The Story of Us

I’m so proud to have spent this year traveling the First Congressional District and getting to know thousands of our neighbors. Please take a moment to watch my campaign video, “The Story of Us”. 

Why I Support Medicare for All - H.R.676 - Expanded & Improved Medicare For All Act

I support Medicare for All. My opponent does not. My 7-year old daughter survived open heart surgery when she was a newborn. Her recovery was rough, but she had a great prognosis. As a family, we were fortunate and grateful to have employer-sponsored health insurance. We didn’t have to worry about whether we could afford to pay for our daughter’s treatment. Unfortunately, this is not the case for many Americans.

With rising healthcare costs and the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”)  which also known as ObamaCare under constant attack by the Trump administration, no issue animates voters I meet on the campaign trail more than my vigorous support for Medicare for All.

In its current form Medicare provides healthcare to those age 65 and over, as well as people with disabilities. However, many people are still left uninsured, or underinsured. We need coverage through every stage of life, from cradle to grave. Medicare for All not only provides more choices of providers, but there are no co-pays, no premiums, and no deductibles because it is publicly financed. Today, the United States has the most expensive healthcare in the world, with unsustainable costs eating up some 18 percent of our GDP. In every other industrialized nation, healthcare costs are half of ours and health outcomes are better.

Poll after poll shows Medicare for All is overwhelmingly popular with the American people, with 65 percent in favor of it. The Medicare for All bill filed by Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) has 122 co-sponsors in the House. Unsurprisingly, my opponent is not one of them. While protecting the ACA is a necessary stop gap measure which I will support temporarily- a forward thinking path leads you to Medicare for All. 

When elected:

  • I will support all efforts to make Medicare for All a reality, including co-sponsorship of H.R. 676
  • I will work with providers to address concerns about too much paperwork and regulation.
  • I will work to repatriate the $2.6 trillion in earnings of foreign subsidiaries of U.S. corporations that the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation estimates is now held offshore (up from $2.3 trillion in 2012) and trim down waste elsewhere. 
  • I will join the new Medicare for All Caucus which now boasts 60 House Democrats with more to come after November 6.

Women's Rights & Health

As a commissioner for the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women, I have advocated for the rights of women including the Equal Pay Act, which was signed into law in 2016 and effective July 1, 2018. 

I support and will uphold a woman’s right to make ALL decisions for her reproductive health. 

Additionally, I support efforts to increase funding and prioritizing of research for women’s health in general, including maternal fetal health, heart health, cancer prevention and mental health.

Civil and Human Rights

Having spent my life and career as an attorney protecting the human and civil rights of all people, I am passionate about protecting everyone, especially vulnerable marginalized communities. 

I will protect all of our community and will especially work to prevent discrimination, and harassment of those who are targeted because of, race, gender, sexual orientation and identity, religion, ethnicity and any other characteristic of just being a human. 

I will co-sponsor legislation to increase and fund anti-bullying efforts in schools, and protection against discrimination in the workplace. 

I oppose religious exemption laws, which give people the right to impose their own religious principles on others or deny service to people in a discriminatory manner. 

Accessible and affordable high-speed Internet

In Western Massachusetts approximately 41,500 people are living without access to reliable high speed broadband internet. This means there are families who have absolutely no internet, or substandard access. This is inexcusable at a time when the internet is the single most important source of news, communication, entertainment and an important tool in the management of businesses for most Americans. For communities where internet is available, many working class families find it is cost prohibitive to have in their homes. 

The lack of Internet access has adversely impacted the quality of life for residents. The lack of broadband internet access is stifling economic growth resulting  in businesses, families and young people moving away from the community.

As your Congresswoman, I will fight to bring reliable broadband internet to the whole community by joining the House Rural Broadband Caucus so that I can reach across party lines to bring improvements to this district. I will push for a robust funding package in the annual agriculture appropriations bill so that programs like the Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utility Service can do their job and build internet connections in areas that would otherwise be neglected by the market. I will also continue supporting H.R. 1814, also known as the Rural Spectrum Accessibility Act, which is a bipartisan bill to expand wireless coverage in rural communities.

