A Platform for the People
Growing up in poverty and raising my children as a single mother taught me to fight and the importance of strong social programs that help Americans reach their full potential. With the help of food stamps, WIC and Medicaid, I was able to work myself through college and become the first person in my family to earn a degree. Later, as a CFO in the non-profit sector, I fought to ensure federal funds for HUD programs and Medicaid reached those that needed it most.
My formal entry into politics and advocacy came in the wake of my daughter, Shalynne's, death at the hands of our nation's profit-driven healthcare system, but my campaign is about much more than Shalynne, and it's about much more than healthcare. It’s about fighting to put people over profit, whether it's in education, housing, energy, criminal justice, the climate, or our democracy itself. I believe we have a responsibility to ourselves, to our children, to future generations, and to our planet to leave this world a better place than we found it. And that’s what I hope to achieve with a platform that is truly for the people.
Racial, Social & Economic Justice
Racial, social, and economic injustice are pervasive in America. They are not discrete, unrelated issues, but inextricably linked. Our approach to social justice must bring all Nevada voices to the table.
Racial and social inequities – from the racial and gender wage gaps, to the lack of job and housing protections for LGBTQIA+ folks, to the causes of institutionalized poverty in communities of color – can be measured and understood in economic terms.
- I pledge to support and expand hate crime legislation in Congress.
- I support bold solutions that address injustice comprehensively… solutions that are specifically tailored to the needs of affected communities, and that bring all parties to the table - especially immigrants and people of color.
- From the halls of Congress to the roadside diner to the farm workers who deliver food to our tables, I will call out gender injustice and stand with its victims and survivors.
- I will champion the rights of Nevada’s indigenous people to live in accordance with the laws and traditions of their elders.
- I’ll work to ensure the sacred native environments of our indigenous people are respected and protected.
Outcomes continue to decline as for-profit companies pocket public dollars and young people exit our colleges and universities, facing the world with paralyzing debt. Adherence to Common Core and the attainment of a higher education degree are not for everyone. Our students do not respond to one-size-fits all programs. Our educators are suffering a lack of support, funding, training and investment in higher salaries.
- Americans deserve a robust public education system that is every bit as good, if not better, than its private counterparts.
- Public money must be channeled out of the pockets of for-profit ventures masquerading as public options and into the classroom.
- I support universal preschool for our youngest scholars. I will fight to preserve the Child Care Tax Credit, which is essential to helping families afford child care, early childhood education and helping low-income families overcome the deficits of poverty.
- I will work to make a wide range of trade schools and tuition-free colleges and universities available for our young people.
- Current college graduates are being crushed by student loan debt. We must enact federal student loan forgiveness, cancellation or readjustment and unleash the potential of an entire generation.
- I will fight for graduate assistants and the invaluable work they perform by insisting waived tuition remains tax-free. I’ll oppose a proposal to gut the Higher Education Act by capping the amount grad students can borrow from the U.S. government and putting an end to loan forgiveness, including the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.
- I will work to put the “Testing Industrial Complex” out of business. This wasteful, corporate giveaway has no place in American education. Programs such as No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top reward high-achieving schools at the expense of students who would benefit from the added resources, especially among Republicans and Independents.
Affordable housing remains a challenge in Southern Nevada, as Las Vegas is once again among the national leaders in home appreciation, as it was a decade ago before the housing bubble burst, rendering Nevada the epicenter of the mortgage meltdown and foreclosure crisis.
Homelessness is increasing while the supply of affordable housing in Nevada remains drastically insufficient, with 12 affordable units per 100 low-income families, about a third of the national average of 35. All Nevadans deserve affordable housing and policies that mandate more long-term options.
The Mortgage Interest Deduction reduces government revenue by roughly $70 billion a year and primarily benefits high-income earners. By contrast, the government spends $30 billion on Section 8 housing subsidies for low-income Americans.
- I support a federal living wage to help more families achieve the American Dream of home ownership. Wages are not keeping pace with home appreciation. Higher wages are essential to encourage home ownership among lower-income citizens.
