A Bold Progressive Platform
Progressive coalitions were successful at ushering in the most progressive platform in 2016 and I’m proud to stand on its positions. Below you’ll find more about how I’ll further progress these issues in Washington. If any issue dear to you is missing, please use the link to the Democratic Party platform for more on our agenda but also don’t hesitate to use the contact us section of this site to let us know if you’d like more covered here.
I stand for bold progress. I stand with the Democratic Party platform.
Citizen Voices United: Real People Over Wealthy Interests
As your Representative, I’ll fight to ensure that lobbyists from major industries don’t have undue influence on elections or the process of writing and passing laws, by supporting a constitutional amendment that makes the most prominent voices those from everyday citizens of the district. Entering the House, I would support House Judiciary Resolution 48 – Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States providing that the rights extended by the Constitution are the rights of natural persons only. The right to vote in our representative democracy has not been hard fought and won so that unelected, unaccountable corporations can drown out the voices of every day Americans. I’ll work every day to be accessible to citizens of the 12th District, not lobbyists or special interest spokespeople. For a clip of me speaking about money in politics click here.
Education: A Real Return on Investment
Fully supporting education funding initiatives that level the playing field for America’s future leaders without dictating to local educators or wasting resources in administrative offices will improve school choice without giving unfair advantages to unaccountable structures of current k-12 options. Every child deserves the best possible education regardless of their zip code. Targeted funding for struggling communities should mean more teachers with better training and innovation in classrooms, not more strain on the school day. By graduation, diverse job training opportunities should be inclusive of trade and technical programs that don’t put America’s next generation of young workers in debt. For these reasons, as your congressperson I would promote further implementation of ESSA, or the Every Student Succeeds Act, and ask that teachers be in charge of reviewing and enhancing its success, even as Betsy Devos tries to undermine and prevent this achievement of the prior administration. I would also work with House and Senate colleagues to design tuition assistance and debt forgiveness programs like seeing passage of the College Access Act and the Affordable College Textbook Act ensuring students seeking higher education can be afforded the time and resources required to master their education.
A Strong Core Economy
Congress must help restore buying and bargaining power to America’s labor force by incentivizing fair wages especially for small and medium sized businesses, so innovation and competition doesn’t have to mean debt and deteriorated opportunities for entrepreneurs and their teams. Leveling the risk/reward for small and medium sized businesses, trade associations, and lenders will make them more competitive and better able to provide for their employees and their communities. In order to make this possible I’ll be a proponent of legislation that puts small businesses first and I’ll defend against policies that continue to favor large corporations that don’t grant that buying power back to their employees at every level. Employment non-discrimination as well as equal pay initiatives are key to ensuring honest work is available to all and fair incomes aren’t hard to come by. Establishing and maintaining protections for collective bargaining is an important first step toward raising the minimum wage with the goal of $15 dollars an hour.
As your Representative I pledge to support HR 1227, the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act, removing marijuana from a schedule 1 narcotic. We must begin reversing the catastrophic effects of the War On Drugs and allow for regulated research and medicinal/therapeutic uses of cannabis that create economy and safe alternatives to pharmaceutical dependence and naturally enhance the quality of life for those dealing with chronic illness, addiction, and pain management. Then we must expunge the records of those whose lives were stolen in cases of nonviolent possession or distribution of cannabis. For a clip of me speaking about legalization click here.
A Green America
It’s never been more important to protect our natural resources for future generations while integrating emerging sustainable energy systems that make how we live, work, and play healthier for people and the environment. Therefore, I pledge to put clean water, air, energy, coasts and land use at the forefront of consideration of legislative priorities and stand in opposition to environmentally harmful and abusive efforts that plunder our natural resources merely to exploit fossil fuels and profits thereof. Environmentally conscious, efficient renewable energy can be good for our economy and great for the opportunities ahead of our children and grandchildren so I look forward to championing the political will for these causes on your behalf. For a clip of me talking about a greener America click here.
Comprehensive immigration reform that simplifies and streamlines the naturalization process is the answer to current immigration problems. Not separating families and not punishing young people who’ve never known another country as home. We need a clean Dream Act passed in Congress and paths to citizenship for immigrants already here before another dollar is spent or word is said about walls, deportations, or travel bans. For a clip of me talking about immigration click here.
