Success scores not test scores
We need to change the focus of the State Department of Education (DOE) from test scores to “success scores”—preparing our children to truly succeed in the world of work as well as higher education. Less testing and more measuring—and what is a better measure of success than securing a good paying job for which a student is properly prepared? We need to connect business and industry with our schools so the young folks know what opportunities are available and so the schools know what skills are required. DOE must follow the lead of the local districts, to play a supporting role and help our children be the stars.
Jobs and Economic Development
Enhancing existing businesses and attracting new ones
As a small businessman, I know what it is to make a payroll and to try to make a quarter do the work of a ten dollar bill. I have been involved in economic development and job creation efforts across the Delmarva Peninsula my entire career. One thing I’ve learned is that governments don’t create private sector jobs. Governments create conditions that encourage businesses to create jobs. Good schools and access to job training are essential to attracting and retaining jobs. Adequate infrastructure, which these days includes reliable high speed access to the Internet, is crucial. And, if we’re going to roll out the red carpet for new or expanding businesses, let’s not turn around and try to smother them with it by piling on regulation upon regulation after they have said, “Yes” to western Sussex County. Equally important, let’s not forget the businesses that are already here and are vital members of our community—they deserve all the support we can give them. Sussex Economic Development Action Committee (SEDAC) is an under-utilized resource that doesn’t cost us a dime. Let’s explore ways we can partner more effectively with them to create a winning job creation and economic development strategy.
Better access to services
“Gray hair is crown of beauty” (Proverbs 16:31a) which is the wisdom that comes with having lived life successfully. We are aging in increasing numbers and low taxes and way of life are attracting even more folks to live out their retirement years with us. Seniors contribute to our economy and quality of life by sharing their accumulated wisdom with us through mentoring our school children, advising aspiring entrepreneurs to how to operate a business, or being a companion to someone in need. But our seniors have needs too. Nanticoke Senior Center in Seaford, Laurel Senior Center, Meals on Wheels, and Cheer are just a few senior services organizations that need our continued support. Many seniors struggle with transportation and access to services, especially the home-bound for whom daily meal delivery is not only their primary source of nutrition but of companionship as well. We must honor our seniors by finding creative ways to organize the resources in our communities and make full use of available programs to better serve them.
Delaware’s #1 economic engine
Family farms are the foundation of western Sussex County. Our farmers and poultry integrators are coming under increasing regulatory pressure to protect the environment. It is important to remember that our farmers and their children drink the same water and breathe the same air the rest of us do and they want it to be clean and safe too! We need to work WITH famers and poultry integrators to manage environmental stressors resulting from everyday farming and processing activities and enact reasonable environmental policies that keep family farms economically viable and productive and all of us safe. Let’s ensure that newcomers to Sussex know that they are joining a vibrant agricultural community as we welcome them to rural life that they will love as much as we do.
Substance Abuse Disorder
Greater Awareness, More Treatment Options
Addiction to heroin, prescription opioid pain-killers, and other psychoactive substances has become a vicious and soul-stealing epidemic in our midst—right here in Western Sussex County. Sadly, there are treatment modalities available in our neighboring state of Maryland that are not available here. Except for those dedicated folks on the front lines of this battle, Delaware is woefully behind the curve of understanding the insidious nature of substance abuse disorder and even further behind in treating it. We can do better! We MUST do better! As your Senator I will advocate strongly for increased awareness and treatment options!