My goal as your Representative is to advocate for ALL of my constituents, especially those who have been historically oppressed. I’m well aware that I’ve personally been very privileged, a white man born to an educated and well supported family. Many of the people I aim to represent have had very different life experiences, and I want to hear your stories. What issues are important to you, how does the federal government, by action or inaction, affect your daily life?
People from underrepresented groups, like people of color, immigrants, the LGBTQIA+ community, people with disabilities, and people at the intersection of those groups especially deserve to have their voices heard and respected by their leaders, and I’m committed to listening to & supporting you. I intend to make sure that my congressional office staff is diverse to ensure that your perspectives are “in the room where it happens.”
Some of these issues have been suddenly thrown into very sharp contrast, with almost 60% of people killed by COVID-19 being African American, even though they make up less than 15% of our population. There are many factors conspiring to that outcome, such as historic legacies of redlining pushing them into denser neighborhoods, higher rates of poverty, less access to health care, and others. Implementing universal nonprofit health care should be a big help there.
We also need to fully legalize marijuana & decriminalize other drugs, stop incarcerating people just for having a substance abuse problem – they need social support & treatment rather than a jail cell. These laws have overwhelmingly been used to persecute BIPOC to keep for-profit prisons full, to give them criminal records that will exclude them from competing for lots of better paying jobs, so records need to be expunged of drug crimes at the same time.
It’s not enough for White People to “not be prejudiced,” it’s on us with the resources & power to use that to be actively anti-prejudiced. I recommend that every bill proposed should begin by explaining how it will work to reverse the legacy of privilege for white men, or an explicit admission that it doesn’t. I and the national Green Party support a program of reparations paid to the descendants of slaves and an end to the exception in the 13th Amendment allowing slavery for those convicted of crimes. The first step is to move a bill to require a study to determine what our options are for how a reparations program could be implemented out of the committee where it’s been languishing for over 30 years without a floor vote.
We need a bigger, better Equal Rights Amendment that explicitly protects against discrimination based on sexual preference or gender identity in addition to women.