Medicare for All
Ensuring that the health and mortality of Americans everywhere is not predetermined by the wealth or location of communities and individuals is one of the most important items any self-respecting democracy must deliver. Reigning in the big pharmaceutical companies, insurance giants, and for-profit systems that make preventative care and catastrophic costs unbearable is possible by letting everybody in and leaving nobody out. It’s the right thing to do and it’s why as your Representative I would be eager to support HR 676, the expanded and improved Medicare for All Act.
Equal protections under the law must include race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, physical ability, age, and income level. We must aspire to make a more perfect union on this principle. Comprehensive non-discrimination protections for all LGBTQAI+ Americans in public/private sectors, such as housing, employment, and education will have a fierce ally in Congress if I’m elected. Women should be guaranteed full equality in areas of education, employment, and healthcare. In Congress I’ll support the Equal Rights Act. There will be no tolerance for pay discrimination between my daughter and son. Equal treatment under the law is that important to me. The love we commit must be recognized equally too so I’ll support marriage equality and defend against discriminatory leway attempted by opponents in DC.
Reproductive Freedom is protected by the Supreme Court and I won’t accept any cuts or restrictions on the ability to access quality reproductive healthcare services, birth control, HIV/AIDS care and prevention, or medically accurate sexuality education. Access must be safe, legal, and affordable. I’m pro-freedom, therefore I’m pro-choice. No hesitation, qualification.
I’m a gun owner and take training, education, and permitting very seriously. I also know it would be irresponsible for Congress to do anything less than standardize background checks and adequate licensing/registration for these volatile consumer products. We can’t legislate common sense but we can try for common good, and I think that starts with repealing the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) that grants legal immunity to gun makers and sellers when they should fully understand and appreciate what it means to be at the frontline of helping keep weapons of war away from incapable or unstable hands. Common sense gun safety can save lives which is why we need to be sure we’re enforcing what’s on the books and standardizing best practices so gun safety becomes a well understood norm instead of a routine political football.
The Opioid Crisis
I’ve mourned the loss of a childhood friend to the opiod crisis no friend, parent or child should have to go through. Confronting the epidemic of drug and alcohol addiction by expanding prevention and treatment and promoting better practices by prescribers is a major priority especially in District 12. 20 million people struggling with addiction nationwide require recovery and integration into gainful employment, housing, and education. Healthcare coverage and support from full implementation of the Mental Health Parity and Addictions Equity Act of 2008 will require American medical insurers, including the federal government, will need to disclose how they make their medical management decisions.
Putting America's Fighters First
We have a sacred obligation to veterans and wounded warriors who put their lives on the line for ours. Educational benefits, job training, entreprenueral grants and social services must end chronic homelessness and combat suicide. The post-9/11 GI Bill for future generations must be supported in Congress to ensure fair treatment to reservists and Guard members with regards to employment, health, education benefits, deployment, and reintegration.
Chronic backlogs of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) must find an end so timely access to high-quality health care and timely processing of claims and appeals becomes the norm instead of the exception. Veteran-centric care means providing women with full and equal treatment, including reproductive health services, expanding mental health programs, and treating invisible, latent, and toxic wounds of war.
Criminal Justice Reform
The United States has less than 5 percent of the world’s population but almost 25 percent of its total prison population. More than 2 million Americans incarcerated today are nonviolent offenders. Minorities and poorer populations are being punished at higher rates for the same crimes than wealthier or White offenders. It’s time to end cash bail. A person’s freedom should not be predetermined by their net worth or that of their family and friends. It’s also time to end the private prison industrial complex and the school to prison pipeline. Reentry programs need investment and in order to make these promises a reality I’ll fight to take the profit motive out of incarceration. The death penalty is an abomination and while state sentencing will be it’s own arena, I’ll push to remove capital punishment from consideration in the Federal level offenses it’s still allowable.
Americans With Disabilities
The Americans with Disabilities Act will not fund and enforce itself. As your Representative I pledge to assist counties, cities, and individuals to better coordinate with this incredibly large community that touches every demographic in the district. Businesses, developers, and law enforcement require special training and compliance, and the better we serve this community, the better quality of life we deliver to all citizens of the 12th. Meaningful education to students means extra resources and services. If we don’t fully fund the ADA, we fail to set a solid foundation for children with disabilities to thrive and become adults with greater economy and more meaningful life experiences.