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My views on issues can be best understood by knowing my core values–fairness, social justice, protection of civil rights, respect for others, stewardship of the environment, fiscal responsibility, and personal responsibility. In general, these core beliefs are more closely aligned with policies advanced by the Democratic Party. I am a moderate Democrat. Many of you know my stand on a number of issues from reading my regular columns in the Conway Daily Sun. What you read is what you get.

Access to health care is a fundamental human right and need. Our current healthcare system is very broken. By choosing to treat healthcare as a commodity, our system serves insurers, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and providers much better than it serves the consumer. We spend about twice as much on healthcare as other advanced democracies but our health outcomes are much worse. Health care access, like universal education, is infrastructure needed to support our well-being and our economy. Everyone needs to be covered. You should not have to hold a fundraiser to cover your medical costs.

Women must be considered as equals in all respects, including a woman’s right to make her own choices in her life without interference from the government and without discrimination. This includes a woman’s right to equal educational choices, equal opportunity for employment and equal pay for equal work. Fundamental to this is a woman’s right to control her body and her fertility through access to contraception and safe abortion. Without the ability to control her own fertility, she loses the right to control the trajectory of her life.

The right of an individual to express his or her own sexual preference and gender identity needs to be protected with full civil rights guaranteed to prevent discrimination.

I feel that education and training are critical for developing an educated and functioning workforce and a well-informed electorate. We must guarantee the right to a quality education for all, regardless of gender, race or socioeconomic status. We need to respect the teaching profession with proper support and reform our school funding to be fair by decreasing the reliance on property taxes.

We can only excel as a state and country with modern infrastructure including roads, housing, and accessible broadband. Our continual neglect of infrastructure will hamper our ability to progress to a vibrant and growing community and economy.

Respect for and careful stewardship of the environment is critical. Development needs to follow best management practices to ensure the preservation of our environment. Many of us live here because of our love for the beautiful mountains and lakes and the clean water and air. We must be careful to live in harmony with our surroundings and not spoil the environment. We need a rapid transition to renewable energy sources and energy conservation.

Addressing each of the above issues should help us with another important problem in New Hampshire–attracting and retaining young and educated workers to grow our economy.

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