Where I stand on the issues
Al’s Guiding Principles
“I am a scientist by trade, professionally trained to research & assess all available data, and make reasoned, logical decisions based on that data. I will study every issue, listen to all sides and act as my conscience dictates. Governing is a balancing act and I will do my best to honor our obligations while taking steps to strengthen our economy, workforce and support for the most vulnerable, namely seniors, veterans and the special needs community. I have a vision for Kentucky where we work together to solve the problems of health care, wages, affordable education, opportunity and economic prosperity for all. My diverse professional background has well-prepared me for this leadership opportunity. My commitment to the voters is that I will use my energy and abilities everyday to improve the lives of my constituents and for the people of Kentucky.” ~ Al Gentry
Al’s Plan for Post-Covid – What Now?
Our nation, and world, has endured, and is still recovering from, a crippling pandemic in COVID-19 that has altered our sense of being in ways unimaginable. To date, over 6.5 million people have died from this terrible virus, over 1 million in the US alone, and greater than 17,000 Kentuckians. And although the virus has mutated into a less deadly strain and technological advances in medicine (treatments & vaccines) have greatly reduced its immediate danger to life, the enduring effects it has left on society linger, from long-covid health problems, to lifestyle changes, to massive effects on our global economy.
Covid-19 not only has killed and debilitated millions with chronic health conditions, but has led to massive departures in workforce, depleted supply from shutdowns (mostly in Asian markets that produce a large % of global goods we all, unfortunately, depend upon), and new economic challenges from inflationary pressures that emanated from necessary measures taken to limit death and avoid a massive economic depression.
How we recover and grow from this moving forward in Kentucky will certainly determine our state’s fate for decades to come. I have preached for years in many motivational speeches that “success in life is NOT determined by avoiding the fall, but by how we respond after we fall.”
Now is the time for Kentucky to build back better & stronger, invest in modernizing our state, and laying a solid foundation for future generations to prosper. Our federal government has made a major commitment to invest in its States, and it is up to our Kentucky leaders to match & manage that investment wisely and position Kentucky for future generational success. Governor Beshear has led us through the early stages of recovery remarkably well with solid fiscal management and record economic development. We all need to work together to ensure this trend continues.
Long-term strategies must include investments in:
- Attracting quality jobs, and educational programs that develop a modern workforce to fill those jobs; jobs that can sustain a family of 4 with a singular income.
- Modern infrastructure upgrades that allow goods, services & citizens to move freely and efficiently.
- Proven strategies that reduce crime and increase public safety, including the recruitment & retention of law enforcement officers and judicial public servants, improving our rehabilitative systems, and expanding our work opportunities & counseling services to individuals leaving incarceration in order to minimize re-entry rates.
- Non-profit organizations that run programs that create pathways toward self-sustainability, especially in areas historically underserved, and who actively create work opportunities by removing barriers to access for populations that have been vulnerable to systemic discrimination; programs that align with the national platform movement of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI).
- An affordable and accessible healthcare system network throughout our state that provides access to ALL Kentuckians, not just a privileged sector based on their financial, social, cultural or geographical status. Programs that encourage prevention, through education and wellness, and promote healthier lifestyles.
- Preserving & protecting our family & community values, diverse cultures, and encourage interaction to work TOGETHER, through our differences, to formulate bi-partisan and diverse solutions that produce equal opportunity for all.
We can do this. TOGETHER. Open your God-given hearts and minds. Keep the faith in your fellow citizens. Don’t criticize and tear down your leaders – elect, engage & inspire them. And Never Quit believing that the American Dream is real and attainable – for ALL of us – here in Kentucky!
Education improvement should always be one of the state’s top priorities. A combination of adequate funding that provides our children with modern resources and the ability to hire & retain top-notch teachers, coupled with strong oversight policy that maximizes spending efficiency & accountability is a must. Accountability not only applies to our school leaders and administrators, but also to our students when it comes to personal responsibility and treatment of others. Deviant and disrespectful behavior must be punished, and strong performance awarded. Good effort resulting in poor performance must be recognized and corrected. Al will fight to protect teacher compensation, strengthen policies that govern special ed, and will advocate for an added focus on teaching personal health & fitness.
