My Platform

1. Infrastructure and Jobs

There’s work to be done. It’s time Congress recognized that we are in a new century.

Our bridges, roads, reservoirs and waterways are crumbling, yet our veterans have difficulty finding jobs. We waste billions of dollars on wars and corrupt infrastructure projects in the Middle East, but can’t seem to find the money to upgrade the roads here in our district. 

The aging electrical infrastructure in our district is a fire hazard to our drought-stricken countryside and poses cyber security risks. It’s time we bring our tax dollars back to the district to create good paying jobs rebuilding the infrastructure right here in Southern California. Los Angeles and San Francisco congressional districts are grabbing the lion’s share of federal dollars while our representative in Congress, who sits on the Committee for Infrastructure, is doing little to return our tax dollars to the district. As your representative, I will direct investments into our district based on a publicly detailed project list to rebuild infrastucture and to create jobs, according to your priorities.

My ideas include: water reclamation projects, improving water delivery systems and capturing runoff when it does rain to make our district self sufficient in times of drought; as well as reducing fire risk by upgrading wooden telephone poles and exposed transformers and power lines in our district. Burying the power lines will create jobs and keep our community safe.

We can also create thousands of clean energy jobs and protect our rural environment here in Southern California by extending incentives for solar and wind energy.

By empowering our rural communities to run on sustainable energy, we can prevent further encroachment into our most valued and untouched areas of the district. 

2. Wages, Taxes and the Economy

No person who works hard for 40 hours a week should be living in poverty. California is raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, but our neighboring states are still taking jobs across state lines and paying much less. We must finally pass a federal minimum wage of $15 an hour to level the playing field. 

The middle class is struggling while Congress seeks more ways to cut taxes for the rich. Any tax reform undertaken by Congress should focus on boosting the middle class, reclaiming the American Dream, and supporting small, local businesses. 

You can't have democracy without a substantial middle class. My litmus test for voting for or against a bill is whether or not it will fortify the Middle Class.

As a small business owner myself, I know how to run a lean and profitable business, negotiate effectively, work within a budget and produce results on time. I want to provide targeted tax relief for small businesses and simplify tax filing. We also need to remove the burden on small business to subsidize our nation’s health care system by fixing the Affordable Cart Act to include a Single Payer Healthcare model.                       

3. Healthcare and Retirement 

Social Security is a promise made to future generations and our legacy to them, therefore, it must be protected and strengthened so that it can continue to be a secure and reliable retirement program. Today, Social Security is more important than ever before. More than 1/3 of seniors depend on Social Security for all of their income and more than ½ of employees over 55 have no saved retirement income. Social Security needs to be made solvent so that every American can retire with dignity and respect and this is something that can be achieved. For example, lifting the payroll tax cap to 90% of earnings rather than the current 83% is a modest change that will provide additional program support. Expanding the number of employees covered by Social Security will bring new vitality to the system as well.

I strongly oppose any attempts to privatize Social Security because this action will expose retirees to market forces that can deplete their savings and threaten retirement plans. I also strongly oppose any other plans to reduce benefits since these cuts likewise will weaken the program and fail to keep pace with inflation.  

Medicare keeps many Americans from slipping into poverty because of ever-increasing medical costs. I oppose any voucher system since this is essentially a dramatic cut in benefits for hardworking Americans who have paid into the system. Medicare is an extremely cost effective and patient friendly program that I support moving to a Medicare for all healthy care system in the future.

No family should be forced into bankruptcy due to an unforeseen illness, and nobody in this country should be forced out of the health care system due to high premiums while insurers laugh all the way to the bank. The Affordable Care Act is flawed, and needs to undergo major revisions to become a healthcare system that works for all,  but current Republican proposals to replace the law will increase prices for older Americans at the expense of attracting young people into the system.  Those with pre existing conditions will need to maintain continuous coverage in order to avoid surges in their premiums. Putting the health care system back into the hands of insurance companies is a mistake that the middle class will pay for, and I am opposed to that.

4. Education

Public Funds are intended for Public Education. Young people in our district faced with the high cost of college must choose between the military, a low paying job, or entering the workforce with crushing debt from their student loans. Recent graduates are paying interest rates twice as high as the current rate. We need to invest in our young people by offering affordable college tuition at state schools so that we don't lose local talent and future job creators.

It is difficult to make a living in Southern California without a college degree or specialized training, but most families cannot afford an education outright and students end up burdened by loans. Making high payments each month prevents young people from fully participating in the economy post-graduation, which brings the economy to a crawl. This is why I support student loan refinancing for federal and private loans to current low interest rates, simplifying repayment options, and strengthening consumer protections and loan servicer accountability. I also stand for Affordable Subsidized Vocational Training, so that we have the skilled labor here in the 50th ready to work on shovel ready projects repairing our Infrastructure.

