Our government only works if those participating in it respect and uphold the Constitution. The Trump administration is demonstrating an astonishing lack of respect for the Constitution and integrity of our government and Congress is refusing to hold the President accountable. We need leaders who will fight to preserve our country’s basic constitutional principles.
Right to Vote
Preserving the right of everyone to cast their vote for our country’s leaders is crucial to a fair democracy. Laws that make voting harder, such as voter ID requirements, are the 21st century version of poll taxes, and partisan gerrymandering disproportionately disenfranchise poor and minority voters. Congress should enact a Voting Rights Act for the 21st century to ensure that our democracy remains open to all.
Freedom of the Press
The press plays an important role in holding the government accountable. Rather than being demonized and threatened, the press should be encouraged to continue actively investigating the government and keeping the public informed.
Freedom of Speech
From college campuses to state capitals, the freedom to assemble and express opinions is a fundamental right.
Freedom of Religion
Separation of church and state is one of the fundamental principles of our constitution. Our government should not detain travelers or base immigration policy on religion. Nor should our government enact laws that favor one religion or religious interpretation over another. The freedom of everyone to practice their religion without fear of retribution needs strong support from lawmakers.
Checks and Balances
We have three branches of government to ensure that no one branch gains too much power. Congress is currently not using its power to act as a check on presidential authority. We need representatives who will stand up for our democracy.
Conflicts of Interest
The President should not be allowed to use the office of the President for personal gain. Congress needs to enact laws applying current conflict of interest laws to the President.
The United States is a land of opportunity and we need economic policies that keep it that way. Everyone deserves a living wage. Everyone deserves healthcare. Everyone deserves a quality education. Economic priorities should be focused on encouraging innovation and promoting growth in sustainable, forward-looking industries instead of trying to re-create a 20th century economy in a 21st century world. Here are some of the specific policies I support to promote economic justice.
Single Payer Health Coverage
Everyone should have affordable, comprehensive health insurance. The ability to see a doctor or afford medications should not depend on employment, nor should individuals have to make major life decisions such as whether or not to get married based on health insurance. Health care is a basic right that the government should provide as a public good.
Everyone who works a full-time job should be able to meet their basic needs. A living minimum wage should be established and tied to inflation so that the livelihood of hard-working Americans is not subject to political whims.
Strong Public Schools
A strong educational system benefits everyone. All students deserve a high-quality, free public education, from pre-school through college. Federal policy should work to eliminate the disparities in financial resources between school districts in different communities to ensure that all students have the same educational opportunities.
Technology (BB & net neutrality)
Internet should be treated as a public utility that is a necessity. Broadband expansion should be prioritized in order to bring economic opportunity to all regions. Net neutrality needs to be preserved in order to ensure a level playing field and encourage innovation in online services.
Renewable Energy Economy
The future of our planet depends on moving away from carbon-based energy economy. Our nation’s energy infrastructure needs to shift toward supplying everyone with clean, renewable energy. Likewise, our educational system needs to prepare workers for careers in the renewable energy economy.
Massive amounts of money in politics embed economic injustice in our government by giving the wealthy and corporations a bigger voice than the people. I support campaign finance reform to get big money out of politics, and I will not accept corporate money during my campaign.
Too often, the only voice represented in our government is that of the few who already have access, power, and money. I’m in this for everyone else. Growing up in small town Iowa, I learned the values of fairness and community. I believe our country’s policies should reflect those values and treat everyone with respect and dignity. Here are some of the policies I support.
By now we all know that women are paid less than men, and that the wage gap is even worse for women of color than for white women. We need to enact employment policies that support women in the workplace and close the wage gap. Some of the ways we can do this are by raising pay for low-wage jobs, removing barriers to entry and advancement for high-paying jobs, and requiring workplace policies that support pregnant women and new parents.
Civil Rights for LGBTQ Individuals
There is currently no law at the federal level that explicitly protects LGBTQ people from discrimination in education, employment, or housing. While marriage equality is the law, there are numerous ways that current laws can be used to deny opportunities to LGBTQ individuals. Congress should enact the Equality Act and ensure full federal equality for everyone.
Access to Reproductive Health Care
Women should have not just the right, but the actual ability, to make decisions about reproductive health care. Laws that limit access to reproductive health care and limit insurance coverage for birth control and abortions deny women the right to control their own bodies and plan their futures. Our laws need to support women’s access to reproductive health care, including birth control, and we need to ensure that abortion remains safe, legal, and accessible.
Criminal Justice Reform
Our criminal justice system disproportionately targets people of color. Our police need to be empowered to protect and serve all Americans, with training that focuses on deescalation and the elimination of policies such as broken windows policing and stop and frisk. The privatization of prisons should end. Drug laws that unfairly target minorities need to be reformed.
Our policies must treat all people with respect. Basic fairness and decency should lead us to reform practices that are based on irrational fears and racial profiling. We need to recognize the value that immigrants bring to our country and create a meaningful, and welcoming, path to citizenship.