Arkansas, and specifically District 74, needs to work to attract more jobs – by attracting new industry and economic development to our region. Renewable energy is the future. It is smart, saves money for families in our community, and it is good for our planet. The #1 Job Creator in America is solar energy. The #2 Job Creator in America is windmills. We have seen towns in the River Valley embrace solar energy. Now, we need to look at the opportunities that wind power can bring to our communities. Our towns and communities deserve the opportunity to work and play in places that they call home right here in the River Valley. Supporting the current growth of local businesses, the needs of working families as minimum wage increases, and creating opportunity for new development in areas that will increase financial stability for everyone by keeping working families in our region and attracting tourists to our region.
By the way, affordable childcare is vital. As we’re planning for and implementing a future of economic growth, affordable childcare is crucial to support working families in our communities. Parents in District 74 work hard and they need childcare that will accommodate their work schedules. Finding a smart solution to ensure safe childcare that is accessible to all families creates the structure families need and that will allow our communities to thrive.
Access to education for all ages is vital to the success of our region. This means creating a foundation of learning at an early age and encouraging the opportunity to learn throughout adulthood.
By networking with our local colleges and high schools, we can nurture G.E.D. and E.S.L. completion, the development of trade skills and continuing education throughout our lives. Community members will gain more options for employment and opportunities for growth. Education has proven time and time again that it is the best way to lift people out of poverty and to a better life. isn't that what we all want is a better life for our children and grandchildren?
By supporting universal Pre-K across the state and the fundamental basic needs of students in the classroom we can ensure teachers have what they need to help our children live up to their full potential so that they can grow up to lead happy and productive lives.
Arkansas IS the “Natural State” and I want to make sure we remain that in the truest sense of the word when it comes to the environment.
Did you know that District 74 is in the flight path of Monarch butterflies? It’s true – each year Monarchs fly through our region to seek out better weather in Canada or Mexico. District 74 is also the home of the rare Diana butterfly. Butterflies attract tourism to Paris and Mount Magazine.
Did you know that the work of bees and butterflies, flying from flower to flower, is directly responsible for between 30 – 40% of our crops? It's true - we need bees and butterflies to survive and their numbers are in sharp decline. In fact, the bumble bee has been placed on the Endangered Species List.
We know that sustainable farming and energy development ensure our natural resources stay viable, our energy use stays clean and the wildlife that call Arkansas home have a place to thrive.
By increasing the opportunity for farmers as well as businesses and homeowners to harness solar and wind power, Arkansas will remain natural.
The Arkansas River Valley region has recently seen the growth of smart, sustainable solutions including new solar energy fields that will save our residents thousands of dollars each year. The estimate is $70,000/year for the residents of Paris alone. The Arkansas River Valley needs to look into harnessing the power of wind to supplement farmers incomes in ever changing markets and to power our homes.
Green solutions for our energy problems mean Arkansas will remain natural for our children and grandchildren.