Alexandra Owensby | Kentuckians For The Commonwealth

Alexandra Owensby

District/Office: 
Political party: 
Democrat
Incumbent: 
No
Question 1: 

What’s your vision for Kentucky? How will the lives of Kentuckians be improved as a result of your time in office? What Congressional committees will you request to serve on once elected?

I believe in a better, brighter future for Kentucky, where the representatives are actually voices for the people and working to advance the lives of Kentuckians in the district instead of only working to advance their own lives and pocketbooks. When elected, I will work every day to make sure all Kentuckians have access to quality, affordable healthcare. I will work to ensure our infrastructure (from our crumbling bridges, to our failing water systems, to our roads which are falling apart, to our broadband internet access which is unavailable in many communities) is finally addressed and is no longer a broken campaign promise of failed politicians. I will also work every day to ensure our education system is fully funded, our teachers have the resources they need, and that our public school systems are the world class, the type of education systems which make our children want to raise their own children here. While I would love to serve on a healthcare committee, I do recognize as a freshman congresswoman I may not have a choice. What I can guarantee you is, whichever committees I have the honor of serving on, I will work hard every single day to improve … answer exceeds word limit

Question 2: 

Federal aid efforts to buffer us from the impacts of COVID were late, inadequate, and often most helpful to those of us who needed the least support, highlighting the inequity embedded in our safety net systems, our economy, and our tax structure. How would you create a more equitable economy – with a federal tax where everyone pays their fair share and that delivers support to under-resourced communities, and allows everyone to thrive?

We need to eliminate tax loopholes which allow the wealthiest of the wealthy to allow the working and middle classes to fully fund the infrastructure and communities from which these corporations make their profits.

Question 3: 

What would you do to make sure that every Kentuckian has quality, affordable health care so that they can get and stay healthy? What are your health-related legislative priorities, and what approaches to health care coverage do you support? Do you support Medicare For All?

As a healthcare provider myself, this is one of my main priorities. We, ultimately, need to get to a universal healthcare system. Unfortunately, the government has not always been good stewards of the systems they have run in the past. I believe we need to work toward a universal health insurance system, but allow people the option to keep their private healthcare as we work to ensure we have a system which can support the needs of the citizens and deliver high-quality, affordable healthcare at the volume necessary to provide for all citizens. Other healthcare priorities I support include advancing telemedicine. With rural hospitals shutting down at record rates, it is essential we promote telemedicine as an alternative to in person visits. This would allow for people in rural communities to not have long commutes to see specialists, would allow those working 9-5 jobs to see providers during off hours, and would allow those with limited transportation to have access to medical care reliably.

Question 4: 

Many undocumented and mixed immigration status families here in Kentucky do not have access to government aid, stimulus payments, and other resources offered during this pandemic, while they’re simultaneously more likely to be essential workers and are at the highest risk for COVID-19 infection. What would you do to expand support and resources to Kentucky’s immigrant families, undocumented or otherwise, in the time of a global pandemic and beyond? Do you support comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship for young people and adults?

It is essential we are able to provide a clear and feasible pathway for those who wish to become citizens. America was founded by immigrants who desired a better life than they had and were willing to take risks to get there. The challenge, of course, is the fact America currently is struggling to support all of the citizens we currently have, which makes it difficult to assume more liability. The first step to solving this problem is by eliminating tax loopholes and requiring corporations and the top earners in this country to contribute to the nation they are currently taking advantage of by using loopholes to avoid investing in America through paying taxes. Once we have the corporations paying their fair share, I am certain America will have the resources to take care of all visitors to our country, much like most other civilized nations.

Question 5: 

Is dealing with the climate crisis a high priority for you, and if so, do you support a Green New Deal? How would you ensure that solutions to the climate crisis benefit all Kentuckians – no matter the color of our skin, income, immigration status, or zip code?

