ISSUES

It’s time to strip away the labels that have been used to divide us and come together – for Kentucky and for America.

ISSUES

It’s time to strip away the labels that have been used to divide us and come together – for Kentucky and for America.

Equalizing Economic Opportunity

The government shouldn’t use our tax dollars to benefit corporations — our tax dollars should be used to benefit people. The way we do that is through building the infrastructure that we all use — not giving tax subsidies or breaks to companies that line the pockets of shareholders but do little to increase jobs in our communities.

Jobs Through Public Infrastructure Investments

Public infrastructure is a term that gets thrown around a lot. It refers to our roads and bridges, our public transit, our electrical grid, our water and sewer systems, our broadband infrastructure, and our parks and greenspaces. It’s all the things that make more sense to build together and allow access to all, rather than to build as individuals. 
But infrastructure doesn’t last forever. The nation has had moments of big infrastructure growth, which are opportunities to inject short and long-term economic growth into our national economy while we increase everyone’s quality of life. 
With climate change’s effects bearing down on our way of life, now is one of those moments that we have the opportunity to invest in a large scale public infrastructure program that puts people to work, fixes and improves crumbling infrastructure and fixes inefficient and unaffordable utilities with innovative and sustainable methods. We also have the opportunity to use this massive injection of infrastructure dollars to right the wrongs of past inequalities that left many workers and communities behind as the country grew.
This includes folks in the coalfields of Appalachia and west Kentucky who have fueled America’s growth but who have been left behind as the nation transitions away from coal. It includes communities of color who have faced systemic discrimination for generations. And it includes our farmers that face uncertainty in weather and trade as politicians refuse to acknowledge the truth of climate change and the importance of a global market.
We can put people to work in good jobs that enrich and move our people and communities forward by investing in frontline communities that have borne the environmental burden of America’s progress as profits were realized by others. We can make our homes healthier and more energy efficient to stop the astronomical bills and lead to healthier children and Kentuckians. We can lead on innovations to our electrical grid and renewable energy sources by building upon our manufacturing and research capabilities. We can clean up forgotten industrial and mining sites to improve water, soil and air quality for healthier communities. 
All of this building and innovating not only improves the quality of life for all Kentuckians, it puts money into the pockets of Kentucky families that gets spent in our communities — a true economic stimulus that puts more people to work than just those who directly work on these public infrastructure projects.

RECLAIM Act

While a public infrastructure program of the magnitude that is needed gears up, there is a program that could begin today with projects ready to help our coal communities. The federal Abandoned Mine Lands fund was created to restore land and waterways damaged by old mining operations and currently contains a total of $2.5 billion. The RECLAIM Act would allocate $1 billion over what is currently spent over the next five years. 

Making Post-Secondary Education Affordable and Encouraging Public Service 

Debilitating student loans are changing the way Americans make important life decisions. The only cost rising faster than the cost of a post-secondary education is the cost of insulin. The soaring cost of a college education, combined with rising interest rates, means college graduates and attendees are unable to own homes or start families, save for a rainy day or retirement. Privately-managed student loans only compound the problem and are another reason why so many in our society find it so difficult to get ahead and why non-wealthy students may decide not to attend higher education to begin with.
The first two-years of post-secondary education – a certificate, skilled-trade, community college or university – for young people whose parents’ annual income is less than $200,000, should be tuition free.  All students, regardless of parents’ income, pursuing a four-year or post-graduate degree should receive zero percent interest loans to help them complete their studies. For individuals with outstanding student loans who go into public service jobs like teaching, first responders and the military, $10,000 of their post-secondary education loans should be forgiven for each year of service. After five years of service, the remainder of their loans would be forgiven. Finally, we should extend 0% refinancing to all current loans.

