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 Iraq and Afghanistan, 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. I say it’s time we bring our dollars, our Marines, and sailors home to good paying jobs rebuilding the infrastructure right here in Southern California!
Young people 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. Let's invest in our young people and offer free college tuition to State schools. Allow graduates the right to refinance their student loans to current rates.
Women are refused equal pay for equal work. Our congressman believes that abortion should not be allowed, even for a woman who has been raped. I stand for equality and free choice. Hunter voted against renewing the Violence Against Women Act. Congress is stalling action on legislation guaranteeing equal protection for all. I will fight to change that.
The middle class struggles while Congress, including our current 50th District representative, seeks more ways to cut taxes for the rich, repeal healthcare, and to legalize discrimination of LGBT people. This is intolerable.
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. No person who works 40 hours a week should be living in poverty.
Our representative in Congress repeatedly votes to permit discrimination of LGBT. He endorses Trump’s call to build a wall and to deport immigrants. My wife is a naturalized American citizen. I understand what needs to be fixed with the system. It is time to pass comprehensive immigration reform and keep families together.
Healthcare is a basic human right and should be expanded to include all Americans.
Republicans in Congress want to eliminate the EPA so their corporate donors can pollute our air and water. The Department of Defense calls Climate Change the biggest threat to National Security, yet Republicans continue to deny that it is happening. We cannot make progress while our Congress continues to do nothing. I want to change that. I will work with the California Democratic Congressional caucus to implement common sense changes to protect our environment. We can create thousands of clean energy jobs here in Southern California by extending incentives for solar and wind energy.
Big money in politics is a curse on our democracy. When Democrats take back Congress we will pass campaign finance reform to end legalized bribery.
Women’s Rights and Opportunity
Women’s issues are central to families and the economy
- I stand for reproductive freedom for all women. Planned Parenthood is an important provider of women's health care. It should not be defunded as my opponent repeatedly votes to do. I will fight to expand Planned Parenthood.
- It is past time to ensure equal pay for women. Working mothers want to support their families and deserve an equal voice in the workplace. I support the Paycheck Fairness Act to allow women to receive equal pay for equal work. The incumbent voted against the Lily Ledbetter Act in 2008.
- I will fight for paid family leave and affordable child care. This should be a high priority for all Americans.
- Domestic violence cannot be swept under the rug. I support expanding services under the Violence Against Women Act and the Family Violence Prevention & Services Act.
Strong infrastructure is critical to a robust economy
- Billions of dollars are needed in San Diego County are to repair and upgrade our roads and waterways. 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 for our District. As your representative, I will work hard to direct investments into our district based on a publicly detailed project list to rebuild infrastucture and to create jobs, according to your priorities.
- We can create thousands of jobs here in California rebuilding our crumbling roads, bridges, railways, airports, public transit systems, water resorvoirs, wastewater plants, and more needs.
- With our extended drought, water is the new oil in our disctrict. We need good leadership and responsible foresight for water reclamation projects, improving water delivery systems and capturing runoff when it does rain.
- Wildfire is a constant threat in our district. Wooden telephone poles, exposed transformers, and power lines in our district are both a fire hazard to our communities and are a cyber security threat to our grid. Burying the power lines will create jobs and keep our community safer.
Social Security and Medicare
Social Security must be protected and strengthened so that it can continue to be a secure and reliable retirement program.
Social Security is a promise made to future generations and our legacy to them.
Today, Social security is more important than ever before. More than 1/3 of seniors depend on Social Security for all their income. Further, more than ½ of employees over 55 have no saved retirement income. Social Security needs expansion so that every American can retire with dignity and respect.
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.
There are many actions that can reinforce Social Security. Lifting the payroll tax cap to 90% of earnings rather than the current 83% is a modest change that will provide additional program support. Also expanding the number of employees covered by Social Security will bring new vitality to the system.
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.
Social Security and Medicare are essential, and I will vigorously oppose any efforts to weaken them.
Equality & Civil Rights
Equality is the forefront principal in the American Declaration of Independence. I celebrate diversity because this is what makes America great today.
Our heroic men and women in uniform fight to defend our constitution that guarantees equal protection of the laws. Leaders like Susan B. Anthony, Martin Luther King, and Cesar Chavez are giants in American history who have advanced the struggle for equal rights. This June marks the 47th anniversary of the Stonewall demonstrations that became the beginning of the LGBT movement for civil rights.
Progress has been too slow. Continued legal discrimination of the LGBT community promotes ignorance that has led to the horrifying violence we’ve witnessed in Orlando. In the 21st century Americans are finally developing an advanced understanding of love, marriage, and sexual orientation. Yet vulnerable children struggling with gender identity are still being bullied in our schools.
