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In my experience as an Energy Engineer, the US Energy Policy needs a major over-haul. We claim our dependency on oil and petroleum is a response to a growing demand along with an "American" habit, that we just can't seem to kick. The problem with this theory  which is being sold to us by our political powers and oil companies, is just simply not true to the hundredth  power. I know this as fact, as in my position as an Energy Engineer, reduction of energy within our country is not only extremely achievable, but also very much within reach. Commercial buildings are by far our largest consumer of oil(energy,natural gas, electricity,water). Ironically, they are also, one of the easier items to convert to a sustainable usage. It has been made a myth, making these millions of properties energy efficient  LEED Certified or Energy Star certified simply out weighs the cost of doing business. This is a 100% myth, presented and sold to us, by our petroleum corporations and their quest for huge profits and bottom lines. We have passed our "peak" oil production and we cannot make more oil. What are we going to do, when we can no longer afford to obtain the oil or, we as Americans can no longer sustain? This will come with little warning, as the signs and trends are manipulated to us already everyday. 

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The second I heard our Republican counter parts scream costs and lack of funds, to re-create our Head Start program, I knew we were, once again in serious trouble. Are we supposed to have our 4-6 year old children get jobs to pay for their own education as if they were in college? As ridiculous as that statement sounds, its what the Republicans are really stating. Whats more important than the education of your children? More battleships? How about 1000 new tanks the US Army doesn't even want. How about the costs alone for the funding of Homeland Security and the TSA. None of this makes sense. Our Teachers and Educators are left holding the bag when it comes time to teaching children, simply not ready for what needs to be taught. In the document submitted to Congress concerning the Head Start program, after the GOP propaganda of costs, it clearly states the program reduces High School Drop out rates, violent crimes, drug abuse and more college attendance. While we watch our entire education slip down the list of industrialized nations, when will we hit the bottom? Are we really going to allow this to happen? It is a mess and no person, committee or party really wants to step into the pile of thorns and begin the sweeping process. Someone needs to take charge and we all know it will not be someone on the GOP side of the aisle  They have made that pretty clear to all of us. So in the mean time.........tick tock.....time keeps on moving forward and we keep slipping back. Enough! Help me bring this back. Stand united for Education Reform and stand behind the Democratic Party. We are the only group in any sort of power to take action and willing to do so.

As Americans, we have seen our share of battles between the right to own or carry firearms and the translation of the 5th amendment. It seems, when our nation faces a thoughtless tragedy, such as Sandy Hook and other school and public shootings, we tend to begin the war on guns. We are left to clean up the mess left behind by undecided and uncaring political ideals. Anti-gun movements become a "band-aid" to a gushing wound and do not allow us to get down to the bottom line issues, such as the lack of mental and psychiatric over-sight. If we can create a sub-group within our own government such as Homeland Security, we can choose to do the same for the over-sight of keeping our mental health system in better shape. Picking apart any amendment is never a solution. If anything, we should be creating additional amendments to help the citizens at need and for the greater good.

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Once again, a massive misuse of Government funding. As part of Homeland Security, it costs the American Tax Payer three times more to patrol an airport, than it did when we subsidized the County Sheriff to do the very same job. Putting the Airports back on the payroll of local county supervision, not only saves billions of dollars, but refunds the local county offices with much needed money and jobs. The TSA personnel program is not even a laughing matter. It is so seriously flawed, it is almost frightening to even think they will be scanning my luggage and handling as well. Even the TSA has admitted some of the background and screening criteria has major loopholes. Yikes!. I never met an unprofessional Sheriff Deputy working in an Airport. As always, these brave men and women take pride in the work they do and provide a service they have been doing for many many years. Lets just say, they are good at what they do. Bottom line, Sheriffs are elected for a reason and they must answer to the people. TSA....who are they? and who do they answer to?    

