I plan to run for state legislature in 2016 and I also plan to win. Kentucky needs leadership that understands the mechanics of engaging companies in the global marketplace, and that is what I have made my living doing. For the last 20 years my career has been all about working with companies to compliantly import raw material for manufacturing and exporting finished goods to foreign customers. Our state needs laws that incentivize manufacturing for export, tax breaks for employing people that make exported goods and legislation that supports vocational education to prepare our workforce for high tech and green industries.
Here’s the rub. I make a fairly decent living and am the breadwinner in my family. My husband works and has a reasonably good salary but I make almost twice what he does. We are tremendously blessed to have a comfortable lifestyle. We’re not rich by any stretch but instead are solidly middle class. That being said we need my income and could certainly not maintain our home and our son’s college savings without it.
In Kentucky our state lawmakers do not meet more than 60 days one year, and 30 days the next, alternating years. They are paid a per diem of $188 on session days and when committees meet. My state rep was paid approximately $26,000 last year as was my state senator. My state rep owns his own successful business in the construction industry and my state senator is a retired police officer. Both are secure financially. I on the other hand, would have to take a 75% pay cut to work 40 days every two years and still need to support my family.
I am a smart, talented woman with a wealth of diverse business and social experiences that could add a great deal of value to the legislative process and help the citizens of Kentucky, However I cannot sacrifice my family’s security so that I may work for the betterment of my state and its citizens.
Is it then just a cruel fact then that only the wealthy are destined to govern, like Plato said in “The Republic”? Are the masses left to demonstrate, voice their beliefs and hope desperately that those in power will listen to the people that elected them, rather than to the businesses that paid for the negative advertisements we’re all tired of by the middle of October and April? It would seem so. And it would seem that at least at the state and local level the best we can hope for is a generous rich person who remembers once in a while that real working people elected him/her. Maybe they will even throw a legislative bone every once in a while.
I want very much to work in state government as an elected official. Specifically I want to represent Boone County to ensure that legislation is targeted to and benefits the unique manufacturing, distribution and export potential that is here today. 2016 seems like a long way off but in reality it is not – so I’d better get cracking on developing supplemental income.
Suggestions for legal income supplementation welcome.