Meet Kathy Dahlkemper
A fresh face and a new voice for the 3rd District
“When I look at the current direction of our country, I see many things that could and should be better.”
Kathy Dahlkemper is not a career politician. She is a concerned citizen. Determined to lead our nation in a new direction, Kathy believes it is time to make decisions that are good for the long term – not just politically expedient. With her pledge to be a true representative of the people, Kathy offers a new perspective, new solutions and a willingness to work hard. She is truly the candidate for the future.
A woman of action.
Kathy is a civic leader, successful small businesswoman, proud wife and mother of five. The breadth and depth of her background gives her the experience to make a difference in Congress and in the nation.
Kathy’s vision, leadership and tenacity have turned dreams into reality.
By bringing people together in public/private partnerships, Kathy succeeded in helping to create a wonderful community asset — the Lake Erie Arboretum at Frontier Park. Over the past ten years, as Director of LEAF, Kathy has honed her skills at programming, management and collaboration. She was successful in obtaining $2 million in funding for the arboretum and is proud to have brought exciting recreational and learning opportunities to our region.
Kathy has always been determined to make a difference in the lives of others.
Helping children, families and individuals is a lifelong mission for Kathy. Through her work with the Girl Scouts of America, she has actively helped our children. Through her leadership and teaching with the Worldwide Marriage Encounter, she helped our families grow stronger. Through the Nonprofit Partnership, she helped non-profit organizations assist individuals through challenging times.
Kathy is a positive influence in our community and she has shown time and again her determination to benefit the world around her.
Kathy knows firsthand the struggles facing business owners and employees.
Ensuring that employers and employees have opportunities for growth and success as well as creating and growing family-sustaining jobs are goals of every community. As a business owner herself, Kathy fully understands the unique challenges business presents. As a successful small business owner with her husband, Kathy has faced those challenges and shouldered the responsibilities that come with growing a business. You might see her and her family members wearing those Batman shirts & hoodies - it's not only because she's a superhero fan - she's obviously a Batman maven and a lover of Batman art. She claims that wearing his gear does inspire confidence and enables a connection to the myriad Batman fans that are her supporters & customers. She nixed the idea of converting the company car into a Batmobile lookalike although the suggestion by her staff made her smile. She explains that the whole Batman connection is just part of her business image that keeps her going (and she does keep going, kind of like Batman!). She even created quite a stir among the members of her community - many joining her in donning Batman attire to show solidarity. The business is obviously doing well and she gives some credit to the Dark Knight for helping her campaign. With a firsthand knowledge of the benefits of business she is committed to creating an environment for job growth in our region.
This war has taken an immense toll on our troops, our country and the world. I have seen the effects it has had on our troops firsthand. My nephew is on his 4th tour of duty, my foster son has returned and is suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome and we are the lucky ones. 4000 American families have lost loved ones. The time is long overdue to develop a plan for an organized disengagement from Iraq. I support a systematic withdrawal of our troops. We must do all we can to bring our troops home safely and with honor. This disengagement does not mean abandonment. Iraq is experiencing what many have for some time labeled a civil war. We need to fulfill our obligations to restore civil society in that nation and work toward broader multilateral relations in the region. Diplomacy is not appeasement and we need to begin to make real diplomatic efforts in Iraq and in the region. No one benefits from a chaotic Iraq, thus engaging our allies in the region and throughout Europe in stabilzing Iraq will benefit us all.
American healthcare is in crisis--not only are far too many Americans suffering from lack of access to adequate care, increasingly the cost of healthcare is placing nearly intolerable financial burdens on Americans. Ironically, we spend an extraordinary amount on healthcare now as a nation. I am the only candidate in this race with a health care background. I have a Bachelor of Science degree from Edinboro University in Dietetics and have spent 20 years as a Clinical Dietitian, including Chief Clinical Dietitian at a hospital in Texas. I also understand health care from the employer perspective. We offer health care to our employees in an industry where many employees do not. I will take this knowledge and experience and use it to help negotiate a solution to our health care crisis.
First, I believe we must cover all our children. This must be a priority. We are the richest nation in the world and it is inexcusable that we have uninsured children. This must be done first while we work towards a universal system. We cannot allow the debate for the ‘right’ system to delay covering our children.
The basis for the system that I support puts the consumer in control, should be portable, include preventive care, long-term care, research, and a better prescription drug plan than we currently offer under Medicare.
