Meet the Candidate: Jimmy Ausbrooks (KY)

10 mins read

Jimmy Ausbrooks – Kentucky – US House District 1

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.

I am a proud native of Kentucky, born and raised in the rural Rapids Community of Simpson County. I’m a small business owner and mental health counselor in Franklin, KY. I am also the first in my family to graduate from college, earning both a bachelor’s degree in Government and a master’s degree in Education, Counseling and Human Development. I was commissioned as a Kentucky Colonel by Governor Andy Beshear in 2021. I currently serves on the board of the Kentucky Counseling Association and have served on several non-profit boards that serve the needs of underrepresented populations at both local and state levels. As the first mental health counselor to run for federal office, and the first openly gay candidate for the US House of Representatives in Kentucky’s history, I will be honored to serve my community.

Why are you running for office?

I am a mental health professional, pro-human rights advocate, proud member of the LGBTQIA+ community and I believe in common sense, transparency, and representation for all.

I am running for many reasons including: human rights (women’s rights, LGBTQIA+ rights, rights of people of color, etc.), voter protection, social justice, economic development, infrastructure, worker’s rights, living wages, education, immigration reform, fiscal responsibility, healthcare for all, common sense gun legislation, etc.

As a mental health professional, I see the need to expand mental healthcare coverage, increase resources and tools for those with mental health needs, and end the stigma of mental health that takes the lives of so many innocents.

As a gay man I am committed to finally giving the LGBTQIA+ community a voice, protection from discrimination in housing and in the workplace, and be a positive role model for members of the LGBTQIA+ community that have desired a more active role in government but hesitated out of fear.

I believe that all individuals should have a voice and be heard and that currently is the case. I see the opportunity for change and am committed to giving a real voice to the voiceless that have been silenced for too long.

The reason I am running for office is because:
1. We do not have a voice for mental health and mental health providers.
2. We do not have equality and basic human rights that protect individuals and families.
3. There is a lack of trust, integrity, and common sense in the US Congress.
4. Not everyone is fairly represented in US Congress.

What are the three biggest issues facing your community?

First, the economy-inflation, lack of affordable housing and the lack of decent jobs are hurting the good people of Kentucky.

Next, healthcare, including abortion/ reproductive care, is hard to obtain and far to expensive for many families to afford.

Last but not least, human rights are under attack for women, LGBTQIA+, and people of color. Social injustice, economic injustice, voting rights violations, accessible education, legal protections from discrimination, and equality in general all need to be addressed and sooner than later.

How do you propose to solve those problems?

I plan on doing something that apparently has been lost in the US Congress; I am going to use “common sense”. I am going to be transparent, open, and honest. I am going to encourage my peers in the US House of Representatives to do the same.

The real truth is, if we elect individuals that are willing to represent, we will get a lot more done, because those men and women know the value of using common sense, getting the job done, and moving forward is in the best interest of the nation.

What is your stance on environmental and climate concerns that are facing your community?

I recognize there is a global climate crisis and I am committed to fight for initiatives that will protect our planet for generations to come. I support the Paris Climate Accord; I support environmental protection reforms and global restrictions. I believe that green and renewable energy resources can and should be utilized. I want to bring new green technology and jobs to Kentucky.

Green/Renewable energy is the future.

I feel that it is important to bring the fossil fuel industry leaders, renewable energy industry leaders, and government leadership to the table to seek both solutions to address climate change and provide opportunities for jobs and sustainable growth in our economy. I also recognize that individuals working in the fossil fuel industry could apply their skills and utilize their experience working in green/renewable energy jobs. I believe a transition can be done, and in making the transition from fossil fuels to green/renewable green energy we can secure the future of not only the communities in which we live but the lives of our children for generations to come.

Kentucky is a coal state, communities in Kentucky have been sustained by mining, abandoned due to policy, and we will never find the common ground that everyone will be satisfied with unless we all agree to sit down together and create opportunities.

What commonsense gun safety measures would have the most impact on your community?

As a gun owner, I know that common sense and strong safety measures are both necessary. I’ll start by making sure that everyone with a gun or anyone who desires to own/purchase a gun has the knowledge and training to clean, store securely, and operate safely.

How would criminal justice reforms impact your community?

Criminal justice reform would close a lot of jails, it would let people receive treatment for substance and mental health verses prolonging or permanently disabling individuals. It would save hardworking families valuable tax dollars; it would require resources and educational opportunities within our communities.

We are living in a for-profit society when it comes to criminal justice. We are not blindly executing justice at any level. We are avoiding, restricting, and denying help to those that could make significant contributions to society.

How would you work to protect a woman’s reproductive health?

I support a woman’s right to govern her own body and her right to make her own reproductive choices. I believe that abortion is healthcare. I value and respect women, and therefore I trust women to make the choices that are right for them and their bodies.

I acknowledge the fight over women’s rights have persisted for decades and it’s sad. I am angry that some men feel that they have any right to govern a woman’s body and control a woman’s reproductive health. I will support legislation to once and for all end the discrimination against a woman’s right to govern her own body. I also recognize that the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe V Wade has now endangered the lives of so many women and children. The court’s decision will cost lives, create fear, and we all will pay a price we cannot afford, spiritually, emotionally, or financially.

What measures would you advocate to ensure that your constituents have the right to vote?

I will support current legislation that secures individuals the right to vote and in addition I will support/introduce legislation that guarantees all Americans the right to vote.

Anything else?

Two things:

We need to make a stand and celebrate inclusion and diversity, not hate and violence.

A living wage is needed, warranted, and a very real and personal issue for millions of Americans. There is no reason that men, women and children have to die because they cannot afford their medications.

“Posts by or about political candidates do not imply endorsement. All posts are created by answers from our Meet the Candidates survey.”

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