Post Pandemic Recovery
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on our great state. Moving forward Kelly feels that it is not only important to work towards paving a pathway out of the pandemic recession, but also to define a vision for the future.
- Kelly will leverage her robust background in government service, human capital management, and workforce development to address worker shortages across the state by working directly with stakeholders in all sectors to:
- Advocate for universal licensing recognition and reciprocity, where feasible.
- Encourage and incentivize student enrollment in skill and trade programs.
- Incorporate programs that put Delaware graduates to work right away, and incentivize Delaware graduates to explore in state versus out-of-state career opportunities.
2. Kelly will leverage her experience as a business owner and social entrepreneur to stimulate and preserve the free market by encouraging entrepreneurship, the creation and sustainment of small businesses, and promoting market competitiveness to benefit all Delawareans.
3. Kelly will leverage the experience she has gained as the founder of a minority and woman owned small business enterprise to increase financial resources for businesses disproportionally impacted during the pandemic.
4. As a mother and concerned parent, Kelly plans to collaborate directly with school districts, school boards, educators, and parents to ensure all stakeholders have the resources they need to mitigate learning loss and address mental health concerns to ensure the future success of all Delawarean children.
5. As the sibling of an Autistic adult enrolled in various support programs, Kelly wants to improve our emergency preparedness, response, and recovery for people with disabilities.
6. Kelly believes that we should refrain from raising income taxes during the pandemic and for a minimum of two years following the pandemic, because every dollar matters to Delawarean families during this critical recovery period.
Kelly believes that all Delawareans should have the ability to send their children to high-quality public schools. A strong education is the building block for individual success, as well as the long-term success of our state. Kelly also strongly believes that it is important to ensure that teachers and all education providers have access to the resources they need to be successful both in and out of the classroom.
Tensions between district and charter schools remain high. Kelly will continue to work with Christina School District (CSD) board members to facilitate collaboration initiatives with charter schools to exchange ideas and develop an understanding of opportunities, solutions, and challenges to serve students better.
Not every child in Delaware has access to a high-quality pre-kindergarten program. Kelly will actively promote the inclusion of universal, voluntary access to high-quality pre-kindergarten across the state, regardless of family income – because every child in Delaware deserves access to a high-quality pre-kindergarten program.
The education funding system in Delaware is outdated. A weighted funding system driven by student need should be explored to account for low-income students, English-language learners, and students with disabilities.
Kelly believes that we should be working towards reducing the emphasis placed on standardized testing because it hurts both teachers and students, and has been repeatedly debunked as an accurate measure of future success.
Our children need to know that viable and lucrative career opportunities exist that extend beyond the pursuit of a college degree. Kelly believes that we should be encouraging and incentivizing student enrollment in skill and trade programs, such as the Delaware Pathways 2 Apprenticeship (DE P2A) program.
Many students attend college in Delaware, but not many stay after completing their studies. Kelly wants to proactively work with Delaware universities to put college graduates to work right away, and explore ways to incentivize Delaware employers to hire recent graduates.
Kelly will work to ensure that the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is fully implemented across our state.
Often when we discuss education in Delaware, families who homeschool their children are overlooked. Kelly will continue to advocate on behalf of families who opt to homeschool their children to ensure that they have access to an appropriate network of resources to provide their children with a comprehensive education.
Family Services & Adoption
As an adoptee and mother, Kelly is very passionate about being an advocate for potential adoptive and foster families, birth parents, and adoptees.
- Unfortunately, the average cost of adoption in the United States is approximately $43,0000. Kelly wants to take the profit out of adoption in Delaware by promoting legislation that would require all child placing agencies, and any authorized agencies they work with, be fully licensed non-profits.
- Kelly wants to level the playing field for members of the LGBTQ+ community. LGBTQ+ people and same-sex couples should be able to build and protect their families, yet many foster care and adoption agencies still discriminate against LGBTQ+ families or place additional burdens on these families during the foster care or adoption process. This should not be the case, and Kelly will actively work to remove any barriers that exist.
- Kelly also wants to work with child placing agencies to lower adoption costs. There are children who need homes, and people willing to love them — let’s make adoption financially feasible for Delawareans.
Civil Rights & Equality
Every human being should be treated with dignity and respect, and be able to live prosperously without fear no matter who they are or who they love. Kelly remains committed to:
- Protecting the rights and equality of all Delawareans.
- Strengthening protections against all forms of discrimination.
- Advancing LGBTQ+ rights.
- Advocating for wage equality.
- Fighting for our most vulnerable populations.
Criminal Justice Reform
- Kelly will work to reduce recidivism by advocating for the use of alternatives to arrest and incarceration for all offenses that do not threaten public safety
- Kelly will explore more expansive drug law reforms to reduce prison populations across the state. Overcrowded prisons produce unsafe correctional environments for both residents and staff.
- Kelly believes that a criminal record should never be a life sentence to poverty. She will actively work to break down barriers to opportunities for prior offenders and expand re-entry programming.
- Kelly will work to expand, fund, and implement more rehabilitative correctional programming across the state.
- Kelly will work to disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline by supporting efforts to increase the number of mental health professionals in our schools so behavioral and emotional challenges can be addressed by skilled professionals, not our criminal justice system.
It has become clear that we can no longer allow partisan politics jeopardize public safety.
As the spouse of a law enforcement officer, Kelly can serve as a catalyst for change to rebuild the bonds of trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve. Our community needs our law enforcement, and our law enforcement officers need the support of our community.
