We need better broadband internet. ...and good jobs, housing, and education. ...and good healthcare & childcare. We must preserve and strengthen clean water supply and farming, local business, the environment, forests and trails, transportation. We need criminal justice reform that does what it's supposed to do. It's a long list, but we must aim for action and results starting now.
Education can look different for each person. Early learning can lead to lifetime success. The urgent need for online learning presented new challenges. Public funding towards technical schools, community colleges and four-year colleges can make your neighbors do better in life, which improves the economy for everyone.
Richard May knows first hand the challenges of small business: The backbone of our economy. Richard owned 2 restaurants with 20 employees, and was president of the Everson Nooksack Chamber of Commerce. Our state's B&O tax charges on gross receipts even if a business lost money. That's not the right way to do it. You can see Richard testify in legislative committee in favor of the Main Street business revitalization program HERE and HERE .
We need to be good stewards of the beautiful mountains, valleys, rivers, ocean, and the forests, animals and aquatic life. Richard testified on Representative Lekanoff's Bill 1117 for salmon restoration, and has volunteered with Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association (NSEA). There are many ways we can do cost effective or even profitable things to be cleaner, with less waste and toxins.
Wages have stayed the same, but costs of living keep rising. Experts claim we should pay only 30% of our income to housing costs, but few people do. And affordable should not just mean low quality. Some decades ago, a single earner could afford to support and house a whole family. Something's not right if there are jobs that require an employee to also get EBT and the food bank to survive. Let's get real about an economy that can pay workers well, and making sure everyone has secure, reasonably priced housing.
Richard supports having great parks and trails and recreational opportunities for all. People are migrating to cooler wetter climates like ours, which will put even more pressure on demands and rights for water. Farmers, cities, tribes, and the salmon runs all need water. We must give clarity and predictability to everyone. We must preserve Whatcom as an excellent place for agriculture, commercial and micro farming.
We must ensure that routine health care is affordable and not bogged down in bureaucracy, and that catastrophic care doesn't bankrupt families.
Childcare has become a crisis. Decades ago, one single earner could support a whole family, but these days, couples are both working, and single parents are working and schooling more than full time. We must have sufficient and affordable child care in every part of the county.
Your tax dollars should come back and fix our roads and bridges. Thornton Street to the freeway. Bell Road at the train delay. Highway 9. Wherever people or goods & services need to flow more easily. Richard May will chase down that funding. We must also remember that some of the cleanest and most affordable transportation is non motorized.
Our federal constitution was written when there was concern about the government turning its military against its citizens. Out police are overburdened with handling many situations, some of which might be better handled by other community workers and agencies. If there's no immediate threat to persons or property, people might need mental or social or substance treatment, and not always need someone who is trained to handle much more urgent cases.
The pandemic really revealed how much need there is for quality high speed internet. Richard May testified in legislative committee in support of increased broadband in our state. Richard has helped facilitate community meetings including citizens and Whatcom Public Utilities Commission, municipal public works and council, the state Broadband Office, and vendors, to try and make sure that there is input and guidance for the vendors and the state allocated federal matching funds.