Why I'm Running
I'm running to improve the mental health of our residents. We need to think about the effects of the current economic and public health crisis on our emotional well-being. Now more than ever, we need innovative and forward-thinking solutions to the various problems that impact our mental health.
Improving the mental health of our residents must include addressing the serious injustices and emotional trauma endured by the black community in Madison and throughout Wisconsin. We can no longer stand by in silence. Please learn more about my plan to address systemic racism in Wisconsin.
You're not alone.
We must reduce the stigma of living with mental health challenges. I experienced my first panic attack in high school and have lived with anxiety and depression ever since. I know I'm not alone. Far too many Wisconsinites are struggling, especially right now as we're facing a time of uncertainty. That is why I will fight to increase access to mental health providers in response to COVID-19. Even before the pandemic, Wisconsin was experiencing a major provider shortage. That's why I'll invest in recruiting, educating, and retaining mental health professionals within the state. I will also fight for mental health support for the next generation - in our early childhood settings, the juvenile legal system, K-12 schools, and colleges.
They all matter.
The government has a role to play in improving the mental health of our residents by ensuring that our basic needs are met. Wisconsinites deserve access to healthcare, a living wage, a roof over their head, quality education, access to transportation, paid leave when it's needed, and healthy food to put on their table. We must also ensure all residents have clean air to breathe and water to drink for decades and centuries to come. This means we must protect our planet and fight for a day where students no longer have to skip class to teach adults a lesson about climate change.
Technology & Well-being
Putting our health first in the digital age.
As we move forward in the digital age, we must ensure that technology is used as a tool to increase - not decrease - our quality of life. Americans spend more than 11 hours a day interacting with media and that statistic was before the pandemic. When we overuse our devices, it can affect our physical and mental health, especially for children and youth. That's why I will fight innovative solutions like creating an Office of Technology and Well-Being to research and provide guidance about well-being in the digital age. I will also advocate for training mental health providers on problematic technology use and for policies that prioritize social emotional well-being (e.g., cell phone policies in schools).
A sense of belonging.
When people don't feel welcomed or safe in their communities, this ultimately impacts their health and well-being. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I have experienced this firsthand. I have also worked with many students throughout my career who struggled with mental health in moments when they didn't feel like they belonged. The community we create matters. We must embrace our differences and treat every Wisconsin resident with dignity and respect. I'll fight to create a statewide diversity, equity, and inclusion program, and to protect and support the LGBTQ+ community.
The Future of Jobs
Putting humans first.
As the economy reopens, businesses will need to more heavily rely on technology to keep us safe and to comply with social distancing guidelines. This likely means operating with fewer workers and fewer customers. Even before the pandemic, there was growing concern over technology's eventual impact on our jobs. We're seeing it with self-checkout kiosks in grocery stores and fast food restaurants. Big Tech companies like Amazon are taking over the retail industry and putting small businesses out of work. We need to fight for forward-thinking policies to address the reality of our changing workforce. I will fight for regulating Big Tech and policies that incentivize large businesses to hire humans over machines. I will also advocate for researching and testing Universal Basic Income (UBI).
Investing in media literacy and journalism.
To address the various problems that impact our mental health, we have to be able to work together to get things done. We know the political divide is widening, and the media we consume matters. Companies take advantage of and profit from this political divide - feeding us "suggested" news and stories that typically affirm our point of view. This makes it easier for people to be misinformed. As we move forward in the 21st century, we must equip the next generation with the critical thinking skills they need to analyze media's impact on society. That's why I will advocate for a media literacy program to be taught in all K-12 schools. We must also help local journalism survive because it plays a critical role in informing the public about issues affecting our lives. An informed public is essential to the success of our government. That's why I'll fight for financial support for local journalism.
Your issues are my issues
Although these are some of the issues that have driven me to run for office, I promise to fight for the issues most important to you. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org about what you're most concerned about for our community.