- Kelly will proactively work to increase accountability and transparency to create a fair and impartial system that provides equal justice for all.
- Kelly will collaborate with law enforcement to implement new and innovative training programs to ensure that we maintain the best trained officers in the country.
- Kelly supports efforts to eliminate straw purchases, and believes in common-sense legislation that promotes respect for civil liberties while keeping firearms out of the hands of those who pose a danger to the community.
- Kelly wants to ensure that state processes are effective at identifying dangerous individuals that should not have access to firearms. Kelly wants to empower the state to serve as the primary authority in identifying persons prohibited during the firearm background check process, resolving critical shortcomings of the federal government’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).
- Kelly wants to hold the State of Delaware accountable for sharing and reporting critical information for use with background check systems, such as individuals convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence offense or those with warrants. Not reporting this data in a timely manner allows dangerous individuals to purchase firearms.
- Kelly believes in enforcement practices that promote a respect for civil liberties while holding violent criminals accountable. We must hold violent criminals accountable for their actions to increase safety within our communities.
In order to truly address housing affordability, Kelly will advocate for a cohesive network of policies that promote innovative financial mechanisms to homeownership and efforts to increase affordable housing.
- Kelly will advocate for financial policy measures that seek to break down barriers to homeownership, to include exploring the implementation of new and innovative Down Payment Assistance Programs.
- Kelly will advocate for the preservation and creation of fiscally responsible property tax exemptions and tax abatements.
- Kelly will promote access to programs that seek to assist renters with improving their financial position and credit scores to help them achieve homeownership.
- Kelly will proactively collaborate with residents and owners of manufactured housing communities to address housing issues.
- Kelly will work to address labor shortages in the construction industry and encourage innovative construction practices.
As prior union members, Kelly’s family knows firsthand the critical role that unions play in the workplace and in government. As a member of the Delaware House of Representatives, Kelly will be a champion for unions.
- Kelly believes that it is important to encourage and incentivize collective bargaining.
- She believes that it is important that workers are treated with dignity and receive the pay, benefits, and workplace protections they deserve.
- Kelly believes that we must check the abuse of corporate power and hold corporations accountable for violations of labor law.
Disability Community Advocacy
As a caregiver for her mostly nonverbal Autistic brother, Kelly remains deeply embedded within the disability community and committed to being a voice for those who do not have one.
- Kelly believes it is important to continue to eliminate the segregation of disabled employees and strongly supports efforts to advance competitive integrated employment, as well as promoting livable wages for people with disabilities.
- Kelly put increased pressure on the state to continue to fully fund the McNesby Act, to pay Direct Service Providers (DSPs) a living wage, and ensure that the most vulnerable among us get the care they deserve.
- People with disabilities are more likely to experience homelessness. With this in mind, Kelly will work towards increasing accessible and affordable housing within the disability community. This includes people with mobility, vision, hearing, chemical and electrical sensitivities, cognitive, and all other disabilities.
- Kelly will work to give people with disabilities more freedom to earn and save money without risking the loss of vital benefits, their livelihoods, and their ability to support themselves and members of their family.
- Kelly will actively work to break down voting barriers that exist for people with disabilities.
Diversity & Equal Representation
Did you know that no current female legislator in the Delaware House of Representatives identifies as having Spanish, Latino, or Hispanic lineage?
Not only that, but a woman with such background has never been elected to the House. Because of this, the interests of these specific communities go overlooked. As someone with such background, my research has found that:
- We lack bilingual staff and proper translation of most government websites, which creates barriers to gaining access to critical resources.
- Comparatively, there are not enough business partnerships to develop and implement programs to increase entrepreneurship in these specific communities.
- Comparatively, there are not enough training programs in place that look to elevate earning potential in these specific communities.
Delaware Hispanics are the fastest-growing population in the First State. It’s time that their interests are equally represented.
In the interest of promoting economic sustainability, my campaign platform will include ways to break down barriers to resources while diligently working to expand opportunities in our communities that specifically address the lack of career development paths, small business development, and pathways to entrepreneurship.
Healthcare & Women's Health
Healthcare is a human right—not a privilege. Kelly recognizes the importance of affordable and accessible healthcare, to include access to addiction and mental health services.
- Kelly is committed to supporting efforts that seek to reduce the cost of prescription drugs and decrease the cost of premiums without cutting the quality of benefits.
- Kelly believes in the right to bodily autonomy, and is consistent with its application when it comes to personal healthcare decisions. Having autonomy over one’s body is an integral part of being a free person.
- Kelly believes that now more than ever we must work to increase access to addiction and mental health services.
- Kelly wants to create a win-win scenario in Delaware by exploring ways to incentivize insurance companies to cover complementary and alternative treatment methods, such as massage therapy, chiropractic care, acupuncture, yoga/meditation, and physical fitness.
Kelly recognizes the importance of protecting our rivers, oceans, land, and open spaces. We must be responsible custodians of Delaware to ensure its preservation for all generations who will come after us. Kelly remains committed to:
- Keeping our air and water clean.
- Advocating for a clean energy future.
- Protecting our wildlife and natural resources.
Veteran Support Services
As a prior Department of Army Civilian and life-long advocate for Veteran support services, Veterans will always be properly represented in the 26th District if Kelly is elected.
We must support efforts to provide all Veterans and their families with services and benefits in the most effective and efficient manner possible. Veterans need to be able to access services in the communities where they live.