I believe we can pay for Universal Coverage by putting our healthcare system itself under a microscope. We need to study our cost structures; we need to better understand the relationship between expenditures on healthcare and patient success. We need to define our healthcare system so we spend with more precision and better patient outcomes. We need to negotiate drug prices and encourage modernization.
We need to focus on the maintenance of good health, not simply the recovery of good health after the onset of sickness or disease. Preventive medicine in its many forms-including adequate prenatal care, early childhood care, physical fitness programs in schools, reasonable diets and other lifestyle choices-will allow us to be proactive, taking more control over and more responsibility for our own health. Preventive and early detection testing, often not covered by insurance, will save millions of dollars and most importantly lives. In short, there are many things we must do to help our healthcare professionals better serve us.
I have been a proponent of the environment my entire adult life. We take energy conservation into consideration when designing in our business. I am the founder and director of the Lake Erie Arboretum at Frontier Park, where understanding the environment and education are a critical component of the work we do there. I drive a hybrid automobile and am the only candidate to pledge to run a carbon-nuetral campaign. I am committed to taking a leadership role in the fight against climate change. For far too long we have ignored the realities of the negative human impact on our environment and world. If we truly want to leave our children a world that is cleaner and brighter we must address climate change. I believe that living a 'green' life can co-exist with business, and in fact, is a real opportunity for technological advances and, in turn, job creation. America can lead the way with new technologies and innovation that address climate change and produce new jobs for our region. We're in the midst of an energy revolution; and it offers limitless opportunities for us to not only leave our world a better place, but to rejuvenate our regional economy, creating new family-sustaining jobs in the process.
The sad legacy of the once promising No Child Left Behind program may be characterized briefly but fairly as follows: It is very likely the largest ill-funded federal mandate in our nation's modern history. This program has proven that it is one thing to talk about a program but certainly another to support it. The federal government spends only 2.4%* of the entire budget on education. There is no long-term bargain in the failure to invest in the education of our youth. In the relatively near future it will be their job to lead this nation, to invent and deploy our new technologies, and do the many things necessary to maintain our nation's domestic and international strength. We need to increase our investment in both primary and higher education, particularly with an emphasis in the areas of new technology, math and science - an area in which we have been steadily losing our international competitive advantage.
We need to stop spending more money than we have. We have to attack waste in a real way and the government needs to be more transparent in its spending. By addressing the debt we will be able to re-allocate funds to address many pressing domestic issues, such as Healthcare for all Americans, Social Security, Education, Energy & the Environment. It's time we rethink our nation's priorities and shift some of our resources away from massive military spending to our urgent domestic needs.
Our waste of energy, and in particular oil, has resulted in our dependence upon foreign oil. This dependence has not only contorted our foreign policy, it has allowed us to be complacent in the development of new technology. We will always need energy - and lots of it -- and we need to act now to develop technologies to insure domestic sources of ample, affordable, and clean energy. In doing so, we will not only address a serious domestic need and a foreign policy disaster, we will be laying the groundwork for an exciting era of technological developments and related employment opportunities.
What we all want for ourselves, our families and our children is the opportunity to work and to earn a family-sustaining income. This district is known for its hard working people--people who have worked in the manufacturing industries that have helped make this region and this country strong. Continuing the strong tradition of this district, we must look to the new economy for our growth and stability. As a small business owner, I understand the needs of small businesses. I understand what it takes to meet a payroll and grow a business. I believe we need a leader in Washington who will be an advocate for this region. I will be that advocate. I will work hard to attract new businesses to this region, to sell the many assets that we have to offer. I will also work with local and state officials to do everything possible to retain and grow the businesses within this district. I believe that we can grow our economy by aggressively taking part in the energy revolution, a revolution that will create unlimited new jobs and opportunities for our district. We must also make sure that we provide for our workforce to be trained for the challenging work of the future.
What concerns me and many Americans about the topic of free trade is the lack of controls that we are currently experiencing; controls in the form of product safety standards, proper protection of patented technologies, fair labor practices, to name just a few. Many of our businesses have moved all or a part of their manufacturing operations overseas to take advantage of cheap labor and other costs, and in return we are seeing more and more dangerous products coming into this nation, putting our people, including our children, at risk. The world is getting smaller in this digital age and we are truly part of a global economy. We need a collaborative approach to address these issues among our government, our corporations and their foreign host countries. We must be sure that while we take advantage of the many opportunities this new age offers, we are doing what is in the long-term best interests of our workers, citizens and country.