My platform is built on the idea that WE the people, not the politicians, are the change, and that only together can WE build a future that’s worthy of America’s promise. Therefore, WE will…
Ensure Universal Healthcare as a Right for ALL
The American people’s access to healthcare isn’t something that should be decided by the government, it should be guaranteed by the government. In a time of rising premiums and uncertainty, access to quality medical care and needed preventative care isn’t something we will negotiate on. We will defend and seek to perfect the healthcare Americans have rightfully come to rely on. Our seniors and our poor, our veterans and our sick, have asked for better, we expect better, and it’s our obligation to make sure we get it.
Ensure Quality and Affordable Education for ALL
In areas burdened with run down schools, old, outdated textbooks and underpaid teachers, it’s our priority to ensure that the education which guarantees the futures of our children is comprehensive, and that all of our schools—not just the ones in large cites, or the ones that only certain people go to—get the funding and investment they need. It’s also our priority and our belief that young adults, who represent our future leadership and potential, shouldn’t go into debt just to receive the college education they increasingly need to compete for jobs. Therefore, we stand with those who have called for tuition-free and debt-free public colleges and universities, and who seek relief from the debt that’s accompanied their own attendance.
Protect Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid
Social Security and Medicare are paid for with our money to successfully keep the 60 million of our seniors that use it out of poverty, and with access to the healthcare that they need and that they’ve earned. It’s our obligation to not only ensure that it gives all the benefits our elderly and seniors rely on and expect, but to secure it for the future by protecting Social Security and Medicare from those that want to cut them, weaken them, or surrender them to private entities that would lower the benefits you’ve already paid into.
Create Jobs with Livable Wages and Paid Benefits
The worth of hard working American workers has been devalued by corporations that pay you the bare minimum while their CEOs and shareholders rake in hundreds of millions. The American Dream once held that if you worked hard, and did your fair share, you would be secure enough to provide a living, housing and food for yourself and your families. The American worker has done their part, and it’s time for everyone else to do theirs. We believe in a 15 dollar minimum wage. We believe in labor rights for all American workers. We believe in investing in and supporting the jobs and corporations that do right by you, and we believe that no one who works full time, or holds multiple part time jobs should have a wage that keeps them in poverty.
Promote Sustainable Economic Growth and Protection of Local Industry with Incentives for Small Business Development
Entrepreneurship and small business ownership is the lifeblood of our local economies. Sustainable economic growth doesn’t just come from government funding, it comes from cooperation, advancement and investment in small businesses in the area, and support for the local industries that make-up the backbone of our communities, and the livelihoods they secure. It is our goal to not just maintain all the industries we have, but to create an economic environment where further growth can be facilitated, and where our small towns and cities can see their empty factories restored or replaced with new industries.
Defend and Protect Women’s Rights
Women are equal citizens, and should not have to pay more than men for health care access. It’s women, not corporations or governments, that should decide how their private medical care is used. We believe in funding and protecting organizations that provide women with cost-free mammograms and cancer screenings, as well as the ones that aid in essential reproductive health services. Furthermore, it is our belief that when it comes to issues like domestic violence and assault, the government should cooperate with localities to strengthen protections and ensure their safety and security as citizens.
Reform the Criminal Justice and Prison Systems
Every prison that’s built means a school that goes unbuilt or unfunded. Every prison that’s built is a factory or a small business that gets ignored. Every prison worker used for forced labor is a job taken away from a contractor or a person that could be paid a livable wage for that same labor and isn’t. From 1978 to 2012, Alabama has seen its prison population grow 349%, with $15,500 spent per inmate, per year. Not only do our communities deserve better, so do the often poor communities that are underserved by a government that has a stronger investment in their arrest and their incarceration than their access to quality jobs, good schools, and programs that allow for the smoother reintegration of the incarcerated back to society.
Support Our Troops and Keep Faith with Our Veterans
Our country should always commend and honor those men and women who’ve sacrificed themselves in service to this country, and as a public servant and a former Army Reservist, I see no higher responsibility than ensuring that medical services for our soldiers and veterans are fully funded and staffed, that their benefits never see themselves or their families without healthcare or homes, and that cuts made in the implementation of terrible policies like Sequestration never effect their livelihoods. Guaranteeing their well being when they’re abroad and at home is an extension of the duties we should embrace as citizens who rely on their efforts.
Build a Clean Energy Economy and Secure Environmental Justice
Alabama will not be left behind in the emergence of new energy and clean energy investments, nor will we stand to see our towns flooded, our drinking water poisoned with chemicals and lead, or our cities wracked with intensifying storms under climate conditions that negatively effect our agriculture and farmers. We have an opportunity to address the changes in the environment around us; to turn a crisis of negligence into a revitalizing tool that lets us reconsider and reshape the opportunities our workers have and our citizens have for the betterment of us ourselves and our children, and together, we will take it.
Ensure the Civil Rights of ALL
The advancement of our inalienable rights is the only way to encourage a healthy democratic society where the state is a reflection of the people’s priorities, instead of something that restricts and regulates our power. The exercise and protection of our voting rights; the defense of the sovereignty of indigenous people; the protection of all our citizens from harassment or discrimination; and the treatment of immigrants as humans who deserve civil protections is how we guarantee the bare minimum of rights for all, and how we make an America that’s consistent with our best traditions.
End the Failed War on Drugs
Drugs like opioids represent a public health crisis, not a criminal crisis, and should be handled through our medical system instead of our prison system. When sick and poor families are riddled with problems like addiction; when those struggling with debilitating pain put themselves at risk of overdosing; when the distribution of drugs represents one of the few economies in struggling areas, we should see drugs as symptoms of deeper, societal issues, instead of a moral failing of individual people. Since the War on Drugs has started, we’ve seen a 500% increase in imprisonment rates, and now, almost half a century later we must ask ourselves: has drug use stopped? Have drugs disappeared from our communities? Are our communities healthier when so many of our youth are put into the system? My answer is no. If something we’ve tried for decades has yet to work, it’s time to find better solutions that reflect the growing cost of criminalizing sickness through our prisons.
Implement Comprehensive Immigration Reform
This is a nation of many ethnicities and creeds, set up on land that belonged to indigenous people, and an America that thinks we are weakened instead of strengthened by that fact is an America that has disregarded one of the key sources of its strength. It’s our diversity, and capacity to create an America of inclusion out of our many ethnic and religious divisions that makes us great, and it’s only the sense of inclusion that comes from their incorporation which can make us greater still. It is for that reason that I don’t believe in letting immigrants languish in a halfway-citizenship, without the equal protections that the rest of us enjoy. Not only is this against the America I know and against the America I know we can build, it is against an America that works for you. Not letting them become citizens lets employers exploit them for cheap labor, it means we have residents that go untaxed, and it dims the very light that makes us a beacon for immigrants and refugees the world over. We need a pathway to citizenship that truly views our rights as inalienable, instead of contingent on citizenship status.
Protect First Nations’ Rights of Sovereignty and Preserve Sacred Sites
This is a nation of history as much as it’s a nation of innovation, and part of our respect and acknowledgment of that history rests on how we treat its subjects. Native American Sacred Sites stand alongside historically African American graveyards and monuments to those who have bettered our United States, and they all warrant both our respect and our protection. That applies especially to those, like indigenous people and the descendants of slaves, with whom America shares a special relationship and carries a special obligation toward that I fully intend to defend and keep.