- The Trump Administration/GOP Tax Overhaul caps the mortgage deduction to help pay for tax cuts for the wealthy. I’ll fight to redirect that revenue to low-income rent assistance and down payment assistance for home buyers.
My daughter, Shalynne, died needlessly because she didn’t know she had insurance and the emergency room she went to for help failed to provide the minimum care required under federal law. Shalynne is not alone. Far too many Americans are denied care by profit-driven hospitals. Many more are forced to navigate serious illness while constantly worrying how they will pay for it, and more still cannot afford the preventative care that can lead to long term hospitalizations. Our senior citizens, who should be revered and protected, are forced to choose between buying food and prescription drugs. All of this combines to form a draconian healthcare system that all too often results in illness and death.
How can other countries, which lack the wealth of our great nation, provide better care for patients at a fraction of the cost?
Because they know what I know: Single-payer, universal care works. Medicare works. It works for your grandparents, your parents or maybe you.
Access, follow up care, relatively low prescription drug co-pays – Medicare recipients get it all at a relatively low cost because unlike individual doctors and hospitals, the government can efficiently manage care.
- I will support Improving Access to Affordable Prescription Drugs Act, which seeks to make prescriptions more affordable, and Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act, the Affordable and Safe Importation Drug Act.
- I will fight for Improved and Expanded Medicare For All so that no one has to suffer the needless loss of a beloved child, spouse or family member.
- I support Nurse Staffing Standards for Hospital Patient Safety and Quality Care Act and mandated nurse-to-patient ratios in our nation’s hospitals.
For the last 40 years, low-income women who rely on Medicaid have been denied the right to choose. The Hyde Amendment, passed in 1976, prohibits the government from covering the cost of abortion.
- It’s time to repeal the Hyde Amendment and afford comprehensive reproductive services to all women, regardless of ability to pay.
- I will support Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance (EACH Woman Act) which prohibits political interference with private health insurance companies’ decisions to cover terminating a pregnancy.
Mental health problems must be destigmatized and treated as any physical ailment.
- I’ll fight to ensure mental health diagnosis and comprehensive treatment are covered under Medicare For All.
The fight for LGBTQIA+ justice didn’t start with marriage equality, and it can’t end with marriage equality. We have made tremendous strides but much remains to be achieved.
Gender Reassignment Surgery is the accepted treatment for gender dysphoria. Many medical experts consider the surgery to be necessary, not cosmetic, yet some insurance companies have the option to exclude coverage for procedures not considered preventive. While some states and local governments have passed legislation outlawing discrimination against transgender patients, I will work to ensure the rights of all.
- I will advocate for policies in Washington that end discrimination in health care.
- I will support The Equality Act, which adds sex, sexual orientation and gender identity to the protected classes of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
- I will fight to ensure that coverage of the use of HIV prevention tools like PrEP is covered under Medicare For All.
The failure of Congress to clear a pathway to citizenship for the millions of undocumented immigrants who make invaluable contributions to our country every day is nothing short of a travesty. Families have been ripped apart, careers have been destroyed and lives have been needlessly ruined. Our immigration system must foster respect and dignity for all people, regardless of their national origin. Instead, our policies engender fear, mistrust and the issuance of arbitrary orders.
Investment in human capital reaps valuable dividends and pays for itself. We must make the resources available that will help transform our nation’s newcomers into contributing, wage-earning, tax-paying members of our society.
Freedom of movement and immigration should be considered a basic human right. We must recognize how difficult the decision is to leave one’s home. Immigrants very often don’t have any other choice.
- I will fight to ensure that innocent immigrant children who know only one home – America – are welcome to remain, contribute and prosper as valued members of our society.
- I will fight for passage of a Clean DREAM Act and to protect recipients of Temporary Protected Status (TPS).
- I will fight for a pathway to citizenship for all 11 million undocumented Americans.
