We are not separate from our environment. We breathe the air, we drink the water, and we eat food that comes from the earth. Dirty energy poisons them all.
Long Islanders deserve to live disaster-free lives in safe, clean communities with high-wage, good-paying, middle-class jobs. That’s why I support clean energy freedom for all Americans. It not only saves you a lot of money in the long run, it will improve public health, preserve our natural splendor, and free Americans from dependence on oil-exporting countries that aren’t our friends.
I believe Long Island’s best work opportunities can be in the clean energy sector. I will work tirelessly to bring more dignified, living wage jobs in this fast growing industry to the 1st congressional district.
Suffolk County’s 1.5 million residents use hundreds of millions of gallons of groundwater a day, and have hundreds of miles of fragile, living beaches in our care.
We are not separate from nature. Therefore, we not only have a moral obligation to protect it, we have a moral obligation to develop and make use of new ways to preserve and protect it.
From families to fisheries to farms, the solutions we develop here can save the world.
Long Island is already home to world leading expertise in environmental science and policy.
We owe our children a future in which this expertise protects them and their communities for generations to come.
The people of the first congressional district will have in me a fearless, knowledgeable scientist–a representative with the public’s viewpoint–strengthening all public protections to keep our water, air and natural splendor safe, clean and poison-free.
Grow Our Trade Schools
New York’s K-12 system is admired and envied across the Nation. Likewise, Long Island’s world-leading Colleges, Universities, and Laboratories are known as gems. Our Vocational system should be seen the same way.
Our generation must ensure that the next generation is trained for the jobs we need. Trade schools must effectively reach into the public high school system. I remember feeling admiration and envy when, as a teenager growing up in Pennsylvania’s “Steel City,” I saw my classmates spend their afternoons at the technical schools. We should ease the path from high school into the work force, value the contributions of our young women and men while not separating them from their peers.
Every student deserves a robust, fully-funded public education system, with the highest standards for every child and school district.
Privatizing public education undermines and weakens the potential of every public school student to become their best versions of themselves. It drains public money intended for all students and diverts it to those who need it least at the expense of those who need it most. Two-tiered education robs our public school, trade school, and public university students of the vibrant, well-rounded educations they deserve.
Skills-based certifications are crucial for the new clean energy technologies we will develop on Long Island. They are essential to making it possible for our children to remain on Long Island, to find homes and raise families of their own.
I will partner with Education and Labor leaders to determine where we are challenged to provide the courses, teachers, or workers our children need, and make Long Island’s Trade School system as famous as our colleges and our K-12.
A Doctor for Every Family
Health. Life. Freedom. You can’t have one without the other two. If you have a serious illness or injury but have no health care, you’re not free. You’re not free to live your life and move around the way you normally would. If you can’t work, you can’t pay your medical bills. This will impoverish you and you won’t be free to live a happy life.
A single payer system has been analyzed by many organizations, including New York State, concluding that it is the most cost effective way to deliver.
There is more consensus about the desired outcome – lower costs, freedom to choose any provider – than the path. Everyone deserves a doctor for every family. The single most important priority for voters is not to lose the doctor-patient care they rely on.
I will work with the New York delegation and with all of Congress to create a healthcare system that puts care back into the hands of doctors, not insurance company bureaucrats. I will fight to eliminate rationed care and profiteering by drug and insurance industries, and I will fight to defeat any health care bill that includes financial aid for millionaires.
Safety for Children
Safety is a requirement for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. But for all too many children, safety - even in their homes - has been stripped from their lives. So many factors contribute to the safety of neighborhoods: discrimination, addiction, gun violence, unequal policing. And the solutions are nuanced. But one issue has a clear and simple solution: state-determined statutes of limitations that unjustly prevent victims of child sex abuse from seeking justice as adults.
