Issues & The 13th Congressional District
Tuition-Free Trade Schools, Community Colleges, State Universities, and HBCU's
Higher education should be available to and attainable by everyone despite class or income. Education and real-world training in a 21st century environment should not be out of reach to the men and woman who are the backbone of this economy. Strengthening HBCU's in the country should be a priority to provide fair and equal opportunities to citizens of color. Wholly funding trade schools, community colleges, state universities and HBCU's in the federal budget will:
alleviate crushing national student debts creating a higher average disposable income across the country
increase the quality of schools by increasing instructional competition
boost the economy by creating small business owners and higher wages for workers
Creating Livable-Wage Jobs at Home
Congress should immediately increase incentives for federal agencies to send more government positions and facilities to regions slowest to recover from the recession such as metro Detroit. Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour with annual increases to match the rate of inflation will help grow the shrinking middle class.
Additional tax incentives for manufacturers to create jobs will benefit economically-depressed regions such as the 13th district. Fighting for collective bargaining nationally is also essential securing workers' rights and fair wages.
Closing Tax Loopholes for the Wealthy and Large Corporations
I strongly oppose the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1) which passed the U.S. House on Nov. 16, 2017. This bill will not benefit the middle class but instead will put more money in the pockets of wealthy corporate executives and shareholders.
I will demand that Congress implement a more progressive tax policies across the board for both individuals and corporations, including on pass-through and estate income. Closing corporate loopholes that permit billion dollar corporations to avoid fair taxes is essential to the growth of the economy.
Protecting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Individuals
Sexual orientation & identity deserves the same legal protections in housing, employment, education and military involvement as other protected classes of individuals. As a representative in Congress, I will continue demanding funding and legal protection for LGBT individuals, including:
- Fully funding research to end new HIV infections and protecting HIV+ individuals against discrimination, homelessness, and unemployment;
- Enacting federal hate crime legislation to fight against violent crimes; and
- Pass legislation to protect LGBT individuals from every day attacks under the discriminatory cover of "religious freedom."
Ending War and Caring for our Veterans
Diplomacy must be the starting point for every relationship with a foreign country. Economic sanctions are important to tip the scales of any nation's policies toward democracy and human rights. War is a last resort for only the most extreme of cases.
Even in that circumstance, our country should not engage in war if it is not able to care for its veterans when they return home. Having fought the Veterans Administration, I know it has failed our country with a backlog of cases where benefits are delayed or wrongfully denied.
Congress should reverse the burden of proof when allocating veterans benefits such that injuries well-documented in a veteran's service and medical records are assumed to be true until proven otherwise by the VA. The burden should not be on the veteran to prove that their injuries are legitimate or service related.
Criminal Justice Reform
I plan to immediately introduce legislation to decriminalize non-violent federal offenses such as minor marijuana possession charges. Investing in non-criminal medical treatment programs for heroin and other opioid addictions is also a critical step to improving the disparities in criminal justice reform. For-profit prisons should not exist in this country; and I will immediately work to defund them. I would also introduce legislation to prohibit the use of federal criminal records to deny a citizen of voting rights or non-sensitive employment.
Fair Immigration Reform
I will introduce meaningful immigration reform allowing families who are living and working in the US to have a realistic opportunity to avoid separation and be able to continue contributing to our economy. Law abiding individuals who have never realistically called another country home should never be at risk of deportation. Real immigration reform also means that people from across the globe who want to call the US home, should be able to do this within a reasonable amount of time.
Congress must create a reasonable pathway of immigration for anyone who is willing to pay taxes and contribute to the US economy. This will require us to increase H2-A visas for temporary agricultural workers which will increase GDP and our ability to export more products Made in America.
Single-Payer Medicare for All
I firmly stand by implementing a single-payer Medicare-for-All system in the country. Healthcare is a right and the United States is the only major developed country that does not guarantee it. Not only do I support a Medicare-for-All system which will negotiate prescription drug prices internationally, but I also support a campaign to get the remainder of Congressional Democrats on board with this human right.
Strengthening Social Security
I stand by expanding our social security system as much as possible by amending social security contributions to be progressive across all income brackets, without limitation, such that the wealthy are paying their fair share into the system. I also support implementing a constitutional amendment to prohibit removing funds from social security for any reason.
Environmental Protection & Justice
I fully support defending and expanding the progress made to address climate change, reduce the use of fossil fuels, and decrease air and water pollutants. Promote clean energy incentives and expand renewable energy projects will be essential to moving the U.S. toward a clean energy economy and I will push for these programs at every opportunity. I will also work to close loopholes that exempt drilling and fracking operations from basic environmental protections provided by laws such as the Clean Water Act & Safe Drinking Water Act.
Michigan's 13th Congressional District