From jobs to election reform, there are a number of issues that I will make a priority. In every case, my first question will always be: how does this issue affect the people of my district? And on every issue, I promise to lead with my values rather than the partisan rhetoric that prevents real discussion.
As the campaign continues, I will elaborate on these issues, and include more policy positions that matter to my district.
On many issues, we may not agree. But I will always be transparent about my views, and open to other opinions.
Jobs will be my focus. At the U.S. Department of Labor, I worked for the national Office of Public Affairs for the Employment and Training Administration. In this role, I supported a nationwide effort to double and diversify the number of Registered Apprenticeships in America, an earn-while-you-learn job that pays workers an average of $60,000 a year. I also worked on assisting American workers who were laid off due to unfair trade deals, expanding aid for farm workers, launching youth summer jobs programs, helping provide vocational training and rehabilitation services to those involved in the criminal justice system, improving reemployment services and cracking down on unemployment fraud. Learn more here.
From campaign finance to the way we conduct elections, we have a system that gives inordinate influence to insiders, major corporations, and the politically connected. But that's not how democracy is supposed to work. I will fight for reforms inside the Democratic Party as well as in Congress that put people first. We need to ask ourselves whether the "Democratic" Party should put the interests of superdelegates above those of the American voter. We need to explore ways to limit the influence of Super PACs on both sides of the aisle, whether through a constitutional amendment or by preventing out-of-district special interests from overwhelming our local election. And we should be discussing issues like term limits, so that we have more representatives and fewer career politicians.
We have a great nation. We need to protect it. And that starts with the people. That's why I will advocate for reforms that help raise the voices of each and every American citizen.
Healthcare is another priority of mine. If elected, I would support legislation to expand Medicare and move rapidly towards single payer healthcare. When I talk to folks in my district about expanding Medicare to those ages 50-64 by allowing them to buy into Medicare, they support the idea. Doing so makes it easier to make the case to fully expand Medicare for all, which they ultimately tend to favor. Learn more here.
Immigration is a security, civil rights and economic emergency. A wall isn't feasible, fair, or fiscally responsible. Forty percent of undocumented immigrants overstay their visas after coming to the US legally, most often via air travel, not by land. So unless the wall is 40 thousand feet in the air, it would have no effect on a huge source of the problem. Instead of building a wall, I believe we should build up working families and build out the middle class. We should spend the $21 billion on apprenticeship jobs programs instead of a wall, and train workers to fill the 6 million job vacancies in America today. Learn more here.
Instead of an ineffective and expensive wall, we can use modern technology to come up with a cost effective "virtual wall" and also leverage technology to streamline and expedite legal immigration. By expanding a legal pathway to citizenship, we can encourage people to come out of the shadows and contribute more fully and fairly to our economy and way of life.
Energy policy issues have become too divided in Washington DC. What we need to do is recognize truths and reject solutions that are not grounded in practical policy.
The truth is that new sustainable energy is good for the environment and public health. That alone should give us reason to invest in renewable energy and reduce the regulatory barriers that inhibit development. We also have to recognize that while 100% renewable energy should be our long-term goal, there are two substantial threats to our stability when we don't govern that development responsibly. First, our economy and good American jobs rely on traditional energy sources. And second, without proper regulation, venture capitalists and wall street bankers often become the beneficiaries of well-intentioned government policy.
With these considerations in mind, we should explore innovative programs that promote new clean energy and protect the local economy. For example, we can provide incentives for small businesses and farmers to build locally-owned small-scale renewable energy production facilities. This would help protect the environment, create local jobs, and prevent large scale manipulation and abuse of government programs.
I will support a smart energy policy that leads to a cleaner environment and benefits the local economy.