Jerome Dees for State House
A Better Alabama

On the Issues

"We can't afford to kick the can down the road any more. We've run out of road."

Proud, Progressive, Community-Centered Values. 


Criminal Justice Reform

Prison costs strangle state and local budgets, costing citizens nearly $22,000 a year per inmate. Steering offenders with addiction and other mental health issues into more cost-effective treatment programs will reduce recidivism, make our communities safer, significantly reduce overall prison spending, and combat mass incarceration.

As a criminal defense attorney who recently served for several years as a state prosecutor, I will bring a perspective that no other Alabama legislator can offer. Having been the assistant district attorney in charge of Jefferson County’s Drug Court Program, I’ve developed a reputation of proving that a rehabilitative approach to our criminal system actually provides greater safety and stability to our community.


Health care

Our state legislators have repeatedly denied their constituents the opportunity to access quality health care options - causing our state to consistently rank at the bottom of nearly all nationwide health indicators. This is simply unacceptable. Given our inability to rely on any genuine assistance from Washington, D.C., I would propose a statewide health care plan available to all Alabamians similar to what Massachusetts and, most recently, Nevada have already enacted. UAB is a globally recognized medical asset to this state and we should tap into the resources which are readily available to build a more equitable and sustainable health care system for all Alabamians.



Education

A public school graduate myself, I will fight tirelessly to grant teachers the flexibility needed to adequately prepare our kids for a modern economy. We will continue to fight for funding sources like a lottery and the reforming of our tax structure so that more of our schools receiving adequate funding for day-to-day learning. I would also work with my colleagues in the House to ensure that every child has access to a pre-K program regardless of their economic status, because the wealth of a child’s parents should not be a determining factor in their academic success.


Equality under the law

I am a strong believer and defender of equal rights and equal access to the voting booth. I will fight to reduce voter registration restrictions, increase the number of days citizens can go vote, and continue to expand the voting franchise among individuals convicted of crimes that have paid their debt to society. I would also push the legislature to end the overly political practice of gerrymandering and create a nonpartisan commission tasked with redistricting after each Census.

I am also a staunch opponent of legislation like the most recent adoption bill that was drafted to restrict the rights of our LGBTQIA friends and neighbors. Our Constitution demands that all citizens be treated equally, and I will fight to represent the interests of all Alabamians regardless of their gender indentity, expression, or sexual orientation.



Economy

For years, Alabama has tried to establish economic growth through corporate welfare tax loopholes and cutting spending to all other government initiatives. The results are in, and that strategy has ensured that Alabama remains stuck in the 20th century while our neighbors, like Tennessee and the Carolinas, outpace us in economic development.

I believe that every worker has the right to a living wage. While that number may vary from city to city, it is indisputable that the current minimum wage is an economic injustice that must be addressed. By examining the cost of living in respective cities as well as the rise of inflation over the past few decades, I would push for a commission tasked with creating a flexible state minimum wage scale similar to the federal employee (GS) scale with a cost of living adjustment built in. This approach is fair to both the employees and employers of this state.

I aim to help Alabama jumpstart its economy by jointly improving our education system and launching a vast infrastructure program across the state. This will attract the companies driving the economy of the future and will reverse the brain drain that has plagued our state in recent decades.


infrastructure

I aim to help Alabama jumpstart its economy by jointly improving our education system and launching a vast infrastructure program across the state involving upgrades in transportation and technology. This will attract the companies driving the economy of the future and will reverse the brain drain that has plagued our state in recent decades.