The Black Lives Matter movement reminds us of the violence and imprisonment some citizens wrongly suffer because of the color of their skin. Working women continue to be paid unfairly. Republican members in congress are taking us backwards by seeking to undermine the Voting Rights Act, segregate our schools again, and legalize LGBT discrimination.
- When I’m elected to Congress, I will work with the Democratic Caucus 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 support the Paycheck Fairness Act to allow women to receive equal pay for equal work.
- I will proudly defend and strengthen the voting rights of every American.
- I will work to achieve public resources being shared equitably among school districts to provide every child with an equal education in a safe environment.
- We need to restore the Voting Rights Act. Paul Ryan and the Republican house are not letting this come up for a vote. I will fight to restore the VRA.
Invest in our children and invest in our future
Every student should have the option to graduate from a public college or university in their state without taking on student debt. It is wrong to be sending our young graduates out into the world burdened by enormous debt. Too many graduates still have enormous loans with high interest rates. This ties up capital that they could be using to buy their own home, and take care of their own young family. I want us to be investing in students so that we have a pipeline of young educated citizens joining an expanding middle class and growing the economy.
- Free tuition to in-state public colleges and universities for all those making under $125,000 a year.
- Free community college tuition for all.
- Student Loan refinancing for federal and private loans to current low interest rates.
- Simplify and strengthen repayment optionsConsumer Protections and loan servicer accountability.
Our entire country was founded by immigrants, creating the wonderful diversity that the United States is known the world over for.
My oppponent is the first congressman to have endorsed Donald Trump. He opposes immigration reform, supports a ban on immigration, and supports building Donald Trump’s Wall.
- I will have a bi-lingual congressional field office. My wife is a naturalized United States citizen. I’d like to help other immigrants through the application process, and support their desire to become U.S. Citizens. I know firsthand how the immigration process works, and where it needs reform.
- Give undocumented immigrants the chance to make it right with the system, and create a pathway towards citizenship, keep families together, and enable millions of workers to come out of the shadows.
- I will promote naturalization and support immigrant integration
- It is difficult to understand how immigrants who have served honorobly in our armed forces can be denied citizenship and even deported for being undocumented. I support passing the Restoring Respect for Immigrant Service in Uniform Act, currently being blocked by our Republican Congress.
- Defend President Obama’s executive actions to provide deportation relief for DREAMers and parents of Americans and lawful residents, and extend those actions to additional persons with sympathetic cases.
Create clean energy jobs to sustain economic growth
- Manmade carbon emissions are harming the environment and causing disastrous climate change. One of Southern California’s greatest resources is our sunshine. Just as we use this resource to attract tourists and retirees, We can use our sunshine to produce clean energy and thousands of jobs.
- Our incumbent in congress is harming our economy and damaging the environment by refusing to pass any legislation to fight climate change and global warming. Republicans are working to undo the rules that keep our air and water clean. Drilling for more oil and gas is the way of the past. It wastes our investment dollars and risks polluting our gorgeous State. We need to look to the future.
- In Congress, I will partner with the Democratic team and stand up to the climate change deniers and fight to pass meaningful legislation. We can intelligently adress climate change, and boost our local economy by creating thousands more jobs in clean energy right here in California’s 50th district.
- 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.
Veterans and their families
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 timely and high quality care, and blocking any efforts to privatize the VA. Too often, veterans struggle through a tough transition trying to access a good education and to find good jobs because today's congress uses our veterans as political pawns and refuses to help. Republicans cut funding, then blame the administration for falling short.
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 be my employee, not the VA's. My office will 'go to the mat' for every veteran, cut through the red tape and make sure they receive every benefit to which they're entiled.
I may not be able to immediately solve the entire VA crises; however, I will improve the way vets are treated in the 50th District. In Washington, I pledge to vote to:
- Increase military pensions
- Fully fund our military troops in combat.
- Reduce wait times for health care, especially in rural areas.
- Create a Military Transition Support Project to help vets with jobs and education.
- Ensure veterans can access a college education at a viable school, not just some Trump-like school only interested in collecting a vet's money.
- Provide vocational training at no additional cost to veterans.
- Support affordable housing for veterans.
- Ensure that the men and women who risk their lives for our country have access to a good education and good jobs when they come home by solidifying services and programs that connect veterans to jobs after their service.
- Strengthen services and support for military families who serve alongside our service members.
As a small business owner myself, I know how to run a lean and profitable business, how to negotiate effectively, work within a budget and produce results on-time.
- Provide targeted tax relief for small businesses and simplify tax filing.
