As a high school English teacher and daughter of an elementary school teacher, I know the difficulties teachers face. All teachers must be properly paid and should not need to spend personal funds on classroom materials. I oppose vouchers that give public money to private schools and support greater accountability that protects good charter schools and weeds out bad ones. I support eliminating high-stress standardized tests and reworking curricula to empower teachers with the resources they need to convey real-world skills to students.
As a former professor, I've seen the abuse and corruption that occurs in America's colleges and Universities. Instead, the government must properly fund public schools but not administrative bloat or luxury amenities. All professors, including adjuncts, must be properly paid. Student debt has reached crisis levels, and I will fight to make colleges free or low-cost and forgive as much existing debt as feasible. I also support creating new educational options for those entering for trade professions.
I oppose all handouts to the fossil fuel industry and support investments in clean energy like solar and tidal power, which can lead to more jobs in northeast Florida than coal and gas. These energies merely require more research to increase efficiency. I support a ban on fracking, giant fossil fuel pipelines and any other projectss that seep dangerous chemicals into drinking water. Poisoning air and water must come with a significant fine to offset increased healthcare costs and public efforts to clean up messes.
Is real. Humans are responsible for it. I side with climate scientists, not corporate executives, and accept that sea levels are rising and temperatures are increasing, which will have catastrophic effects on agriculture, natural disasters, and coastal communities like those of Duval, St. Johns, and Nassau. It has led to nasty hurricanes like Irma, Maria, and Matthew, extreme storms mostly unheard-of until recently. I therefore support a carbon tax that allows the rest of us to fight the damage done by polluters. I support re-entering the Paris Climate agreement and generally not destroying the planet.
I support a massive investment into repairing America's crumbling roads and bridges. This will create construction jobs, especially in Jacksonville, and make commuting to other jobs quicker. Water infrastructure must also be modernized to remove lead pipes and poisoned water sources like those in Flint, MI. Disaster relief services must be properly funded and staffed, including those that should have restored power to the American citizens of Puerto Rico.
All workers deserve a fair wage (yes, even burger flippers), which will stimulate the economy when people people have more to spend. All wages must keep up with cost of living, inflation, and productivity demands. I support America’s unions and the rights of workers to join them. "Right-to-work" has destroyed the ability of all Americans to fight for better pay and benefits. It must also be illegal to pay women less than men or black workers less than white workers for the same work.
I won't settle for less than a single-payer Medicare-for-all system. Healthcare is a human right, and care should be in the hands of doctors and nurses, not insurance executives who prioritize profit over care. All health conditions must be covered, including "pre-existing" ones and essential treatments that profit-driven companies have deemed non-essential. Medicare must additionally cover glasses/contacts, hearing aids, and dental care, as healthy eyes, ears, and teeth are all important. I pledge to expand access to mental health and not just complain about it after mass shootings.
Seniors on Social Security deserve a cost-of-living increase to benefits. Workers pay into social security, so they should be able to collect on it. I oppose all cuts to Social Security proposed by to pay for billionaire tax breaks. I support lifting the cap on earnings taxable to pay for social security, which exclusively rewards the rich. Also, if all workers made living wages, more money would pay for Social Security. These measures will allow Social Security to pay for itself and be solvent for future generations.
Bankers who gamble people's savings on Wall Street should not rely on taxpayers to bail them out if they lose and ruin the whole economy like in 2008. They deserve prison, not millions in bonuses and the chance to buy lawmakers who let them ruin the economy again. They should be personally responsible for reimbursing the savings of the people their actions harm. If a bank is “too big to fail” to the point of threatening the entire financial system of the country or world, then executives must face dire consequences for letting it fail, with their banks broken into smaller, less threatening units.
If giving billionaires massive tax breaks did anything to create jobs, then there would be more jobs than people to fill them. That hasn't happened, despite record profits. All "trickle-down" does is widen the gap between rich and poor and devalue the very existence and livelihoods of everyone who isn't rich as less deserving of the government's attention. I pledge to make millionaires, billionaires, and large corporations pay their fair share of taxes, just like everyone else--none should be paying no taxes at all like many do today. Stashing wealth in overseas tax havens must also be illegal; corporations that do this should be classified as foreign and reap none of the benefits of being American.
When billionaires can get free handouts by buying politicians through campaign contributions, they invest that money in more contributions and lobbying for more handouts. Thus, too many politicians listen only to wealthy donors and not everyday Americans. I pledge to work to overturn the disastrous Citizens United Supreme Court decision, crack down on "dark money" groups, and make corporate campaign spending illegal because corporations are not people. The nation should move to a model public funding for elections, which has worked in some states and cities. And to be honest, no one should be required to spend countless hours making fundraising calls just to run for office.
Non-citizens, both legal and illegal, already cannot vote. In fact, voter fraud is so rare that it's barely relevant. I therefore oppose the mass purging of voter roles, which should only happen when someone dies or moves away, not for having a minority-sounding name or registering as Democrat in a red state. Voter ID laws may seem fair in theory, but not when IDs cost money and require waiting in long lines in officers that are too often far away, particularly from black neighborhoods. If photo IDs are tied to voting, they must be free and easy for all citizens to obtain.
