"As a naturalized citizen of the United States, the founding principles of this nation are something I hold dear. I was raised in a patriotic, Christian home where service to others was a way of life. I believe serving others is one of the most important things we can do in a free and peaceful society. I want to give back to the country that gave so much to me - by serving the people of Arizona with integrity, intent and immense consideration." ~ Josh Askey
Election Integrity = Confidence
"Election Integrity", you've probably heard it every day for the past few years. Why is this so important in our society today? Elections are the baseline of our Representative Republic and it is critical that we are confident in the outcome of every single election. No matter where you walk down the political aisle - right, left or in the middle - a safe, secure election where it is easy to vote and hard to cheat is the desired outcome of a free society. Every citizen of our great state should feel confidence in our election results. I will work with members of the AZ Legislature to ensure that our elections laws are fair, and that our elections are secure and accurate.
Economy = Business Growth = Jobs
Arizona is one of the greatest states in the country to live and work. Our economy is strong and vibrant and our numbers are growing every single day. I want to continue this incredible growth by keeping Arizona business friendly for both large and small businesses. Small businesses should be flourishing in a strong economy and it is imperative that we show as much support to them as we do the large companies in our state. Creating and sustaining a job growth environment should be at the top of every Arizona elected official's list.
Education = Funding & Opportunities
Balancing the state budget is the foremost responsibility of our state legislature. Inflation continues to rise to unprecedented levels, and educational financial needs continually change. Education funding is more than 50% of our Arizona budget and growing every year, which means it is incredibly important that we get it right, 100% of the time. Arizona students of today are the future of this state and will be financially responsible for its sovereignty in just a few short years.
It is our moral obligation to ensure that every dollar spent is used to advance the educational opportunity of the children of our state, from kindergarten through high school. It is not enough to say we increase K-12 spending without taking the necessary actions to increase student achievement. We must ensure rigor in every classroom, the standards are being met, and career and technical education is not overlooked.
As a father of three sons who have attended public schools in Arizona, I recognize how critical educational costs are to our state. Creating a stronger future for Arizona means providing opportunities for continuing higher education in Arizona at the lowest possible cost for all students. Our Arizona constitution literally requires it. Let's work harder to move our graduating high school students to state universities by creating a no cost dual enrollment program for all public high schools - which will open up college credit opportunities for lower income students across the state. We can also lower the cost of higher education through in-state school acceptance of weighted GPA's - which will allow for more in-state scholarships. These efforts should be in tandem with the Arizona Board of Regents to lower the overall costs of attending any of the three Arizona Universities. We must also find ways to help those who aren't a good fit for the large universities to achieve higher ed opportunities by expanding the ability to obtain a four-year degree from community colleges statewide.
Let's work to see more Arizona students, from all income levels and backgrounds, graduate from Arizona Universities and our amazing Community Colleges by providing them more access to state schools - but with a much lower financial burden in their future.
Immigration = Legal & Safe
As an immigrant and a naturalized citizen, I count myself one of the very lucky ones. I was adopted at the age of 5 by a loving Christian family in Ohio. They raised me with love and encouragement, and gave me the best gift ever - an opportunity to be a citizen of the United States. Until I came to this country, I was living in an orphanage in Seoul, Korea. Because of Korean laws, I was dropped off at the orphanage as an infant with absolutely zero identifying papers. I was given a name - Lee Choon Sik - and a birthdate. The photo in the About Josh section, and the shoes I am wearing in the photo, are the only items I have in my possession of my life in Korea.
Because I cherish my citizenship everyday, I completely understand why anyone would want to sacrifice all they have to come to our country. I understand the intense desire to be here. However, I also strongly agree that we need to make our country's borders as safe and secure as possible.
Right now, our borders are being overrun and it does not appear that the Federal government is going to do anything about it. Our Federal government should do everything in its powers to overhaul our immigration system so that it is safe, secure, and financially feasible for those who want to come to the United States looking for a better life. In the meantime, our state has a responsibility to keep our citizens safe from those who are using our borders to move drugs and to traffic women and children. The safety of AZ citizens must be a top priority.
I would like to study closely what Texas is doing, with their Governor’s support, to secure their southern border to Mexico and see if we can apply the same methods and tools here in Arizona. I think we not only could – we should!