Born in Lincoln, Raised in Lincoln, Educated in Lincoln, and Always Home in Lincoln. I'm running for City Council because I want to give back to the city, and the state, that has given so much to me and my family. I believe we live in the Greatest City in America and I know I'm the right person to Keep Lincoln Great!
I know next-to-nothing about politics, but over the last many months I've witnessed the tearing down of the beliefs and values on which our country proudly stands. I've seen too many people silenced, condemned, and canceled. I believe it's important for conservatives like myself to stand up and speak out in order to secure our future and the future of our great nation. I will be an honest representative for Lincoln, for Nebraska, and for America. I will vote for Lincolnites and Nebraskans on every issue. I'm running to keep Lincoln great, to keep us safe, to support local businesses first (both new and existing), to strengthen our schools and the futures of our children. My entire life has revolved around education, so I understand the importance of thinking before acting, learning before deciding. I promise when I don't know enough about a topic, I will seek advice from experts I trust. Please consider voting for me. A vote for Burling is a vote for America.
I believe it's important you know where I stand on every issue because voters shouldn't be surprised when their representatives make decisions. That being said, I believe myself to be rational, reasonable, respectful and thoughtful. Though I don't usually make quick decisions, I trust myself to make the right decision based on the facts at hand.
I believe in American Exceptionalism. My policies will always put America first because I'm American and the United States of America is the greatest country in the world. I'm proud to be an American and I will always champion American values.
My business is America. I sell the American Dream to international students. And I'll be honest, it's not a hard sell. Over the last 10+ years I've spoken with thousands of Vietnamese students and parents whose goal is to study abroad in America. Why America? I always ask. It's the best, they exclaim. The best education, the best technology, the best life, the best place to raise a family and to have freedom. It's incredible to see their enthusiasm for America. It's an enthusiasm for our great nation that I wish all Americans could share.
Our city budget must require local-first spending. If we can't buy the goods in Lincoln, then we should look statewide, and then to America. One person's spending is another person's income, so if we keep our spending local, we grow our economy and we all prosper. Let's grow Lincoln by investing in Lincoln. Let's keep Lincoln great by keeping our greatest in Lincoln.
Economies grow through an increase in resources, improvement in quality of resources, and technological advancement. My focus is on increasing entrepreneurship in Lincoln through incentives for start-ups and small businesses and by promoting entrepreneurial spirit in our school programs. With the Raikes School at UNL, I believe there are many opportunities waiting to be explored. Additionally, I plan to increase the quality of our workforce through STEM education programs in our schools and community. I will create opportunities for all students in Lincoln to learn and explore technology.
We need an increased focus on STEM, either in schools or after school programs. These should be accessible to all students. I'm 100% for equality in opportunities for all students. We should be offering free AP study sessions, free ACT/SAT prep and college planning workshops for those who can't afford the luxury on their own. AP transfer credits have the potential to save students tens of thousands of dollars in college tuition and I believe it's our duty to make these opportunities accessible to all students in Lincoln.
I feel it's necessary to reiterate the importance of STEM learning in our schools. My business, for 12 years, has been American education, but I worry for our future because year after year, the students I meet abroad are further and further along in STEM subjects, particularly in math, than their American peers. It has little to do with intelligence, and everything to do with the challenges schools require those students are required to meet.
For my business, I've traveled all over the US visiting the best boarding schools our nation has to offer. I've worked with students from grade 6 through university on computer science, economics, English, math, physics, and US history. I have a unique perspective on how students learn and succeed, on how to challenge students to always be learning. Our education system is designed to leave no child behind, but through that process our brightest are held back, slowed down and stuck with bad habits built out of boredom.
I don't believe politicians should hide their beliefs. Politicians represent their constituents and all voters have the right to know who they're voting for. I'm not going to give politically correct stances on policies. I'm unapologetically Pro-Life and Pro-America and fiscally conservative. I believe less governing is the best governing. As a member of City Council, I'll publish my rationale for every decision and vote. As a software engineer, I'll make it my mission to update technology in our local government so our processes and decisions are clear to every citizen of Lincoln. I want every property owner to know why his property value(s) increased and the reason for each change.
Update Feb 23, 2021: During the City Council meeting on Feb 22, I wanted to search for past meetings about one of the issues discussed. To my surprise, the search function within the City Council's page is non-functional (it always returns "No results matched your search")--an even bigger surpise was that the agenda archive goes back to only March 2018. Last night, after I put my son to bed I put together a simple search tool so we, too, can search past City Council agendas.
