Campaign Finance Reform
Due to Citizen’s United (and other related decisions) our existing campaign finance system is not designed to facilitate democracy. It is designed to allow elections to be bought by wealthy campaign contributors. We will not make progress on healthcare, education, economic, foreign policy, or so many other important issues until we remove the influence of special interests from our political process.
Two-Party System & Corporate Media
The two-party political establishment and their allies in the corporate media have designed a system to distract, divide, and conquer the American people based on issues like race, religion, gender, political party, and sexual orientation. Our neighbors and the members of our communities are not our enemies. In fact, we are the protectors of our democratic process and we must unify & identify the truly harmful elements of our greedy and corrupt political system if we intend to restore our government to its rightful owners.
We live in the richest country in the history of the world, but most Americans don’t experience that reality because a small number of people control a vast majority of that wealth. To address that – the wealthy and large corporations must pay their fair share in taxes, we need to pass a 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act to break up huge financial institutions so they no longer pose a risk to the economy and taxpayers, and the minimum wage should become a living wage that guarantees that nobody who works full-time will need government assistance to afford basic necessities.
Healthcare should be treated as a right, not as a luxury only available to those who can afford it. Our healthcare system is designed to put profits over people with rapidly increasing costs while stock prices and CEO compensation hit all time highs. Instead, our legislatures should be focused on reducing the annual cost of healthcare and insurance for the American people, especially middle class & low-income families.
We live in a fiercely competitive global economy. Our nation’s survival demands that we have the most educated workforce in the world. Increasing federal funding to our public universities will prepare our society for the dynamic job market of the future – while unleashing the economic power and freedom of America’s youth by substantially reducing the debt burden associated with going to school.
Our country has made major advances in civil and political rights, but we still have a long way to go in addressing the issue of gender inequality. We must fight for equal pay for equal work, the protection of reproductive rights of women, and to guarantee paid family and medical leave.
The United States has made remarkable progress on gay rights in a relatively short amount of time, but there is still much work to be done. In many states, it is still legal to fire someone for being gay. It is legal to deny someone housing for being transgender. That is unacceptable and must change. We must end discrimination in all forms by expanding the Civil Rights Act to include providing protection to the LGBT community.
Native American Sovereignty
To be a strong nation, we must keep the promises we make. We must not just honor Native American treaty rights and tribal sovereignty, we must also move away from a relationship of paternalism and control, and toward one of deference and support. We must revive the trust between The United States and Native Americans. That means supporting tribal sovereignty and tribal jurisdiction, honoring the treaties and federal statutes, improving housing and education, as well as protecting sacred places and Native American cultures.
Reforming The Justice System
African-Americans and Latinos are twice as likely to be arrested and almost four times as likely to experience the use of force during encounters with the police. They also comprise well over half of all prisoners, even though African-Americans and Latinos make up approximately one quarter of the total US population. We must demilitarize our police forces, ban for-profit prisons, begin to treat violent & non-violent crime differently, turn back from the War on Drugs, eliminate mandatory minimums, and increase investment in programs that help individuals recover from substance abuse and mental health problems.
We can no longer afford to view cannabis regulation as a joke. Lives are being destroyed every day, not by people using cannabis, but by the laws regulating it. Legalization of cannabis will decrease spending on incarceration, cut off a major revenue source of drug cartels, give people the civil rights to do what they want to do in their free time as long as it does not harm other people, and it would provide a major economic boost by bringing a multi-billion dollar industry out of the shadows.
Second Amendment Rights
I fully support the constitutional right of the American People to own guns. There are many law-abiding gun owners living in our state & country that rightfully view their firearms as a hobby, tool for sport, and means of protection. I will stand up for and protect the rights of gun owners and enthusiasts, but I will also fight to ensure we do as much as possible – which is much more than we’re doing now – to protect our society from those that seek to kill and destroy.
Monetary & Fiscal Policy
Monetary policies have intentionally reduced the value of our savings in exchange for promoting investments in risky assets. Wages for the middle class are stagnant. Jobs are fleeing the United States and are being relocated in poverty-stricken nations. And nearly all of the new wealth generated in this country will go to those at the very top of the economic spectrum while the rest of us continue to suffer. Corporations should no longer be granted incentives for relocating jobs & assets overseas and we need to implement a simplified and fair tax system that no longer shifts the burden to those who cannot exploit loopholes and lawyers.
Free Trade & Globalization
Our political leadership should be on the side of the American worker, not the international multi-billion dollar corporations and their shareholders. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a massive trade deal that would affect 792 million people and 40 percent of the world economy. The TPP must be stopped and policies like North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), and Permanent Normal Trade Relations with China (PNTR w/China) that have driven down wages and caused the loss of millions of jobs need to be reversed.
National Security & Intelligence
National security in the digital age requires a strong and capable intelligence community. Our nation and its allies face a variety of threats from around the world on a daily basis. Investing in intelligence resources is required to keep the citizens of this nation safe. However, using taxpayer dollars to spy on the digital activities of the American People with no justification is intolerable and unconstitutional. Protecting our citizens is the most important job of the government, but we do not need to sacrifice so much of our privacy and so many of our civil liberties to accomplish that goal.
Radical Islamic Terrorism is the most serious militaristic threat facing The US and our allies today. However, the vast majority of Muslims in the world are good people. They are our first line of defense against the extremists that perform acts of violence and hatred in the name of their religion. When it comes to military action against ISIS and other terror groups, it’s important to remember that this is a fight for the soul of the religion of Islam. We need to rethink how we confront this threat. We must cooperate, not alienate, if we wish to succeed. The solution lies with supporting a coalition of moderate Islamic nations that share our goals of peace and stability.
Taking Care Of Our Veterans
If you cannot afford to take care of your veterans, then you shouldn’t go to war. As a nation, we have a moral obligation to provide the best quality care to those who have put their lives on the line to defend us. Taking care of our veterans is a cost of war. The Department of Veterans Affairs must be fully funded so that every veteran gets the care that they have earned and deserve. Additionally, claim processing, mental health and dental services, and access to the VA must be improved.
Investing In Infrastructure
Our infrastructure, from our roads and bridges, to our dams, waterways, public transit systems, and electrical grid, have not been properly invested in. We should stop giving tax breaks to large corporations who put their money in tax havens and instead use that money to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure and create millions of good paying jobs.
Clean Energy & The Environment
Leaving a better future for the next generation is one of the most sacred commitments of our society. The United States must lead the world in tackling climate change, if we are to make certain that this planet is habitable for our children and grandchildren. We must transform our energy system away from polluting fossil fuels, and towards energy efficiency and sustainability.
Despite the role immigrants play in our economy and in our daily lives, undocumented workers are reviled by some for political gain and shunted into the shadows. It is time for this disgraceful situation to end. Folks from all political backgrounds agree that we must pursue comprehensive immigration reform together. Now is the time to fix the broken immigration system, strengthen our borders, and pave the way for millions of undocumented Americans to earn their US citizenship in a way that is fair and efficient.
Building A Nationwide Coalition
Now is the time for a revolution. A revolution in which millions of Americans stand up and fight to restore honesty, integrity, and character to our political process. A revolution to return our government to its rightful owners. A revolution that inspires you to run for office. A revolution about bringing back the American Dream for ALL of us.
By standing together, #WeAreReady to focus on the wants and needs of our poor and working class families. #WeAreReady to put people over profits by treating healthcare as a right – not as a luxury. #WeAreReady to unleash the economic power and freedom of America’s youth by increasing federal funding to our public universities. And #WeAreReady to reform the corrupt campaign finance system which allows special interests to so easily purchase politicians.