Money in Politics- I have to be completely honest with everyone. Until we purge the influence of money in politics I believe we will get very little done in regards to the issues above. We must insert a very clear and common dislike of the Citizen’s United supreme court decision into the fabric of our culture. As long as we accept politicians giving a more sympathetic ear to lobbyists and corporate executives in exchange for campaign contributions, media coverage, or otherwise, public opinion will not receive the representation promised to them by the U.S. constitution. In that spirit, I politely refuse to accept any and all campaign contributions from corporations, or any PACS from which the majority of funds come from corporate donations. I realize that although not all corporations operate in a manner that favors their CEO’s more than their lowest paid employees, consumers, or the environment, that is currently the rule more than the exception. I will support corporations that do right by the people, but campaign contributions from those companies will not be necessary.
Choice- I believe personal liberties should always be protected, including a woman’s right to choose. The government has no right to interfere in a deeply personal and difficult decision.
Budget & Economics- The debate around a balanced budget is a misleading tactic from both sides of the aisle to engineer public opinion around any given issue. The reality is, Federal taxes do not fund spending. Rather, Federal taxes serve to maintain the value of our currency. Because of this, I would propose neither an immediate raising or lowering of taxes, but an increase in Federal spending. This would stimulate monetary circulation within our economy and create growth without placing a burden on taxpayers as many politicians today, Democrat or Republican would have you believe.
Civil Rights- Every single American is entitled to the rights promised within the constitution. As a United States congressman it would be my duty to ensure no American, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, or party affiliation is left with those promises unfulfilled. Institutional racism, sexism, and classism must be acknowledged in the history of our country, so that we can all heal together as Americans.
Corporations - Corporations, in theory, are supposed to provide economic benefits to as many individuals as possible. This means that they should strive to provide a living wage to ALL employees. This means that they should strive to operate responsibly in regards to safety and environment impact. It's my view that any individual responsible for decision making should be held responsible to the full extent of the law when their actions deviate from this responsibility. Simple fines are no longer an effective deterrent to illegal behavior by corporate executives.
Crime - It is absolutely necessary to respond quickly and swiftly to violent crime. It is equally necessary to take on the societal elements that may contribute to crime. It's no secret that crime overall has dropped significantly in our country in the last few decades, rising economic inequality has corresponded with a recent uptick in criminal activity. We can, and must curb this increase by ensuring our poorest communities have the resources they need to become homeowners, entrepreneurs, college graduates, medical professionals and so on. Additionally, I would advocate for more extensive training with law enforcement trainees to ensure better relations with their communities.
Drugs - I believe the drug war, while well intended, has had severely negative consequences on our nation. It has become a costly endeavor, both in human lives and resources. Addiction has a devastating effect on American families, but it should not itself be a crime. I favor the idea of decriminalization for a few reasons. First, it could reduce violent drug-related crimes, and profitability on the black market. It would help foster the perception that addiction is a crisis of health, not a crisis of character. Our prison population is much too full of folks that could be productive members of society if we treated them as patients instead of criminals. It would potentially place law enforcement officers in a position to focus on other forms of crime such as human trafficking, domestic abuse, public security, and many other pressing concerns.
Education - In order to be competitive on the world stage, we must strive to provide a quality education for every single child in America. Class sizes must be smaller, and public schools properly funded. No teacher should have to dip into their own pockets to stock their classroom with needed materials. Additionally, charter schools must be subject to public regulations if they are to receive public funding.
Energy & Oil - I believe there is unprecedented economic opportunity in moving our energy system away from fossil fuels as quickly and efficiently as possible. This could potentially create thousands of new jobs in manufacturing, installation, maintenance, and subsidiary industries. With the knowledge that Colorado is home to many workers in the gas and oil industry, I would support legislation that would give tax breaks to corporations that cease any new fracking operations, and place their workers first in line to be trained in renewable technologies.
Free Trade - Unrestricted trade policies are a gamble the American people simply cannot afford. It is vital that we only implement trade policies that are on a country to country basis, and stimulate exports from the United States. Alluding to my stance on energy, I believe America could become greatest exporter of renewable energy equipment on the planet. We must avoid the disaster of NAFTA, and prevent a trade agreement like the TPP from ever being considered again. The American worker deserves much more.
Health Care - Health care in America should be a right promised to all of its citizens. We are the wealthiest country in the world and yet our healthcare system is driven far too much by profit over quality. The Affordable Care Act was a start, but it was by no means enough. It’s time that we have a serious discussion about introducing Single-Payer Healthcare We can afford to implement this immediately, and any politician who says otherwise is simply not telling the truth.
Homeland Security - While many lawmakers are examining ways to make the government’s cyber security stronger, I would argue that it is equally important to protect the average American’s personal and financial information online in the wake of mass hacks over the past few years. As a member of Congress I would make sure that vital aspect of our nation’s security will not be neglected.
Immigration - As the great-grandson of a Filipino immigrant who proudly served in the U.S. army, my stance on immigration would be best reflected by the inscription on the statue of liberty: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”
Social Security - Social security should be protected and expanded to keep up with current needs. I will fight any attempts to privatize or end social security. End of story.