Despite the progress made under the Affordable Care Act, more must be done to ensure that the American people have access to quality, affordable healthcare. I will work to protect the ACA, expand its coverage, and ensure that one way or the other, every American is covered so that we can all visit the doctor without fear of going bankrupt as a result.
“No person should go bankrupt because they need to see a doctor.”
This year, we celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage in America – unfortunately, we still have a lot of work to do if we want to see the end of gender discrimination. As such, in office, I will fight to protect a woman’s choice and their freedom to do what they want with their bodies, and ensure that Planned Parenthood remains funded and able to do the important work that they do, providing healthcare services to millions of women who otherwise wouldn’t have access. I will also fight for equal pay for equal work, and do everything I can to end the disparity in wages between men and women.
The issues women face in America today don’t end there, though, and neither will my fight on their behalf. Special interests – including the gun lobby and the GOP – have taken in recent years to attacking the Violence Against Women Act, landmark legislation that has protected women across our country for over 25 years. They seek to weaken its protections – for example, by keeping the “boyfriend loophole” which allows access to guns by abusive ex-boyfriends and stalkers with past convictions. In Congress, I would join with my fellow Democrats in closing the boyfriend loophole, and supporting the Violence Against Women Act.
“Government should not be involved in any choice any woman makes for herself and her family.”
The US and Ohio have fallen in world rankings in education, to the detriment of our nation’s future. We must reform our educational systems to emphasize the importance of math and science (which led us to victory in the Cold War), and we should consider, as a nation, making two-year college programs a free extension of high school education for those who want it. For students who choose not to attend college, we should ensure access to vocational schools so that they can enter the workforce with the skills they need to guarantee a well-paying job with a future.
Lastly, I am opposed to for-profit charter schools siphoning taxpayer dollars, weakening the public school system. We need to support strong public schools to ensure all students have an equal chance at a quality education.
“We need to invest in our education system to be able to compete in new economies.”
We cannot continue to sacrifice our future generations for the sake of profit at our universities – it damages the ability to foster our greatest minds and leaves students ruined for life with debt they cannot escape. Public universities should be tuition free, with the Department of Education offering loans to cover the rest of the costs of college – to all high school graduates, regardless of their parents’ income or credit histories. Debt taken on by students, new and old, should be made affordable, with income-based repayment plans that allow for tax-free forgiveness after a set period of time. Furthermore, I want students to be engaged in their communities: to that end, I’d like to see credit given to loan repayment based on how much community service a student does in a given year.
“We cannot sacrifice the future leaders of this country for the sake of profit.”
The practice of partisan redistricting undermines our democracy and creates the political climate we deal with today, with hyper-partisan districts where only the most extreme candidates can win a race, and where the election is determined by a primary instead of a general election. While Ohio passed a ballot measure to undo this damage starting in 2022, many states still engage in this undemocratic practice, encouraged by a deeply flawed SCOTUS ruling in 2019. As your representative, I will pursue every available path to end partisan gerrymandering and give the government back to the people.
“Politicians should not be picking their voters.”
Ohio should lead the way in STEM education and preparedness in technology and clean energy based jobs. We are uniquely positioned to reinvent our manufacturing economy to be the worlds leader in turbine manufacturing. We control the nations largest body of fresh water. Ohio is more important than ever – and it’s time to lead the way against climate change, and into a new economy. One that provides skilled jobs and protects our planet for future generations.
No one working forty hours a week should earn so little they cannot afford rent. We must raise the minimum wage to a real, living wage and chain it to economic markers to provide a living wage for all Americans.
“In Ohio, many work 2 or 3 jobs just to be able to make ends meet. This needs to end. We should respect the dignity of work and provide a wage that people can live on.”
Social Security has not kept up with the costs of living in this country, and too many of our seniors are dependent on charity to make ends meet. While this President has sought to slash programs that ensure seniors are cared for and have enough to eat, I believe we should expand them while also raising Social Security to make sure they are able to pay for their needs. Seniors should not be asked to pay the price for reckless Republican tax breaks for the rich. Instead, we should ensure that we address all of the issues facing the senior community, whether it be food security, housing, or access to healthcare. We all want our mothers and fathers to be able to live with dignity.
“Seniors are at high risk of food insecurity – we need to protect the most vulnerable among us.”
The most important thing we can do to protect our veterans is to end endless wars and prevent our getting unnecessarily involved in foreign entanglements. We must also work to protect the benefits are armed men and women earn after their service – for example, by improving the VA and ensuring they never have to worry about student loan debt, and ensuring that they have the resources they need to be successful once they return home.
“Veterans have laid it all on the line to fight for us – the least we can do is make sure they are able to live with dignity.”
Transgender violence in this country is out of control. According to the Human Rights Campaign, in 2019, at least 25 transgender people were killed, and in 2018, at least 26 transgender people were killed. Unfortunately, this is part of a bigger problem we must work together to address: and that is the uneven protections afforded members of the LGBTQIA+ community. Protections vary state by state, and sometimes vary even by locality, providing an uncertain future for these vulnerable people.