Growing up in Northern Wisconsin, the unions were very much part of my life. Why? I was too young to work, but my father worked in the paper mill, which provided our family with a fair and decent living. My father worked for the United Machinist  Union (IAM) for over 30 years. During this time, I witnessed the uprising and downfall of many unions. I can honestly say, unions literally built this country and formed the backbone in the workforce we have today. There was certainly a time for unions when we needed fair wages and fair benefits, but even more so today, by keeping jobs in America and doing what they can to stop the movement of jobs overseas. If you haven't noticed, the more beat up unions get by big corporations and powerful politicians, the more jobs sail away into the sunset and land on foreign soil. You will NEVER find more workmanship pride in any other country than the United States. Our founding union fathers fought one of the largest unknown battles ever fought on US soil. May God bless the Unions and the working men and women in the United States of, tomorrow and forever!
I was a member of the Milwaukee Chapter of the Tool and Die Lodge78 , which is now part of the I.A.M
This includes all unions and what they stand for. By taking away collective bargaining, we have handcuffed the ability to negotiate within reason. This includes Educators, Government Workers, Teamsters and all in-between.

As you may have noticed, I believe Homeland Security and TSA need to be dissolved immediately. It is a blatant misuse of government funds. Funds in turn, which can be used in so many better places within our government. Homeland Security is not needed, nor was it ever needed. We have FBI, CIA, NICS, NSA and this trickles down to our local police departments. Homeland Security is another way for Government waste and control. 
The Patriot Act, drafted, while most of Congress was on break and home with family, birthed this monstrosity which costs the tax payers billions upon billions of dollars. Not to mention the many privacy rights we have collectively lost, while merely sleeping in our beds, under the very blanket of freedom they have promised to protect us with.  

A couple years ago, I was invited into the Coldwater School District as an Energy Engineer to help them reduce the over all use of electric,  natural gas and water. With the savings of money, the district could in turn, funnel the re-claimed money back into what ever they deemed necessary. Some would go back into the infrastructure of the schools to make them a better learning environment, plus continue the energy savings with upgraded HVAC equipment and other "Green" technologies, while some of the other funds may have been directed towards learning tools and materials. While I was working on this project, I had the pleasure of meeting many great teachers, parents and administrators. They all had the same concern about the disappearing population within the school district due to the closing of the Coldwater State Prison. Now, before I become involved with a State matter, I cannot help but to think, what else could this facility be used for once it is completely abandoned. I do not know what local state Representatives actions or ideas have been, but I understand this puts a huge strain on many things such as the local economy and tax base. I also do not know, where the Federal Prison system stands as far as needing another prison, but I have to wonder if this avenue was explored or forgotten. Its hard to unite a community to allow a prison in the borders of a town. I am sure much debate was ongoing when the State of Michigan approached local politicians with the option. However, once the idea and proposal was accepted and the facility was erected, most towns people settled in with the idea of having a State Prison in the backyard. Over the years, the town became used to the structure and even began to count on the economic advantages it brought forth. More years into it, people became reliant for its jobs and security. Many families were raised around this and now its gone. Yet another slap to the District. Has anyone on the Federal level addressed this issue? I know Branch County and the city fought this closing, but I have yet to find any Federal solutions or ideas or even subsidization for misplaced workers and families.

The looming task and question. How do we, as a district create more and better jobs. The one thing Michigan can brag about (if bragging is something worth while) is the fact, Michigan has a massive and robust electrical grid. This has been created over time to supply the energy demand into the automobile plants and all the independent shops and businesses supplying the auto industry. This electrical grid is a perfect candidate to reuse for renewable energies. Energy such as wind farms and solar collection. Michigan also boasts one of the windiest areas in the country and certainly within the Midwest. With all the empty factories and high power outlets, could we possibly become the worlds leader and manufacturer of Wind Power Turbines? This possibility alone could create hundreds if not thousands of jobs. These jobs will also require some technology training along with factory automation. By allowing these factories to re-invent the infrastructure and with basic federal loans, grants and incentives, wouldn't this be a great opportunity to invite some of the global renewable energy companies into our district?(Siemens AG, GE Electric, etc) Perhaps draw them in and appeal to them with some dynamic tax incentive while having a "at ready" workforce? Let's see if the GOP reads this and jumps on this idea before we, the Democrats, can properly assess the vitality of such a large and creative undertaking. This is just one idea which comes to mind when I think about the vast open land, windy days and closed down factories which dot the landscape of our district. BUT WAIT! This would impose on big oil and the agenda to continue to sell oil, a large part of the GOP leadership. But let's see where this goes. Please, along with all the other topics on this page, provide your feedback and ideas. We need to share, communicate and collaborate on the future of the 7th District, Michigan as a State and get people back to work. 
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