I am grateful that I was able to serve our nation in uniform as an Army officer. Leading soldiers in combat was both an incredible responsibility and a tremendous honor. The experience taught me that there is no greater use of one’s time than to serve a purpose larger than one’s self.
As Buckhead’s representative in the Georgia Assembly, I pledge to always place the needs of our community and our state ahead of my own. I believe that service trumps self-interest, and that is how I intend to perform as long as I am in public life.
A healthy economy is the foundation for our jobs, our wages, and the services we all enjoy. As your state representative I will foster economic growth and opportunity for all Georgians through fiscal responsibility, smart investment in transportation and education, and innovative public-private partnerships.
Buckhead is the heart of Atlanta’s local economy and I will work to support our district’s robust retail and commercial business zones. And as our businesses prosper so too should our local workers. Hard working Americans don’t need handouts, but they do need a fair chance to build and maintain a happy life. Economists at MIT calculate that workers in Georgia need to earn nearly $12.00 per hour in order to reach a livable wage. Georgia’s minimum wage – the lowest in the country – is $5.15 per hour. This isn’t how it was for previous generations: hourly workers in 1968 had more purchasing power than today’s workers do. I support increasing Georgia’s minimum wage so that Georgia’s hardest workers can raise a family and participate in our economy.
Every American has the right to live a life free of discrimination, and I oppose any law that empowers one group to discriminate against another group.
When a business operates in a public space, it has a duty to treat all if its customers in a consistent manner. Businesses should not use a religious belief to treat one kind of customer different from another. Doing so is un-American, it is bad for business, and I will not support any legislation that legalizes discrimination against my fellow citizens.
None of us enjoy sitting in traffic or seeing a stream of commuters pour down our quiet residential streets every morning. With the booming film industry and companies like Amazon looking at Georgia for expansion opportunities, our community must be able to sustain economic growth.
At the local level, we need to look at ways to improve our congested traffic: reconfigure troublesome intersections, widen roads, and build sidewalks and walking trails that link neighborhoods and business centers. At the state and city levels, we need to consider new or reconfigured rail options for commuters and industry.
The strength of America’s economy is dependent on the education of our people. Georgia currently ranks 35th in the nation in terms of the quality of our pre-k through high school system. I am the product of a public-school education (kindergarten through college), and I understand that education is the key to success for America’s future generations. As your state representative, I will work to fully fund our public schools, support bills that draw high-quality teachers into our school system, and create more capacity for our pre-k program, so our children can start learning sooner. When our children succeed our state succeeds.
I believe that just as the government has no right to dictate what we do in our bedrooms, the government also has no right to tell a woman what she can and can’t do with her own body. I support women having straightforward access to contraceptives, as well as the right to choose. I support fact-based sex education in our schools, and proper healthcare for all Americans, so that unwanted pregnancies don’t have to occur in the first place.
It is inexcusable that America, the richest nation in the world, does not have a reliable and affordable healthcare system available to all of its citizens. Proper healthcare should not be a luxury for the well-off. In the Army a Private making less than $20,000 per year in salary has access to the exact same healthcare as a General making more than $200,000 per year in salary.
Our state’s leaders have chosen not to accept Federal funding which would allow for an expansion of Medicaid to hundreds of thousands of Georgians – both big city and rural working class Georgians – and that means that almost 13% of our state is without health insurance. Politicians should not play games with healthcare policy. I believe in stabilizing the healthcare marketplace by assuring its funding, increasing the number of insured citizens to balance the ratio of risk in the market, and seeking further improvements according to what the data reports. A healthy America is a working America with a strong economy. Let’s get to work fixing this problem.
As an Eagle Scout, I was taught the cardinal rule of camping: always leave your campsite better than you found it. I believe that this rule should be applied to all aspects of our community, but it is especially useful in guiding the way in which we manage and sustain our natural environment.
I believe that global warming and climate change are real. As a businessman, I believe that economic growth can be achieved while also treating our environment responsibly. As your representative I will fight to enact legislation that facilitates economic growth, reduces harmful emissions, supports the growth of our renewable energy economy, and protects the beautiful nature that we Georgians cherish.
I feel indebted to our country and our government. Despite being severely wounded, I was able to recover from my combat injuries, transition from the military into civilian life, and succeed as a small business owner because of the tremendous support I received from the military’s medical system, VA educational benefits, and the support of my local community. I wish all Americans could experience the kind of support and opportunity that I have enjoyed. Veterans serve our nation, and our nation must always serve its veterans.
While foreign policy decisions are not the direct responsibility of a state representative, I want you to know that I care not only about what matters most for Georgians, but also what matters most for our nation.
The United States military has been fighting a war in Afghanistan for over 16 years, spending trillions of dollars and losing thousands of lives, while our citizens at home cannot afford proper healthcare and while our own infrastructure crumbles.
I will support Georgia’s active duty and veteran communities by saying loudly and clearly, “Supporting our troops means more than standing for the National Anthem. It means making sure that we are using our military wisely and effectively. Sixteen straight years of an unwinnable war is anything but wise.”
As a former infantry officer that used firearms in combat I am very comfortable with guns, but I also don't want to return from a combat zone only to be surrounded by guns here at home. Our country needs to seriously consider exploring ways we can stay true to the intent of the Second Amendment while ensuring our children and neighbors are safe. I support closing the private sale loophole via universal background checks, I support raising the age at which certain types of firearms can be purchased, and I do not support arming our teachers.