The search tool can be found here: Lincoln City Council - Agenda Search
I believe in common sense politics and fiscal responsibility. To be honest, I don't like spending money. Growing up, I let my weekly $3 (later $5) allowance accumulate over months while my sister depleted hers every week at Shop-Ko. I saved and saved until I could afford the LEGO or G.I. Joe I wanted. My sister, after spending her allowance, didn't have the money to buy big items, but she'd ask my parents anyway, and they'd buy her what she wanted. That didn't make sense to me. I had saved, she hadn't, and yet we both ended up with the toys we wanted.
Today, that analogy could extend to many government programs. There's certainly a place for social welfare, but it's a myth that the government can spend money at nobody's expense. I believe in individual responsibility, free enterprise, and a reduced central government, whose role should be closer to that of an umpire than that of a Big Brother figure.
Enough is enough! It's time to end Cancel Culture, political correctness for the sake of being Woke, and fake news. This is America, a country of liberty and freedom. We don't cancel our political opposition here. We should never attack someone because they disagree with our beliefs.
We can put an end to Cancel Culture by promoting civil, peaceful discussions again. We can end Cancel Culture by encouraging and teaching critical thinking skills in our schools. In the words of Thomas Sowell, "What's tragic is that there's so many people out there who simply respond to words rather than ask themselves 'Is what this person says true? How can I check it?'"
In January 2020, I was overseas for business and contracted COVID. It was awful. I just wanted to get back home because I knew I'd be best treated in America. Back then, the images coming out of China were, in retrospect, pure propaganda. They looked like scenes out of a Contagion or Outbreak movie. People were dropping dead in the streets. Those scenes were sensationalized in our media and set the stage for our eventual lockdown here in America. To be honest, I agreed back then. My common sense said shutdown the country for two to four weeks and ban travel into the US. Take care of Americans and businesses with a stimulus package and then open the country back up a month later, COVID-free. But a shutdown with no end in sight is not a plan.
Our government doesn't have the right to indefinitely mandate masks for private businesses and shutdown private enterprises. Too many lives have been ruined by government restrictions and shutdowns, and it seems we're still on the verge of a perpetual lockdown. The solution to a problem should never be worse than the original problem.
It's clear from last November that America's elections are not secure and it seems evident that only half the population cares about election integrity. Of course, determining which party cares about election integrity depends on the election year. John Oliver's segment on voting in America from 2019 provides a nice example of how insecure technology has made our elections. As a software engineer, I can assure you it's practically impossible to secure any computer, especially when bad actors have physical access to it.
I care about election integrity because the right to vote in a fair election is the most basic civil right and I believe this to be a non-partisan issue. I don't think it should be easier to vote than buy an M-rated video game. Personally, I've been voting in Lincoln since 2002 and I've never once been asked to show an ID. That needs to change all across America.
Over the last four years, America gained energy independence. Yet, now we're already beginning to see rising gas prices and policy reverting back to a reliance on imported energy. We need to continue our push for energy independence through nuclear energy and continue to innovate in renewable energies. We should embrace recent improvements in solar energy by providing better incentives for homes that contribute energy back into the city's electrical grid. I will advocate for property tax credits so those who install solar panels won't have their energy savings offset by increased property values and property taxes.
I value all people because human life is sacred. We're all blessed with this wonderful gift of life and I can't imagine ever wanting to take that gift away. A beating heart in a growing baby is a new life and that heart shouldn't be stopped. I believe using abortion as birth-control is repugnant.
As a father of sons, I know kids love the police. From Paw Patrol to playing dress up at the Lincoln Children's Museum, the impression our youth have of police is positive, and it's essential we reinforce in children a reverence for our first responders and police officers. But, somewhere along the way that changes and adult interactions with police officers mostly feel negative, though that's not often the fault of the officer. Perhaps it's because the hardest thing in the world is for anybody to admit he made a mistake. We must remember that officers are doing their jobs, they're keeping us accountable and they're protecting our communities. I support fully funding our police and first responders.
The other day I asked my son for his opinion on policies for Lincoln. He said, more hugs. So here it is: Hugs are love. We all need love and support, especially in these difficult times. All our lives are precious and it's important we remember that we're all in this together. Whether it's by hugging flags, pillows or people, I'll always approach every person and situation with care and respect.