1. HEALTHCARE: Healthcare is a human right. The health of our nation is also an economic issue because poor health and lack of affordable healthcare affect a person’s ability to secure a good paying job, provide for decent housing, and raise a family with a sense of dignity and security. Nearly 1 in 3 Americans are already covered by some form of government healthcare: Medicaid, Medicare, or military health care. If we provide Medicare for All, we can eliminate copays and deductibles, provide previously uncovered services such as long-term care, and most importantly, ensure that everyone has the care they need.
  2. EDUCATION: Every school should be just as good as our best schools. All children deserve a quality education and should be taught the skills they will need to achieve success in the 21st  Century. Charter schools and voucher programs only serve to further divide our schools and communities, especially harming schoolchildren of color and those from low-income households. Georgia currently ranks 38th out of 50 states in terms of educational equality and attainment. 35 states spend more per student than Georgia does. The gap in test scores between high-income and low-income students is 40% larger than it was 40 years ago. Sub-par support for our children and our teachers simply won’t cut it. We must invest in our education. Teachers deserve quality professional development, to be treated as 12-month employees, and increased pay. Children deserve teachers that they can relate to.
  3. LIVING WAGE: As a mother of two who once struggled to put food on the table, I know far too well the challenges that many families are facing today, the tough choices they are forced to make with every penny spent. The issue of a minimum wage is also an issue of gender disparity: 2/3 of those earning a minimum wage are women. Additionally, the cost of living has outpaced growth in wages. We live in a society where hard-working Americans struggle over table scraps while the wealthy continue to get richer and further out of touch with society. Georgia’s minimum wage is technically $5.15/hr and the current federal minimum wage is $7.25/hr, yet the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that for a single adult in many areas of Georgia, the actual cost of living requires a minimum wage significantly higher than that. In fact, the living wage in Barrow County requires a $12.01/hr minimum wage with Clarke, Jackson, and Oconee counties right behind at almost $11/hr. That is why pursuing a living wage is not only the right economic choice, but it is the morally correct choice. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren support a $15/hr federal minimum wage and I do, too.
  4. NET NEUTRALITY: We must ensure equal access to the resources and tools provided on the internet for everyone, including students, small businesses, and working families. In addition, we must strengthen and secure our internet privacy. We must provide for consumer protections against online identity theft and fraud, work to protect consumers and individuals from hackers, and prevent companies from misusing private data for their own greed and commercial purposes. Every person who uses a computer or a phone to pay their bills, write emails, share photos with family and friends, or access digital information in their professional capacity should know that their information is protected and only shared with the people it is meant for. I fully support Net Neutrality, encourage restrictions on what others can do with your personal information, support transparency, and support choice among consumers.
  5. IMMIGRATION AND DACA: No human is illegal. For so many of us, our ancestors braved a New World in search of a better future. Whether our roots were sewn here generations ago, or a decade ago, we are a nation that continues to this day to grow and prosper because of the many diverse people that call America home. Immigrants in America are small business owners, workers, raise families, and are actively engaged in our communities. By supporting Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), ending indiscriminate mass deportations, providing clear and accessible paths to citizenship, and repealing legislation that penalizes sanctuary schools and cities, we promote a healthy, welcoming state that recognizes human dignity and values all members of our community.
  6. WOMEN’S REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS AND SEXUAL ASSAULT PREVENTION AND VICTIM PROTECTIONS: Reproductive rights are human rights. Women’s health begins with choice in providers, in services, and over their own bodies. By investing in paid family leave, adequate access to healthcare facilities, access to birth control, and protecting pregnant women from discrimination in the workforce, we can provide the reproductive freedom that is an essential human right to all members of our society. Sexual Assault has no place in our society and we must support and protect victims of sexual assault. Punitive laws, such as HB 51 proposed in 2017, harm the most vulnerable among us and have no place in our communities. However, programs such as Safe Dates and Shifting Boundaries, as well as Georgia State University’s RealConsent, have been shown to be effective in preventing sexual violence perpetration. By investing in education, support, and services, rather than stigmatizing and penalizing victims of sexual assault, we promote a healthy, safe, and secure community where consent means something and people are protected.
  7. ANTI-DISCRIMINATION AND EQUALITY: Racism and all forms of discrimination have no place in our society. There can be no tolerance for the perpetuation of this type of behavior. Regardless of race, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, gender identity, or cultural or ethnic heritage, we are all inherently equal. We need a government that understands this, respects this, and works to this end. By supporting equal pay, racial justice, LGBT rights, free speech, and pushing for criminal justice reform and ending mass incarceration, we promote a safe and vibrant community for all.
  8. ENDING MASS INCARCERATION AD CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM: Mandatory sentencing and incarceration for nonviolent crimes can stigmatize people for life, especially young people; this erodes their chances for prosperous and productive future. We need to put an end to practices that have systemically and disproportionately targeted people of color. A first step to repairing our communities, mending broken homes, reducing racial achievement gaps in education, wealth, housing equity, and more is to end the practice of mass incarceration. This is especially true when these policies are disproportionately and systemically targeting certain populations in our society.
  9. INDEPENDENT REDISTRICTING COMMITTEE: Gerrymandering has disproportionately and unfairly disenfranchised many in our society, particularly people of color. It has taken power away from the people and given it to those in office. If we truly want to adhere to the “one person, one vote” ideal of American democracy, we must put in place a more equitable and balanced system of representation. I fully support an independent redistricting commission.
  10. CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE ENVIRONMENT: Climate change is not only a health issue, but it is an economic issue. We must invest in green energy and renewable resources such as solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, and hydroelectric or other states will. Kentucky is building three solar plants, and five other red states currently lead the U.S. in renewable energy. Not only will these investments into renewable resources produce dividends for our health and our planet, but the training of workers, building of operations, and logistics of such efforts will pave the way for economic security and prosperity for hard working members of our community.