Just as our federal Civil Rights laws are used when the states fall short prosecuting hate crimes, the federal government should ensure all survivors of child sex abuse receive equal justice across the country. Survivors often have great difficulty with intimate relationships, issues of trust and betrayal, the fear of being ignored, substance abuse, and deep-seated anger - and these can lead to the next generation’s cycle of danger and harm. If elected, I will co-sponsor legislation that employs these laws to combat pedophilia. It is time to end the silence about this plague afflicting us.
Women’s Health & Reproductive Equality
Pre and post-natal care programs reduce infant mortality rates, especially for low-income mothers. So does a doctor for every family, clean air, clean water and clean food.
Women and their spouses/partners should have access to well-funded pre and post-natal care education to protect the health and well being of the mother and the baby.
Reproductive equality means women should have the right to determine what type of family makes the most sense to them. This includes the freedom to plan their own family.
Senator Kamala Harris said it best:
“We all know the truth: If you are a woman trying to raise a family, you know that a good-paying job is a woman’s issue.”
Family Freedom for women is a health issue, an economic issue and an equality issue and will only be achieved when women have the same rights to control their bodies as men.
Racial Equality and Justice
William Faulkner once wrote, “The past isn’t dead and buried. In fact, it isn’t even past.”
Slavery, colonialism, and their enduring legacies are stains on the history of our nation. The ruthless, barbaric, and inhumane treatment of African-Americans wasn’t limited to Southern states. Nor did it disappear in 1863. And because these practices were enshrined in law, personal prejudice has plagued generations.
Today, we continue to see widespread patterns of social and political systems discriminating against people based on race:
- Innocent African-Americans are seven times more likely to be convicted of murder than innocent white people;
- Innocent African-Americans are 12 times more likely to be convicted of drug crimes than innocent whites;
- For profit, private prisons exploit prisoners who are disproportionately African-American and Latino;
- Since 2008, states across the country have passed measures to make it harder for Americans—particularly black people, the elderly, students, and people with disabilities—to exercise their fundamental right to cast a ballot.
Minds will not change until we change our laws.
I oppose private prisons. To earn a profit by putting people behind bars corrupts our justice system and rewards unjust incarceration of Americans.
Because elected officials in state governments continue to engage in voter suppression, Congress must restore the Voting Rights Act.
Americans deserve a Congress that protects their rights to vote in free elections.
Americans deserve a justice system that treats all people equally, with fairness and dignity.
America must strip from its books any law that fails to protect and empower its citizens.
For me, Equality should be the foundation of all our public policies. This makes it possible for everyone to have the same opportunities so everyone can succeed.
Freedom from discrimination is necessary for all loving, committed families to enjoy the social and legal protections needed to take care of each other on all levels–in sickness and in health.
I support the Equality Act of 2017 (H.R. 2282).
Anything less is a violation of human dignity.
Our immigration policy should continue to be based on the four principles of reunification of families, admitting valuable skills, protecting refugees, and promoting cultural diversity. Eligibility requirements are different in these different categories, as they should be.
A merit-based “point system” that bars entry to family members and young people ready to learn new skills impoverishes our workforce. If I were in Congress now I would proudly support the Dream Act of 2017.
I support policies that reduce bureaucratic bottlenecks and encourage naturalization, for legal immigrants and their undocumented family members. Working together with representatives of all industries and worker organizations, I will ensure that Federal policy gives Long Island immigrants and businesses the support and flexibility we need. Our related responsibility is to ensure that jobs are in abundance, not scarcity. The renewable energy industries that we develop here will help make this a reality.
First and foremost, workers are profit creators. Corporations make money only when people work for them. Unions protect profit creators, which is good for workers and corporations.
Unions help level the playing field, enabling workers to have a fair chance against powerful corporations and governments.
Unions free workers from corporate servitude. Contracts negotiated in good faith between unions and management allow workers to earn a living wage, workplace safety, regular working hours, a deferred wage in the form of a defined benefit pension and health care. In other words, unions fight for, protect and preserve the human dignity of workers.
I will always stand with working women and men and the unions who represent them because like me, Organized Labor fights every day for the basic freedoms, protections, and benefits workers deserve to have a decent life.
