Russ believes our communities are only as strong as the individuals who comprise them. And that government best aids its citizens by removing barriers to achievement and providing a safe and healthy environment for individual and community growth.
The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do at all, or cannot so well do, for themselves in their separate, and individual capacities.- Abraham Lincoln
Transportation and Infrastructure
Russ is running for State Senate to ensure that Delaware invests in sustainable, environmentally-friendly infrastructure, and holds Sussex County accountable.
Growth has many benefits – it brings jobs, diversity and opportunities for new services and businesses. But ungoverned growth also brings environmental destruction and substandard infrastructure. The Sussex County government has not done enough to protect the environment and provide adequate infrastructure. As a result, we have clogged intersections, overburdened unsafe roads and a worrying loss of animal habitat, wetlands and waterway protections.
Quality infrastructure provides many benefits to our community from safety on our roads and bridges to clean water and prospering businesses. We need growth, but we need it to be balanced and to protect our future.
We must achieve better coordination between the State and the County so we can manage growth responsibly. The State must lead, invest in, and implement the changes we need, especially when the County abdicates some of its own responsibilities. We need to plan, we need to implement those plans and we need to enforce the protections in those plans..
Russ will work to:
- Empower the State to hold the County accountable to the Comprehensive Plan
- Get a fair share of transportation funds invested here in our District
- Empower the State to aggressively preserve open spaces and corridors
- Achieve State oversight of public and private sewer systems
Investment in Delaware and Our Community
Budgets reflect our values. Frankly, our district has not seen the investments from the State that we should. We have needs in transportation, infrastructure and housing. In some cases, those needs are desperate and life threatening.
Russ will provide the experience to shape that investment and ensure our District gets what is fair. As Senator, Russ will work in Dover and in Sussex to raise awareness of the problems that harm our District and will fight for the resources we need to address those problems.
Better Balanced Growth
While the County approves zoning and development projects, the State also has an active role through DELDOT, DNREC and to the State Office of Planning. Russ will be a Senator who brings the issues that impact the 6th District to the floor of the Legislature and to State offices. Because of his experience as a community activist and advocate, he knows and is trusted by the stakeholders and elected officials who can ensure that change is created.
The State is responsible for road construction, improvements and other costs associated with the growth the County approves. We must develop in a smart, sustainable and efficient manner. We must ensure that zoning is sensible and that there is adequate infrastructure in place to support growth today and into the future. Russ will ensure the State Office of Planning holds the County accountable to the critical goals of the Comprehensive Plan.
Russ is the only candidate with comprehensive experience and understanding of how to incorporate affordable housing into our communities and the importance of doing so.
The median home price in our area is over $400,000. Families of modest means can’t afford to live here. If they can’t afford to live here, they can’t afford to work here.
Russ will advance affordable housing solutions in our area to help working families afford where they work. Homes are where jobs go at the end of the day and home can take many different forms. As our community grows and our economy grows, the service industry we rely on will need more healthcare professionals, more teachers, and more retail and service workers. These workers and their families need affordable places to own and rent.
- Increase Delaware’s base investment in support of affordable housing
- Support the creation of a variety of housing choices
- Increase resources for those providing supportive services
Quality of Life
Russ will work to strengthen our public education system and ensure positive outcomes for students of all abilities and backgrounds.
A smart workforce is a capable workforce. Every individual deserves a quality education. This is good for the community, good for our economy, good for the individual, and good for families. Quality schools are and should remain a Delaware priority.
As our community grows and changes, the school districts need support to keep up with that demand and new challenges. We can’t operate in a vacuum and think these things just get handled on their own.
Russ will work to:
- Invest in our public education system
- Ensure coordination between the State, the County, and our School Districts to foster the best outcomes for our students and our community.
- Enable the Districts, especially in high growth zones to plan more effectively for capital costs.
Russ is already leading the way to improving healthcare in Sussex by encouraging more down- state investment into healthy home programs and developing partnerships between the hospital, nonprofits and other stakeholders.
Health care costs keep rising. We need community-driven solutions to help keep health care costs reasonable and the quality-of-care high.
Our population is growing older, and we need to make sure our health care capacity is adequate to serve the community’s needs. We need more doctors, nurses, specialists, therapists, and additional professionals to serve our growing and aging population. We need to work with our hospital systems to ensure that the quality of care can remain high.
As Senator, Russ will:
- Fight for state investments in our healthcare capacity
- Facilitate changes to encourage more Doctors to work and live here.
Our coastal community is wondrous and beautiful. But our environmental stewardship has fallen short. We see too much destruction of needed waterway barrier protections, too much encroachment on fragile ecosystems and too little attention to the long-term consequences of habitat destruction.
We need to preserve our natural environments, our agricultural assets, and promote open space preservation. We need sound economic and infrastructure policies that protect our environment, our water and our way of life. Climate change is impacting our region already and we must prepare and develop today for the needs of tomorrow.
When developing our community, we must be good stewards of our natural environment. The Sussex County Comprehensive plan has lofty but attainable goals. We need to empower the State to hold the County accountable to its plan.
Russ will work to:
- Marshall state resources to aid our area develop sustainably – now and into the future.
- Ensure that planning places priority on mitigating environmental harm and on protecting our communities
- Protect the waterways that is a fundamental part of our ecosystem, sustaining marine life, providing jobs, and offering recreational opportunities.
- Promote policies ensuring clean drinking water and prevent further pollution.
- Protect our beautiful natural environment that provides habitats for wildlife and nearly endless opportunities for recreation.
We need both a balanced criminal justice system in which no one is beneath or above the law. Every individual in our community deserves an environment free from violence and criminal activity, and every individual deserves to live to their fullest potential regardless of their race, income, gender, or zip code. Our police force must have the tools and resources to reduce criminal activity. We also must ensure that our policies and investments address the root causes of criminality.
Russ will work with the State to provide:
- More funding for Fire, Police and EMT services
- More funding for supportive services
- Passage of smart and responsible gun safety legislation
- More funding to schools to protect the life and liberty of our children
Russ firmly believes we must celebrate everyone’s uniqueness and gifts. Equality of rights, opportunities and treatment are among his deepest values.
He will do all he can to protect the fundamental right of all to be treated equally and equitably. As Russ learned from his mentor while building housing in Appalachia, “We accept people right where they are and just the way they are.”
- supports the LGBTQ+ community and the individual.
- upholds the rights of racial minorities and native American people.
- believes that reproductive rights are women’s rights; freedom of reproductive choice is personal and belongs to the individual and not the community.
Delaware has recently passed significant changes that improve the freedom to vote and provides multiple opportunities to engage. Some of those freedoms are currently being challenged in court. Russ will support keeping those freedoms intact.
Russ will also continue to support non-partisan administration of elections and guaranteeing candidates’ rights to monitor the conducting of elections and counting of votes.