- I will support the rights of municipalities to protect the liberty of their residents. I will oppose any efforts at the local, state or federal level to block the designation of Sanctuary Cities. The recent ruling that derails a statewide ballot question is a positive step but the mean-spirited individuals who would hunt down undocumented immigrants will not give up and we must be prepared.
As I have in my personal and professional lives, I will serve in Congress as a champion for people with disabilities.
- I’ll insist that mental health care and disability assistance are essential aspects of Medicare for All.
- I will staunchly oppose the Trump Administration and GOP efforts to rollback important protections in the Americans with Disabilities Act.
- I’ll fight to ensure the preservation of critical benefits such as Medicaid and Social Security.
People with disabilities often rely on the assistance of Home Care Workers, who enable individuals to retain their independence and at a fraction of the cost to the public of expensive institutional care. However, our nation is experiencing a Home Care crisis. Home care workers, who earn minimum wage, can no longer afford to care for our loved ones at the expense of their own families.
- I pledge to ensure that Home Care Workers receive a livable wage and the pay they are due, in accordance with federal wage and overtime laws.
As the mother of two children with special needs, one who received Early Childhood Intervention and one who did not, I am well aware of the developmental advantages conveyed by these programs.
- I will fight to preserve funding for federal grants to states that provide free preschool to children with disabilities, developmental delays and medical problems that may delay development.
Criminal Justice Reform
The cost of incarceration is eating state tax dollars, fattening the coffers of for-profit prison industries, and disproportionately affecting minority communities. The expense to taxpayers of housing an inmate for a year far exceeds the cost of college tuition, yet “correction facilities” ultimately release inmates who are woefully unprepared to succeed on the outside.
- The War on Drugs is a failure. We must prioritize prevention and treatment, covered by healthcare, for those who suffer from addiction, and prevent the despair that perpetuates it by investing in publicly-funded affordable housing, education, and job training in our most impoverished and vulnerable communities.
- I will work to end the school-to-prison pipeline by championing investment in early childhood education, eradicating institutionalized discrimination and demanding our juvenile justice systems adhere to treating, not punishing, our youth.
- I will fight for rehabilitation of adult offenders and for restorative justice practices that help them and their communities heal and grow, like job training, adult education, and community reintegration.
- I will support the Justice is Not For Sale Act, which seeks to end the private for-profit prisons.
Cannabis & Hemp
Americans have voted overwhelmingly in a number of states, including Nevada, to legalize, regulate and tax cannabis, allowing law enforcement to focus attention on black market sales to children. Now, the top law enforcement official in the nation is threatening to wipe out an entire industry he doesn’t like. Ramping up the failed War on Drugs will only lead to more injustice and is an assault on our liberty and right to self determination.
The criminalization of cannabis also stifles manufacturing as well as medical research and development. The versatility of industrial hemp could transform manufacturing industry and provide sustainable alternatives to current harmful practices, and the untapped potential of cannabis’s medical properties could revolutionize healthcare in America and lead to innovations that could be spread overseas.
- I will support the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act, which removes marijuana from Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act.
- I will fight to implement policies that empower those with prior nonviolent drug offenses to lead and shape an emerging industry with policies like prioritized dispensary permits, and clearing criminal records for cannabis possession and nonviolent distribution charges.
Wall Street & Financial Corruption
While our most marginalized communities face unique challenges, the American people face a national struggle for a better life.
Ten years ago, Nevada was the epicenter of the housing market meltdown, a scheme perpetrated by greedy investors, predatory lenders and allowed to flourish by obtuse lawmakers and lax regulators.
We’ve got to address the greed and corruption among Wall Street, corporate America, and the rest of the 1%.
The vast majority of Americans work hard to support themselves and their families, but many of the wealthiest among us continue to get even richer off of passive income from investments, capital gains, and inheritance.
- I support a 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act, modern anti-monopoly policies, and a return to progressive taxation — that will lift the 99% and put us back on the path to prosperity.
- I will fight to make financial services more accessible to low-income communities via Postal Banking.
- As your representative in Congress, I will support taxing capital gains as income.
