Al Cunningham | Kentuckians For The Commonwealth

Al Cunningham

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?

My vision is a Kentucky that all can prosper. A Kentucky that serves the many not the few. A Kentucky where you can earn a decent living for yourself and your family and retire one day with dignity.

Question 2: 
Even after Governor Beshear's December 2019 executive order, over 170,000 Kentuckians with felonies in their past are still ineligible to vote. Do you support a constitutional amendment to automatically restore voting rights to all Kentuckians with felonies in their past once they've served their time, probation, and parole? Please explain.

Yes, I feel if you have paid your debt to society then you should have your voting rights restored. In my experience I know there are good decent people that made a mistake and maybe because they couldn't afford the correct attorney they settled on accepting a felony in order to get back to work and to their families.

Question 3: 

What is your view on modernizing state election laws? Specifically, do you support allowing early voting, mail-in ballots, same-day voter registration, extended hours at polling locations, offering ballots in multiple languages, and other election reforms? Do you support legislation requiring that Kentucky voters present a photo ID on election day even though many Kentuckians do not have that kind of ID? Why or why not?

I would support allowing early voting and extended hours. I feel we should make every attempt to promote turnout and getting to the polls to have your voice heard. I'm afraid that the requirement of a photo ID would deter the elderly to have their voice heard and I could use my mother as an example, she voted into her 90's even though she didn't have a drivers license for many years but she was known by the poll workers.

Question 4: 

Kentucky has a tax code that does not raise enough revenue to meet the Commonwealth’s budgetary needs – a problem that was made worse by the legislature's tax shift of 2018. After years of budget cuts, the funding for pensions, public education, infrastructure, and other essential programs have reached dangerous levels of disinvestment. How would you work to create a more equitable state tax structure – where everyone pays their fair share – that raises adequate revenue, fights poverty, and invests in Kentucky’s under-resourced communities and the services we all need?

First I feel that many are not paying their fair share and when the percentage was lowered to 5% for all gave the wealthiest a tax break and those that were most vulnerable was increased from 4% to 5%. I'm not against tax breaks but it seems the most vulnerable are suscidizing the current system. Also the taxes on specialized cost such as car repairs and many others that were implemented further puts more burden on those that struggled before.

Question 5: 

Many Kentucky’s local governments have a policy that people will not be questioned about immigration status by local authorities, and that local police will only assist federal agents in enforcing immigration laws when there is a warrant signed by a judge or a risk of violence. What is your view of these types of policies and what would you do to expand support and resources toward our immigrant population, undocumented or otherwise?

I understand and support enforcement of our current laws but do feel there should be easier access to becoming a citizen. Most immigrants especially those here illegally want a better way of life but there are many times they are abused by employers. Maybe there should be more enforcement on those that knowingly employ workers that are here illegally.

Question 6: 

Is acting to address the climate crisis a priority for you? What policies do you support to ensure that solutions – such as clean energy jobs and reducing high energy bills – benefit all Kentuckians, including low-income communities, communities of color, and those who are most impacted by the changing climate? And what policies would you support to ensure that all Kentuckians have clean air and water, no matter the color of our skin, income, or zip code?

There should be no question to providing clean air and water to everyone regardless of their color, income or zip code. These are basic human rights and needs. Until we gave legislators that believe in a changing climate and have honest discussions with those in the energy industry on decreasing emissions.

Question 7: 

What is the role of the Kentucky legislature 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 state? Please identify at least two policy initiatives you would propose while in office to address racial and systemic inequalities.

I would support either legislatively or in our local communities that discrimination of any sort not be tolerated.

Question 8: 

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? 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 would assist in any way to end mass incarceration as it is such a burden on our local jails and also to our state that pays local jails to hold state prisoners. I understand that there are many should be behind bars for their crimes but I also feel there are many that would benefit more from getting their GED, learning a skilled trade which would make that individual a contributing member of society and strengthen those families. There should be more done to educate those that are behind bars due to a drug addiction. I would welcome conversations regarding these situations.

Question 9: 

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

As a Christian I don't agree at times but as stated earlier I don't think there should be any discrimination to others regardless of who they are or who they love. So yes I would support a statewide public Fairness law as long as it didn't infringe on those in the private sector.

Question 10: 

Nearly 400,000 low-income Kentuckians qualified for health care – including vision, dental and mental health – for the first time under the Affordable Care Act. But there are major challenges here in Kentucky. The Bevin administration failed to respond to Kentucky’s Hepatitis A outbreak, local health departments are underfunded and are slated to lose about a third of their workers, and the legislature has recently passed a bill restricting access to reproductive health. The legislature has a role in getting Kentucky on track for better health. What would you to build on the progress of Medicaid expansion and to ensure that all Kentuckians have access to quality, affordable health care?

Answer 10: 

I believe that in the richest country in the civilized world that no one regardless of their ability to pay should be denied seeing a doctor and the medical attention they need. In order to be a productive Kentucky we must be a healthy Kentucky.