MEDICARE FOR ALL
Healthcare is a human right, not a privilege.
For too long our healthcare has been controlled by health insurance and pharmaceutical companies who put profits over people. As a former manager of a Planned Parenthood, I am the only candidate in the race with direct healthcare experience in a federally-funded clinic. I firmly believe in creating a fair and equitable healthcare system for all Americans, regardless of income.
That is why I support Medicare for All. Mike Quigley has not.
We must continue to defend the ACA from Republican efforts to dismantle the progress that has been made, but there is still work to be done. The current system leaves many Americans uninsured and is difficult for working families to navigate. And America cannot remain internationally competitive without a comprehensive healthcare system.
I am a strong proponent of a woman’s right to choose and tireless advocate for providing women access to all reproductive health services without judgment or economic impediment. A woman’s right to choose is non-negotiable.
ECONOMIC JUSTICE FOR ALL
I will fight for 15.
I believe all Americans deserve a living wage tied to the rate of inflation. I will fight for equal pay for equal work and to protect the human rights of all workers regardless of their gender, race or immigration status. I also support paid sick time, family leave and childcare coverage so that no American loses a job because they are ill, taking care of a family member, or raising a family.
I will work for a more fair and equitable tax system that protects low- and middle-income earners and requires corporations and the wealthiest to pay their fair share in accordance with the Buffet Rule, ensuring no millionaire pays less in taxes than middle-class Americans.
All trade agreements, including the TPP, must guarantee workers’ rights, human rights and protect our environment. They must also prevent more American jobs from leaving the country.
The post-financial crisis safeguards are being dismantled. America cannot continue the cycle of letting corporations privatize the gains and socialize the losses. Unlike Mike Quigley, I support funding and enforcing the financial regulations of Dodd-Frank to protect the middle-class and hold predatory financial institutions accountable.
EXPANDING SOCIAL SECURITY
Social Security, one of our most vital government programs, is at risk of being completely underfunded for this and future generations. I will fight to protect our Social Security system by removing the cap on taxable income so that those that earn more, pay more into the Social Security system. Currently, the taxable-maximum amount for 2018, based on wage data, is $128,400. The wealthiest Americans therefore pay a small amount of their income into Social Security.
Social Security benefits must also be expanded so that surviving spouses and caregivers who leave paid work to care for elderly family don’t face cuts in Social Security income. The failing health or loss of a loved one shouldn’t force American families into financial insecurity. We must enact legislation that will protect our most vulnerable citizens so that they too can retire with dignity.
I will work to ensure cost of living adjustments (COLA) are expanded and protected for our seniors, particularly lifetime low-wage earners, and senior women, who are most vulnerable in facing the rising cost of living in America. I would support and cosponsor The Social Security Expansion Act (HR 1114) and The Social Security Fairness Act (HR 1205), which would expand Social Security benefits and repeal the Government Pension Offset and the Windfall Elimination Provision and increase OASDI benefits. Mike Quigley has not co-sponsored either of these bills.
EQUAL RIGHTS FOR ALL
I will defend the rights of all Americans.
Bans and discriminatory behavior against anyone regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identification, national origin, or immigration status are in direct opposition to the American ideals that this country was founded upon.
I will fight to protect the rights of all LGBTQIA individuals. I oppose any legislation that allows employers or business owners to discriminate against Americans based on their sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity under the guise of religious freedom laws. I will work on behalf of the transgender community to protect their rights to access public facilities, to receive comprehensive health services, and to serve in the military.
I support the Paycheck Fairness Act and will fight to ensure equal work receives equal pay. Furthermore, everyone, no matter their gender or sexual orientation should be able to participate in the workforce without fear of harassment or abuse.
I support the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. Time’s Up
HUMANE IMMIGRATION REFORM
Those who contribute to our economy and community, who have come to America to escape economic hardship and discrimination, should have access to the AmericanDream and be able to live, work and learn in our nation without fear.
I support the passage of a clean DREAM Act to protect 800,000 DACA recipients, and expanding DACA and DAPA. The 11 million undocumented individuals in America should also be given the opportunity for a path to citizenship.
I support the creation of an independent oversight commission for detention centers that would ensure that the rights of all immigrants are protected. Following human rights protocols, we should ban the separation of families at borders.
The methods by which ICE gains entry to homes, schools, churches, and hospitals must end and the human rights and dignity of immigrants and their families must be protected. Immigrants must also have access to the criminal justice system and be given due process.
I will vote to demand more accountability for border patrol (HR 1608), to keep ICE from seizing young people at sensitive locations like schools (HR 1815), and to give deported veterans a chance to reenter the US legally (HR 1405). Congressman Quigley has not lent his support to these bills, but they would have my support if elected to be your representative.
FAIR ELECTIONS & CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM
Unlike Mike Quigley, I am refusing donations from corporate PACs and special interest groups because we cannot effectively fix our economy or our democracy without addressing the influence of money in politics. We need to combat “dark money” and offer public financing to empower the next generation of leaders. I am leading by example. Citizens United must be reversed.
I will advocate for a constitutional amendment to protect our democracy and address the corrosive effect of money in politics. It is necessary that a clean public financing system is implemented to end the disproportionate and degrading influence of corporations and billionaires on our elections.
I will work to expose and address racially motivated voter suppression efforts. Gerrymandering, barriers to access, and purging of voter rolls result in unequal and unfair representation and are unconscionable civil rights violations.
GUN CONTROL & CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM
The NRA is holding Congress hostage.
We need representatives to fight for the safety of all Americans. Banning assault weapons and bump stocks, implementing background checks, prohibiting gun sales to those convicted of domestic violence, and creating a national gun registry have broad bipartisan support, and I will stand up to the NRA on these issues.