- Remove the burden on small business for them to subsidize our nation’s health care. Single payer health care is the answer.
- America spends over 17% of gross domestic product on medical care and insurance, no other developed nation in the world spends more than 10.5%. This is a national tragedy and a corporate scandal. I stand with expanding health care to every American with a national public option.
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.
- The Incumbent has been missing in action in supporting rural post offices. Our rural residents don't receive the same level of service as the cities, yet Republicans are trying to cut it further. I will support fair mail service for our rural areas. Our current congress just doesn't know how to run a business.
- In our district Rural communities face increasing risk to wildfireRural fire departments are under equipped and understaffed for the longer and hotter fire seasons we are experiencing. Larger and more frequent wildfires are overwelming the resources of small comminities. There are federal fire rural programs available but not being completely used. I will help our rural communities locate and receive this crucial assistance.
- Above ground power lines add to the risk. I support making the Wind Production Tax Credit permanent to allow landowners to invest in sustainable energy, and develop new sources of revenue.
- We need to improve our aging rural electrical grid, which consists of a aging patchwork
system of interconnected power generation, transmission, and distribution facilities.
Keeping our country strong and safe begins with no war.
- Stength isn't measured by how many wars we get ourselves into. We can learn how to use our strength and capabilities to resolve conflicts in a peaceful way.
- Congress should not be spending our tax dollars on weapons systems that the Defense Department does not want, but are being pushed by corporate lobbyists.
- Domestic investments in clean energy increases our independence and ensures greater national security.
- Fund the programs that the Department of Defense does want. The Pentegon has stated that Climate Change is our greatest threat to National Security. Climate deniers in Congress, including my opponent, have voted to direct our Department of Defense to not study this threat. That's pure nonsense. We can be using our capabilities to prepare for dangers that may be coming.
- 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. Use the money to invest in our Infrastructure here, creating jobs for our veterans.
- I will vote to keep America strong. The military option should always be on the table, but it should be the last option.
The middle class is getting squeezed as the millionare & billionare class expands. You can't have democracy without a substantial middle class.
- The federal minimum wage should be raised to $15 an hour. California is already implementing an increased minimum wage, while States surrounding us encourage low wage jobs to more to them. We need a level playing field to allow all working Americans earn fair wages, wherever they live. No person who works 40 hours a week should be living in poverty. My litmus test for voting for or against a bill is whether or not it will fortify the Middle Class.
- Republican continue to propose new tax cuts for the wealthy, while putting the burden of paying our country's bills on the working class. It's time higher income people pay their fair share of taxes.
- We must invest in a Green Economy and provide incentives to small business to utilize new technology to increase productivity while cutting their energy bills. There is a technology revolution occurring, and fossil fuel companies continue to put the environment at risk while ignoring that sustainable energy is becoming less expensive and is a job creator.
- Small Business is the driver of the Middle Classes success, not Wall Street.
Postal Service & Federal Workers
Our Post Offices serve as a place in every town in America where the US Flag waves and citizens can be served.
This is especially important in our rural communities. I denounce the GOP efforts to destroy America’s post office, founded by Bemjamin Franklin in 1775. Post Office services can be expanded to include more services as is done in other countries; passports, immigration services, even small banking.
- I strongly support Postal Reform Overnight Delivery Act (HR784) and the related Senate bill (S-2051) that directs the postal Service to reinstate 2011 service standards (6 day delivery, moratorium on rural plant closures).
- I support allowing the US Postal Service providing basic financial services, small dollar loans, checking& savings (HR4422).
Republicans too often try to demonize Federal workers
They forget that Congressmen and Senators are federal employees as well. It is simply wrong to cut VA or Education budgets, then blame them for shortcomings, using them as political pawns. Federal workers, which includes our military, deserves Fair pay and benefits. We should not be balancing the budget on their backs.
- I support the repeal of the Windfall Elimination Provision (HR 973) and the reform of the Windfall Elimination Provision in it's original form (HR711).
- I also support the related Social Security Fairness Act in the Senate (S1651).
- I support the Federal Adjustment of Income Rates (HR4585) to give federal employees a 3.8% raise in 2017.
- I strongly oppose the Republican's Federal Employee Rights Act that limits the rights of federal employee unions.
- I support Campaign Finance Reform (HR20) that puts small donors on par with wealthy donors and provides matching contributions from government.
- I support allowing the Federal Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) Prescription Drug Oversight & Cost Savings Act (HR2175) to give OPM more authority over prescription drug contracting & pricing
The incumbent, Rep Hunter has a 0% rating from the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE) for his votes on Federal Employee issues. I will be 100%.