Josh Hicks | Kentuckians For The Commonwealth

Josh Hicks

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 for Kentucky is an egalitarian society with good educational opportunities that begin with preschool education and continue through post-secondary education, to include job training and a well-funded workforce development program. To foster an environment that is attractive for businesses to locate, hire, and retain Kentuckians, and to help develop Kentucky — both rural and urban — into an economy that works for everyone.

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?

I would advocate for legislation that creates an equitable tax structure so that those least able to bear the burden are not stuck with regressive taxes that lower their quality of life, and those most able to bear the burden pay their fair share.

We should be seeking adequate revenue from income-based tax programs, and move away from regressive tax policies that burden low-income people (e.g. gas tax, sales tax, and surcharges).

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?

I want to ensure that everyone who doesn’t feel well can go to the doctor without the fear of bankruptcy.

I am for a healthcare plan that ensures affordable, quality care, that includes a public option as well as oversight of healthcare companies to prevent the improper denial of legitimate medical care. I do not support Medicare for All but favor a Medicare buy-in public option.

I support the Medicaid expansion, which not only provided care for people who otherwise would not be able to get treated, but also provided much-needed funding for rural hospitals facing bankruptcy.

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?

I support the DREAM Act, which provides a pathway to citizenship for those who qualify. I support an immigration system that is much more fair and much more transparent, and advocate for funding our overburdened immigration court system. We should all treat all persons with equal dignity. I believe that any removal or deportation efforts must be prioritized to focus on those who have committed serious crimes in this country.

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 believe that climate change is real and is a crisis. I believe we should pursue a comprehensive energy plan that includes clean and renewable energy sources, not just for the environmental benefit, but also for the economic benefit of the people of Kentucky. I believe those environmental and economic benefits should be available to all of the people of Kentucky.

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.

The role of the US Congress is to legislate equally and to ensure that all policy does not put an undue burden on a certain class of people, or inure to the benefit of a certain class of people, regardless of their race or religion. The policy initiatives I would pursue include reforming our cash bail system to ensure equal access for justice to everyone, regardless of socioeconomic status, and promoting community policing standards in federal law enforcement to ensure that our law enforcement officers are of, from, and live in the communities that they serve.

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?

We need to focus on equal justice under the law, not privatizing prisons and putting a profit motive on incarceration. One solution to decreasing mass incarceration is to end the funding for private prisons in America, that keeps that incarceration rate high, to remove the profit motive and focus on rehabilitation.

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.

Yes. The Criminal Justice System I envision is heavy on reformation, and therefore I would support those who have served their time being restored their rights — including the right to vote. And yes, I would support any initiative that places checks on those who have a pattern of discriminating against anyone’s voting rights, including discrimination against people of color.

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?

Yes. I support those — it is imperative that we not only take care of the people who have worked in coal mines or in coal communities, but also restore the land so that is livable for future generations.

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 would support initiatives that provided people in the LGBTQ community with the same rights as every other American. I believe that all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, deserve equal civil rights. I will advocate for everyone to be treated equally under the law, which is a fundamental principle of American democracy.