Candidate for WV House of Delegates District 52
Morgantown/Kingwood Branch of the NAACP 2020 Questionnaire
A. How do you plan to improve access to health care and public health information for minority communities in West Virginia?
We need more health care professionals out in our small communities. We need to encourage our youth to take up professions in health care and stay where they are from. To help do this we can make sure the curriculum needed for the future the kids want is available in our schools. We then need to help with educational costs and finally set up facilities where they are most needed. We also need to have a single payer health care system that allows anyone access to providers and medicine regardless of their ability to pay.
B. In what ways should police departments and bystanding police officers be held accountable for their officers’ violent acts and misconduct?
Law enforcement officials should not be shielded from prosecution for acting outside the boundaries of policy and the law. Police exist to serve and protect, not beat and kill. When the force used in an interaction between police and a member of the public, it must be judged to be reasonable or the officer charged with assault or murder in cases of death. Officers are often faced with difficult, even life threatening situations so a great deal of latitude should be granted to them. But in cases where force is used, a civilian review board should determine appropriate actions to be taken.
C. In what ways have you fought discrimination that targeted people of color either in the workplace or in the community?
I served as Chair of the Civil Rights Advisory Committee when I worked for a government agency. I spent several years trying to identify civil rights issues and seek corrective action. This included issues with hiring new employees and delivery of services to the public. Working with local agencies in Morgantown such as Scott’s Run Settlement House and the Community Kitchen have made me aware of the specific issues minority populations face in our community. I’ve come to know that most of these issues cannot be addressed by the people themselves or the local community. They most be addressed with the strength and funding of state and federal government.
D. What actions will you take against voter suppression?
I believe we need to provide voters with every available, verifiable means of voting. Any and all restrictions to voting need to be removed to allow everyone who wants to vote that opportunity. Reasonable proof of identity is fine, but must be accompanied by the state providing easy access to that proof. We need to maintain funding to the USPS to insure delivery of ballots and campaign information. We need to keep polling places in local communities and not seek to consolidate them.