Sonya Ryburn and Wesley Jones

Sonya Ryburn and Ashley County resident Wesley Jones at a Southeast Arkansas TEA Party meeting where Ryburn talked about her campaign for the District 9 seat in the Arkansas Legislature.

Sonya Ryburn came to the decision to run for the Arkansas House of Representatives for District 9 in an unusual way.

In the course of discussing the problems in the nation and the state; she and her friend Patricia Mays, who is running for the Arkansas House for District 10, decided that talking and fussing about the problems was not sufficient. They both wanted to do more, so they decided together to seek positions in the Arkansas House in the 2014 election.

Ryburn told the group at the April 14 meeting of the Southeast Arkansas TEA Party that she has been studying the issues and has found out just how dire things have become in Arkansas and America.

A Monticello native, Ryburn says that her heart and soul reside in Southeast Arkansas.

“I believe in talking to the public about the problems,” she said. “I want to ask the people in District 9 what their concerns are and what they see that needs fixing. They are the ones who make up the government, and I will be the mouthpiece and voice in Little Rock for the folks in this district.

“I believe that people have become apathetic because they have not been listened to by their elected officials,” Ryburn said. “You have a voice and have a right to state your opinion. Enough voices resonate and make changes come about, and I want to help facilitate those changes. We need jobs and economic growth in Southeast Arkansas. I plan to work hard to bring these to District 9.”

Ryburn has also been investigating ways to counteract the Affordable Care Act in Arkansas. She has spoken with some doctors and hospital administrators who are attempting to develop an alternative to having to sign up for Obamacare. Some doctors are considering working with patients for a reasonable monthly fee, which is similar to an insurance premium but paid directly to the doctor, that would cover routine medical care provided by the doctor. This is still in the exploratory stages; but Ryburn says she does not agree with the Private Option or Obamacare, and would like to find an alternative system for the people of Arkansas.

Many people don’t realize that when they sign up for Medicaid or government-subsidized health care, it is a loan from the government, she said. Upon the death of the patient, the government will claim the patient’s assets as payment for the medical care received. They don’t realize when they file taxes next year, that they will lose their $1,500 child tax credit.

“The Affordable Care Act has made and will continue to make many changes in the health care industry, the insurance industry and the economy of America,” Ryburn said. “The government has become detached from the people, and I want to change that. People have lost faith in their government; but by coming to the people for answers and advice, I hope to change this mindset.”

Turning her attention to the Common Core State Standards in education, Ryburn said it was a “very personal” issue to her. “Our children matter so much because they are our future,” she said. “The United States Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, has stated that the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) have shown… that their children are not as brilliant as they thought they were. Test scores have fallen with the implementation of the standards in other states. How are the CCSS going to affect the educations of our special needs children or those children now attending private schools or those who are taught through home schooling? Southeast Arkansas needs people like me to be elected to push this state to put control of our schools back into the hands of the local districts where it belongs.

“We have to stop the cycle of making our children vulnerable,” she said. “I see that the desire to improve our schools is there, but the CCSS were adopted before there were any test results to find out if they worked. There are many, many things that we can change through our state, county and district to make education better in our area; and we can be much more effective at it than someone who has never even been to Southeast Arkansas. We have amazing teachers that have personal knowledge of the kids in their classroom, including their needs, more so than someone in D.C.”

Asked what she knew about the United Nations Agenda 21, Ryburn said she sees it being quietly implemented in our communities a little bit at a time, similar to the gradual implementation of the CCSS. As the use of the standards was increased a few grade levels at a time, people began to see what was happening to our education system. It is the same with Agenda 21.

“We might be able to slow the progress of Agenda 21 by educating the people about the United Nations plan, and by rejecting the facilitation of it in our communities,” she said. “By working together, we can push back to correct these problems. There are many areas where I will be able to work with the people of District 9 to make life better in Southeast Arkansas.”

If elected, Ryburn said she plans to conduct open town hall-style meetings on a regular basis in order that her constituents can tell her what they need from her as a State Representative and to hold her accountable.

“I want to be the voice of the people of District 9 and to represent them according to the needs of our district,” Ryburn said.