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Alisha Shelton seeks Democratic primary nod for U.S. Senate

(KOLNKGIN)
Published: Apr. 16, 2020 at 4:36 PM CDT
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The following responses have been revised per candidate's request.
Name (also include name you’d prefer to be called):

Alisha Shelton

Political Party:

Democrat

Current or most recent profession:

Clinical Supervisor at Winnebago Behavioral Health

Tell us a little about yourself:

My first job was detasseling corn at age 13. Money was tight and I wanted to be a good example for my younger brother and sisters. As I grew older, I became very active in the Omaha community eventually collaborating with community organizations to end gun violence, organizing advocacy days at the Unicameral, and hosting GOTV events to increase civic engagement in my community. In addition to community service, I serve as a licensed independent mental health practitioner and licensed professional counselor, with a specialization in trauma informed care across the lifespan. I worked for the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska as a clinical supervisor for almost four years. I am immediate past president of the Omaha Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated and an active member at my church. I hold a Bachelor of Science in Psychology Pre-Medicine from Xavier University of Louisiana, and two Masters of Science degrees from Bellevue University in Human Services and Clinical Counseling. I am married to Vincent Shelton and we have two dogs — Charlie and Snoopy.

Why are you running for this office?

Students have alarming levels of PTSD and anxiety across the U.S. due to mass shootings. This is something I take very seriously, which is why I participated in an event for the prevention of gun violence. I am running for U.S. Senate because it’s time for a clear choice that truly reflects the people. Nebraska values relate to what we all desire in our cities: economic opportunities across our state, strengthening trade in agriculture, strong families with access to quality healthcare, supporting our teachers, being good stewards of our environment, keeping our families safe from gun violence, and fair pay—are Nebraskan values. It is time that everyone receives a chance to be heard and valued by a strong leader who is ready to listen

Do you support the actions taken by federal, state and local government officials to combat the spread of COVID-19? What, if any, changes would you propose?

I am glad that every state is making smart choices, however I would love to see a Federal initiative that offers clear guidance. If I were in the U.S. Senate today, I would introduce legislation that creates an emergency economic crisis agency and reinstates the global pandemic response team. The bill would waive all payments for COVID-19 testing and related procedures, recommend sheltering in place across our states, and increase social security with Medicaid expansion. This bill would also improve funding for SNAP, Meals on Wheels, and The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP). It would enact the department of defense resources, including the Medical Reserve Corps of 200,000 volunteer health professionals. Next, it will provide $2,000 monthly to all tax-payers, suspend student loans payments, and bring annual percentage rates to zero for the duration of this crisis. Most importantly, this bill would issue emergency paid family & medical leave for all, suspend evictions, and utilities shut-offs.

What is your message to Nebraskans during this time of crisis?

As we navigate through COVID-19, please remember that we have always been successful together. Be it flooding, tornadoes, or snow storms, Nebraskans stick together in times of despair. We are smart, and if we work together we can beat this disease. Let's buy items in bulk and share with our families or neighbors. Let's drop off items to those who are most at risk, and ensure they do not have to leave their houses. Let's pick up a 90-day supply of medication for our loved ones with weakened immune systems. We can do this, and we will survive COVID-19 together. It's time to bring love back to the table and back to Nebraska. Today and tomorrow, let's take care of each other. May 12th let's vote for candidates who are willing to be the change we want to see.

How will you support the economy now and after social distancing requirements end?

After social distancing requirements cease, in addition to my COVID-19 plan, I will support the economy by introducing legislation to increase minimum wage immediately and remove all student debt. I will propose the wall street speculation fee that Senator Sanders proposed of cents on the dollar, to wipe out the student debt. Next, I would introduce The Green New Deal as climate change must be addressed as soon as possible, in order to address issues with natural disasters like the flooding in our very own state that will likely return if we do not act soon.

What other issues facing voters are most important to you as a candidate?

Additional crucial issues that voters have expressed are as follows: immigration reform, human rights, election security, criminal justice reform, union rights, and public universities & colleges being free.

Why do you consider yourself the best person to address the needs of Nebraska voters?

I am the best person to address the needs of voters across Nebraska because I listen actively, address the heart of the issue, and propose realistic solutions. I put people first and have been trained to help people tackle issues as a mental health therapist. Simply put, I know how to fight for us!

What separates you from your primary challenger(s)? What about your potential general election challengers?

As a mental health therapist, I have advocated for various communities over the past 16 years. I possess strong communication and negotiation skills from past mediation training. This enables me to work across party lines and advocate for every single Nebraskan. My political experience comes from offices held with my sorority. I’ve been trained in Washington D.C. on how to testify at hearings, draft talking points, follow senate proceedings, and lead meetings with Roberts Rules of Order. I can unseat Senator Sasse because working across Nebraska, I have listened to the people. Everyone is frustrated with healthcare and frustrated with him. We voted to expand Medicaid in 2018 at our unicameral, the Governor blocked it and we cannot access it until October this year! Senator Sasse supports this. He is out of touch with Nebraskans. Senator Sasse voted against the coronavirus relief bill, because he assumes Nebraskans are content living on an additional $600 a week from unemployment benefits with no desire to return to work. This is not true! This is not who Nebraskans are. Should any of us receive unemployment, it is to fill an unexpected need of losing our job. It's time to bring love back to the table and back to Nebraska. We will survive COVID-19 together and we will #DrainTheGasOutofSasse standing together with our vote on May 12th.

Is there any other message, statement or concern you’d like to address?

In this time of pandemic, please remember to submit your vote by mail ballot request. This pandemic has exposed weak areas in our infrastructure. It is imperative that we vote for a leader that will unite us, work across party lines, and put people first. I am ready to do this and more. Please view my website sheltonforsenate.com for my details & links to social media.

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