However, we must also hold the gun industry accountable for their role in the deaths of Americans and pursue litigation. I support the repeal of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. It is estimated that the annual cost of gun violence in America exceeds $200 billion. I would support legislation to create a fund from gun manufacturing profits to compensate gun violence victims and institutions where gun violence occurs.
Any discussion of gun control laws must also address criminal justice reform.
The United States has the world’s largest prison population and one in which people of color are disproportionately represented. Democrats like Mike Quigley have failed to advance a progressive agenda on criminal justice. He did not co-sponsor the 2015 Justice Is Not for Sale Act (HR 3543) proposed by Raul Grijalva, and waited months to add his name to the latest version, HR 3227. He voted with Republicans and against progressive Democrats to support HR 115, the Thin Blue Line Act, which civil rights groups like the ACLU and NAACP consider anti-Black Lives Matter legislation. If elected, I would take a proactive, progressive approach to addressing systematic incarceration.
INVESTING IN PUBLIC EDUCATION
I am a graduate of Chicago Public Schools and believe that our public school system’s mission to provide a quality education to all children is a cornerstone of our democracy, and that teachers are on the frontline of the fight to protect this institution. I stand with them.
I know that school funding should not be dependent only on property taxes or standardized test scores, both of which strongly reflect the socio-economic status of students and perpetuate existing inequities.
I support the goal of Common Core to provide all children the highest quality education. However, the implementation and adoption of Common Core has been problematic. Some states withdraw from the standards completely, while schools that do adopt Common Core are not always given the funding, training, and support needed to successfully implement it. Across CPS 15% of elementary school teachers and 25% percent of high school teachers reported having no formal Common Core standards-related professional development in 2014-2015, when Common Core was rolled out. Intensive training for teachers that addresses the diverse needs of students and is culturally relevant to students’ backgrounds should be funded and available for all teachers who are required to meet Common Core standards.
While the majority of funding for public schools happens at the state and local level, it is the federal government's obligation to address poverty and civil rights violations. If elected to Congress, I will work to create a more equitable and just system for investing in public schools. I oppose performance-based funding, support progressive financing structures that allocate more to pupils in low-income districts, and will continue to champion the rights of students, teachers, and communities to have equal access to the resources necessary for achievement. I also support universal pre-K and free tuition for public college.
Cannabis is currently listed as a Schedule 1 substance in the same class as heroin and LSD, but more and more states are moving to downgrade the classification to move cannabis to legal status.
I will work to enact this change at the federal level, which would provide much-needed tax revenue and boost entrepreneurship. I will also push for restorative justice measures to address and repair the devastation the drug war has imposed on communities of color. I support the expungement of convictions, no matter how old, and community reinvestment initiatives laid out in The Marijuana Justice Act (HR 4815). Mike Quigley has not co-sponsored this bill.
PRESERVING OUR NATIONAL RESOURCES & THE ENVIRONMENT
We must work to follow the plan set forth by the Paris Climate Accord. Climate change is one of the greatest threats the world faces today, and it is within the national security interests of the United States to aggressively address this issue.
I would join progressive leaders like Jan Schakowsky in co-sponsoring and vote for HR 3671 OFF Act (Off Fossil Fuels for a Better Future Act), the strongest climate legislation ever introduced in Congress, and not co-sponsored by Quigley. The OFF Act calls for a complete decarbonization of our energy sources by 2035, with all energy produced coming from renewable sources. The Act also calls for a complete moratorium on new fossil fuel projects, and a push towards 100% zero-emissions car sales by 2035.
I will work toward the goal of making America a carbon-neutral energy state, implementing stricter efficiency regulations on transportation, reducing coal usage and investing in renewable energy. We must also work to remove tax subsidies that oil and gas companies have enjoyed for far too long, and reinvest in clean energy.
I strongly believe that we must act in the strongest way now in order to protect and preserve our planet for future generations.
PROTECTING NET NEUTRALITY
A free and open internet where information is accessible to anyone, anywhere, is the foundation of a free and equal society.
In 2015, the FCC voted to protect Net Neutrality, but under President Trump, Congress has rescinded those protections. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) can now charge consumers more to throttle sites and content. This impacts not only consumers, but small businesses and entrepreneurs.
I pledge to protect a free and open Internet and will support the Congressional Review Act to overturn the FCC’s decision and protect net neutrality.
ENSURING OUR NATIONAL SECURITY
I will stand up to President Trump to defend the civil liberties of all Americans, to end endless wars and fight domestic terrorism.
I do not support denying Americans basic rights under the guise of national security. Mike Quigley joined 191 Republicans in voting to renew Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which allows for “warrantless backdoor searches of Americans’ information.” The ACLU opposes this legislation, and I do too.
While Americans struggle with the costs of college, healthcare and retirement, the majority of the U.S. government's discretionary budget is spent on military defense. My opponent Mike Quigley, a self described “security hawk," supported the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, authorizing $696 billion in defense spending, and gave Trump billions more than he even requested. Siding with Trump against the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Quigley voted in the interest of defense industry giants Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman from whom he received thousands of dollars in campaign contributions.
No one in Congress, especially Democrats, should empower Donald Trump to further destabilize our geopolitical environment and endanger our nation’s safety. I will fight the expansion and corporate profits of the military-industrial complex, protect the privacy rights of all Americans, and recommit to our American values by ending human rights violations within our own nation. Hate groups in America have carried out more attacks and caused more deaths than foreign terrorist groups. If elected, I will call a terrorist a terrorist, regardless of their race, religion or nationality, and I will work to protect Americans from the threat they pose to our safety both at home and abroad.