Ronnie Ross is seeking the office of State Senate for District 27 with a focus on healthcare, schools, and the rural economy.
Name: Ronnie Ross
Running for: State Senate District 27
Work: I teach high school English and coach high school soccer.
Education: I have a B.A. from Wittenberg University and an M.S.Ed. from the University of Pennsylvania.
Community Involvement: Besides teaching and coaching during the school year, I also offer summer school and tutoring. I have volunteered with Boys & Girls Club, the Middleburg Humane Foundation, and the Goose Creek Association, among other organizations. I am also an active member of Holy Trinity Church. Finally, I am a member of the NAACP, the Arbor Day Foundation, and Phi Beta Kappa, among others.
Questions and Answers
PL: What are the top three major issues facing the district you wish to represent?
Ross: Our healthcare, our schools, and our rural economy.
PL: What concrete solutions do you propose to address these issues?
Ross: In terms of healthcare, we first must work to protect the advances that we have already made. Then, the next step is to work to bring down the costs of prescription drugs, similar to what Maryland has already done.
In terms of schools, we need to fully fund them, to pay our teachers appropriately, and to increase mental health services. All of them are currently at pre-recession levels.
Finally, in terms of our rural economy, we need to expand broadband to our rural houses. Then, we need to be sure that we are appropriately investing in agri-tourism and direct to consumer programs. We also need to provide funding for Ag BMP’s.
PL: From your perspective, what is the job description of the office you’re seeking?
Ross: The General Assembly represents the bridge between our federal government and our local governments. Whether it is health, education, and economic policy, state legislators have to work with all stakeholders, including and most importantly the people of the district, as the they forge solutions to our problems.
PL: What expertise will you bring to the office?
Ross: I grew up in Appalachia, and so I bring a practical, pragmatic, common sense approach to governing, one that is focused on results and not partisan gridlock. Moreover, I am a teacher, and we need more educators making our education policy.
PL: Do you feel that the average citizen is well-informed and understands the workings of local government?
Ross: The average citizen does the best they can to be informed given the stresses of day-to-day life. It is the representative’s job to make it easier for people to participate in the political process. While, yes, it is important to hold frequent town halls and office hours, newer technology allows for virtual town halls and even more access to our elected representatives.
PL: Have you ever made any mistakes in your public life? How have they affected you?
Ross: All of us have made mistakes in our lives. What is important is that we learn from them and continue to grow. This is exactly what I tell my students.
PL: Our readers want leaders in local government. Why should they vote for you?
Ross: Our politics have become mired in partisan gridlock. We need leaders and voices who present common sense, pragmatic solutions. Politics should not be about scoring points or “got ya’s.” People’s lives are at stake. I take that seriously and will bring that perspective with me. As the Constitution tells us, our democracy should be about “We the People.”