As a transgender lesbian myself, it should be no surprise that I oppose all efforts to give certain groups of people special rights to discriminate against LGBT people in employment, housing, healthcare, and public services. Discrimination is not freedom of religion--it's quite the opposite and violates the First Amendment. Additionally, single-payer healthcare should cover costs deemed medically necessary, even if some groups disagree with them and the identities associated with them.
I support net neutrality and oppose all efforts to allow corporations to overcharge for Internet service or block content they don't like. Americans already pay some of the highest prices in the world for Internet service, and so many of us (myself included) require it for jobs or education. Like electricity, the Internet is no longer a choice for too many, so I support allowing cities and counties to establish public Internet service as a utility.
The treatment of our nation's veterans when they return home is shameful. There is no excuse for leaving so many veterans homeless. All military service, even outside of wars, is a massive undertaking that carries countless risks. That's why veterans must have full access to appropriate and accessible healthcare, including mental healthcare for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. In fact, it must cover all health conditions because even those seemingly unrelated to active duty injuries may carry related complications. Veterans Affairs offices must be fully funded and available wherever veterans are. Veterans must have access to housing and job training programs that help them transition to civilian life comfortably and effectively.
I oppose any new unnecessary war that puts the lives of soldiers at risk for the sake of corporate profits or the personal vendettas of politicians. War should be an absolute last resort when national and/or global stability is truly and unquestionably at risk. Nuclear weapons are entirely out of the question. The government must stop wasting excessive money, over half the discretionary budget, on private military contractors that produce more tools of war than soldiers to use them. In fact, those weapons too often end up traded to countries that arm ISIS and other oppressive regimes, putting our own troops in danger. That said, I do support measures to ensure that active duty soldiers don't need to spend their own money on equipment and have all supplies they need in the field.
I support addressing America's obscene prescription drug prices by allowing Medicare to negotiate prices with drug companies and expand access to cheaper generic alternatives. I plan to crack down on drug companies that give kickbacks to doctors who over-prescribe certain drugs to the point of addiction, physical harm, and huge costs to patients and Medicare for the sake of profit. I plan to address the opioid epidemic with safe and legal access to medical marijuana for pain relief.
I favor full legalization of marijuana and the release of all inmates imprisoned for related charges with records expunged. Its supposed ill-effects on health and society have proven to be lies, as it's less dangerous than alcohol and cigarettes. I support decriminalizing all drug usage and treating it as a healthcare issue rather than a criminal one. Distribution and selling of truly harmful drugs like heroin, meth, and cocaine should still be illegal.
Planned Parenthood primarily provides contraceptive and healthcare services that prevent abortion. It is already illegal to spend federal money on voluntary abortion. Single-payer healthcare must cover contraception, especially when it relates to general hormonal health. Abortion should certainly be fully legal in cases when the mother's life is in danger and/or the baby will not live, as well as all cases of rape and incest. In fact, rapists must be treated as criminals with victims taken seriously. I oppose all funding for "crisis pregnancy centers" that provide false information to emotionally vulnerable women to shame them into decisions they may not be ready for.
I support expanded background checks and universal background checks at all points of sale, including gun shows. I oppose arming teachers and regulating violent video games. I pledge to fight the extremists in the NRA who prioritize the weapons of alt-right nationalists like the perpetrators of recent shootings over the safety of anyone. I favor common sense restrictions on gun trading that curtail criminal and black-market access without punishing responsible owners. I support a ban on selling military-style weapons like assault rifles to consumers.
A path to citizenship costs the government less money than indefinite detainment, deportation hunts, and gestapo-like ICE raids. In fact, when immigrants can legally enter and work, they contribute income tax despite being unable to access many government services that require a Social Security Number, including voting. Instead of punishing immigrants themselves, I support cracking down on corporations that bring in illegal immigrants and abuse them for profit by forcing them to overstay work visas and endure harsh conditions for fear of being reported to ICE. If the government punished corporations for using illegal workers rather than punishing the workers, then more jobs would be likely become available to American citizens.
I support the creation of citizen-run boards that oversee police activity and weed out the racist, violent, and corrupt cops who profile minorities and activists, brutally beat peaceful protestors, and kill unarmed black men. They ruin the reputations of officers who do good and protect their communities. Police should be required to wear body cameras to protect good cops and help prevent police brutality, and all footage must be publicly available. I support the use of body armor and defensive measures that protect police lives but not the militarization of police with advanced weaponry.
The U.S. imprisons more of its own citizens than any other democratic country, and this costs obscene amounts of taxpayer money. I support investigating judges and prosecutors who hand out far more harsh sentences to black and Latino offenders for the same crimes as white offenders for bias and eliminating mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent offenders. I support measures that train prisoners to lead productive and employed lives after release and lift draconian policies on parolees that lead to recidivism. I oppose the very idea of private and for-profit prisons on moral and economic grounds. Prisoners who work should be paid at least minimum wage.