- I support the Robin Hood Tax campaign and will fight to pass a financial transaction tax in the form of the Inclusive Prosperity Act, which would invest the proceeds in our families and communities.
Jobs, Labor & Wages
When the American economy plunged into the Great Depression the leadership and vision of the Labor Movement and the New Deal provided the foundation for a broad middle class that became the envy of the world. Now in the aftermath of the Great Recession, the Democratic Party needs to empower unions to fight for bold reforms that will transform our economy back into one where everyone shares in prosperity. Right now we have two parties that fight to represent corporate interests/capital. We need elected officials who will never waiver in their support for organized labor and workers’ rights to collective bargaining.
- I support the Raise the Wage Act, which would increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour.
- American workers can rebuild our crumbling infrastructure - from bridges that are failing to replacing outdated and dangerous water systems. I will be an enthusiastic supporter of the Federal Jobs Guarantee.
- I will fight to end the Gender Wage Gap. As Nina Turner would say, ‘I want my whole damn dollar!’”
- I will support any legislation that enacts a federal ban on “right-to-work” laws, such as Protecting Workers and Improving Labor Standards Act.
- I will fight to pass the Workplace Democracy Act, which protects the rights of workers to associate and seek representation.
- I will work to ensure large scale development projects using public money are required to employ a significant percentage of local workers.
Social Security & Retirement
Social Security is not an entitlement but rather a benefit earned by American workers with each paycheck. The Trump tax overhaul passed recently by the Republican-controlled Congress is unsustainable without an unwieldy addition to the national debt or huge cuts to the retirement benefits Americans have earned and on which they deserve to rely.
- I pledge to protect the money you have entrusted to your government’s safekeeping, and insist these benefits are preserved for our seniors in their retirement.
- American workers who earn high salaries should pay social security taxes on their entire income. I will fight to remove the social security tax cap on wages.
- We need to ensure that our elderly population can enjoy their retirements with dignity, and I will fight any efforts to raise the retirement age. I will support increasing social security benefits but will never support raising the retirement age.
Energy & Climate Justice
A glance at recent headlines reveals climate change is a reality, not the hoax Donald Trump and the GOP would have you believe. Energy investments made today will determine our path for the next century. America can and should be a global leader in developing innovative and transformative solutions. We cannot afford to wait.
- I will support grants and incentives for innovations in renewable energy production, storage and technology.
- I will fight for a Green New Deal to expand renewable energy production and make the U.S. a world leader in green technologies – from solar and wind to geothermal and hydroelectric – with reliable policies that instill confidence, foster investment and put Americans back to work.
- As a member of Congress, I will support the Off Fossil Fuels Act, the Keep it in the Ground Act, and a national ban on fracking on public lands.
- I will fight to restore America’s international influence, making sure we stick to our word on the Paris Climate Deal and lead the way on global justice issues like climate change.
Few disagree that America’s crumbling and dangerous bridges, outdated railways and aged public buildings must be upgraded. The disagreement focuses on how to finance the improvements. In the past, governments have sold bonds to finance infrastructure projects. Now, private equity groups and other financiers are investing.
- I will oppose any effort by Donald Trump to finance improvements through private equity and public/private partnerships – financing options that increase the cost of projects three to six times!
- I will support plans that create jobs, improve safety and reduce our carbon output.
- I will fight to pass the Federal Jobs Guarantee, which will allow American workers to prosper from the rebuilding of America’s critical infrastructure.
The Trump Administration and the GOP are removing hard-fought protections from public land monuments in western states, Nevada among them. These lands will be exploited for their natural resources and profits will flow to out-of-state corporations. Public lands belong to all of us. They shouldn’t be sold off to the highest bidder.
- I will oppose efforts to eliminate these designations, and will work to preserve the public lands that have come to represent the vast wilderness of the Golden West and the pristine places that connect residents and visitors alike with the treasures of our past and the promise of our future.