Child Care

Any parent knows how expensive quality and reliable child care is. And in many rural areas of our commonwealth, child care is not even available. It is a problem that is keeping many from going to work or pursuing educational opportunities. We must find ways to keep child care safe, make it accessible and affordable in more places and pay child care workers more. This is a problem that will not be fixed by a single policy. But we can help families now by increasing the tax deduction parents are able to take for work or education-related child care needs.

Address the Racial Wealth Gap

I support a commission to address the economic disparity that exists between white Americans and Americans who are descendants from trafficked and enslaved persons.

LGBTQ+ Equality

I support extending the full protection of our nation’s federal anti-discrimination laws to LGBTQ individuals.

Workers’ Rights

The Right to Collectively Bargain

I believe that unions are responsible for the rise of America’s middle-class during the 1950s, 60s and 70s. But politicians, funded by anti-union corporations, have pushed through laws to weaken America’s unions and the protections and collective power that workers had. The right for employees to collectively bargain for pay, benefits, scheduling and safety measures that affect their workplace is essential to our rights as Americans. Unions not only raise job quality for their members, but for all workers in their region. Corporations have their CEOs and shareholders that can affect public policy to their benefit through campaign contributions, dark money and lobbying efforts. Unions are one of the ways that everyday Americans have access to that level of political influence that wealthy Americans and corporations can buy.

Minimum Wage Increase

I originally supported increasing the federal minimum wage to $10 an hour, indexed to inflation to allow for it’s buying power to grow when I first announced my candidacy for the Senate because of my concern for the businesses and economies in rural regions where the cost of living is a fraction of what it is in larger, more urban regions. However, the fact remains that there is nowhere in America where a person working full time for the federal minimum wage could afford the basic essentials without assistance. After studying the amendments adopted to the Raise The Wage Act in the House of Representatives, I support a gradual increase to $15 per hour by 2025 and an indexing of the minimum wage to inflation there after.  I also support efforts by local and state governments to set their own minimum wage according to what is best for their local economy.

Harlan County Coal Miners Act

A fundamental tenet, ‘an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work’ was turned on its head when a millionaire coal operator declared bankruptcy, forcing the coal miners at the Blackjewel Mine in Harlan County to block the train tracks to prevent the coal they had mined from leaving the site in their effort to get paid for a month’s work of wages that they had already earned.  The first bill I will introduce as a Senator is the Harlan County Coal Miners Act, a bill that reforms our nation’s corporate bankruptcy law and makes paying workers for wages earned the first priority in any corporate bankruptcy settlement. The employees of bankrupt firms should be the first in line to get paid for the wages they are owed for time worked – not Wall Street creditors and their corporate lawyers. 

Black Lung Disability Trust Fund

In 1969, Congress established the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund to ensure miners access to healthcare coverage that their disease necessitates. The Trust Fund is financed by an excise tax on coal — but as coal seams and coal use have declined, so has the amount the excise tax can raise. But the decline in funding for the Trust Fund accelerated when Mitch McConnell cut the tax rate paid by coal operators in 2017 by 50% and coal mined for export is not taxed at all.
Even as the fund to support miners’ health care is depleted, black lung cases in Kentucky are up — in fact, 20% of veteran miners in Central Appalachia have been diagnosed with black lung. I will work to ensure that the miners who suffer from this debilitating disease can focus on their health treatments and their families — not on having to travel to Washington to lobby for their health care and benefits that they earned and were promised.

American Miners Pension Act – Senator Joe Manchin’s Bill

I support the passage of the American Miners Pension Act, which keeps the promise to retired miners and their surviving spouses when the companies they worked for failed to. This bill (S. 27) also contains the renewal of the excise tax on coal that would help to sustain the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund.

Misclassification & Wage Theft Prevention

Our laws surrounding how employers pay employees need to be modernized and our enforcement of current laws needs to be stepped up. Wage theft and job misclassification is a nationwide-problem in the construction industry and many others, affecting workers who feel they have little recourse or agency to get paid for work they’ve done. 

