If we want change, we need to be the change we hope for.
There is nothing "special" about me. I have not been a state representative for twenty years, I have not served on the school board, and I do not have a network in politics. In the world of politics, this is seen as a bad thing. But today...I think it is incredibly positive.
I am running because I am scared of the direction our country's leaders are taking us. I am tired of getting the same result regardless of the letter next to politician's name. I want authentic, empathetic, open and real leadership, leadership that comes from a heart of service.
Like most in this country, I have been complaining about the lack of choices for years. I am tired of the parties propping up some counterfeit time and time again and being forced to support someone I know is lying to me to get my vote. After they have received my vote, they will disappear once they are in office into their new role of fundraising.
It is time to end the non-stop political wholesale of our future to donors and lobbyist. Our politicians do not solve problems, they exacerbate them, then fundraise on them, and when they have your money and your vote, they fail to correct the issue. Why? If they fix it, what will they campaign on next? We are, in essence, trading outrage and paychecks for the corruption of our government. Like these mega marts and chain stores killed the small businessman, lobbyists and the donor class are killing the voter. Politicians are not afraid of the voter anymore. They are afraid of the money power.
The only way we can stop this is by refusing to send politicians who have been groomed by corruptors and selected by donors. It is time for the rise of the Citizen Candidate. I am running because I want to embody the change. I want to fight. I want to serve.
Below are three agenda items I believe strongly in and currently working with people from these professions to craft solutions that are dynamic, effective, and rewarding. I am not being paid by anyone to work on these issues. These are just three of the many we are working on now as a team.
As you review these items and would like to support or ask questions, go to the Contact section and feel free to send an email. These issues are deep and these are more or less cliff notes on a broader plan to be reveal as they mature into action.
Steven David Hughes
Law and order
Before any true and lasting change can happen, we must have law and order. Although I believe that we must have a well funded, trained, and resourceful law enforcement apparatus, I do not believe in creating a military type, top down enforcement policy. Yes, we need hard lines and lasting contrast on right and wrong in civil society, however, as a civil society, we are called to more.
A major theme of this campaign is community, and through community, we can achieve so much more than a dictated solution from the top down. Imposing your will down on others forcing submission is not a republic, it is a tyranny. Naturally, as Americans, we will oppose this in some instances where the line can be blurred. Through community, however, we work with law enforcement and we all bare the burden of a peaceful society.
Pie in the sky dreamer, or pragmatic problem solver? Well, maybe a little of both. Law and Order is essential, but imposing the will of the people on the people without their support is useless. We must be conscience of the task at hand and the difficulties faced by those we have chartered to enforce our laws. Without our support they will fail. With our support, we can achieve immense success. So, how can we do this together?
Community. Community is the answer. People coming together and understanding the struggles we as a community face coming from those on the front lines. I believe if we support our officers, sheriffs, troopers, and constables and enable them to build meaningful relationships in all communities, the bonds formed will bare fruit. Good fruit. Community support, engagement, and assistance all come from having real, open and meaningful communication with officers who serve the community.
No system or plan is perfect and what I am proposing is not crystalized or written in stone. It needs to be dynamic to work in various communities and municipalities. Therefore, I am reaching out to officers, sheriffs, and troopers for their input since, well, by not doing so, I would be a hypocrite. I will be building proactive plans for community engagement throughout the campaign with the input of those who serve on the front lines.
Make no mistake, Law and Order is the first order of business, but we are looking for the most effective engagement platform to support our citizens who serve with the shield and risk their lives.
robust economic development
My experiences in the economy are through industrial environments and industrial support. I support industry from the Mississippi to the Appalachians, and what I have seen is that economic uncertainties paralyze decisions makers and freeze economic investment. We must, as a country, empower these companies with certainty.
Certainty that we are going to invest in our roads, bridges, infrastructure. Certainty that we are going to maintain previous investments. Certainty that we are going to continue to support the industries that invest back in to the state through training and employing local labor. We must drive the investment in our people by supporting those who implement such investments.
We are going to push for an aggressive roads and bridges campaign. This is common sense. We have all seen the reports that detail how so many of our bridges are underperforming and we all experience the congestion of certain roadways, and we see their degradation. We must move forward in supporting the life line of our commerce from states to state, city to city.
We need an aggressive farms bill that supports and encourages local, small farmers. We must be able to produce our own crops and develop farmers that have the drive but lack the resources. If we are not careful, we are going to see a wholesale of small farmers bought up by global conglomerates. I don't want the mega farming companies running 90% of all farmland in this country. Like all the rest of our resources, this is one we cannot miss and far too little attention had been paid to the farmer. They are a strategic resource we must protect.
Unbridled local and small business startups strategy. From 4H in Memphis to the Incubator Business start up lab in Chattanooga, I believe our resources can be used to foster small business growth and encourage more to take a chance in Tennessee. "if you want to grow, Go to Tenessee!"
We can make Tennessee the "Silicon Valley of the South."
We have a huge jumpstart with the Governor's plan for trade schools, Zach Wamp's decades old "Technology Corridor" and the investments of major companies like Bridgestone, Wacker, Volkswagen, and so many more, make the foundation for growth solid. Utilizing programs like Chattanooga business incubator, we create an environment welcoming to a diverse array of entrepreneurs. We need new growth to continue on the path to success as an economic powerhouse.
We cannot bank on a thriving future for our citizens if we are not equipping them for success in the modern workplace. That is why I am an advocate for dynamic learning initiatives and a complete overhaul of our grade structure.
To ask of our children to "do your best," and then hold them back because others cannot keep up is infuriating. We do this to protect those who struggle and as understandable as that is, we are trying to fit a contrived notion of equality when the facts are already understood. Children know when they are struggling and they understand when they are falling behind. We cannot hide failure from them and we need to prepare our children to know what failure is: Quitting.
So, how can we encourage growth from the top and underperforming students? As there are many models that work to correct this problem, I am an advocate of the cellular model that allows children to learn as much as they can and they are not restricted to grade level curricula.
Example: A child is really strong in math and yet, really poor in English. Sound about right? Well, in our current education methodology, we spend more time working on the weakness then growing in the strengths. Yes, the child will have to learn proper grammar, but why are they working on multiplication tables when they could be diving into algebra?
Technology today does more than allowing tablets and high end projector screens, it should be freeing our children to learn dynamically and in a way that allows them to thrive. This is not to denigrate our teachers...our teachers are awesome! In speaking with so many, I believe they are handcuffed to an ideology that forces teachers to teach to testing as opposed to teach students to learn dynamically. The desire of every teacher I have spoken with is to educate and teach educational revelations and see the light of learning glow brightly in the minds of our children. I do not believe they have the time or resources to do that. Add to that they are burdened to teach students to answer questions not learn. The teacher's desire is for more and I want to encourage and support our teachers to enable our students for the future.