Science, not politics, should dictate a critical decision such as where to bury the most toxic substance known to humanity. Too many safety questions remain to designate Yucca Mountain as the nation’s only site under consideration for a high-level nuclear waste repository. Additionally, Nevada’s lifeblood – it’s tourism industry – relies on the presumption of a safe, enjoyable visit. Even a minuscule drop in tourism could cost Nevada’s economy hundreds of millions of dollars.
- I pledge to explore the potential for Nevada’s testing facilities to help develop technologies for on-site processing of existing nuclear waste, while keeping in mind safety and economic concerns for the residents of Nevada.
- If elected, I will fight changes to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s review standards for repository design and support legislation that accelerates the transfer of spent fuel to dry storage casks, where it is more secure from potential threats.
Democracy & Voting Rights
Two of the last five presidential elections have been won by the candidate who did not receive the most votes. That’s not how elections are supposed to work! The disillusionment of millions of young people across the country is easy to understand. How do we tell them every vote counts when the outcome proves otherwise? The Electoral College no longer serves the purpose it once did. Other industrialized nations, all of which hold one-person one-vote elections, avoid the ambiguity we’ve come to dread.
Big money is also working to further erode our democracy by giving wealthy mega donors and corporations an outsized voice in our electoral process. Corporations are not people.
- If elected, I will support an amendment to eliminate the Electoral College.
- I support a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United and move to publicly financed elections, eventually rendering campaign contributions illegal.
Our most basic right as Americans, the right to cast a ballot, remains under attack in communities of color. Schemes to prevent voting abound. No qualified voter should be prevented from exercising the most fundamental right of a representative form of government, the right to vote.
- I support eliminating the role of superdelegates.
- I will advocate for open primaries.
- I will work to pass a federal Automatic Voter Registration law.
- I will support full restoration of the Voting Rights Act
- I pledge to end discriminatory photo ID requirements.
- Ex-felons who have served their sentences should not be made to feel like second-class citizens and deserve to participate. I support restoring voting rights for ex-felons.
- I will fight against “crosscheck” programs in which Republicans seek to purge voters and relegate them to casting a provisional ballot.
- I support the rights of District of Columbia voters to choose their U.S. Representatives.
Foreign Policy, International Affairs & Fair Trade
We can’t just be fighting for progressives values at home. Our foreign policy needs to reflect the same values and emphasis on human rights that inform our domestic policies.
- I support Progressive Internationalism – forging alliances with democratic nations around the world to foster cooperative global politics and restore America’s international standing as a leader among peers.
- We must stop breaking our own laws, like the Foreign Assistance Act and the Arms Export Control Act, by doing business with nations that engage in human rights abuses, like Saudi Arabia.
- I will support the Stop Arming Terrorists Act. We must stop providing arms to terrorists, as we have done in Syria, where those weapons have been used against innocent civilians.
- I will advocate replacing The War on Terror with A Marshall Plan for the Middle East. Instead of spending trillions of dollars on the Military Industrial Complex, we could help bring economic development to war-torn regions of the Middle East, win the hearts and minds of its people and create stability, peace and security for the United States.
- I will bring the right to wage war and peace back to the People’s House. In Congress, I will repeal Trump’s blank check for war and roll back the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force that he uses to send American troops to undeclared wars from Yemen to Niger.
- I will fight to bring Congressional checks and balances to our nuclear first strike policy so no one person can unilaterally launch a nuclear conflict.
- I will support the global zero initiative to achieve the elimination of nuclear weapons by promoting a phased withdrawal and verification system for the destruction of all devices held by all countries who possess nuclear weapons.
- America’s trade policies fail to put our nation’s workers first. Corporations have benefitted while their workers and the environment suffer. Factories have closed, jobs have been shipped offshore and communities have disappeared. I pledge to oppose the pending Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA), the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
- I will champion fair trade doctrines that put American workers first and help rebuild our manufacturing sector.
- Our State Department has been gutted under the “leadership” of Donald Trump. I will ensure that our vital Foreign Service corp is re-empowered.
