Ohio's Future Needs Bold Ideas

The reason why I am running for office is simple, voters want to reconnect with their elected leaders and desire bold change for Ohio .

The primary reason I am running for office is help rebuild the bridge of trust that once existed between the people and the officeholders sent to the Statehouse on the very promise that the peoples’ interests and desires would be represented and acted upon through sensible legislation.

And as we all know in Ohio, that promise was thrown over the side long ago, falling into a chasm of callousness and corruption, and the trust in our government soon collapsed leaving an almost unbridgeable void that exists to this day. HB6, the backwards looking energy legislation passed last year written exclusively by and for special interests, is essentially taxation without representation and is testament to the fact that our officeholders no longer represent the people in the least.

Gerrymandering has only compounded the situation as the people are provided with no alternative policies or opportunities to voice their opposition as elected officials no longer feel compelled to hold even an open town hall meeting since they are secure in their safely drawn districts.

And as with laws like HB6, the majority party in the General Assembly regularly rushes through legislation and quickly passes laws contrary to the interests of the majority of people in Ohio. In fact, if people were truly consulted by their representatives they would reject most of these attempts at such ill-conceived legislation. I realize both sides like to search out those great quotes from our Founding Fathers’ when it suits their agendas but this quote from Jefferson is the one most avoided by the current majority in the Ohio General Assembly: “As new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times.”

My campaign is centered on providing a road map to get this vehicle called Ohio moving toward a destination we used to call the Future. These are just some of the ideas my campaign will be presenting this year:

Carbon Tax

Creation of new revenue sources to help with Ohio’s shortfall by passing legislation first contemplated in 2015 and which passed the House but died in the Senate that same year; a reasonable carbon tax on alternative fuels. This tax contained a formula for steadily rising rates over a number of years and would have placed tax receipts into a separate fund designed to spur education, community re-investment and infrastructure improvements;

Ohio Investment Authority

Creation of an investment authority or sovereign wealth fund similar to Norway’s that will build financial reserves to service the needs of the state. This means more funds to strengthen education, environmental protections, building mass transit, renovations in our infrastructure, restoration of our pensions and healthcare;

Ohio Public Bank

Creation of a publicly-owned Bank of Ohio, similar to the Bank of North Dakota, the only publicly-owned bank in the U.S. This bank would assist with funding for infrastructure projects for municipalities, provide funding for agricultural start-ups such as making hemp a valuable cash crop for our farmers, alongside corn and soy and provide funding for student loans.

Ohio's Energy Freedom

Passage of an energy bill that gets us back to the Future by first repealing or amending HB6 so that while the two nuclear power plants are being decommissioned, Harbor Electric, the new subsidiary formed by First Energy which controls these plants, is reinvesting in them by transforming those sites over time to be powered by either natural gas or renewables, like solar or wind, thereby preserving those jobs. Also, restore the Renewable Energy Mandate; that actually saved Ohioans money.

Ohio Natural Gas

Ohio can reduce gas extraction by hydraulic fracturing methods and increase the extraction of methane from landfills, farms and factories. This is Renewable Natural Gas and California is leading the way in its development but Ohio could do the same.

Ohio Legislative Transparency App

Creation of a computer application, whereby legislation drafted and introduced is immediately broken down into keywords and disseminated to voters that connect to their interests and values. We would know immediately what our legislators are contemplating, how it affects us personally and how we can make our voices heard directly in real time.

Ohio Immigration

Creation of an Ohio Guest Worker Program that allows companies and whole industries to bring in foreign workers for specific job purposes. This program could assist with the documentation of those illegal aliens already residing in Ohio and afford some protection. It would not be a path to citizenship but simply allow the guest worker to reside and work legally, pay taxes and have insurance.

My aim is to portray a more mindful, multicolored mosaic comprised of all Ohio’s peoples, representing our heartfelt ambitions and soulful values, and peacefully offering a multitude of shared dreams worth striving for. This is but a corner of a tapestry we could weave for generations.