can guarantee their employees an excellent quality of life, with access to top-rated schools, healthcare, arts, and opportunity.
Arkansas can be all of this and more, but we need to do the work: Let’s make sure Little Rock and Pulaski County public schools are the best in the state, so that our region can attract national top talent. Let’s invest seriously in the arts and culture, and take a hard look at our infrastructure. We need to prioritize investments that will ensure Arkansas is ready for the business of the 21st century. And finally, let’s make sure that our world-class health professionals at UAMS, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, and throughout central Arkansas have the funding they need to advance their research and continue making breakthroughs in all areas of the medical sciences.
These are regional wins that will benefit each and every one of us.