Equal Pay for Equal Work 

Gender and racial biases in pay and discrimination in the workplace must be erased. In some communities, women represent the largest share of workers and many are their family’s primary bread-winner.  Women and minorities deserve equal pay for equal work.

Parental and Caregiver Paid Leave

America needs guaranteed paid parental leave for every job. New moms need time to heal their bodies and new parents need time to bond with their infants without the worry of how to pay the bills while they build their families. Likewise, when a family member becomes sick, every job should guarantee that the caregiver can access a flexible schedule with paid leave time to care for a sick or injured child, spouse or parent.

Healthcare Affordability and Access

Public Option and Medicare-For-All

I believe every American has a right to access quality, affordable healthcare. 
The least disruptive way to achieve that goal is by expanding and improving the Affordable Care Act to include a public option that would provide competition to private insurance companies and more affordable opportunities to all Americans. 
However, if Mitch McConnell and his political allies are successful in repealing the ACA through the courts (something they weren’t able to do when they tried legislatively and at the ballot box), we cannot return to the old system in which the big insurance companies could cherry-pick their customers and deny those with pre-existing conditions life-saving affordable medical care. If the ACA is struck down in court, I will support a Medicare-for-all plan that allows those with private health insurance plans to keep their policies if they so choose. 

Prescription Drug Prices

Health and Human Services needs to be given the negotiating power to lower prescription drug prices. Regulations on drug companies and how they set prices need to be put into place to stop gouging sick Americans.

Medicaid Expansion

Medicaid Expansion has already made Kentucky healthier. Congress needs to put a stop to continued efforts by state governments to limit access to life-saving affordable healthcare access by passing a law that so-called ‘work’ requirements cannot be proposed. Research has shown that these paperwork requirements have the effect of knocking qualifying low-income individuals off of Medicaid Expansion because of confusing and poorly managed hoops to jump through.

Rural Healthcare

Medicaid Expansion has not only improved and increased access to health care in rural areas, saving many rural hospitals from closing their doors, healthcare is now the largest employer in rural eastern Kentucky.  We also need to explore new ways for rural residents to access quality healthcare, both preventative and emergency, closer to home.

Returning Veterans

America has a duty and obligation to provide immediate medical and mental healthcare options for veterans awaiting treatment through a VA hospital. No veteran should be denied care while awaiting induction to the VA and subsequent treatment. 

Protect A Woman’s Right to Choose

A woman’s right to choose, and the healthcare decisions she needs to make, are protected by her right to privacy. They are fundamental to a woman controlling her life’s destiny. Roe v. Wade guarantees this right. It is settled law and it was decided correctly. I would not vote to confirm any judicial nominee who is unwilling to publicly acknowledge these truths during their confirmation hearings.

Climate Change

I believe in science and I know climate change is real and the result of human actions. Its effects are being felt now and it imperils our planet’s long-term survival. The consequences of not addressing it now are unacceptable; and for future generations, for our children and grandchildren, the cost will be unbearable and their quality of life irreparably diminished.
With sea levels rising, we see more flooding on the world’s coasts. With temperatures rising and regional rainfall levels changing, farmers around the world and right here in Kentucky are needing to adjust planting and harvesting schedules as well as the crops they are able to grow. With storms, droughts and dangerous heat coming more frequently and with more intensity, more people will be displaced around the globe, forcing more to migrate to other areas of the world, and necessitating countries to deal with the choices that need to be made with these changes.
America must take steps to do our part to slow climate change.  We must prepare now to deal with these changes to migration, climate and the effects on our foreign relations.  
With the effects of climate change bearing down on our way of life, we have a rare opportunity to not only address these changes but also to right the wrongs of past inequalities and transform the lives of those workers and their communities forgotten and left behind as the country grew.
As we address climate change, we must make a sustained investment in large scale programs that puts people to work repairing crumbling infrastructure, fix inefficient and unaffordable utilities with innovative and sustainable methods and restore biodiversity to help make our communities more resilient against changing weather. These sustained investments MUST include rural communities in the coalfields of Appalachia and west Kentucky that fueled America’s growth but have been left behind as the nation transitions away from coal. It MUST include communities of color who have faced systemic discrimination for generations. And it MUST include our farmers that face uncertainty in weather and trade as politicians refuse to acknowledge the truth of climate change and the importance of a global market.
We can retrain displaced workers and put people to work in good jobs that enrich and move our people and communities forward by investing in frontline communities that have borne the environmental burden of America’s progress as profits were realized by others. We can make our homes healthier and more energy efficient to stop the astronomical bills. We can lead on innovations to our electrical grid and renewable energy sources by building upon our manufacturing and research capabilities. We can clean up forgotten industrial and mining sites to improve water, soil and air quality for healthier communities. 
All of this building and innovating not only improves the quality of life for all Kentuckians, it puts money into the pockets of Kentucky families that gets spent in our communities — a sustained economic stimulus that invests in people will put more people to work than just those who directly work on these projects.

