First, I want to express my sincere wishes to you and your loved ones – for all of you to remain safe and healthy through this current health crisis.
You may already know that I am a progressive Democrat, running for the South Carolina House of Representatives in District 56 of Horry County. Since the district was created following the 2010 census, no Democrat has ever run for candidacy here before. I think it is the right time for us to give the voters in this district a choice.
Please allow me to tell you a little bit about myself. I was born in Brooklyn, NY, and grew up on Long Island (not my fault). As I’ve said many times before, “Yankee by birth, Southern by choice”. I graduated from high school in 1966 (giving away my age). In that same year, I enlisted in the US Army, and went through helicopter flight training at Ft. Wolters, Texas and at Ft. Rucker, Alabama – where I graduated 3rd in my class of 250. I had already earned my Private Pilot’s License at age 17. I soon went on to fly CH-47 helicopters in Vietnam in 1968. I subsequently served as a flight instructor back at Ft. Rucker, Alabama. Upon my separation from active duty in 1970, I put myself through college and graduate school, while also working full-time. I earned a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Stony Brook University in 1982. I worked as a psychologist for over 30 years in both New York, and here in South Carolina. I had a practice in Loris, and was on the medical staff at Loris Community Hospital as well as at Seacoast Hospital (later McLeod Loris and McLeod Seacoast). I retired about 6 years ago, and I ran as a candidate in the 2018 SC Democratic Primary for Congress in the 7th District.
My campaign plan from the outset has been decidedly grass-roots. It has been my intention all along, with the help of volunteers, to knock on every door in the district, introduce myself, and talk with the voters about the issues. That WAS the plan. Then along came the coronavirus. “That”, as my grandmother would have said, “upset the apple cart.” So plans must change, and we must adapt to the new reality. Our new approach will be a combination of phone calls, digital ads, billboards, and whatever other exposure we can get. If possible, down the road, we will resume door knocking, shaking hands, and talking with the voters about important issues.
What are the issues in District 56? The one I have heard most often is FLOODING, and while this is largely a County issue, the state legislature can certainly have something to say about flood prevention and mitigation. I also hear about healthcare. As a retired psychologist you might reasonably assume (correctly) that I care deeply about people. In my view it is unconscionable that South Carolina has not expanded Medicaid under the ACA. We have over 200,000 South Carolinians who would qualify for that coverage. These are folks who currently have no coverage at all, and are indigent and/or disabled. Some people said we can’t afford to take the Medicaid expansion. The Federal government will pay 90% of the cost, and South Carolina would collect most of the remaining 10% in taxes paid on the 90%. I don’t see a downside to accepting the money that we already send to Washington, which is currently sent to other states which have accepted Medicaid expansion. I can’t help thinking about those 200,000+ uninsured residents. I totally reject the notion that these people do not deserve the coverage. Healthcare has to start being considered a basic human right.
I also hear from folks in the district that the minimum wage should be raised. South Carolina has no minimum wage law. We simply accept the Federal rate. That wage has not been raised in 11 years, and while inflation has been relatively low in those years – it has still been there compounding each year, and eating away at buying power. I agree that the minimum wage has to be increased. We can have a discussion about how much it should rise, and when any such rises should occur. It’s not right that in the richest country in the world, so many people are working 2 or 3 minimum wage jobs and are still barely able to support their families.
These are just some of the issues I will fight for. And I won’t just fight the fights that I think we can win. I’ll fight the fights that need to be fought. If you like what you’ve heard here, please read more on my website and on my social media pages. And get ready, yes – I have to ask for your financial support. Our new campaign plan will cost a little more than our original plan. I am humbly asking for your consideration in contributing to my campaign, no matter how small, to see that we can get to Columbia and fight those fights. Even though you may not live in District 56, I encourage you to support this, and other Democratic campaigns that will be working for your best interests and for all South Carolinians. You can donate through ACT BLUE on my website, or checks can be mailed to Fischer For SC 56 at P.O. Box 3, Longs, SC 29568. If you donate by check, please include your home address and employer’s name (if any), because these are requirements set by the Ethics Commission for reporting purposes.
Thank you very much, and remember… We’re all in this together! Stay at home and stay safe. At some point we will see some light at the end of the tunnel.