People often ask me, “Jay, what are the top issues you hear about when you are talking with voters?”
Jobs, education, the heroin crisis — no surprise they come up frequently, as they should, they’re some of the great challenges before us. But a common theme on these and a host of other issues is a general frustration that Democrats and Republicans spend too much time on partisan bickering and not enough time working together to solve problems.
We will never solve the challenges we face as a region — or, for that matter, as a state or a nation — if we are not willing to roll up our sleeves and work together. We need to take a common sense approach of looking at issues in terms of what is right and what is wrong, not playing the politics of Republicans vs. Democrats, what is “right” and what is “left.”
Southeast Ohio needs economic development and job training. We need fair funding for our schools. We need to address the increasing cost of higher education. And local law enforcement and drug treatment facilities need support to help combat the heroin epidemic. These are not “Republican” or “Democrat” issues — these are common sense issues important to Southeast Ohio that require Republicans and Democrats to work together for our region.
Frankly, these issues and more, such as poverty, are challenges not only for Appalachia but Ohio’s urban communities as well. We need to build broad based coalitions to tackle these issues. It’s just common sense that we focus on solutions rather than partisan politics and party labels.
If I am fortunate enough to be elected the 94th District’s next state representative, that’s the common sense approach I will take to Columbus.