If you are someone other than a caucasian, cisgender male, it is in your best interest to vote Andy Beshear for Kentucky Governor on Tuesday. Beshear is openly supporting many ideas for Kentucky’s improvement, but the one most relevant to me would be his strong support of public school teachers.
Matt Bevin, Beshear’s Republican competitor for the 2020 Governor position, openly supports cuts to public education and low-income health care and has stated so in interviews and on his Twitter page
When public teacher’s lead a strike against Bevin’s pension reformed, students were forced to stay home. On that same day, a seven-year-old girl had been shot in her home. And Bevin had the audacity to go and blame the teachers on strike for the girl’s shooting. Had she been at school, Bevin said in a public speech at the Rotary Clube in Louisville, she would not have been home for the shooting to occur.
Those teachers were on strike because of Bevin’s actions toward public school teacher’s pensions.
Beshear doesn’t follow any of Bevin’s beliefs. Whilst Bevin openly stands for shoving public education and people from low-income households under the bus, Beshear plans to raise the per-pupil funding, decrease class sizes, provide more medical professionals, and even provide mental health professionals in every school. While he has not given details for his plan, it is a noble task.
Beshear’s two children attend private school, but he seems no-less determined to support the student’s whose parents cannot afford such a privilege. As someone who had been in that exact situation, I know how important it is for strong action to be taken to protect public education.
My high school teachers were paid pennies of what they were worth. Teachers are not just somebody filling a glorified baby-sitting position, they are preparing kids for the world. Essentially, we trust them with our future. But when someone this critical in our society has to find a second job at McDonald’s or Starbucks, it is time for us as a united people to start questioning where our taxes are going, if not to better the community?
Beshear has also promised in his campaign to put an end to voter restrictions on those charged with felonies. Some people may see this and immediately turn their nose, saying that people who are criminals have no place in voting for a country whose laws they have broken, but voter restriction is about more than broken laws.
The fact of the matter is, our criminal system is racist, whether they openly admit it or unconsciously take racist action. People of color are disproportionately given stronger sentences compared to white people for the exact same crimes. Because of this, most of the people walking around with “felon” attached to their shirt in giant red letters are people of color.
The restrictions set upon felons to vote takes an entire group and throws them to the side, saying their opinions don’t matter despite the decisions being made in government affecting them just as much as a non-felon.
Beshear is supporting people — real people — and trying his best to do what is right for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. If we, as Kentuckians, showed our support for public education and voter rights, we would be heading towards a better and brighter future for every person in the Bluegrass.