Like many Delawareans, I was surprised and disappointed to learn that Senator Brian Bushweller would not seek re-election for the State Senate, 17th District, in 2018. For nearly a decade, Senator Bushweller has served the Dover, Camden, and Wyoming communities tirelessly with dignity and distinction. As a resident, I am deeply appreciative of his service and leadership through some challenging times. As a candidate to be your next State Senator from the 17th District, I recognize that I have large shoes to fill.
The Dover area has been my home since I was born at Kent General Hospital in 1969. I have raised a family and started a business here. I believe that my life experiences, educational background, and record of serving the community make me uniquely qualified to face the challenges of representing the 17th Senate District, and I have proven over the past 5 years in the Delaware House of Representatives that I am an energetic worker who listens to his constituents and always tries to do what is best for the community.
I am a proponent of demand side economics. I support tax policies that favor middle-class families and the working poor because every extra dollar that our families can keep is quickly spent on things like clothes, food, shoes, home improvements, and household items. This creates demand for products and services from our businesses, which allows businesses to pay higher wages and hire more workers. Higher wages and more jobs lead to even more consumer spending, creating a ripple effect throughout our economy.
I am the son of an entrepreneur, and I have started businesses of my own. I understand the challenges facing business owners in our community. It is my goal to create an environment in Kent County that attracts new businesses by making it easier to start a business or re-locate here.
Dover, Camden, and Wyoming face similar problems plaguing towns and small cities throughout our nation. There is a lack of affordable housing and an increase in homelessness. Substance use negatively affects families at all socio-economic levels, and gang activity, once thought to exist only in big cities, has led to violence on our streets. As the State Senator for the area, I will work tirelessly to ensure that our police departments, volunteer fire departments, and our first responders have sufficient funding for personnel, equipment, and technology to protect our communities, and I will continue to support partnerships between the state, local, and county governments and faith-based organizations, along with other non-profits, to reduce homelessness and hunger.
We must do a better job reducing recidivism through continued criminal justice and sentencing reform. While it is important that the consequences for violent crimes remain strong, we cannot incarcerate our way to a safer society. Our overcrowded prisons have produced tragic consequences, and, releasing inmates back into society, who have no skills or education, only serves to continue the cycle of crime and violence. We must increase our efforts to rehabilitate our inmates through education, mental health counseling, and job training.
Dover, Camden, and Wyoming are diverse communities. As your State Senator, I will protect the civil rights of all our residents, regardless of gender, race, color, religious preference, socio-economic background, or sexual orientation. We must understand that we are all in this together, and, denigrating the rights or degrading the opportunities afforded to certain groups of people, only serves to weaken our society. I would like my brothers and sisters in the LGBTQ community to know that I will not allow anyone to turn back the clock on the hard fought freedoms that you have achieved over the past decade.
The future of the 17th District is bright, but we have many difficult decisions ahead of us, including our budget priorities. I value our VOLUNTEER fire companies, the Modern Maturity Center, programs for our seniors and veterans, and ensuring that our schools are properly funded so that every child in The Capital School District and The Caesar Rodney School District has access to a world-class education. I value opportunities for our young people to pursue their dreams at Delaware State University, Delaware Technical and Community College, Wesley College, Wilmington University, and the University of Delaware. I value clean water, a healthy environment, and open space. I value an economic climate that makes it easier for entrepreneurs to start and sustain businesses that create good-paying jobs for the next generation.
I look forward to meeting you in the months to come as I take my message into the 17th District to become your next Senator.
Representative Trey Paradee