MY CORE VALUES
I am an optimist. My version of making America great is solidarity in purpose. We have to unify and strengthen our country and I will work tirelessly with Democrats AND Republicans to do that.
I’m a working mom with 25 years of experience both in Congress and in the private sector. That’s a record of accomplishment I’m confident in. I have a history of finding consensus in business and in government and I believe it’s a skill we need in this political climate. I believe we need more people who think and work like me solving problems in Washington.
That being said, there will be times when we need to fight to protect our shared values. I will not tolerate any assault on women, minorities, immigrants, veterans, the disabled, or our environment from this Administration.
It’s time that we move past party affiliation and campaign politics and get to work. If the 435 members of Congress worked at the same company and posted dismal results quarter after quarter, they’d be fired. In my experience, diverse views allow discussion and debate, but never impede progress. Too often, Democrats and Republicans dig in because it’s an election year or because they would rather cast blame than engage in bi-partisan, productive conversation and solve problems.
I intend to shine a bright light on these obstacles so that we can remove them. I believe I won’t be alone. This midterm election will send a new breed of leaders to Washington and together we will join forces with progressive Members from both parties to make government simple, transparent and fair.
The issues I’m going to work on and are focused on are important to everyone in this District — fighting for working families, fighting for women at all levels of the socioeconomic spectrum, creating affordable pathways to college and career without saddling our young people with debt, training our workforce for the jobs of the future, forging partnerships with state and local government to spur private investment and economic development and create jobs and economic opportunity.
I BELIEVE in the transformative power of education to prepare our children for the world they will inherit and to provide individuals with a strong foundation for economic opportunity and success.
In Washington, I will fight for:
- Investments in education from cradle to career: early education, public K-12 education, affordable college tuition, and practical education – vocational training, apprenticeships and community college – that convert into jobs.
- Continuing education options that are local, convenient, and affordable for working people and those who are transitioning to new careers.
- Making higher education accessible and affordable. Too many of our young people are saddled with gross amounts of debt that put them on the wrong economic path in adulthood.
JOBS AND THE ECONOMY
I BELIEVE we need to address the economic anxiety that plays out in the homes of working families each day. A strong economy and access to good education create economic opportunity for working class families like the one I grew up in. This district has a rich history of electing a progressive democrat who is focused on economic development and jobs.
In Washington, I will fight for:
- Continuing the 3rd District’s leadership in developing the technologies of the future by working with businesses – particularly high tech, life sciences and defense companies – to locate here through cooperative planning and creative public-private partnerships.
- Unlocking public funding to promote smart infrastructure improvements and create jobs, revitalize our cities and towns, and strengthen our regional economy.
- Linking education and economic mobility and setting big goals for the jobs of tomorrow so that an education system may be reverse engineered to prepare students for the jobs of the 21st century.
I BELIEVE that healthcare is a right, not a privilege. The battle to pass the Affordable Care Act was hard-fought. I’m committed to improving and strengthening the ACA first and foremost, and to stop Republicans in Washington from dismantling it.
- Basic health care should be affordable for everyone. Like all insurance, health care works best when the membership is large and diverse. I will work to make basic health care an affordable reality for as many people as possible. I will also work to preserve freedom of choice regarding which type and how much is right for each individual.
- Health care should be simple to understand and manage. Patients should be provided with information about proposed treatments that includes alternative treatments along with what their insurance covers and their out-of-pocket costs for each treatment. Medical records should be standardized, easily accessible to patients, and easily transferable between providers. This will simplify patient’s management of their care, reduce costs for providers, and improve quality of care.
- End the excessive price increases on prescription drugs. Today, Americans pay more than double than what other countries pay for prescription drugs. In 2015, 16.7 percent of healthcare spending in the U.S. went to prescription drugs. We need to end the outrageous prescription drug price increases and require drug manufacturers to make public information justifying any significant price increase. Additionally, we need to give the government the power to negotiate lower drug prices for the 41 million Americans enrolled in Medicare Part D.
- Rates can be controlled by improving efficiency. Today, it seems daunting to deliver quality health care to everyone without raising taxes or bankrupting our country, but we can do it. There are many ways we can be more efficient in developing new treatments, delivering services, and managing the system. I will work to find and implement changes like standardized health records, and improved FDA approval processes.
- Bipartisan cooperation is needed to improve our healthcare system. The ACA was a great step forward, but health care will always need improvement. I will share my ideas and collect the best ideas from both sides of the aisle to promote a system that is socially progressive, fiscally responsible, and preserves individual rights.
I believe in making sure our leaders in Washington are standing up for the hard-fought rights, economic independence, and health and safety of all women. In particular I am committed to advocating for these rights for women of color, because when women of color succeed, we all succeed. It’s not about making sure a woman’s voice is heard; it’s about making sure all women’s voices have a chance to speak.
- I will fight for the prosperity of all women by closing the leadership gap and getting more women into positions of power, ensuring equal pay for equal work and preserving access to reproductive healthcare.
- I will reject a status quo that often forces women to choose between being a mother and having a career by increasing access to paid family leave and affordable, high-quality childcare.
- I will demand domestic abuse preventions that work, work to improve the way we handle sexual violence on college campuses, and combat the prevalence of sexual harassment and assault in the workplace.
