I have had a lot of experience connecting with folks from all different backgrounds and I am confident in my ability to relate to people on these and other challenging topics.
The State Legislature has a responsibility to set a tone and an example for our community. I believe that the more we are able to become an inclusive body, with diverse representatives the more we will help address some of these issues. At the same time, I think a zero tolerance policy in regards to bullying at schools is crucial. I would support the work that the HSTA is already doing regarding bullying and harassment and would support new legislation that encourages inclusivity and acceptance for all.
More education is key to increasing the accurate reporting of hate crimes. Underreporting probably comes from fear and discrimination and the best way I know to break through either of those barriers is through education. Hopefully through the establishment of a Commission of the Status of LGBTQ+ Community we could have better tracking of that data and create ways to have broader outreach and lessen the overall occurrence of hate crimes and get more accurate reporting for those that are occurring.