reducing gun violence
We have a moral obligation to address the gun violence epidemic that is threatening communities across our country. First, we absolutely need universal background checks for all gun sales, whether through federal licences, over the internet, or through private exchanges. The current system includes loopholes that make it easy for criminals and dangerously mentally ill to buy guns; it’s just common sense to fix this vulnerability. Additionally, individuals who have existing legal actions regarding threats of violence (ie. restraining orders) should not be permitted to purchase new firearms. We must be allowed to study this epidemic as the critical public health issue that it is -- and its time to repeal the Dickey Amendment. This is a public safety issue of critical importance, and I have been so disappointed in the lack of courage or congressional action on this issue. We deserve better.
I believe that every child deserves a high quality public education. Here in the 14th district we have excellent public schools, but this requires continued investment. Additionally, we should be making it easier for students to afford college by increasing our investment in higher education institutions. I support increased funding for Pell grants, increased availability of affordable subsidized student loans, and the continuance of the public service loan forgiveness program. Higher education should not be a privilege of a certain class of people.
Climate scientists nearly unanimously agree that the Earth’s temperature increases have been driven by excess greenhouse gas emissions caused by humans. Given the current trajectory, climate change presents both an existential threat to life on earth and also one of our most pressing national security issues. The impact of climate refugees, fights for basic resources like food and water caused by these events, and increased numbers of public health emergencies and disasters, will pose real, destabilizing challenges -- and we have a responsibility to act in an effort to curb these threats.
I support expanded investment and deployment of renewable energy projects, investment in public transportation projects, and a fully funded and appropriately staffed Environmental Protection Agency with authority to regulate, monitor and enforce standards associated with the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and other safeguards to promote health, safety and our environment.
IMMIGRATION AND DACA
Immigrants have been vital to the cultural fabric and economic success of America since our nation's founding. Our policies must honor and recognize the value and dignity of all of our immigrant communities and I strongly condemn the hurtful and divisive rhetoric that has become commonplace under the new administration.
We must take immediate action to provide all DACA recipients a pathway to citizenship through a clean Dream Act.
We must take immediate action to pass comprehensive immigration reform, including re-evaluating which countries receive preferential immigration authority.
FOREIGN POLICY AND PROTECTING OUR NATIONAL SECURITY
Diplomacy and leadership, backed by a strong military, are critical for our national security.