Tax Reform

In order for us to create a country that allows for economic justice for all, we need everyone to pay their fair share for the investments that have built our country and that must be maintained and improved for our future. Currently, the richer you are, the less of your income that you pay towards taxes. 
Growing income inequality is a major problem for the United States. The top .01% (the upper echelon of the 1%) own more wealth the the bottom 80% of Americans combined. Growing economic inequality is not just a problem from a fairness issue — it is a problem for the sustainability of our economy. When lower and middle income families don’t have purchasing power, our economy slows and recessions hit harder and last longer.
Asking the rich and corporations to pay their fair share, by closing loopholes and tax breaks and raising rates on high incomes, is one way to help our country’s economy.

Repeal the 2017 Tax Bill

The 2017 Tax Bill, pushed through by Mitch McConnell, will cost the country $1.5 trillion over the next ten years (that number increased to $2.3 trillion if the cuts for individuals become permanent like the corporate tax cuts are). The tax bill, which gave the bulk of it’s breaks to the wealthy and corporations, has hastened the deficit, which is expected to hit $1 trillion this year.
Most analyses of the bill shows that it will not result in any sustained economic growth – certainly not for the majority of Americans, but not for the economy as a whole either. The reason is that the tax cuts mean the government will be able to invest less in infrastructure and improving Americans’ quality of life. The majority of the money is going not into Americans’ pockets, but into the hands of a tiny percentage of very wealthy people. 

Raise Taxes on Multi-Millionaires and Billionaires

The top 1% and corporations need to start paying their fair share for the investments that help to drive the economy that they benefit from.

Capital Gains Taxes

Only 7% of Americans report taxable capital gains income (above $38,600 of capital gains income for individual filers) and almost two-thirds of those individuals reported a total annual income of over $1 million. 
Even though few Americans have access to income from capital gains, it is taxed at far lower rates than income from actual work.
Income from capital gains should be taxed at the same rates as earned income.

Stop Corporate Subsidies

Tax giveaways for corporations aren’t creating jobs or leading to any economic growth for everyday Americans. We need to stop using our tax dollars to subsidize large companies — all this does is prioritize corporate stockholders over American families and small businesses. It’s time to invest that money in the things that improve the quality of life for all Americans, not the elite few. For example, we give away billions of dollars to the fossil fuel industry every year in tax subsidies, an industry that is profitable without them. What if we took that money and invested it into the coal communities of Appalachia? We will be proposing a detailed plan to transform Kentucky’s front-line communities that Mitch McConnell has left behind to languish on their own, in the coming months. 

Finance Reform

The big banks on Wall Street and their unscrupulous business practices got us into the financial collapse that led to the Great Recession of 2008-2009. They were deemed too big to fail and had to be bailed out by America’s working class taxpayers. But instead of using the disaster to change their ways, Wall Street banks and hedge funds chase bigger and bigger quarterly profits, regardless of the damage it does to the long-term health of the American and world economy – or r public pensions. As such, the financial sector needs to be reined in.

