My interest in state politics began in 1977 when I realized that one legislator can actually make a huge difference in the lives of the people represented. I appreciated at that time that legislators are people, just like you and I, and that most are good people who see themselves as public servants. I was impressed by how effectively both Republicans and Democrats could work together to make North Carolina a better place. Politicians told the truth and could be trusted. When a politician gave his word, it was golden. I wanted to be a part of that process and felt that I had the commitment, passion, temperament, moral compass, and ethics to be a good legislator.
In the last few years, I have been disappointed that politicians no longer seem to work together for the good of our state or their represented counties. Everyone seems to be in it for the wrong reasons. Now the focus is on keeping their party or their leader in power. For some, truthfulness and honesty are a thing of the past and the guiding mantra seems to be that the end justifies the means, no matter how unfair the process.
Imagining How Things Ought To Be
My approach in life has always been to imagine how things ought to be and then to take action to make that happen. And “how it is now” is not “how it ought to be.” So, it is time for all of us to take action. Being retired, I am no longer pulled in many directions with a job, higher education, young children, professional association activities, or other obligations. I am ready to stop talking about it and to start doing something about it. I am ready to devote myself to being a full-time legislator, with an eye on the future and a commitment to the public-service values of the past.
When my wife and I settled in Ashe County, we fell in love with the high country and the people who live here. My life as a physical therapist had always involved service to my patients and the public. I want to continue as a servant of the community, and it would be a privilege to really represent the concerns and needs of my neighbors, the people of Alleghany, Ashe, and Watauga counties – to be our voice in the NC House of Representatives.
Returning Tax Dollars Back to the High Country
Our counties have so many needs. Many shared by the people of all three counties and some unique to an individual locale or special interest group. We can all benefit from greater opportunities for a healthy lifestyle and access to health care when we need it. Our communities need a serious infusion of opportunities for economic development (jobs, jobs, good local jobs) and a prepared workforce. We need child care, mental health care, and elder care services; and we need to address shelter and food insecurity. When we pay our taxes, we need those dollars to come back to us so that we can work together to address our own needs.
Supporting Choice, Responsibility and Accountability
I am a great believer in people and an individual’s right to responsible choice. Not the kind of choice that risks your neighbor’s health or safety, but the kind of choice that represents the freedom of having options.
I support ensuring everyone’s right to vote, addressing climate change, and protecting the privacy of decisions between a woman and her health-care providers. I will work to build our social and technological infrastructure to address the economic issues of the High Country including bringing good high-paying jobs to the area, addressing food and housing insecurity, and providing healthcare for everyone.
Choose to send me to Raleigh, and I will, with your help, protect your choices by:
Seeking quality health care for all by closing the insurance coverage gap
Building an infrastructure of technology to support education, business, health services, and leisure
Recruiting corporations that offer high-paying jobs, as well as supporting and expanding small business opportunities
Expanding affordable housing and addressing food insecurity
Addressing mental health issues and expanding access to mental health care
Providing for affordable early and post-secondary education
Promoting affordable and accessible children’s day care and care for senior citizens
Addressing climate change and protecting our mountains, streams, and fresh air
Ensuring voting rights, fair and transparent campaign practices, and preventing legislation that would allow legislators to overrule a fair election
Working with local law enforcement and our mental health professionals to provide more safety for all
Supporting comprehensive sex education in our community to decrease unplanned pregnancies and protect against sexual diseases and infections
Ensuring that science, and not emotion, determines safety guidelines regarding future public health concerns
Preventing unfair taxation of the less wealthy and tax cuts for the rich
“The only path I see to accomplish any of these goals is by sending more balanced, less polarized legislators to Raleigh. I am ready to be one, and I promise to remember the values that brought me to this decision to run.” — Ben Massey