Thomas Jefferson clearly stated in the Preamble of the Declaration of Independence that all of us are endowed “with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
You’re not free if you’re not safe. You can’t pursue happiness if you’re dead.
Over the past four decades, while policy and engineering have been put to work to reduce motor vehicle fatalities, the opposite has been done with guns.
Fearing political backlash from dark money campaign contributors, the NRA and its Gun Lobby, a deadly number of our representatives turn a deaf ear to the public’s viewpoint on gun safety in favor of large sums of re-election campaign funds.
The result has been catastrophic. “From January 1 to October 3 , there have been 273 shootings in which four or more people were injured or killed.” (CNN)
No school of any kind should be forced by law to permit guns on campus. The mentally ill shouldn’t be permitted to own a gun. Guns that massacre must be eliminated. All loopholes in our background check system must be closed.
In Congress I will oppose the Gun Lobby, work to reinstate Center for Disease Control research on the American epidemic of gun deaths, oppose concealed carry reciprocity, and support evidence based and constitutionally tested policy to protect citizens, soldiers, and police.
According to a 2016 CDC report, overdose deaths from opioids, including prescription opioids and heroin, have more than quadrupled since 1999. Drug overdoses now kill more people than gun homicides and car crashes combined.
If we as a nation are to effectively tackle this crisis, legislators, law enforcement, our court system, medical professionals and other scientists must be willing to work together and examine it with clear eyes.
Addiction treatments have been hampered by ideological obstructions. Medical cannabis, “separation of the markets” policies and harm reduction measures for the users that include needle exchanges remain unpalatable to many lawmakers. But to prevent the spread of diseases and treat patients’ chronic pain safely, we must be open minded and clinical.
Additionally, it is immoral for drug company lobbyists to push laws making it easy to prescribe large doses of opiates while simultaneously jacking up prices for naloxone.
I support drug treatment programs which decrease rates of death, crime, and incarceration. I will continue to listen to and educate Long Islanders on the benefits of these programs as effective uses of their tax dollars.
My commitment to evidence based policy will ensure that we take the best justified approaches to this serious medical, criminal, and social problem.
Military and Public Service
Peace through strength has been American doctrine since WWII. Our military must be strong enough to work for world peace.
Republicans in Congress have, inexplicably, voted against a number of the Military’s science-based budget requests, such as the potential effects of climate change on their facilities around the world. I support science that benefits our military and keeps our service people safe, not just well-armed.
All Americans should have the opportunity to serve their country. They should be respected for their choice to do so, regardless of their gender, country of origin or sexual orientation. Just as we care for our soldiers in the field, we must work to care for our veterans once they return home.
I will work to maintain a society that respects and trusts public service, whether it is community volunteer work, teaching in a public school, or serving as a police officer.
I have seen first hand what the nations of the world can accomplish when we work together. Science is an international discipline, and scientists routinely collaborate across borders.
It is of paramount importance now to continue an international spirit of scientific collaboration and evidence based policy negotiation. The pressure of a world population of seven billion, intersecting with climate change and the dwindling of natural resources, is the greatest danger humanity faces.
In today’s global economy, diplomacy is more important than ever. Americans need to know that other nations will hold up their end of the deals we make, and our allies need to be able to rely on us. In office, I will enthusiastically support the international coalitions we need – the Paris Climate Accord, Nato, and others – to make the world safer from forces that thoughtlessly destroy lives, whether through acts of terror, unchecked economic opportunism, or climate itself.
As a scientist, I have long recognized Israel as a place of leadership and collaboration. For example, Israel leads the world with progress on desalination – so that water in the desert, instead of being a point of bitter conflict, can be a bridge. Tel Aviv has hosted a Pride Parade for twenty years or more. We need Israel, as a leader in the Middle East, to promote pluralism and tolerance.
I support a two-state solution that recognizes Israel’s right to exist in peace and security, and respects all human rights.