Representative democracy is supposed to be of the people, for the people, and by the people. Electing legislators who value excellent healthcare, an economy that works for everyone, clean air and water, and quality education from pre-k through college or trade school is critical in building a truly free land. Read more about where I stand on each of the important issues below.
I will use my experience in the healthcare field to fight for complete healthcare coverage; that means access to every necessary service regardless of employment status.
Under my leadership, we will
- Guarantee comprehensive reproductive care, mental healthcare, addiction treatment, vision, dental, audiology, home healthcare, and disability services so that we are all TRULY covered
- Eliminate deductibles and copays
- Reduce prescription drug costs
- Streamline billing and reduce bureaucracy
- Institute paid leave for growing families and the care of aging or ill family members
Reproductive health is private, and all decisions are made by the person and their doctor. The recent Supreme Court decision in Little Sisters of the Poor vs. Pennsylvania is a major step back in the fight for reproductive rights and must be addressed though complete coverage in a healthcare system that is not dependent upon employment.
Veterans & Military Service
People who volunteer to serve in our military must be treated with the dignity and respect they deserve. Many enlisted servicemembers are not paid a living wage and therefore rely on SNAP benefits and other social safety nets to make up the difference between base pay and what it costs to raise a family.
Under my leadership, we will:
- Raise the minimum pay of enlisted members, especially for 3+ person households
- Honor our promises to provide healthcare, education, citizenship, and financial resources to veterans
- Improve housing conditions of veterans and servicemembers
- Expand transition programs to guarantee living-wage jobs for veterans entering the civilian workforce
- Vote against unnecessary wars that put our service members in harm’s way
Domestic Energy Production
How we power our communities is a matter of national security; investing in renewable resources will end our dependence on foreign oil, lower our utility costs, and guarantee reliable energy, all while protecting clean air and water for future generations.
Under my leadership, we will:
- Follow Colorado Springs Utilities and Fort Carson’s lead on net-zero initiatives
- Expand energy efficiency education programs
- Improve construction standards to ensure “new builds” are energy efficient
- Invest in a reliable renewable energy infrastructure that lowers utility bills
- Create jobs in the renewable energy sector, including for veterans re-entering the civilian workforce
- Extend and expand federal rebate programs
We are facing the biggest economic crisis of our lifetime due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The crisis is far from over, and we will need to take big steps in order to recover.
We can learn from history; in the wake of the Great Depression our federal government made huge investments in infrastructure and social safety nets, which resulted in phenomenal prosperity and growth. We can revamp that approach to invest in the renewable resources and energy efficiency improvements needed to address climate change, thereby creating good-paying union jobs for the millions of Americans currently unemployed. It is also clear that our system of tying healthcare to employment is irresponsible and must be addressed through complete coverage regardless of employment. Our tax system must be re-evaluated to eliminate the loopholes that allow corporations and the ultra-wealthy to avoid paying their fair share.
Wages must be regulated at the federal level to ensure that they meet the cost of living and to guarantee equal pay regardless of gender and race.
Paid leave for growing families and the care of elderly and ill loved ones must be part of our social safety net.
Every person has a right to an excellent and equitable education that begins with universal pre-k and extends through post secondary education. Access to educational resources should not be dependent upon income or location; this requires full funding and a focus on evidence-based education techniques.
We need a Constitutional Amendment to clean up our elections; it should include a nationwide mail ballot system with automatic voter registration and publicly financed elections. Removing fundraising as part of the campaign process will give candidates time to talk to constituents and work on legislation when they’re in Washington D.C. instead of wooing donors and lobbyists. Additionally, the Electoral College must be abolished; its impact on campaign strategy results in heavy campaigning in some districts and completely disregarding others. The President should be elected by popular vote.
Congress needs a database that voters can search to make sure that our representatives actually address the messages we send. Every call, postcard, and email needs to be sorted into a system that can be easily viewed by the public while protecting constituents’ privacy. If we can see what the voters are asking for and compare it to what our representatives are doing, we can make better choices about who we vote to keep in office.
The Second Amendment
We lose more than one hundred people to gun violence in America every single day. As a firearm owner I understand the need to respect the Second Amendment while making America safer and more responsible. Our problems are a convergence of lack of access to mental healthcare, an utter failure on the part of federal legislators, and the influence of firearm manufacturers on regulations.
Under my leadership, we will:
- Expand access to mental health services through universal healthcare
- Mandate federal background checks for all firearm purchases
- Create nationwide standards for education and proficiency exams for licensure
- Institute safe storage requirements and liability for crimes committed with unsecured firearms
- Ban open carry; a firearm for personal protection must be concealed
- End the manufacture of modifications such as suppressors, bump stocks & extended magazines
- Institute voluntary buyback programs at fair market rates
- Implement democracy reforms that end the influence of manufacturers and lobbyists
Marriage is a civil right, and discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity is unacceptable. Personal beliefs are not an excuse to refuse services or employment.
Transgender individuals who wish to serve our country in the US military should be welcomed with the same gratitude that other volunteers receive.
We are a nation of immigrants; the policy of imprisoning asylum seekers and separating families arriving at our southern border is cruel. These people are fleeing violence and poverty to make a better life for their families, and it is much more American to welcome them and hire enough personnel to process their claims efficiently than spending $3 billion dollars a year to jail them and rip apart families. Immigration reform has to include a path to citizenship for childhood arrivals, and we can’t accept the Trump administration illegally seizing Americans’ private property and stealing funds from other programs to “build the wall.”
Criminal Justice Reform
America spends more than $75 billion dollars on prisons every year. We must move away from a punitive system to a rehabilitative system. A successful system must work to make sure that people do not return after serving their sentence; running prisons for profit does not motivate providers to reduce recidivism or provide programming that gets people employed and contributing to society. We have to stop treating addiction and mental illness as a crime and address the justice department decisions that lock up more minorities than white people. Police accountability is not optional and can be achieved through citizen oversight boards and reforming qualified immunity. We must expand the number of mental healthcare providers, addiction specialists, and social workers in order to actually solve problems instead of punishing people for their struggles.