Veterans & Military Families
As the wife of a U.S. military pilot, I’ve witnessed the sacrifices made by our troops and their families. To those who defend our freedom we owe a debt that can never be repaid. Our military veterans deserve the best our country has to offer – physical and mental health care, educational opportunities, job training and housing assistance – yet too often these brave Americans end up alone, troubled and at risk. Few things break my heart like the sight of a veteran who has lost his or her way. The epidemic of suicide among our returning soldiers must be acknowledged and addressed.
- As your representative in Congress, I will work tirelessly to ensure comprehensive care is provided to our returning military and our veterans, with an emphasis on best practices to help vets transition into civilian life.
- I pledge to ensure that the mental well-being of our veterans is as much a priority to health providers as physical well-being. We owe it to our veterans to ensure the government does more to combat the debilitating effects of post-traumatic stress disorder.
- I will also fight for a foreign policy that spares any more of our brave men and women from the horror of combat and post-traumatic stress disorders.
When talking about taking care of our veterans, we can’t ignore the needs of those on the front lines helping to ensure we are providing adequate care and resources. Current law prohibits certain VA employees, including registered nurses, from exercising their rights to collective bargaining.
- I pledge to support the VA Employee Fairness Act, which affords bargaining rights to VA employees, such as nurses.
On October 1, 2017, for reasons we may never understand, a deranged shooter robbed 58 people of their lives, their families of their loved ones and Sin City of its innocence, adding our home to the long list of cities devastated by senseless gun violence.
The Second Amendment grants our citizens the right to bear arms but with rights come responsibility.
The vast majority of Americans discard the notion that automatic weapons, high-powered magazines and accelerants such as bump stocks serve a purpose in our society. The majority of Americans fail to comprehend why a weapon purchased in a gun store requires a background check while a weapon purchase at a gun show can go unchecked. Despite the concerns of like-minded, sensible Americans, the National Rifle Association still manages, through obscene campaign donations, to exert its influence in Congress.
According to former Rep. Gabby Giffords’ group “Courage to Fight Gun Violence” — 95% of Americans support requiring a background check for all gun sales… and 94% of gun owners believe in background checks for all gun sales.
Despite the concerns of like-minded, sensible Americans, the National Rifle Association (NRA) still manages, through obscene campaign donations, to exert its influence in Congress.
As a mom, I have taken Rep. Giffords’ pledge:
“I promise you that if we cannot make our communities safer from gun violence with the Congress we have now, I will use every means available to make sure we have a different Congress, one that puts communities’ interests ahead of the gun lobby’s. I will Vote Courage in November and support candidates who will stand up to the gun lobby and take action to make our communities safer.”
As a member of Congress, I pledge to stand up to the NRA and “Vote Courage” with an agenda to make our communities safer:
- Assault weapons ban. Support a ban on the sale of military-style assault weapons, including the AR-15.
- Ban bump stocks and high powered magazines. Support a ban on so-called bump stocks, other accelerant devices and high powered magazines that turn semi-automatic weapons in deadly fully automatic weapons.
- Full background checks. Support full background checks on all gun sales, including gun shows and private sales.
- Waiting periods for gun purchases. Support “cooling off” waiting periods on gun sales pending a full background check.
- Oppose President Trump’s plan to arm school teachers. The last thing we need is more guns in schools.
- Support federal grants for individual school districts’ security needs. Each school and school district is different. As part of a national school security plan, we should have a robust federal grant program to improve school safety at the local level.
- Support “Red Flag” orders. Five states -- Indiana, California, Connecticut, Oregon and Washington -- currently have laws that enable law enforcement to temporarily confiscate weapons from individuals deemed to be a threat to society or themselves. We need a national “red flag” program to allow police to disarm and prevent future weapon sales to individuals suffering from mental illness or making threats to our safety.
- Prioritize mental health. For too long we have allowed cutbacks to vital mental health care services. Fully funding and treating mental illness will be a key element of our Medicare-for-all national healthcare plan.