Tough Regulation of Big Banks and the Financial Sector

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was created after the Great Recession to protect consumers and to hold the big banks accountable.  But for the last three years, Mitch McConnell has worked to defund the CFPB and strip away its enforcement powers. We need to fully fund and depoliticize the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) and the CFPB. We need to empower them once again to enforce and implement regulations that will pull back on the financial sector’s size and corrupt influence over our economy. Their influence is stifling innovation and too focused on what is best for quarterly profits and CEO stock options, rather than what will help all Americans to share in economic growth.

Innovate How We Fund Public Projects

Public infrastructure projects are expensive. They are made more expensive by the fees and interest rates that need to be paid to banks when we finance them. But what if we could just cut out the middleman? America should explore the creation of a public financial institution like the Reconstruction Finance Corporation of the 1930s and 40s which allowed the government to finance projects for the New Deal and World War II without tax dollars.

Gun Reform

As a retired Marine and artilleryman, I know what firepower is required on the battlefield. As a father, a grandfather, a farmer, a teacher and a civilian, I know what firepower isn’t necessary on the streets of our country.

“The people who have been feted and funded by the NRA and the gun industry need to make a choice: deny their paymasters or get run out of their jobs.”

For far too long, the powerful gun lobby, headed by the NRA, has actively worked against common sense gun laws while gaslighting the country into thinking that we will be safer if everyone has ready access to deadly weapons.
As a result, we’ve faced an epidemic of deaths and injuries from guns – 100 deaths every day – not just from the growing number of widely-reported mass shootings, but also an astronomical number of deaths caused by guns in general. These include shootings that result from domestic violence, accidental shootings and deaths by suicide.
The Second Amendment is as important a part of our rights as Americans as other rights set forth in our constitution, but the right to keep and bear arms is not absolute, even in the one sentence amendment.  The amendment begins with the phrase “well-regulated.”
It is high time the Senate joined the House of Representatives and an overwhelming percentage of Americans in reforming our gun laws. No one law will stop every tragic death. But we do know that doing nothing will lead to more of the same tragedies. Mitch McConnell, bought and paid for by the gun lobby, has blocked the common sense gun control measures that the majority of Americans agree with for too long.
People against reasonable gun control measures have a habit of reciting a variation of “It’s not guns that kill people, it’s the person who pulls the trigger that kills people.” But then they do nothing to keep the gun out of that person’s hand.
There are steps we can take that don’t infringe on people’s 2nd Amendment rights and still allow all of our fellow Americans to a key inalienable right set forth in the Declaration of Independence: Life.

Universal Background Checks

All gun sales must be cleared by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). Additionally, we must require all government agencies to report ineligibility or incompetence to own a weapon to the FBI for input into the NICS system.
The absurdity of allowing some guns to legally be purchased without a background check would be laughable if it weren’t so tragic. Making all sales or transfers of firearms, whether by a business or a private individual, subject to background check would close what many refer to as the “gun show loophole.”

Enact Red Flag Laws 

 Red flag laws allow law enforcement and the courts to temporarily remove guns from the homes of people who have threatened to harm themselves or others. Access to a gun in heightened emotional circumstances greatly increases the risk that someone will die. According to Everytown, access to a gun in a domestic violence situation makes it five times more likely that a woman will be killed and increases the risk of death by suicide by three times.

Gun Modifications and Magazine Capacity

We must ban modifications that enable a semiautomatic weapon to fire like an automatic weapon and place reasonable restrictions on magazine capacity.
The casualties of mass shootings rise when assault weapons are modified to shoot more bullets faster. Banning any modifications to semiautomatic weapons that allows for automatic fire and limiting magazine capacity– both of which are unnecessary for either hunting or self-protection – should be no brainers. Keeping the focus on capacity and capability versus cosmetics and nomenclature will reduce the chance that gun manufacturers will find and exploit loopholes.

