How I Would Solve Some Of The Worst Problems We Face

How I Would Solve Some Of The Worst Problems We Face

Here we go again.

Another run for the State Senate, and now we have a newcomer, Mujtaba Mohammed, a young lawyer who has no business experience whatsoever versus my 30+ years in business. While his heart is in the right place, he seems to miss the point of HOW to create higher income for all citizens, HOW to raise people out of poverty, HOW to create an equitable justice system, and HOW to build affordable housing.

Before I tell you WHY my opponent is another disaster, please READ the chart (click READ MORE). In 2010, the Democrats had control of North Carolina for 138 years. And we had among the lowest standards. They had several generations to get things right, and they didn't, so what makes anyone think now they will magically empower people in North Carolina? In the few years Republicans have the state house North Carolina's rankings have shot up in every positive direction possible. 

I would like to address the main concerns that Mr. Mohammed has touted as important for our district. Better yet, I will tell you HOW I intend to fix these things:

1. HELP RELIEVE POVERTY: He wants to make sure the impoverished have the services they need. That is admirable. Everyone wants to see others helped as much as possible. But this won't end the poverty cycle. Please ask yourself WHY people are in poverty. The Democrats controlled this state for 138 years and made sure the rules were written so fathers were removed from the home and single mothers were trapped in poverty once they lost a job, had a medical expense, or suffered a set back. We now have multi-generational poverty. It won't end because we care. It will end from hard work and changes. I grew up in the 60s with a single mother. If you thought people look down on single mothers now, try going back in time to see what it was like then. We were simply not welcome anywhere because our parents were divorced. It was not common. It was not acceptable. So I know what it is like to be ostracized from others.

First, eliminate all rules that bar the family remaining together. With TWO caregivers present, single mothers can have some relief, and the possibility of two incomes will help raise the family, in addition to new and better jobs, job training, and the returning to school at the community college level. IF families are together, parents can switch off responsibilities which saves time, money, day care, help with schoolwork, closer relationships with children, have time to prepare healthier meals, and addresses other needs. We should continue to help support those in poverty until they can reach up and climb out. It won't happen through faith alone. The climb must be supported on the state level through changes to the system. I WILL PROPOSE such changes so families stand a chance. Meanwhile, we continue benefits so these struggling families can say goodbye to being poor forever.

2. IMPROVE EDUCATION: My opponent wants to improve education but has no ideas to put forward. That is because his basic tenet is to raise taxes and spend more. That has not helped. Cities like Chicago and Washington DC have some of the highest per pupil expenditures and still have the worst schools. We need to look at breaking up the bureaucracy so fewer mid-level managers exist and there are MORE, better-paid teachers in the classrooms, and more assistants. If your State Senator focuses on cutting waste in the state budget as I plan to do, with recovering fraudulent medical and other expenditures, we can afford to hire more teaching assistants, pay teachers even more, and pare down the management so the focus is on funding schools for the students.

Nowhere does my opponent state HOW he will fix the schools. I have given detailed plans every two years and would be glad to review them at town halls. And for those who think Democrats care about the schools - where were the teacher raises for 138 years? The Republicans got control of the state house and have raised salary expenses by BILLIONS of dollars. Our teachers are finally seeing some light. I intend to continue that process.

3. FIX CRIMINAL JUSTICE: Similar to my opponent I spent YEARS advocating for those accused of crimes as a criminal defense investigator. I worked on very serious capital cases to help those falsely accused escape the death penalty. I know the inner workings of the criminal justice system and have a multi-prong approach to helping solve these issues.

First, anyone under the age of 30 should have a second chance for any non-violent offenses. If a person gets caught with a joint at 19, arrested and jailed, their chances of recovering from that stigma are SLIM. We need sun-downing laws in this state. If you have that happen, and you keep your record clean for five years, I would propose, then your record should be expunged (completely removed). Then you won't have the stigma on job applications, or be blocked from loans for school, and other items, just because you made ONE bad decision. Petty crimes that are non-violent should not be a catastrophe for the remainder of your life. We can and should propose this so the tens of thousands of younger folks who have had this happen can get some relief. I would make it retroactive. If you committed a minor non-violent crime five years ago or more and stayed clean since, we should remove your record.

Second, the system itself needs to be fully funded so that the accused do NOT sit in jail waiting weeks and months for hearings and trials just because we don't have enough personnel to represent them or judge them. I am for MORE home-monitoring so those accused of minor offenses can continue to work, support their families and not lose their livelihoods. Remember, they are innocent until it is proven in court they are guilty, so they should not have their lives destroyed in advance of a verdict. This happens frequently and must end.

Third, we cannot place quotas on racial disparity but we can recognize those factors which lead to greater incarceration of minorities - Minor drug offenses. It is far more common for African-Americans to be charged and convicted of possession or use of marijuana. This needs to end. The national war on drugs in many ways has failed. Bill Clinton enacted laws which threw millions more black citizens into prison based on minor offenses. Our national leadership now recognizes that marijuana cultivation, regulation, and sale can take place without mass hysteria. Many states are decriminalizing pot. North Carolina must end its war on pot use now. We will reap massive benefits. North Carolina is a prime grower of tobacco. Our state could have a legal, regulated economy of growing marijuana that ensures product safety and compliance. It will eliminate drug dealing. It will eliminate a third or more of the arrests for petty possession that leads to destroyed lives. We can institute recovery programs for addicts from the tax dollars recovered from sales. We tax it just like tobacco and liquor. 

As Americans, we are all aware of the imbalance of justice. I only wish my opponent had concrete solutions instead of just words. 

4. CREATE JOBS: We still need more development in this region. We missed out on the Toyota National headquarters. On the Toyota assembly plant, and more companies since. While my opponent may have a good heart, he has never owned nor run a company, made a payroll, or created anything to build a business. As our President has shown with the recovery of TWO MILLION manufacturing jobs and millions of other jobs, we can grow our economy, and provide work opportunities for everyone. I would like to see a day when NONE of the families in my district need any assistance because they have good paying career jobs, own a business, or have returned to school and are graduating with marketable skills.

5. BUILD AFFORDABLE HOUSING: Government cannot build the housing, but it can lay the foundation so others can do so. Without force or coercion. Without raising taxes. Other states right now have created Public-Private alliances in partnership with Venture Capital firms where by the cities, counties and state limit regulations which destroy the ability of developers to operate in a timely and cost-efficient manner. The capital firms fund the projects and see a modest return on investment. The builders employ the community and develop the housing. The government entities help streamline the process, and the banking is underwritten by the capital firms so they can qualify individuals for home ownership. We need to look at all laws in this regard and make it easy for such a partnership to occur, so that in the near future we can have many affordable housing projects break ground. We can do this right away if we simply adopt what has worked elsewhere.

If I am elected, I will work tirelessly to protect the least of us, because that is where I came from in life. I know that misery firsthand. And more importantly, I am not just sympathetic, I am capable of making changes to end poverty and injustice.

Please Vote Rivette for NC State Senate 38 this year.


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