Let me be absolutely clear: I support equal rights and protection against discrimination for all people. All of us, no matter your race, your creed, your sexual orientation – we are all Americans, and we must strive to live up to the ideals our founders set for us, even if they could not live by them themselves.
We need to work together to find solution to the problems facing the LGBTQIA+ community on a nationwide scale, but the start to this solution is very clear: we must extend Title IX protections to all Americans regardless of their sexual orientation and gender identity.
“We need to protect anti-discrimination laws – no one should be discriminated against, or lose a job because of who they love.”
Protecting our Parks
The greater Cleveland area, and especially our district, is fortunate enough to have several beautiful parks and natural spaces, both in and out of the metropark system. We should keep them the way they are so everyone can appreciate our region’s natural beauty while they continue to be economic assets to the cities and counties where they reside. As a part of that desire to keep our public parks pristine, I oppose any mining or drilling operations in public parks.
Similarly, I support initiatives that seek to clean up and protect our Great Lake, such as the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which has considerable success making Lake Erie an even greater asset to our region.
“Our scenic parks, forests and watersheds make Ohio an amazing place to live. We must protect our parks for the sake of our water and air quality, our economy and for future generations.”
It’s real and we are dealing with consequences today. Studies done by the EPA show temperatures rising here in Ohio too, which can amplify air pollution, lead to longer droughts in the summer (with 5-15 more days per summer over 95° within the next seventy years), and considerably warmer lake temperatures, which can lead to undrinkable tap water – as we saw in Toledo on August of 2014. And let’s not forget the onset of polar vortices in the winter, or the cost of helping rebuild areas impacted by ever-strengthening storms on our nation’s coasts!
To help combat climate change, we should immediately re-enter the Paris climate accord, and we should wean ourselves off of fossil fuels. We can do this by building a new, smart electrical grid (an important national security goal as well) and having the EPA enforce strict standards on automobile manufacturers to encourage a transition to electric vehicles. We could also create incentives to research tech to improve range via additional department of energy research grants and prizes, and boosting the funding for ARPA-E (a government agency which promotes & funds research in advanced energy storage & generation). Additionally, we should expand tax breaks for renewable energy infrastructure such as wind farms and solar plants, and encourage research into the tech needed to improve both. Lake Erie could be a vital energy source for the entire region if we provide an incentive to spur its development.
“Climate change is real. We need scientists in Congress who can not only stand up for our climate, but offer science-based solutions.”
It’s no secret that at least one of our major news networks today has an outsized influence on the public discourse, consistently presenting biased, factually incorrect, and disruptive claims to the American people. The establishment of these sorts of ‘news’ organizations began in the 1980s with the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine, an FCC policy which mandated holders of broadcast licenses to provide coverage, including opposing viewpoints, of issues that impact their lives. If we wish for a return to reason and meaningful discourse, the Fairness Doctrine must be reinstated and enforced.
“Standing up for facts, reason and logic is more crucial than ever. “
As a long-time volunteer at a local animal shelter, I place a lot of value in the protections the government affords animals, be they pets or otherwise. In Congress, I would help enact legislation that would protect our four-legged friends. I oppose breed-specific legislation (e.g. Pit Bull bans), puppy mills, and the inhumane treatment of animals in whatever form it may occur. I’d work to support legislation that further criminalizes cruelty to animals, bans on cosmetics testing on animals, and animal fighting (e.g. dog fighting or cock fighting).
Moreover, I would fight to enact legislation such as H.R. 2327, the Puppies Assisting Wounded Service members (PAWS) Act, which would enable the Department of Veterans Affairs to help cover the costs of service dogs for vets with PTSD.
“We need to stand up for the most vulnerable among us. Animals give us the gift of companionship and that is something I will fight for.”
In addressing the climate crisis, we must begin to put fossil fuels behind us. Fracking is a step in the wrong direction, jeopardizing our communities and their health to dig up outdated technology that needs to be left in the past. Enough is enough: the energy companies have endangered us long enough, and in Congress, I will fight as hard as I can to prevent more fracking projects from beginning, ending those exist, and making energy companies responsible for the damage they do to the land around them.
“Enough is enough. It is time to leave fracking in the past.”
I will change the way the people of the 16th interact with their representation in DC. I will host town halls as frequently as possible throughout the entire district, and I will do my very best to ensure that I or my staff provide real, meaningful answers to your inquiries with my office as often as possible. I will engage with constituents wherever I can – whether it’s via Facebook, Twitter, town halls in the district, emails, or various campaign & official events. I will make myself available to the people I represent and to do my best to accurately represent them in DC.
“Your representative shouldn’t hide behind closed doors, making decisions about your life and never have to be held accountable.”