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.
American families pay more for healthcare than any other developed nation – we spent $3.65 trillion dollars in 2019 – yet our life expectancy is going down, our maternal mortality rate is the highest of all developed nations, and millions of Americans don’t have any coverage at all. We can do better. Worldwide data shows that universal, single-payer systems provide the best care at the lowest cost. I will use my experience in the healthcare field to fight for more affordable and effective healthcare.
Under my leadership, we will:
• Guarantee healthcare regardless of employment status
• Eliminate deductibles and co-pays
• Decrease prescription drug costs
• Include coverage for:
• Preventive medicine
• Reproductive services
• Mental healthcare & addiction treatment
• Home healthcare & streamlined disability services
• Improve access to healthcare services in rural areas
• Reduce healthcare bureaucracy and make all doctors in-network
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
- Provide excellent healthcare through a universal, single-payer system
- 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
How we generate electricity is a matter of national security; we can’t afford to stay dependent on fossil fuels as our main source of energy. Developing and installing renewable sources and energy storage systems will create reliable energy that doesn’t take us to war or keep us dependent on sources that will run out and pollute our air. The investment we make now will help us save on our utility bills for decades to come.
Under my leadership, we will:
- Follow 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
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
We are facing the biggest economic crisis of our lifetime due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We have to plan beyond temporary relief measures such as stimulus payments and paycheck protection programs because recovery is going to take years. 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 a universal, single-payer healthcare system. We need to move away from an economic model that values corporate profits more than human dignity and quality of life. Our tax system must be re-evaluated to eliminate the loopholes that allow corporations and the ultra-wealthy to avoid paying their fair share.
The Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United vs the Federal Election Commission declared that corporations have the same rights as actual people, so they can spend money to influence elections. It does not protect Americans who don’t have millions to spend on elections- when you’re struggling to put food on the table because your job doesn’t pay a decent wage, even finding ten bucks to give to a campaign is a struggle. This makes the government work for the companies and rich people who already have money, not protect those who need it most. We need a Constitutional Amendment to clean up our elections; it should include a nationwide mail ballot system with automatic voter registration, and elections should be publicly financed. 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.
Everyone needs excellent public education from preschool through college or trade school, and getting an education should not hurt anyone’s financial well-being. High quality, debt-free education will create a stronger economy and reduce burdens on families and the government. Eliminating student debt will be a huge benefit to our economy since people will be able to get better jobs and invest the money currently going toward loan payments in a home, starting a family, or saving for retirement.
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.
Reproductive health is private, and all decisions are made by the person and their doctor. Reorganizing our healthcare to a universal, single-payer system will remove the burden some religious employers experience because of their personal religious beliefs.
People who do not support abortion will be happy to hear that providing education and contraception is very effective for reducing unwanted pregnancy and abortion; we proved it right here at home with the Colorado Family Planning Initiative. “The CFPI drove a 50 percent reduction in teen births and abortions, avoided nearly $70 million in public assistance costs and empowered thousands of young women to make their own choices on when or whether to start a family.” Laws that block access to abortion don’t reduce the number that happen, they only move them out of the safe doctor’s office and into a back alley. Source
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.”
America spends more than $75 billion dollars on prisons every year. A successful prison system has to 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 education 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 who commit the same crimes.