Climate change isn’t a future threat. It is occurring as we speak, and I believe that it must be addressed head on. As we confront the effects of climate change, we must simultaneously aim for energy independence, completely end our reliance on foreign oil, and, ultimately, do everything with an eye towards creating meaningful, well-paying jobs, which will allow climate change mitigation efforts to mutually benefit all Kentuckians. America is home to some of the world’s most brilliant scientific and engineering minds, and our government should be focused on incentivizing innovation and scaling up emerging energy technologies to be available for the average American consumer. An investment in these new technologies will not only put America at the forefront of combating climate change, but will create more safe, well-paid jobs in the renewable energy sector than have ever been available in the fossil fuel industry. This is an issue that prominently impacts our state: cases of the deadly, coal-mining-related black lung disease reached a 25-year high in 2018 in Kentucky, and subsequent mine closures have meant the loss of income, healthcare, and the dignity of work for many families. Investing in new technologies and the domestic production of clean energy … answer exceeds word limit

Question 6: 

People from across the state are coming together to say Black Lives Matter and to demand that all Kentuckians can move through our communities without fearing for our lives or our loved ones. What is the role of the U.S. Congress in opposing white supremacy, addressing racial inequality and supporting racial justice for Black people, Indigenous people, and all people of color in our state? Do you support the BREATHE Act, a modern-day civil rights bill that would move federal funding from policing and mass incarceration to non-punitive systems of community safety and build healthy and equitable communities? Please identify at least two policy initiatives you would propose while in office to address racial and systemic inequalities. 

Racial injustice is very real and should be addressed on a number of different levels. I would highly recommend each and every one of us search for the Harvard Implicit Bias tests on the internet and take them. The results can be incredibly eye opening. Moving forward, it is imperative that we do better than what we have been doing. It is essential we change some of the laws we have in order to get away from dangerous practices like no knock warrants for police and neck holds. We need to ensure body cams are always in use. We also need to ensure we are investing in social workers for police departments. Social workers are essential to communities and can help ease tension between the communities and the officers. Police departments must begin to build trust with the communities they serve and be seen as somewhere citizens can turn for help. Social workers on the force will be an essential component of this moving forward. As an elected official, I will regularly meet with those of different ethnicities to ensure their voices are heard, their concerns are addressed, and that I am a voice for ALL in my district, not just the majority.

Question 7: 

Kentucky has the ninth highest incarceration rate in the nation, is second for incarcerating women, and has the second-highest rate of children separated from a parent due to incarceration. In addition, Black Kentuckians face disproportionate arrest, conviction, and incarceration, and a heightened risk of police brutality. And people in many parts of our state face racial profiling, intimidation and unjust detainment and detention by federal and local authorities due to immigration status or perceived status. Many Kentuckians are calling for various measures to stem the tide of racialized criminalization, police brutality, mass incarceration, and detention and deportation – from police reform, to increased community investment, to a complete defunding and abolition of the police and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Are you committed to ending mass incarceration in Kentucky and in the United States as a whole? Why or why not? If elected, what will you do to make strides toward ending mass incarceration and reinvesting resources into the communities most impacted by this system? 

Absolutely. I am a fan of bail reform for non-violent offenders. I would also be an advocate for racially balanced juries moving forward. Too often, our criminal justice system strips the offenders of any opportunities to keep or obtain stable work moving forward and trains them to be better criminals instead of better citizens. We must find ways to keep people out of jail and working for minor offenses. As discussed above, we also need to invest in social workers to help provide resources for community members who are struggling.

Question 8: 

Do you support restoring voting rights to Kentuckians with felonies in their past?  Specifically, do you support the Democracy Restoration Act to restore voting rights to people upon release from prison for purposes of voting in federal elections? Do you support restoring the Voting Rights Advancement Act to ensure strong federal oversight of state and local governments with a history of voter suppression aimed at communities of color? Please explain.

Yes. I am a firm believer that once someone has paid the price for their crime we should not continue to punish them. We must avoid taxation without representation. I will work diligently against voter suppression when elected and ensure those in communities of color have every opportunity to have their voices heard, both inside and outside of elections.

Question 9: 

Do you support proposed Just Transition bills in Congress to take care of coal miners and communities by investing in abandoned mine land reclamation (H.R. 2156, H.R. 4248, and H.R. 2) and extending current funding for the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund for another 10 years (H.R. 3876 and S.3171)? Why or why not?

Yes. We have a duty as a government to take care of the people and communities which have been harmed by taking care of America. I will gladly stand behind our coal miners and those communities.

Question 10: 

What will you do to support LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, queer) Kentuckians? What will you do to protect people from discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations based on sexual orientation and gender identity? 

I will work every day to eliminate discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. As a healthcare provider, I have seen firsthand the challenges faced by LGBTQ citizens. I will work every day when elected to ensure these citizens have the same rights and respect as every other citizen here in Kentucky.