Issue Statements

The only title in our democracy superior to that of President is the title of citizen.”

 — Louis Brandeis


Nearly 30 million Americans are uninsured. An additional 40 million are “underinsured,” meaning that they cannot afford their premiums, deductibles, and copays. And while the United States spends more money for healthcare than any other developed country, we have significantly worse health outcomes. In fact, the United States has the lowest life expectancy among comparable countries. We also have the highest maternal and infant mortality rates among the developed world. 

Why is it that we spend so much, and yet get so little? It’s simple. In the United States, there is an unnecessary middleman (private insurance companies) standing in between healthcare providers and patients, that causes our exorbitant costs. This for-profit system allows wealth inequality to equal health inequality.

We are capable of doing better than that. We are capable of having a system wherein we spend less money and EVERYONE has healthcare. 

Transitioning to a single-payer (i.e. Medicare for All) system will eliminate the middleman, allowing doctors to treat their patients without requiring the approval of a bean-counter in a corporate office across the country. In addition, a single-payer system will reduce the hundreds of billions of dollars that are wasted on the profits and administrative costs of private insurance companies. It is important to note that any acceptable system would allow people to retain their current health care providers and hospitals. Private insurance companies can exist to supplement universal coverage for people that want additional services.

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Climate change is the single greatest threat facing our planet. The recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has made it clear that unless we substantially cut the amount of carbon in our atmosphere in under 11 years, the human, environmental, and economic costs will be severe and irreversible. Yet, despite the abundance of scientific evidence, multi-national fossil fuel corporations continue to profit at the expense of our environment. In the interest of profit maximization, we also allow industrial polluters to continue to pollute our water. Between lax regulations and our crumbling infrastructure, there are communities in this country that have not had clean water in more than five years. In Florida, industrial polluters have contributed to unprecedented blue-green algae contamination and red tide, which is detrimental to the tourism industry, and will ultimately affect our drinking water.

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We have a two-tiered “justice” system in this country. The likelihood that a person will be indicted, prosecuted, and sentenced too often depends on factors such as race, gender identity, and socio-economic status. Not one banker was prosecuted after Wall Street greed crashed our economy, while millions of black men have had their lives ruined over non-violent drug offenses. It is long past time that this country lives up to its motto, “and justice FOR ALL.” America was built on the subjugation of people of color, and racial oppression still exists within every aspect of our society, especially in our criminal justice system. We must address the systemic racism and create a system of justice that doesn’t favor the rich and criminalize poverty.

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The United States currently has the greatest level of wealth inequality since the “Gilded Era.” The three richest people in this country have more wealth than the bottom 50% of the population. In addition, there is nowhere in this country where a person who works full-time at minimum wage can afford to live. People should not have to work three jobs and drive an Uber in order to make ends meet, especially when their employers are making record profits. Furthermore, we cannot expect to have a thriving economy when our “consumers” do not have any disposable income. We need to strive for an economy that values and respects its labor force by treating workers fairly and participating in trade agreements that are in their best interest.

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A critical component of a sound economy is an educated and skilled citizenry. By allowing for-profit companies to siphon money from our public schools, we have failed our teachers and our students. There is no way to prioritize education if we do not value and properly compensate our educators. Regarding the expansion of our current K-12 system to include both pre-K and 4-year college (or trade school), we need to understand that education is not a “privilege,” but rather an “investment” in our economy.

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Despite a military budget of just under $1 trillion, America’s pattern of military imperialism has been a complete failure. From Central America to the Middle East and Southeast Asia, the entire world bears scars of U.S. imperialism. Without provocation, and without formal declarations of war, the United States has been on a global warpath since the end of World War II. These wars have been for profit, not the defense of our nation and our people. 

We spend an obscene amount of money on war, yet so many of our veterans suffer from PTSD, homelessness, substance abuse, and high suicide rates. In addition, the VA being massively underfunded is a prime example of how our for-profit healthcare system simply no longer works for us. Veterans have sacrificed so much for our country, many of whom lost their lives. The least we could do is make sure they are taken care of with dignity & respect. It is time for us to realize that our defense budget is only serving to benefit of the military industrial complex. 

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It is long past time for us to take a long hard look in the mirror and acknowledge that “liberty and justice for all” is more of a catch phrase than a reality. Although we have made significant strides over the past few decades, there is still much progress to be made. It has been 100 years since women were given the right to vote, and yet we are still fighting for control over our own bodies. It has been 150 years since the Emancipation Proclamation and yet the disparity in our criminal justice system against people of color is blatant. We have been lying to, and cheating our native brothers and sisters since we arrived to their continent. We finally granted the LGBTQIA community the right to get married, but yet the transgender community has been subjected to unprecedented levels of violence. Finally, we are a country of immigrants, and yet we turn our backs on immigrants and asylum-seekers. We need to ensure that the protections and rights afforded by our Constitution are applied to everyone.

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In order for us to be able to implement ANY legislation that will benefit the American people, we must acknowledge that our campaign and electoral systems are in a state of severe disrepair. There is a reason that while most Americans want single-payer healthcare, it can’t seem to get passed. There is a reason why most Americans support the decriminalization of marijuana, and yet it is still classified as a schedule 1 drug. There is a reason why fossil fuel companies are still drilling for oil while most of us want to transition to renewable energy sources. The bottom line is that our government has been purchased by corporate interests. In order for us to reclaim our country from the hands of corporations, we must ensure a level playing field for political candidates, and demand election integrity.

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