Criminal Justice Reform
The first obligation of our government is to protect society. As a former prosecutor, I held criminals accountable, sought justice for crime victims, and protected our community. I also understand the need to reform our approach to criminal justice in order to better protect our communities. Mass incarceration is costly and ineffective. We also know the criminal justice system has disproportionately affected young people of color, specifically young men of color. One in three black men born today and one in six latino men born today will likely end up in prison. We must re-imagine a criminal justice system that understands the reality of racial inequity and makes communities safer by promoting rehabilitation. People who are sent to prison must become prepared for life after incarceration, which will reduce the rate of re-offences. Justice is a concept that requires us to look beyond a case file and to pursue equality, fairness, and accountability.
Economy & Jobs
Growing up in a middle-class family, I watched my parents work hard to make ends meet. Back then, if you worked hard and played by the rules, you could get ahead in life. Today, the deck has been stacked against working families who haven’t had a pay raise in a decade while we are paying more for housing, groceries, education, and childcare. We need an economy that works for the people instead of just the powerful interests, and we need members of Congress who will stop rigging the system and instead fight for us.
As a product of our public school system in the 8th District, I believe that every child should have access to a high quality public-school education. If we are serious about every child’s future, we must invest in the success of all of our students. We must even the playing field for all children in order to close the opportunity gap. Giving every child a fair shot – no matter their race or socioeconomic status – is essential to building a stronger, safer and more prosperous nation.
Protecting our environment and our public lands is an obligation on us all. The health of our environment directly affects our public health and our economy. In Congress, I will defend our clean air and water and will fight for policies that promote renewable energy, conservation, and keeping public lands in public hands. We live in one of the most beautiful and naturally diverse states in the country, and it is our responsibility to maintain these valuable but fragile ecosystems so that our wildlife can thrive and future generations can enjoy the beauty of our region. Thoughtful stewardship of our environment is essential for long-term economic and climate sustainability.
You have a right to affordable and accessible healthcare. The Affordable Care Act has expanded access and increased affordability of healthcare for many Americans, but too many middle class families, even those with insurance, are still only one major healthcare crisis away from ruin and are concerned about whether they will have health insurance in the future. We must fix the flaws and expand the gains created by the ACA, rather than destroying the progress we have made. Congress must stabilize insurance markets and state exchanges. We must expand access to Medicare, fully fund Medicaid, and ensure that every family in America has access to affordable healthcare regardless of their income.
Immigrants are human beings – they deserve dignity, respect and an advocate to fight for them just like everybody else. America was founded by immigrants. They are part of the fabric of our society and essential to the 8th District’s economy, culture, and workforce. We have a moral obligation to protect our immigrants and help them thrive, particularly our students, who are the future of our state’s workforce and economic growth.
As an outdoorsman and the son of a law enforcement officer, I grew up in a home with guns. I believe in the Second Amendment and the rights of law abiding citizens to own and possess firearms. I also believe that the first rule of responsible gun ownership is gun safety. We must pass firearm safety laws that help ensure criminals do not get easy access to guns. Background checks must be mandatory for all firearm purchases, and we must strongly enforce existing laws that are designed to enhance gun safety and keep guns out of dangerous hands.