Shannon Fabert | Kentuckians For The Commonwealth

Shannon Fabert

Political party: 
Question 1: 

What’s your vision for Kentucky? How will the lives of Kentuckians be improved as a result of your time in office?

We need a Kentucky that is moving into the future. At the federal level, I will focus on growth in education geared towards 21st century learning. We are at the of the technology revolution and need to support learning techniques and programs that recognize how to create an environment of excellence for every child. This includes safety in schools. It is imperative that we acknowledge the mental wellbeing of children when we force them to participate in active shooter drills but do not have the fortitude to address the person with the gun. It’s time to evaluate new avenues of economic growth and remove barriers to entry for research and development in new technologies such as sustainable energy sources and new cash crops.  I will advocate for policies that support new technologies and level the playing fields for renewable energy to be available to more than just the rich. This includes supporting infrastructure actions that support 21st century commerce. Lastly, I would advocate for real action to reduce the costs of medical care and increase availability in rural areas.

Question 2: 

How would you create a more equitable federal tax structure – where everyone pays their fair share – that raises adequate revenue, fights poverty,  and invests in under-resourced communities and the services we all need?

The current federal tax structure supports the debunked theory of trickle down economics and that just doesn’t work. It continues to widen the gap between the rich and poor and right now the middle class is the one that is carrying the tax burden. This must stop. There is a saying that with great power comes great responsibility. I believe there is a middle ground where we can actively incentivize companies after they have shown they are making strides to do the “right thing” for their employees and our community. Companies that pay a living wage, provide active investments in community and the environment, and make health care affordable to all of their employees should be rewarded. The tax cuts passed during the current administration put the cart before the horse on this and we have to correct that.

Question 3: 

What would you do to make sure that every Kentuckian has quality, affordable health care? What are your top health policy priorities, and what approaches to health care coverage do you support? Do you support Medicare For All?

Every person in Kentucky deserves quality, affordable health care. We need to work on the middle man in this. Doctors should not have to worry about making ends meet because an insurance company has underbid a service. Kentuckians should not have to worry about rationing insulin or other medicine. Kentuckians and doctors should not have to fight for procedures that have been denied as “business decisions” not medical ones. We need to hold insurance companies responsible for profiteering. I support Medicare for All as a competitive option within the mix. Currently, people do not have options. It’s either through their jobs or if they meet the poverty threshold. I would like to see interstate laws on insurance relaxed so that individuals can shop for options that work for them. This combined with a Medicare for All option would allow constituents and businesses to explore the best coverage options.

Question 4: 

Do you support comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship for young people and adults? What are your plans to expand support and resources for immigrants and refugees, undocumented or otherwise?

As the child of an immigrant, I firmly believe that the United States should truly be the land of opportunity for all. This includes a pathway to citizenship for everyone. Over the course of the current administration we are now at some of the lowest levels in history in allowing people into the United States. We have to stop fear mongering that we “don’t have enough space.” Being pro-immigration still leaves room to support reforms that decrease illegal immigration but we must be open to more legal avenues of immigration. We need to work with the businesses and communities that most deeply affected by immigration to not just understand how the current policies affect their business but then translate this into a partnership with the government to help them grow. When we recognize that we are hurting farming, construction, and labor by drastically reducing available work force, we will see that the current policies are actually affecting our infrastructure. We need to redirect funding from these massive detention facilities, add more immigration judges to reduce backlogs and STOP treating immigrants and refugees as criminals.

Question 5: 

Is dealing with the climate crisis a high priority for you, and if so, do you support federal legislation for 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?

I come from a generation that has even at our earliest school days have been aware of the growing climate crisis. This is more than just a high priority, this is vital to not only our success as a country, but our survival and security. You will certainly find that every position in my platform runs parallel with or supports reforms that will help mitigate and reverse, if possible, the damage that has been done. We need to support legislation that is backed by a plan to get from where we are to where we need to be. Every person should be able to afford solar panels, new insulation, energy efficient windows. For our farmers and coal workers, we must be exploring replacements for single-use plastics, textiles and for home use in hemp, cornstarch and bamboo and other sustainable resources. We need to be committed stewards with deliberate actions promoting active participation.

Question 6: 

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, Latinx people, immigrants, those who are undocumented, and all people of color in our country? Please identify at least two policy initiatives you would propose while in office to address racial and systemic inequalities.

Growing up as a minority in the South, I’ve seen so many forms of racism; overt, subconscious, or institutional. What we have to recognize is the behavior that doesn’t just condone racism but actually tries to reset the bar. First and foremost we must address gerrymandering. The ridiculously drawn lines to wash out the minority vote are evident. Exposing these maps and making it a mainstream topic allow the general public to openly discuss and decide how we handle this. Next, we need to evaluate the electoral college. I am not in favor of abolishing the electoral college but the original intent of one representative for every 30,000 has blown up to 1 per 700,000, hyper skewing the representation of the populations we have been elected to represent and unfairly diminishing the minority community.

Question 7: 

Kentucky has the ninth highest incarceration rate in the nation, is second in the nation for incarcerating women, and has the second-highest rate in the country of children separated from a parent due to incarceration. In addition, Black Kentuckians make up 8.3 percent of the state population but 21 percent of the state’s incarcerated population. 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?

I am a huge proponent of criminal justice reform starting with the elimination of for-profit prisons. It has become increasingly clear that companies working on a census are not interested in reform but recidivism. Historical evidence continues to show that drug related sentencing is one of the most unequal and is almost exclusively along race lines. It is time that we decriminalize recreational marijuana use and expunge the records of individuals that fall under those guidelines. We need to support and better track programs that are second opportunity programs when re-integrating individuals into the communities. Further, Kentucky should support community based policing especially in those areas that most impacted by crime. We have to start working together and not against each other and that starts with mutual respect and trust.

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.

I fully support the Democracy Restoration Act. Once an individual has completed their sentence, denying them the basic rights of citizens is counterproductive to reformation. You cannot say, go forth and be a good citizen but deny them the ability to exercise their rights. Further restoring the Voting Rights Advancement Act is important. We are 55 years removed from the voting rights act yet continue to see pointed legislation to erode voting capabilities. This just shows that we are still fighting for fair representation. Unfortunately, state and local governments who attempt to suppress votes should be subject to federal oversight to protect every vote.

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 and H.R. 4248) 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?

I believe in the opportunities that are laid out in Just Transition bills are worth taking up. The government has a responsibility to protect us as citizens and this includes not just funding the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund but also protecting pensions that are subject to invalidation because of bankruptcy and poor planning. These companies have made their money forsaking the health and well-being of the people on the front line and we should hold them accountable. I also believe we have the opportunity to get private businesses to take action now to support future endeavors. Investing in these communities after companies have exploited their natural resources is shortsighted of opportunities to have corporations be stewards of the community and implement programs that support ALL stakeholders not just shareholders.

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 am a firm believer that love is love and that an unjust law is no law at all. The LGBTQ community deserves the same protections that were fought for and enumerated in the Civil Rights Act. I am not tolerant of hate or discrimination in any form. Ordinances and laws designed to segregate or marginalize a law-abiding person must be challenged and not because it is the popular thing to do but because it is the right thing to do. We need to clearly support and establish that Title VII includes the community.