QUALITY OF LIFE
Growing up, the son of an auto mechanic and stay-at-home mom, we lived a modest but middle-class lifestyle. And I was able to become the first in the family to graduate from college. That is because many more opportunities were available to the average worker than today. Many people are not so lucky. Poverty and limited opportunities are persistent even among those who are working hard, sometimes at multiple jobs. Today, we are living in the fastest growing county in the State with so many opportunities yet too many people have been left behind.
Equity and Fairness
All our citizens should be able to enjoy a positive quality of life -- social justice, adequate housing, a living wage and a secure retirement. Families should not have to choose between having children and economic security. Wages for low-income workers have stagnated over the past several decades, and continuing low rates of full-time work, especially in single-parent households, often leave families in poverty. Our community and state resources must be used in ways that promote the health, welfare and security of all who live in the Cumberland Valley. And Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, are essential for many to maintain their quality of life.
Affordable and accessible health care
Health care for all is an essential ingredient of sustainable lifestyle and strong communities. Health care must be affordable and accessible to every citizen. We must protect women’s right to make decisions about their own reproductive health while providing programs that nurture the health of women and their babies. Health care and other resources are needed to assist members of our community who are struggling with addiction and dying because of opioid abuse. Fatalities are rising (a doubling from 42 in 2016 to more than 80 in 2017) and the human and financial cost of the crisis is taking resources from other needs. We must investigate every available resource and strategy to address this crisis.
Protecting our environment
This valley, where we live and work and spend good times with our families and friends, offers so much: the mountains, farms and the fields that surround us, our many small towns and outdoor recreation opportunities. The trucks and warehouses in our area help provide jobs, but they also add pollutants into the air that all of us – men, women and children – breathe every day. Our air quality is often worse than major metropolitan areas. We can’t be satisfied with the status quo – we need to find ways to reduce air pollution in Cumberland County as well as ensure the safety of our water supply. We can achieve a balance between economic development and protection of the natural beauty, open space and cultural resources we all enjoy.