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.
- Increasing and indexing the federal minimum wage to reduce income inequality and poverty, and addressing the ever-increasing income and wealth divide in our country.
- 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; doing away with all for-profit prisons.
- Bolstering anti-fracking efforts across America and fully banning it in California, while focusing on the continued development of clean energies.
- 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 America’s adversary 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.
- Thoroughly investigating President Trump’s claims of wire-tapping and voter fraud and, if there is evidence, taking appropriate action. And, equally, if there is no evidence, taking appropriate action against any and all individuals, including the President himself, who propagated such information.