Gun Storage

All guns not in the immediate possession of their owner should be secured with a cable lock, trigger lock or in a gun locker.
In 2018, 73 children under the age of 12 were killed when they or another child fired a gun that had been improperly secured.
Requiring that all gun owners safely secure their guns and conducting an education campaign around the new requirement would save children’s lives.

Gun Violence Research

The Senate must take up legislation funding gun violence research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and National Institutes of Health (NIH).
 Until last year, the CDC was legally prohibited from studying gun violence, giving us fewer tools to know how to effectively prevent it. While the CDC is now technically allowed to study it, there are no funds allocated to do so and the Centers are proscribed from straying into “advocating gun control,” no matter what they find.
 The House of Representatives has already passed a bill allocating $25 million in funds to both the CDC and the NIH to study gun violence – but it has not yet received a vote in the Senate. Mitch McConnell must immediately bring the bill up for a vote.

Violence Against Women Act

I support the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act as passed by the House of Representatives, including amendments which protect transgender victims and prohibit individuals convicted of domestic violence from purchasing a gun. The legislation has so far been ignored by the Senate, blocked by Mitch McConnell.

Criminal Justice Reform

Every step of the criminal justice system has caused racial disparities and affected generations of families and communities. From how laws are written, to how laws are enforced, to who is found guilty, to how long a prison sentence is, to chances at parole — all have led to more people of color, particularly Black men and women, to spend time in prison at disparate rates. America needs to acknowledge the systematic racism that pervades our criminal justice system and take active steps to dismantle the racialized outcomes.
Justice outcomes in America also correspond to defendant’s income. Due to the wide use of a cash bail system in America, low-income defendants are less likely to be able to meet their cash bail requirements, keeping them incarcerated and unable to provide for their families as they await their day in court.  Low-income defendants are less likely to have access to a lawyer who is able to give the time and attention to their case compared to wealthy defendants who are able to pay. The fact that an innocent poor person is more likely to go to prison than a guilty rich person is a reflection of the inequality and systemic racism within our judicial system. The result of these systemic inequities results in more people taking plea deals, even when the defendant claims they are innocent.
The simple truth is too many people charged with nonviolent offenses are being incarcerated for longer periods of time. Over incarceration and private prisons are expensive and a huge drain of our tax dollars, destroying families and communities without making us any safer. Part of the discussion that America needs to have around criminal justice reform must get at the purpose of locking people away and what we as a society, want the outcomes to result in. Right now, our criminal justice system is broken.

Deschedule Marijuana

I support removing marijuana from the schedule of controlled drugs, just as alcohol and tobacco are currently regulated. We need to stop putting people in jail and release and clear the records of individuals who have been prosecuted for nonviolent past crimes. We need to bring marijuana’s use and regulation into the light and we need to study it’s medicinal capabilities. 
Descheduling marijuana brings an added bonus of a potential cash crop for Kentucky’s farmers, provided we ensure that production, processing and sales revenues benefit farmers and individuals and not a handful of political cronies.

Immigration Reform

Stop Separating Families

We must immediately stop separating families and putting children in cages. We should release migrants and asylum seekers who have been fully vetted to their relatives in the U.S. or to a church or organization willing to sponsor them in order to relieve overcrowding in existing facilities and save taxpayers’ money. The fact that there are private businesses making billions of dollars in profits by separating families and warehousing them in unclean and unsafe conditions is a betrayal of everything for which our country should stand for.

Reinstate DACA

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program acknowledged that American residents who were brought to the country without papers as children and raised as Americans should be allowed to stay and work in America. President Trump has made moves to start deportations of DACA recipients but has so far been blocked by the courts.  Congress needs to act to make DACA permanent and allow residents brought to the US when they were children to have a path to citizenship without fear of deportation from the only country they have ever known.

