Issues

Addressing Climate Change

I am the climate candidate.

Motivated by the failed response to Hurricane Katrina, I founded a globally recognized nonprofit and spent the last 14 years focused on improving our nation’s response to and recovery from disasters. I’ve seen a lot.

We must urgently address climate change through mitigation (preventing warming) and we must improve our preparedness and response efforts by making necessary investments to ensure marginalized communities and those most impacted are protected.

This is about saving lives, reducing suffering, and protecting civil rights, as well as saving taxpayer dollars from inefficiency and misuse.

Civil Liberties

We should not expect those experiencing discrimination to be the strongest voices advocating for equity or justice. Having grown up learning about the Holocaust and its impact on my family and community, I committed to speaking up about injustice, and that value has shaped my path over the last 25 years.

I am a strong ally for LGBTQ+ people and a strong supporter of marriage equality and equal rights and privileges for all. I believe Black lives matter. I support reforms that improve accountability and transparency in policing. I have been and will continue to be a strong advocate for the protection and expansion of civil rights for people with disabilities.

I previously served on the Board of the ACLU of Connecticut and the Connecticut Network to Abolish the Death Penalty. I will continue to work with the civil rights community to amplify their work at the federal level.

Healthcare

Healthcare is a right, not a privilege. Everyone should have access to quality, affordable healthcare.

Together we will:

• Make doctors easier to access, especially in rural communities.

• Address health care inequities and barriers to service across the district.

• Lower costs in healthcare. Access does not equal affordability.

• Ensure individuals’ civil rights and independence are protected.

• Protect womens' rights and healthcare choices from government interference.

• Make investments in mental health to make sure high quality mental health is accessible to everyone, regardless of insurance or ability to pay.

• Support families struggling with the opioid crisis and strengthen social safety nets that support both prevention and recovery.

• Demand accountability and transparency across the healthcare industry and focus on making our district healthier!

Accountability and Oversight

The Role of Congress: One of Congress's most important roles is to make sure that taxpayer dollars are spent wisely and effectively and that there is a dedication to reducing and removing waste, fraud, and abuse. I am a strong advocate for accountability and whistleblower protections. I dedicated my last 14 years to advocating for accountability and transparency in government, and I’ll continue when elected. I believe in our system of checks and balances. Congress must hold the executive branch and courts accountable. Congress must never stop working to keep our government more effective, accountable, and transparent.

Campaign Finance and Money in Politics: Money poisons politics, undermines our democracy, and protects the status quo. Public campaign financing is critical in order to prevent corporations and wealthy individuals from buying elections. Citizens United must be overturned and Congress must put people first, not special interests and not big business.

Supporting our Federal Workforce: Our district includes a significant number of federal workers, and we need to make sure the government is accountable to them too. I pledge to hold agencies accountable for treating employees well, following the law, and honoring their obligations. As a member of a family that served our nation overseas, I know first-hand what it’s like to not receive the support needed and due from our federal government, and we must do better for those that serve.

Small Business

As the founder and executive director of a small nonprofit, I understand the challenges experienced by small businesses. I know how difficult it is to purchase your own healthcare insurance. I know what it's like to skip a paycheck (or multiple) while waiting on revenue to come in.

The federal government should make it easier for small businesses to survive and thrive, both for profit and non-profit. Small business powers so much of our economy and we need leaders that care and understand what it's like to lead a small business. Too many laws are already designed for big business, big money interests, and not the small businesses that bring vibrancy to so many of the towns throughout our district.

Education

Public education must be the “great equalizer” and we must make investments in public education to better compete with the rest of the world and protect our democratic values.

I support:

• Universal pre-k and early childhood programs.

• Making community colleges free to attend.

• Expanding Pell grants.

• Forgiving and capping student loan interest.

• Making it easier for first-generation college students to afford college.

• Expanding loan forgiveness programs to incentivize careers in the nonprofit sector, teaching, rural and urban health care, and alternative/sustainable energy.

Youth Civic Engagement & Representation

In high school, I passed legislation to create seats for students on the state board of education and worked with students in other states to pass similar bills. In college, I created a statewide Youth Cabinet for a Missouri governor that invited young people to advise the director of each state agency on issues important to youth. I served on the National 4-H Council Board of Trustees and helped the organization infuse youth voice and decision-making into its national programming and governance.

I commit to establishing a Youth Advisory Council for my Congressional office that young people across the district will help create. We have a unique opportunity to engage young people from across the district. I understand the importance of authentic youth engagement. I will strongly support our neighboring district Rep. Jamie Raskin’s Democracy Summer program. I can’t wait to offer opportunities for young people across the district, similar to those that inspired me.

Disaster Relief and Humanitarian Aid

I started a nonprofit that works to improve effectiveness, accountability, and transparency in disaster relief and humanitarian aid. I am deeply grateful to all those who put their lives on the line to help others during their darkest moments.

As a nation, we can do much more to save lives and reduce suffering by making sure lessons learned are actually implemented from disaster to disaster. We can do more to make disaster relief and humanitarian aid more effective, supporting local organizations that know the needs of their communities best. This will optimize the resilience of communities and save taxpayer dollars.

It is critical we invest in pandemic preparedness and response. We must increase funding to the NIH to maximize our readiness for future pandemics.