Kentucky's Gay Hope

BY Michelle Garcia

May 19 2010 7:45 PM ET

Looking forward, what do you think is going to take to win this
election against Stan Lee?


Patience. It's going to take a lot of patience, a lot of hard work. To
be honest, I'm still in such a mindset that I can't believe that I'm
having this conversation with you. Its just going to take a lot of hard
work. I think the biggest thing is staying true to myself. My mom raised
me, and from her I learned to respect hard work, and to never lie, and I
think that will carry me a long way. I'm going to be letting people
know who I am, and what I want to do for them. I think that will
separate me and Stan, because he is definitely a politician and he talks
a lot of fluff, to be perfectly honest. He just says what people want
to hear. I don't think that's a good leader. Sometimes you have to say
things that people don't want to hear, but you have to say them because
it's in their best interest. You have to stay true to yourself, and not
be a machine. 

What are some of the major issues in your district that you face?
My

biggest focus is education. I'm going to college to be a high school
history teacher. Right now the dropout rate is number 1 in the
nation. So we're going to be focusing on that, hot and heavy, to keep
kids in school and find out why they're dropping out. I just don't
believe kids are waking up in the morning and saying, "I think I'm going
to drop out of school." There's other reasons there, so we're going to
work with some advocacy groups for youths, and programs, to see if we
can get these kids excited about going to school. If it's a money thing,
and their parents are pushing for it, we're going to look at that, but
we have to understand why kids are dropping out of school. Here in
Kentucky, we already have this reputation for not being necessarily the
smartest state in the United States, so we have to work on that, that's
for sure.

Another thing we rank number one in the nation is child
abuse, and I
think that some of that — the dropout rate and domestic violence —
goes hand in hand. It's a psychological thing. I do mental health
volunteering at the Red Cross for the national disaster volunteer unit,
and I volunteered in Katrina, and learned a lot from it. I, myself, have
experienced domestic violence. My father was a drinker, which is a huge
story to get involved in, but with those two issues, I've always been
an advocate. We have to keep our kids in schools. You have to support
our kids in school, and you have to support our teachers. I wouldn't be
here if it weren't for some of my teachers. We wouldn't have lawyers, we
wouldn't have doctors, so you have to support teachers. As far as
district-wise, the economy is hurting people. Our employment rate in
Kentucky is getting a little bit better, but it's not good enough. It's
still at 10%, so it's not good enough. There's still people looking for
work, so that's another thing we've gotta work on.

Tags: Election

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