Healthcare

Safety Net Programs

Education

Environment

Other Issues

Provide Healthcare for All

Healthcare should be streamlined, affordable, and available to everyone. By making Medicare available to every American, we can provide basic, life-saving health services to every citizen through a program that we know is cost effective, efficient, and already works well for millions.

What makes one life more important than another life? No one should be denied healthcare based on their job or wealth. Healthcare for all people is as important to our country as access to clean water. The most efficient way to deliver healthcare is to build on the success of Medicare, and provide universal single-payer coverage to all citizens — Medicare for all. This relieves employers of the burden of providing healthcare benefits and allows employees to change jobs without worrying about losing their healthcare, while providing overall cost savings.

Preserve Current Safety Net Programs

We must honor the trust of the American people by maintaining solid, stable and public Social Security and Medicare programs. We cannot allow the Social Security benefits of millions of Americans to be subject to dice-rolling on Wall Street and we cannot allow seniors to be subjected to private for-profit insurance with vouchers.

Protect Medicare for Seniors

Converting Medicare to a voucher program, as Tom Price and Paul Ryan have proposed, would result in increased out-of-pocket expenses for seniors and unequal and insufficient access to healthcare for future generations. Furthermore, it puts an extra burden on seniors to continually research and shop for plans.

Protect Social Security

Privatizing Social Security by tying it to the stock market jeopardizes this important safety net by making it subject to Wall Street profit-taking and the unpredictability of the markets. With the demise of pension-based retirement systems, seniors need a no-risk and stable base income that can be used to cover basic needs.

Generations of American workers have paid into these two programs that they rightly expect to be there when they need it. We cannot allow Congress to break that promise.

Improve Public Education

Public schools are the backbone of our nation’s economic, political, and social health. No institution impacts families more than the local school system. We must guarantee early childhood education for every person in this country. We must create educational environments that adapt to student learning styles while still ensuring that kids are making progress. We must guarantee that qualified students can attend college and technical schools without the burden of large debts. The future of our country depends on taking all of these steps.

Three pressure points have developed within our education infrastructure that we urgently need to address.

Cost of College

First, college costs have skyrocketed during the last few decades. Parents dig deep in their pockets and students finance their classes with debt. Other students with potential choose to not go to college because they don’t want the debt. Access to college both for young people and for older adult job retraining must be approached as long-term economic development of human capital. I will fight for legislation to make every public college and university in America tuition-free.

Public K-12 Schools

Second, adequate public school funding and more choices are needed. But many of the answers being proposed, such as publicly funded vouchers for private schools and for-profit education, are not the answers. They reflect the symptoms of a broken system. Public school systems need to hear and respond to parent and student feedback and develop publicly funded choices, such as special mission, publicly funded magnet schools. No taxpayer should be forced to leave the public system to achieve success in educating their children.

Early Childhood

Third, early childhood education is often unavailable and unaffordable for working parents, causing many to miss out on early childhood educational opportunities. Universal preschool should be incorporated into the K-12 public schools.

Protect the Environment

There can be no confusion — the scientific community has come to a consensus on climate change. It is real, and it is rapidly creating irreversible changes to our Earth. We must take steps to stop these devastating effects, for the sake of our economy and our security.

We must stop propping up the dying fossil fuel industry and instead reward research and development in clean energy. We must continue to challenge the automotive industry to put their ingenuity to work to ensure that Americans drive cleaner, safer cars. We must ensure that our students are being taught to respect science and discovery so that they can continue improving the world after we are gone. We should engage our technical college systems in training displaced workers in learning these new technologies, taking the work ethic and resilience for which this country is known and applying it to the challenges of the future.

Protect America’s Promise of Equality

The promise of democracy is a promise of equality; our country is founded upon the idea that all things being equal, an individual’s ability and talent should determine their success, not their religion, race, gender, sexuality, or their parents’ wealth. Too often, we fail that test. It is time that we renew that promise, so that we can capture the best in American ingenuity without creating unfair challenges to success.

Every human life deserves equal respect and dignity. This includes everyone on our nation’s soil: people of all genders, races, sexuality, mental capability, religion and socio-economic class — no matter their nation of origin.

  • I support policies that protect marriage equality, fight job discrimination, and combat violence and hate crimes.
  • I support policies that recognize the economic contributions of non-citizens, and I will work with our undocumented immigrant population in a compassionate way that recognizes basic human needs.
  • I support policies that ensure healthcare for all citizens, including access to contraception and the right for a woman to choose to terminate an unplanned pregnancy.
  • I support policies that provide high quality care for the specific needs of our veterans, who have served this country to uphold these values of equality.
  • I support policies that require a fair wage for all workers, so that no one is forced to choose between their job and their family.

Preserve our Democracy and Protect Voting Rights

Powerful interests and elected officials have sought to rig the system in order to undermine our democracy. They have made real attempts to suppress voters, and participated in the egregious manipulation of the election process in order to benefit the power of political parties and special interests.

The number one issue putting our democracy at risk is redistricting. Every ten years, after the census is taken, state legislatures across the county “rebalance” the populations of political districts (from local to national) by adjusting the boundaries. We can no longer allow our elected officials to gerrymander their districts according to partisan interests. The reason Congress is no longer in sync with the majority of Americans is because ‘safe’ districts across the country have been drawn to support only the voices of political extremes. We need a new way of drawing political districts based on equal representation, not on partisanship.

Reject Privatization of Public Services

Capitalism and free markets have made this country great. However, markets are not always the best solution for all problems and sometimes the public good must take precedence. Capitalism exists to make a profit. While profit is good for the economy, there is no place for it within taxpayer based public services. Services such as National Parks, public education, healthcare and prisons exist to serve the needs of the public. A park does not retain its beauty by building revenue producing amusement parks. A child does not learn from a company’s bottom line. And generating profits on the backs of sick people and prisoners is simply just not right.

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