Kentucky rates near the bottom in many health categories including cancer, heart disease, respiratory illness, and diabetes, and we must sharpen our focus on greatly improving healthcare coverage for our population, as well as instituting common-sense environmental policy that protects our citizens from widespread exposure to polluted drinking water and poor air quality. Al is a Hydrogeologist & former private consultant in the environmental industry, is a current active member of the national Council of Environmental Legislators, and will always advocate for logical environmental policy that protects human health without eliminating industry.
We must continue to increase affordable access to healthcare for all Kentuckians, and that healthcare should be focused upon prevention and wellness. We must do a better job educating and inspiring our citizens to be active, create better dietary habits, and generally promote wellness whenever possible.
Al will continue to support ways to get more Kentuckians access to affordable healthcare coverage and preventative treatment. Al will continue to sponsor legislation to implement a medical cannabis industry in Kentucky.
Infrastructure & Workforce Development
Kentucky must continue to place modernizing infrastructure as a top priority for promoting economic growth and safety on our highways. Al will continue to advocate for smart investment in rebuilding our skilled workforce training systems, and will support the growth of modern technical workforce training programs conducted with local industry sector businesses, including the highly-successful Academies of Louisville program of the Jefferson County Public School System, and the local Internship programs offered at Louisville area Catholic High Schools. All businesses that start or move to an area always want to be reassured that the area produces the talent necessary to help them create & administer the products & services they offer, and that an appropriate infrastructure network is maintained for the delivery of those products to its consumers. Al will work to ensure that aggressive investments in modern Infrastructure and workforce development programs are always high priorities in this state.
Engage & Empower Caucus and a Commitment to our Seniors
As the large baby boomer generation reaches retirement, our population demographics continue to change with increasing senior populations. By 2023, one in four Americans will be 65 and over. Kentucky has the 2nd highest population, percentage-wise, of people that claim a disability, and the 2nd worst employment rate for individuals with disabilities. The majority of Kentuckians with disabilities are over age 60. There’s never been a more relevant time to create new policy changes that directly affect our seniors and Kentuckians with disabilities. From improving healthcare coverage, educational and employment opportunities, retirement protections, transportation & housing, to reducing general access restrictions and discrimination, Al’s newly created and bipartisan Engage & Empower Caucus will work to pass needed legislation that produces genuine long-term results. Al’s commitment to Seniors and to those with Disabilities will always be at the forefront of his leadership.
Systemic racism still exists and we must continue to work to eliminate it, but we can’t just limit our discussions and efforts to policing, black communities, or to just removing rooted racial discrimination. We must continue to build upon our advances over the last several decades in fully addressing systemic discrimination in all areas of society, including not just the color of one’s skin, but by gender, age, disability and financial social class as well. Poverty is the root of most challenges, and Al will always stand for the vulnerable and make sure everyone feels their voice is being heard. Al believes that most forms of discrimination emanate from ignorance, and that enhanced education through increased communication is the key to improvement.
Public Service & Belief in the People
Al absolutely believes that the power of American society lies in its People and is unique in its diversity of culture & thought, its innovative entrepreneurial spirit of the private sector, and its dedicated service from within its public sector. Al believes our representative republic is assembled and governed by a constitution designed to limit individual powers, but protect personal rights, by resting endowed powers into the hands of all its citizens, through their endless pursuit of equality, liberty and justice. Al believes that the strength and everlasting existence of this Republic depends upon the engagement, unity, and persistent resolve of its PEOPLE, as well as the commitment, work ethic, and communication abilities of its elected representatives.
Al respects and supports those that serve in a public capacity, that protect our freedoms & liberty, retain order and structure, provide health and safety, and promote opportunity including military personnel, first responders, law enforcement officials, state and local regulators, lawmakers and judges, health & safety officials, and public education leaders. Al supports their commitment to Government, and will always fight for their fair treatment & compensation, and for policies that attract and retain quality public servants.
Al admires the famous quotes of two past Presidents, one a Republican, and the other a Democrat. Republican Abraham Lincoln told the People on the battlefield of Gettysburg what Government was all about when he said that “Government of the People, for the People, by the People shall not perish from this Earth.” Almost 100 years later, Democrat President John F. Kennedy reminded the People of the importance of public service when he said “don’t ask what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”
Al is always committed to working with others, despite their differences, and strives to find common ground with his adversaries as he works to better the state and his community.