5. National Security, Our Military and Our Veterans.

Strength isn't measured by how many wars we can fight . We should use our strength and capabilities to resolve conflicts in a diplomatic way. Moreover, Congress should not be spending our tax dollars on weapons systems that the Defense Department does not want, namely those that are being pushed by corporate lobbyists, and donors to US Representatives re-election campaigns. Further investment in clean energy projects will increase our independence and ensure national security.

We have an obligation to pursue diplomatic solutions before resorting to military engagement – especially after nearly fifteen years of ill-conceived and disastrous military engagements in the Middle East.  We should strive to bring our troops and our tax dollars back home. One way to do this is to fully fund the State Department and other departments of soft power to avoid unnecessary military conflict. Make no mistake, I will vote to keep America safe and the military option should always be on the table, but it should be the last option.

As a nation we have a moral obligation to provide the best quality care for those who have put their lives on the line to defend us. I am fully committed to supporting our veterans. Our district, with it's proximity to several large military facilities, is proud to have a large population of veterans. We will put our veteran’s needs first by ensuring access to quality care and blocking any efforts to privatize the VA. For new veterans, I support putting more resources toward transition programs to ensure that they have skills training and jobs available to them when they return.

When I am elected, I will hire a veteran's advocate to work in my local office to ensure that veterans will receive their well-earned benefits while being treated with dignity and respect. This advocate will ‘go to the mat' for every veteran, cut through the red tape and make sure they receive every benefit to which they're entitled. It is also important that we strengthen services and support for current military families who serve alongside our service members. We will eradicate Veterans Homelessness as done in Salt Lake City and New Orleans. We will have a wheelchair accesible vehicle to go directly to the veterans homes and VFW posts and American Legion posts throughout the district.

6. Immigration Reform

Immigrants contribute to our country by adopting our democratic values and championing them overseas, earning wages and paying taxes in our communities,  and bringing new ideas and growth to our economy. 

When we alienate immigrants based on ethnic or religious reasons, the world will become a more dangerous place. This kind of rhetoric emboldens our enemies abroad, but an inclusive America drowns them out.

My wife is a naturalized United States citizen, so I understand the need for a robust and fair process. I’d like to help other immigrants through the application process, and support their desire to become U.S. Citizens to contribute fully in our district. I support a path to give undocumented immigrants the chance to make it right with the system, create a pathway towards citizenship, keep families together, and enable millions of workers to come out of the shadows. I will have a bilingual congressional field office to support immigrants in our community.

It is difficult to understand how immigrants who have served honorobly in our armed forces can be denied citizenship and or even be deported for being undocumented.  I support passing the Restoring Respect for Immigrant Service in Uniform Act. 

7. Environment

Water is the next Oil. Getting ontop of responsible stewardship of our natural resources is good for the planet and good for business. Regardless of your thoughts on the cause of climate change, investing in clean energy is an opportunity to protect our district and fortify our economy. Manmade carbon emissions are contributing to changes in the environment, it is an issue that can be solved. One of Southern California’s greatest resources is our sunshine.  Just as we use this resource to attract tourists, we can use our sunshine to produce clean energy and thousands of jobs.

I believe it is an urgent priority is to have congress renew the tax credits for homeowner investments in sustainable energy beyond 2016.  With tax incentives for homeowners and small businesses, we can finance a clean future with strong job growth.

8. Rural Communities

Family farms and ranches are the backbone of rural America and the U.S. economy. Farmers are also among our nation’s foremost stewards of our lands and water. Our rural residents don't currently receive the same level of service as our cities, and I will support fair mail and municipal service for our rural areas.

Land use issues are important to many of the residents of our district. I will advocate to protect our rural areas from undue encroachment and include your opinions in any such decisions I am called to make.

Rural communities in our district face increasing risk to wildfire, while rural fire departments are underequipped and understaffed for the more intense fire seasons we are experiencing. I will work to leverage federal fire programs for rural areas so our district can receive this crucial assistance.  

I will also deny any effort to destroy America’s US Postal Service, and work to expand the services they provide to our rural communities, including issuing passports, immigration services, and even small banking. 

9. Social Justice

Women’s issues are central to our families, our communities, and the economy. I stand for reproductive freedom for all women and equal pay for equal work. I will fight for paid family leave and affordable child care. This should be a high priority for all Americans. I also support expanding services under the Violence Against Women Act and the Family Violence Prevention & Services Act.  

I celebrate diversity and equality because these are key founding principles of our democracy. Progress for marginalized communities has been too slow. Continued legal discrimination of the LGBT community promotes misunderstanding that has led to violence. The Black Lives Matter movement reminds us of the inequity some citizens wrongly suffer because of the color of their skin. 

As your representative, I will support the Paycheck Fairness Act to provide women with equal pay for equal work. I will make it a priority to support employment non-discrimination. I will join the fight to include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes in the Civil Rights Act. I will proudly defend and strengthen the voting rights of every American by supporting restoration of the Voting Rights Act.  

 

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