Speech at Bearden Library Meeting

Video

If you haven’t had the chance to hear me speak in person, check out my speech at the Bearden Public Library. Thank you to all of my fellow Democrats for the opportunity to introduce myself and my family, as well as speak on a few of the issues of high importance to myself. I am excited for the hard work ahead to earn your vote for State Representative in the 89th district.

LEAP Forward Endorsement

I am very proud to announce that I have been endorsed by LEAP Forward!

LEAP Forward is an organization that grades politicians on their gun control stances.  The NRA has spent a lot of membership money on grading and shaming politicians who are not 100% pro gun rights.  I am 100% for the Second Amendment and I do not wish to repeal this amendment.  The Second Amendment does not grant gun ownership to every single person in this nation.  And it does not allow for every single gun known to man to be owned by ordinary citizens.

I realize that banning assault rifles and bump stocks are akin to giving everyone affordable healthcare, difficult to accomplish but worth the try in red states.  We should be able to expand background checks for EVERY gun purchase.  Even gun owners I have spoken to want expanded background checks.  In Tennessee we should also be able to require licenses, registrations, and permits to own a firearm as well as raise the minimum age to 21 to purchase and possess a firearm.  At this point, doing something is better than sitting on our hands and doing nothing.  Our children are waiting for us to save them.  We need to vote for candidates that will keep our children safe.

Thank you LEAP Forward for endorsing my campaign!

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Mom’s Demand Action Gun Sense Candidate

 

I am very proud to announce that I am a Mom’s Demand Action Gun Sense Candidate!

I am a mother of two children who attend public schools.  One child will be in middle school next school year and the other will still be in elementary school.  I have a few more years left before my oldest is in high school.  It seems like more school shootings are happening in high schools these days.  I am very worried about my children going to high school.  I hope I am a Tennessee Legislator soon so that I can keep everyone safe in Tennessee Schools by enacting sensible gun control legislation.  I am definitely a Mom Who DEMANDS Action!  Thank you for endorsing me.

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Santa Fe HS School Shooting

 

Here we are again, another school shooting.  Since 2009, Mexico has had 8 school shootings and we have had 288.  That is an appalling statistic.  I know there are plenty of people in our communities around this country that want to have safer communities and schools.  I implore those people to please register to vote and vote for a candidate that wants to keep us safe by enacting sensible gun control restrictions.  Most of those candidates will have a “D” beside their names but not all of them.  Sitting this election out will not suffice.  If you don’t want to have any more school shootings then you need to vote.

I read that in Santa Fe, Texas, many residents are NOT staging protests and calling their elected officials for gun control laws.  They simply believe they need to have safer schools with less doors.  Unfortunately, we cannot be safe enough. We will never be safe enough.  People who intend to harm us with guns will find a way.  We have a gun violence epidemic and nothing is being done about it in the state I live in, Tennessee.  I know we are waiting for something to happen in our state before we do something.  We had a gun violence tragedy last month in our community where an 18 year old shot and killed another 18 year old.  One thing we can do in this situation is to raise the minimum age to purchase and possess a weapon to 21.

I have said it before and I will say it again.  I am afraid that my children will die from a school shooting.  I am running for elected office because I want to have sensible gun control laws in Tennessee.  I want to keep my children, your children, your grandchildren, and our teachers safe in school.  We are at a great impasse in our nation right now.  Republicans who want gun control need to vote for Democrats during this election.  Republicans have been in control of our State Legislature for far too long.  They could not even bring themselves to ban bump stocks even when our Republican Governor supported banning bump stocks.

The safety and well-being of our students and teachers demands that we demand more of our elected officials. If they have not done anything to keep us safe then it is time we voice our dissatisfaction and vote for someone else.

I am proud to be a Mom’s Demand Action Gun Sense Candidate.

I am also proud to be endorsed today by LEAP Forward! LEAP Forward rates politicians on their gun control policies.

Reducing Infections in Opioid Users

The New York Times published an article about the high infection rate due to injection drug use in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.  The district that I am running for, 89, borders Oak Ridge, TN.  Months ago, I spoke with a healthcare provider who told me all about the high rate of infections due to drug use at her hospital and that physicians are tired of dealing with it.  This article confirms the information I already knew.

Anyone injecting drugs is at increased risk of becoming infected, especially if they do not use clean needles.  What we are seeing at hospitals in our area is a high rate of endocarditis (an infection of heart valves caused by bacteria in blood).  We also have a high rate of MRSA, sepsis, and Hepatitis C. UT Medical center had 284 patients between mid-August and Mid-April that were infected with endocarditis and soft tissue and bone infections.

The cost to treat endocarditis is $150,000.  Many addicts are uninsured (163,000 in TN) or like the patient featured in the article, are on TennCare (Medicaid) because she has children.  Apparently, physicians in this area have decided that they will only operate once for an addict that has endocarditis.  If a patient continues to abuse drugs and develops endocarditis again, the physicians will not operate and will instead give the patient antibiotics and send them home to die.

Dr. Pollard, the physician featured in the article, has tried to combat this particular problem by creating a physician and hospital coalition to try and provide treatment services for patients who have just received heart surgery.  To date, no one has signed on to the plan.  I don’t blame them because the plan is flawed.

The problem here is infections due to injecting drugs.  The only way to combat infections is to fund, provide, and promote clean needle exchanges. “We have to help the living,” Colton Wooten.  In most of the articles I have read about addiction, most addicts are trying to recover. Addiction is a disease that effects the brain, making recovery quite difficult for most.  I fear we are not helping the living by not treating their re-occurring infections and not giving them any options to prevent the infections.

The most troubling aspect of this article is that physicians have decided not to continue to care for relapsed endocarditis patients.  Didn’t these doctors pledge to “Do No Harm”?  If they are going to give up and stop treating these patients then the least they can do is provide clean needle exchanges.

Tennessee allows clean needle exchanges and to date, only one needle exchange affiliated with the North American Syringe Exchange Network exists in Nashville.  Tennessee does not fund or promote clean needle exchanges but it is time we started.  As the representative from district 89, I plan to promote and fund clean needle exchanges and we will end infections caused by opioids in Tennessee!

Goodnough, A (2018, April 29). Injecting drugs can ruin a heart. How many second chances should a user get? The New York Times. Retrieved April 30, 2018 from https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/29/health/drugs-opioids-addiction-heart-endocarditis.html?rref=collection%2Fissuecollection%2Ftodays-new-york-times&action=click&contentCollection=todayspaper&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=2&pgtype=collection