ELECTION AND POLITICAL REFORM
I BELIEVE big money has too much influence in our elections and in our government. Big money and secret money in politics takes away the voices of working families.
The entities, corporations and people with the most money are getting the loudest voice in politics. That’s wrong. It’s important to me that regular people, and not just special interests, have their voices heard. That’s why I strongly support passing a constitutional amendment to reduce the influence of money in politics by ending Citizens United. We should require super PACs to disclose who is bankrolling them, and put Congress back in the hands of ordinary Americans – not bought and paid for by wealthy donors.
Additional campaign finance reform priorities:
- I will support The DISCLOSE Act, which would require all corporations, unions, and super PACs to report campaign expenditures of $10,000 or more. It would require reporting of transfers by those groups to others making such expenditures in order to expose the source of huge campaign contributions.
- I will support the ‘Democracy For All Amendment’ to end the big money dominance of our elections and allows for Congress and the States to set overall limits on campaign spending, including prohibitions on corporate and union spending in the political process.
- I will support the Government by the People Act which, among other provisions, creates “People PACs,” or small donor committees, that aggregate the voices and power of ordinary citizens rather than wealthy donors (as traditional PACs tend to do).
- I will support the Get Foreign Money out of US Elections Act, which would apply the current ban on campaign contributions by foreign nationals to foreign-controlled, foreign influenced, and foreign-owned domestic corporations.
I BELIEVE in comprehensive immigration reform that creates a pathway to citizenship for those already here, while continuing to be a beacon of hope and opportunity for oppressed people around the world. These are our shared American values.
- I believe that immigration laws created in the 1950’s should be updated to serve the needs of people and nations living in today’s global economy.
- Border security needs to be improved for the safety of Americans with respect to smuggling, terrorism, foreign interference, illegal immigration and threats to our public health.
- Immigration quotas and acceptance criteria should be modernized because qualified workers are needed to meet the demand in industries like agriculture, manufacturing, healthcare, technology, and more.
- America should do its share to provide refuge to foreigners in crisis including: promoting peace and democracy beyond our borders, supporting international relief efforts, and accepting refugees and asylum seekers.
- International students should be encouraged to study here. One way to promote peace and democracy beyond our borders is to educate the future leaders of all countries. At the same time, international students provide a significant portion of the funding the keeps our educational system the best in the world.
OPIOIDS AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE
I BELIEVE we are losing too many of our loved ones to the opioid epidemic, and it has to stop.
The numbers from 2016 are staggering: 63 overdose deaths in Lowell, 46 in Lawrence, 36 in Haverhill, 14 in Methuen. The list goes on; we all know someone whose life has been impacted by substance misuse, if not our own. Massachusetts is making progress – setting prescription drug limits, doubling down on both prescriber education and general drug abuse awareness and education, putting more dollars into treatment facilities and supporting pathways to recovery. For the first time in many years, overdose deaths are trending down. But our work is not yet done; we must enact legislation to standardize and modernize our recovery and support systems, to avoid great disparities in the level of care available.
We need more action from Washington. Congress needs to step up and provide federal dollars to support prevention, treatment and transitional programs. I will do everything I can to make sure we are using federal levers to halt an epidemic that is taking too many of our loved ones.
I will also fight to destigmatize substance use disorder treatment. Too often, those who need help dealing with substance misuse are too embarrassed to ask for it, or else are afraid of the consequences to their life if they do. We must create a supportive, healthy attitude about recovery and encourage those struggling with addiction to take charge of their health and well-being.
I BELIEVE we need to put an end to the cycle of gun violence that is taking too many lives in our schools and our communities. Every year, 114,000 Americans are shot. There’s hardly a community that hasn’t been or won’t be impacted by gun violence, including victims of domestic abuse.
In Congress, I’ll stand on the side of protecting lives and fighting for change.
- I will ban the magazines and assault style military weapons designed for soldiers, not citizens.
- I will push the CDC to conduct substantive research on the public health implications of the prevalence of firearms in America.
- I will advocate for comprehensive background checks at every point of sale.
- I will work to create a Select Committee on Gun Violence, so we can actually bring people together around this issue and come up with sensible solutions.
ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT
I BELIEVE we have a responsibility to protect the planet our children will inherit. I will make sure to hold those who sully our environment and pollute the biosphere responsible for their actions. America is a biologically diverse and lush nation; let’s fight to preserve our greatest natural resource.
- I will fight for good-paying, middle class jobs in the field of renewable energy, and push to expand access to cost-saving renewable energy for low-income households. Our environment and our economy will benefit from a fresh commitment to alternative energy sources, and we must make sure that there is no barrier to entry for families seeking to run their homes in a green, affordable way.
- I believe that clean air and clean water are fundamental human rights. However, low income communities and communities of color are disproportionately saddled with high levels of pollution and toxic hazards. Climate change will necessarily affect low-income and minority communities, tribal nations, and Alaska Native villages. I will work towards comprehensive climate change policies that do not leave any demographic — including former mining communities — behind.
- I will work towards aligning the United States with international consensus and impose strict regulations on greenhouse gas emissions. It is well past time that the United States and our Environmental Protection Agency stand with the international scientific community and let their comprehensive knowledge of climate change patterns inform our own environmental policy.