Defend Working Class Jobs
Our working families power the economy. Union jobs in both the private and public sector allow working women and men to earn a decent wage, obtain healthcare, and secure a basic retirement. Yet large corporate interests – billionaires like the Koch brothers – and their Political Action Committees are trying to break unions to boost their profits at our expense. I have stood up and defended the right of working people to organize and collectively bargain. And I will continue to fight for these fundamental rights.
Ensure Pay Equity
Equal pay for equal work. It’s that simple. Decades of discriminatory practices have led to women, especially women of color, earning less than men for the same work. This is unjust and restricts our economic growth. We won’t accept this anymore. I will work to hold employers accountable, end discriminatory practices, and make sure that women receive the same pay as men for the same work.
Reform Education Funding
Since I was first elected to serve on my local Board of Education almost 20 years ago, I have consistently advocated for a more equitable school funding formula – one that meets the needs of every child, no matter their zip code. Since the greatest impediment to student achievement is poverty, our education system must direct critical funding to those areas – urban and rural – that have the largest numbers of students living in poverty. Furthermore, we cannot ignore the needs, and the costs, that go along with providing our special education students the same opportunities. The Connecticut Constitution guarantees every child a free and adequate public education and I will continue to advocate for funding that meets that obligation
Legalize Cannabis for Adults
Criminalizing cannabis has done nothing but hurt Connecticut. Despite no evidence showing that it is more dangerous than alcohol or tobacco, families have been torn apart, lives have been ruined, and millions of tax-payer dollars wasted in the unnecessary attempt to restrict its use. Instead, I believe that we should legalize, regulate, and tax the use of recreational cannabis for adults over 21. This will bring in millions of dollars in new revenue, allowing us to stabilize our budget and reinvest in our state. It will allow police to focus on the types of crime that actually hurt our communities. And it will end a practice that unfairly targets minorities, particularly young black men.
Make Every Vote Equal
Our democratic system centers on the premise that every person’s vote counts the same, and is worth as much, as everyone else’s vote. The Supreme Court has even ruled that state legislatures must by “one person, one vote.” And yet, when it comes time to vote for the President, not all votes are created equal. Because of the Electoral College, an antiquated system created for a bygone era, citizens of some states have votes worth more than others. When was the last time a presidential candidate campaigned in Connecticut? This is why I support the National Popular Vote, an effort to ensure that whichever candidate earns the most votes, wins. If this had been in place last year, our current President would have lost in a landslide of 3 million votes.
Keep the Internet Open and Fair
The Trump Administration recently decided to end Obama’s Net Neutrality rules. These rules ensured that our internet providers could not charge more to access certain websites, or slow down streaming speeds. The internet is essential in our technology-driven world, and we need to encourage better, faster internet service in order to grow our economy and safeguard our freedom. Small businesses deserve an equal playing field on which they can compete with large corporations, and consumers deserve access to all of the information the internet has to offer. I will fight to ensure that giant telecom corporations don't sacrifice all of this in the name of profits.
Protect the Environment, Consumers, and the Future
I have been proud to devote a significant amount of my time in the Legislature to environmental issues, starting with leading the fight to protect our tree canopy from unnecessary tree trimming and deforestation utility companies and, more recently, along our highways. In 2017, the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters inducted me into their 2017 Legislative Champions Hall of Fame for my work on these issues. But that has not been my only priority. I believe in the adoption of new technologies that make renewable energy cheaper and reduce our reliance on Fossil fuels. I support the right of Connecticut consumers to drive the electric car of their choice. I support allowing expanding commercial and residential use of solar power and making sure our markets are open to those products. And people should be allowed to sell or retain the unused solar power they generate. Finally, we must hold utility companies responsible for their role in the high energy prices we pay, especially when they take steps to throttle or limit energy capacity in our state simply to line their pockets.
Advocate for Seniors
Despite working their whole lives, many of our senior citizens face uncertain futures. I have worked hard to protect the pensions many of them have, especially our teachers, who have given a lifetime to serving our communities and future generations. I want to eliminate taxes on social security and retirement income. Security is not just financial. In 2015, I authored a law to ensure that seniors in continuing care retirement communities are safer and have a greater say in their community's governance. I have worked closely with other senior residential facilities to make sure that seniors have access to regular, affordable, and flexible transportation, especially for those with disabilities, so they can make their appointments, shop, and continue to be vibrant community members.