Sunday, October 14, 2018

3 Reasons Why Tennesseans Need Karl Dean

I am a high school teacher who works with over a hundred teenagers every day. I deeply care about them, about their futures, and about our local community. I am also a father of two young girls and a husband to an amazingly supportive wife. Whom Tennesseans elect as our next governor is crucially important to me. In fact, for many Tennesseans, this election is a matter of life and death--and no, I’m not exaggerating. There are three main reasons why this teacher is supporting Karl Dean to be Tennessee’s next governor.

Reason #1: He will save lives by pushing for Medicaid expansion. This won’t cost taxpayers any additional money because we’re already paying for it. Every single day, this state sends almost $4 million of our tax dollars to the federal government to pay for Medicaid expansion for other states. That money could come back home, to us, if only we’d allow it. This state leads the country in the number of hospital closures, leaving Tennesseans with literally no where to go in the case of an emergency. Additionally, we have about 300,000 people across the state who are in a coverage gap--they cannot qualify for TennCare and they make too much money to qualify for the Affordable Care Act. From a teacher’s perspective, it’s nearly impossible to educate children unless their basic needs are met. Health care is a basic human right, and expanding Medicaid in Tennessee is the right thing to do.

Reason #2: He is the best choice to continue the upward trajectory of our public education system. This is exemplified by the Tennessee Education Association Fund for Children & Public Education endorsing him. Additionally, at a recent town hall, Dean said: "When I look at this state, the number one thing that we gotta get right is education. We need to increase teacher pay. We're losing too many teachers to the private sector. We're paying below the national average." On the debacle otherwise known as TNReady, he went on to say: "I don't believe that testing should be punitive toward teachers at all. We lost teachers' voices in this whole process. We need to get back to listening to our teachers. There's way too much testing going on in schools today, and not enough learning." When it comes to public education, he gets it. He’s also staunchly against school vouchers (sometimes referred to as education savings accounts) because he understands that taking money from public schools and using it to help the wealthy send their children to private schools is completely nonsensical and counterproductive. When polled, 64% of Tennesseans oppose vouchers, and Karl Dean is on the correct side of this issue. 

Reason #3: He is very pro-business. While he was the mayor of Nashville, more than 70,000 gross new jobs were created and more than 350 companies expanded or relocated to the area. Karl Dean believes that creating jobs is the most effective way to decrease the need for social welfare programs. He will work to bring jobs to Tennessee, which isn’t a Republican or Democratic issue; it’s an issue that impacts all of our communities. As a teacher who lives in a rural community, I want my students and their parents to find well-paying jobs. Again, it helps their basic needs be met which will help them do better in school. It’s one thing to run a successful company, and another thing entirely to create jobs from the public sector. Running a government is not like running a business. Its purpose is not to make profit, but to provide for the safety and well-being of the people. Karl Dean, and his two predecessors, Bill Haslam and Phil Bredesen, all have the necessary experience of running a major metropolitan government before becoming governor. He’s clearly the most qualified candidate for the job.