Submitted by Paul Walker, Democratic candidate for U.S. House of Representatives for Kentucky’s 1st Congressional District
I’m Paul Walker and I’m running for the U.S. House of Representatives for Kentucky’s Congressional District 1. I’m running because I know that I can represent working people and work hard for the issues that matter most to the lives of the majority of Americans, which are healthcare, education, and good jobs and fair wages.
I was born in 1973 to hard-working parents who taught me the importance of education, work, and respect for others. Now, I’m the father of three daughters, and I earnestly try to pass on these values to them, teaching them to work hard, educate themselves and treasure time with family and friends.
Since 2007 I’ve been an English Professor at Murray State University. Being an educator, I know firsthand that education is society’s first and most important investment in the future. I believe young people deserve our investment in their educational efforts, whether vocational or traditional. We should not burden them with debt or teach them that only a few professions will provide a good living. It has been a privilege to teach students from every part of the Commonwealth and from around the world.
I’ve had a variety of work experience while working on my university degrees. Most notably, I’ve worked for a public relations firm in New York City, as a seasonal U. S. Forest Service firefighter in Utah, and as a Grand Canyon river outfitter in Arizona. Living in different parts of this great country has taught me to love and accept everyone, no matter what their background or circumstances.
I chose to settle in Kentucky for many reasons, but the primary reason is the people; I’ve never been treated as an outsider by anyone in Murray or throughout the District. No matter where I go, the towns and cities are filled with genuine, friendly and interesting people who are always eager to share a meal or a gem of wisdom. The love I have for the people here and my concern for our future inspired me to seek election for this District.
Earlier I mentioned my top three concerns, and here are more details about my position on those issues:
1. Healthcare: The recent move to place requirements on Medicaid recipients indicates that we need to provide single-payer healthcare for everyone. Not only will this ensure the preventative care and overall health care of all of us, but it will take the insurance burden on businesses and organizations, helping them save overhead and personnel costs.
2. Education: In Kentucky and in the nation, education is under attack. Not only is public education being undermined, but there is also an active effort to label educated Americans as elitist, when in reality it is the super-wealthy that are elitist. We need to expand educational opportunities, including vocational training, and make it affordable and accessible to anyone who wants to take advantage of education and skill-building.
3. Jobs/Fair Wages: All Americans need opportunities for work that pays the essentials of life. Businesses and government need to work together to make it possible for good businesses to be productive and profitable without exploiting workers — people are always the best investment and paying them fairly for their labor pays dividends in many ways in the long term.