Systemwide Reform

I believe in strong borders. While some have called for decriminalizing illegal border crossings, I believe we need to take a different route. People hoping to immigrate to America should be treated humanely and claims should be processed efficiently.
Instead of spending billions on a border wall that won’t help to fix our broken process, let’s invest a fraction of that in technology that can help to monitor borders and in the appropriate personnel to allow for legal claims of immigration and asylum to be made quickly and processed efficiently, from border crossing staff to judges.
I support a full and robust debate that humanizes people and speaks honestly to the contributions that immigrants and refugees make to our communities and our economy. We need to get rid of the obstructionists like Mitch McConnell who have kept immigration reform from moving forward despite widespread agreement that our system is broken and needs to change.

Foreign Policy

The foreign policy of the United States should reflect the values of our nation: that all are created equal and have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Sadly, our foreign policy has fallen short of those lofty ideals over our history and the result has usually been chaos and carnage. The current situation on our southern border is the direct result of alternating between ignoring our neighbors and meddling in their affairs for ill-conceived purpose. The Department of State should always be the face of America abroad, not the US military. The U.S. Marines who stand guard at Post 1 in most embassies abroad are a subtle enough reminder of our nation’s commitment to our ideals; they are polite, professional and deadly serious.
Our nation should never vary from the messages we send through our elements of national power, that a country can have no greater friend or no worse enemy. Whether we are supporting traditional allies, encouraging fledgling democracies or suppressing the worst impulses of non-democratic nations, our country needs to speak with one voice.
While acknowledging that our friends overseas represent diverse peoples and faiths, we must always encourage them to include rather than exclude. While acknowledging that foreign nations are truly sovereign, we must encourage, nudge and sometimes shove them toward liberal ideologies. And while acknowledging that religion, race or ideology plays a more significant role in a foreign partner’s power structure, we must encourage movement toward equal protection under the law.
One of my highest priorities is fully funding and rebuilding the Department of State into a functioning arm of our government abroad in which our friends and enemies alike see plainly the values of the United States.

Strengthening Our Democracy

The power of the people rests in our democracy’s strength. When our voice doesn’t matter, our democracy dies. When people are disenfranchised, our democracy dies.

Election Security

I support funding that the House of Representatives have included in an appropriations bill to help protect our vote in 2020. The bill, HR 3351, has been blocked by Mitch McConnell and has not yet received a vote in the Senate.

Voter Rights Act

Key provisions of the Voter Rights Act, which scrutinized some state’s attempts to limit votes being cast by eligible voters, especially those of communities of color, were struck down by a Supreme Court decision in 2013.
We need to put these protections back into law. That’s why I support HR 1, passed by the House early in 2019 and subsequently blocked by Mitch McConnell, contains voting rights protections as well as campaign finance, ethics and redistricting reforms.

Equality For All

LGBTQ+ Equality

I support extending the full protection of our nation’s federal anti-discrimination laws to LGBTQ individuals.

Address the Racial Wealth Gap

I support a commission to address the economic disparity that exists between white Americans and Americans who are descendants from trafficked and enslaved persons.

Protect A Woman’s Right to Choose

A woman’s right to choose, and the healthcare decisions she needs to make, are protected by her right to privacy. They are fundamental to a woman controlling her life’s destiny. Roe v. Wade guarantees this right. It is settled law and it was decided correctly. I would not vote to confirm any judicial nominee who is unwilling to publicly acknowledge these truths during their confirmation hearings.

Equal Pay for Equal Work

Gender and racial biases in pay and discrimination in the workplace must be erased.

Violence Against Women Act

I support the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act as passed by the House of Representatives, including amendments which protect transgender victims and prohibit individuals convicted of domestic violence from purchasing a gun. The legislation has so far been ignored by the Senate, blocked by Mitch McConnell.