Last night, lasarina and I had the privilege of meeting Michael Skelly and talking to him for about an hour and a half, at a house party hosted by a local friend. In case you aren’t aware, Michael is challenging Congressman John Culberson for the 7th District of Texas.
Michael is an articulate, thoughtful man, who seems to be genuinely concerned with the issues faced by people in the district. He spent the first hour of the evening listening to the people at the gathering telling him about their concerns. He and I don’t agree on everything (universal health care isn’t on his radar) but he is willing to listen to his constituents. According to Wikipedia:
Skelly moved from Ireland to the United States with his family when he was just two years old. His parents settled in Roanoke, Virginia where Skelly attended public schools. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame and Harvard Business School, Skelly has worked in the Peace Corps, in ecotourism, and in energy firms. He most recently served as the chief development officer for Horizon Wind Energy, the third largest wind company in the United States.
Michael’s real strength is in energy policy. That makes sense, given that he helped build Horizon Wind Energy from the ground up. Michael is obviously a big proponent of green energy. He’s also pushing hard for a reasonable long term energy policy that reduces dependence on foreign sources, and moves toward more sustainable options like wind. Michael is very active in Green Energy, and that’s a selling point for me. (NB: I buy only wind power for my home. It’s one of my buttons. You can do the same, if you like. Go to http://www.powertochoose.org/ and look over your options.)
Another one of Michael’s top issues is the transportation nightmare that is Houston. Michael is a big proponent of commuter rail from the major suburbs into Houston. As he said last night: “We’ll never be able to concrete our way out of this problem.” (paraphrased, I wasn’t taking notes). I absolutely agree. We simply cannot build freeways fast enough to keep up with demand in Houston. The 290 corridor, where I live, is as bad as it gets. You don’t hear much about the 290 corridor, partly because Culberson has strongly opposed the plans to improve transportation to and from here, including opposition to commuter rail to serve this area. If you’re interested, you can read more about the 290 corridor reconstruction plans here. Currently, those plans don’t include commuter rail, but provide allowances for it as a possible future option.
Michael got an earful on health care last night, from lasarina and I. Currently, health care costs are eating up between 25 and 30% of my take home pay. Costs are out of control, and we need to do something to improve the situation. I’ve ranted on this before, but I’ll just reiterate my main point. Universal health care must happen in this country. Michael’s not sold on that. But he listened intently, and was willing to dialog about it.
On the war in Iraq, Michael is right with us. You can read his position on his Issues page. Here’s a small quote:
Recent tactical victories led by General Petraeus must be accompanied by a diplomatic surge with other sovereign states who have strategic interests in Iraq so we can bring the war to a close responsibly and bring our troops home. Michael Skelly believes the resources the United States is using in this war would be better invested at home.
You can read more about Michael’s position on all the issues at that same page. Michael is ahead in fundraising for the district, and is well on his way to turning SD 7 blue. Bottom line: I am endorsing Michael Skelly for Congress. Let’s send Culberson home. He’s not serving our best interests. I believe Michael Skelly will.