Running forNH State Rep District 12
as a candidate of theDemocratic Party
Prior political experience/officesI've served one term as a State Rep in Concord.
Current jobI'm a telecommunications engineer at a nationwide phone company.
Time lived in NH34 years
EducationI attended a couple years of community college classes but dropped out due to lack of funding.
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If elected or re-elected, please describe legislation you expect to sponsor or co-sponsor.
I submitted three bills last term. Two of them passed the House, but died in the Senate due to COVID-19 disruptions. They were (1) repealing the law which currently prevents victims of gun violence from pursuing manufacturers and dealers for civil damages, and (2) making changes to the absentee voter application form to make it easier for incarcerated individuals to participate in our democracy. I plan to re-file these. In addition, I plan on sponsoring legislation related to police reform, the opioid epidemic, prohibiting the placement of new landfills near state parks, and the protection of pollinators.
What are the most important concerns facing you’ve heard from Manchester residents and how can you address those concerns if elected or re-elected?
My wife and I serve in the legislature together. We have heard a lot of concerns from Manchester residents during our terms as State Rep. Concerns cover everything from parking disputes, to drug crimes and abandoned homes. Most of the time, my wife and I are able to address the concerns of our constituents without legislation. However, we are currently working with some constituents and the Mayor’s office on a solution to the problem of abandoned homes in the city. Many of these homes are located in Ward 5 and contribute to various problems in our local area.
New Hampshire legislators are citizen legislators and being a legislator is a significant time commitment. How much time per week can you spend on legislative duties while the Senate/House is in session?
My bosses are very supportive of my choice to engage in public service, and I have never had an issue balancing my legislative and employment responsibilities. I’ve never missed a voting day in committee, or when the House is in session.
In your view, describe the atmosphere within the legislature over the past two years. Do you believe this atmosphere will continue and how would that affect how you approach this position if elected or re-elected?
From the very beginning, the atmosphere during the 2019-2020 session was extremely partisan. I attribute this to the influence that Donald Trump has on his party. I’ve sat and watched as members openly mocked victims of sexual harassment, removed their masks and face shields and used them as fans to cool themselves, and rudely shouted and whistled at the Speaker of the House. But this extremely childish behavior did not prevent me from working with the other side when it was in the best interest of Granite Staters. I worked with members of the other side of the aisle on many bills, including one which would prohibit the placement of landfills near state parks. Despite the seemingly endless stream of vetoes from the Governor, we were able to cut through the partisanship when it counted and deliver many important changes in law for New Hampshire residents. This spirit of cooperation will be more important than ever as we tackle the challenges caused by COVID-19. We need legislators who can work with anyone, regardless of their party affiliation. I have done that for two years and I look forward to continuing that work in the years to come.
What is the most significant issue facing Manchester at the municipal level and how can you, as a legislator aid the city government on that issue?
As I alluded to in an earlier answer, a major problem facing city government is the issue of abandoned homes. State laws currently offer few options for the city when a property has become abandoned or even burned down. My wife and I are working with constituents and the Mayor’s office on potential solutions to this issue. In addition, school funding is always a major issue for municipalities. In passing the budget in 2019, we delivered significant increases in school funding from the state. I look forward to continuing to support policies which enable the state to pay its fair share of education funding and provide relief to property tax payers in Manchester.
With the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 in the future, do you support the legislature meeting remotely?
I support and have participated in remote committee hearings. However, I believe that a remote meeting of the entire House membership would be extremely challenging. I look forward to getting back to in-person meetings when the pandemic is over. I do believe that members of the public benefit from having the ability to watch committee meetings and even participate in them from home, and will support any policies which will make committee meetings remotely accessible to the public.
In your opinion, what were the five most significant pieces of legislation introduced in the New Hampshire General Court over the last two years? Please explain what made them significant.
This is an extremely difficult question to answer as we considered approximately 2000 bills in the past 2 years, many of which became amalgamations of multiple pieces of legislation commonly referred to as omnibus bills. However 5 pieces of legislation that I believe are significant are: 1. The state budget. It’s the most impactful piece of legislation we pass every 2 years, because in many ways it shapes the entire legislative biennium. 2. Independent redistricting commission. This would have been impactful because it would have ended partisan gerrymandering, having a major impact on the fairness of every future New Hampshire election. 3. Minimum wage increase. Would have been impactful by putting more money in the pockets of working families in New Hampshire. 4. Drinking water quality. This bill set the maximum levels of PFAS contamination allowed in New Hampshire drinking water, and established a fund for the remediation of contaminated sources of drinking water. This is impactful because clean drinking water is a basic requirement for health and life. 5. Absentee voting changes related to COVID-19. This legislation is impactful because it will enable voters to vote safely in what seems to be the most important election of our lifetimes.