I’ll admit it — I’m not a politician. I’m a businessman who works to get things done. For far too long, politicians in Washington have squabbled, played political games and engaged in brinkmanship. In fact, they’ve done a whole lot of all that, and not a lot of problem-solving. I’m running to change this dynamic and to put common sense and pragmatism ahead of politics.
It’s why I want voters to know who I am, where I stand on the issues, and what I plan to deliver on their behalf. With so much at stake in the years ahead, I believe that candor, levelheadedness and a fresh approach is what’s needed in Congress. These are the reasons that I have recently unveiled a set of my initial priorities for Washington.
We have a lot to get done, and I’ll be releasing other priorities in the months ahead, but these agenda items are right at the forefront:
- Addressing global warming and its clear long-term impact on historical weather patterns and rising oceans; combatting pollution to ensure clean air and clean water; reducing our nation’s use of fossil fuels and investing more in clean, renewable energy; and promoting fuel efficiency and adoption of electric vehicles.
- Protecting Medicare and Social Security by keeping promises made to our seniors and ensuring that they can retire with dignity.
- Passing compassionate and comprehensive immigration reform that both secures the border and provides a pathway to citizenship for undocumented individuals in our county; passing the federal DREAM Act; and making our country a beacon to attract and retain the world’s top talent.
- Improving the care we provide our returning veterans to make sure they get the best healthcare possible, as well as expanding job-training, education, home-ownership, and career opportunities.
- Recognizing that basic healthcare is a fundamental right in developed countries; and that the Affordable Care Act is still in need of improvements, updates and enhancement, and that we need to fight to prevent its repeal.
- Fighting tooth and nail against off-shore oil drilling along the California coast, especially off of Orange County beaches.
- Advancing equal pay for equal work to ensure gender equality in the workplace and in our ever-evolving economy.
- Fighting for a fairer tax code that helps small businesses; works towards a balanced budget; and supporting smart regulation that stimulates economic development while creating a sustainable business climate for our children and future generations.
- Abolishing Citizens United to reform the current corrupt campaign finance system that gives special interests and the Washington establishment immense power to influence elections.
- Working to avoid all unwanted pregnancies through education and by providing easy, and free, access to birth control; protecting women’s rights and women’s choice over their own bodies, and safeguarding funding for Planned Parenthood.
- Addressing student loan debt by allowing students to refinance at lower rates while also making higher education more accessible and affordable for our students.
- Continuing the fight to end discrimination against minorities and individuals in the LGBTQ community.
- Strongly supporting public education by fully funding programs like Head Start, pre-kindergarten, K-12 schools, STEM and higher education; working to shrink classroom sizes; hiring more teachers; ensuring that all students have access to 21st century technologies in the classroom; expanding the use of vocational classes; expanding access to universities for people of all socio-economic backgrounds; making community college and higher education affordable and accessible to all.
- Working to reform the criminal justice system by educating more and incarcerating less; spending more money on schools and less on prisons.
- Supporting Second Amendment rights and protecting our citizens by instituting a national licensing process for the acquisition of guns that includes universal background checks.
- Combatting any attempts to suppress voter turnout by enacting tough voter protection laws and replicating California’s voter rights laws nationwide.
- Solidifying and strengthening our bond with our NATO allies, and especially with the Baltic state nations who are continuously threatened by Russia.
- Investigating, to its fullest any and all countries and individuals, including Russia, that were, or who may have been, involved in attacking, impacting, and/or influencing our most sacred foundational pillar – true elections in the world’s leading democracy; and supporting a non-partisan, independent investigation as well as empowering an independent prosecutor to spearhead this effort.