Immigration Reform

The United States has withdrawn from the UN Human Rights Council. The US has never signed on to the 25-year old UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (the only country to have not done so). These tragic decisions laid the groundwork for abuses we see occurring today.

What we NEED is an immediate reform of immigration policy which adheres to basic human rights protocols and is transparent and accountable to the American public.

My proposal includes:

  • No separating children from their parents at the border:
  • Immediately order hearings on the abuses in immigration enforcement;
  • Provide a path to citizenship for Dreamers;
  • Prohibit immigration enforcement in schools;
  • Seeking asylum is a legal process and should not be handled punitively. Allow parents to stay with their children during the asylum seeking process. Do not make parents choose between their children and their own safety. 

Related articles:

Western Massachusetts activists protest Trump administration's 'zero tolerance' immigration policy at Springfield rally 

Climate Change & Environmental Justice

I want to be a leader on addressing our district’s risks from climate change and driving the new green energy economy. We have the most geographically diverse district in the Commonwealth and the opportunity to be innovators in the area of climate justice. 

A Pew Research Center survey found 65% of Americans give priority to the development of alternative energy sources over fossil fuels.  A Gallup poll found Americans favor energy conservation.  It is also known that poor and an inner-city communities are most at risk for water and air pollution, and at the greatest risk for environmental toxins. 

My priorities for championing clean energy policies include the following:

I will co-sponsor H.R.3782 - Climate Change Health Protection and Promotion Act of 2017, which is designed to “develop a national strategic action plan and program to assist health professionals in preparing for and responding to the public health effects of climate change…”

I worked for the region’s power grid operator, I kept track of the dockets of the complex regulatory schedules for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the Federal Court of Appeals where I reviewed and drafted interventions and comments on various cases. This gave me experience in understanding the procedural aspects of energy regulations.

Funding Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy R&D

For Massachusetts to continue to lead the nation in energy efficiency we must continue to invest federal funds in increasing research and development for renewable energy technologies. A June 2017 report by the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee found that with a full transition to clean energy, Massachusetts would gain 53,490 jobs in construction and another 37,950 jobs in operations.

Programs such as the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Advanced Research Programs Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have contributed to increased clean energy output, improved grid reliability and resilience as well as technological breakthroughs for solar panels, wind turbines, biofuels, geothermal systems, energy storage systems and electric vehicles. 

Reforming FERC

Between 1999 and 2016, FERC approved more than 400 pipeline projects amounting to 180 billion cubic feet per day in natural gas capacity while rejecting only two projects. I would insist that FERC first determine if a proposed pipeline project can be paid for without being subsidized by existing customers. The agency also needs to ensure public participation and meaningful consideration from all stakeholders in FERC proceedings.

Low Head Hydro

Low head hydroelectric power generation has tremendous potential to produce clean energy for our congressional district. An April 2012 study by the U.S. Department of Energy found that non-powered dams in Massachusetts have the potential to produce 67 megawatts of energy from our waterways.

Combined Heat & Power

As the eighth-most forested state in the nation, Massachusetts is poised to utilize low quality wood for biomass power. Carbon, heat and power (CHP) systems can replace fossil fuels, which helps save money and the environment. We need to expand CHP projects to include more schools, hospitals and government buildings. This can create opportunities for vocational training for the newly created jobs to in HVAC trades, create markets for forest landowners and deliver cost savings for school districts and municipalities.

My Vision

Foster a Peaceful, Safe and Secure World for All

veterans national security gun reform extremism terrorism

I will prioritize the safety and security of Americans by centering freedom and human rights, reforming gun laws, supporting veterans, and combating terrorism and supremacy in all forms.

Economic Security For Poor and Working Class Families

I support protection of workers’ rights, protection of Social Security, raising workers to a living wage, expanding access to affordable housing, strong net neutrality regulations and access to affordable high speed internet for the entire first district.

Provide Quality and Affordable Education for Everyone

education public school children higher education universal education debt-free

I support a vibrant public school system. 

I support a strong Civil Rights division within the Dept of Education to protect the rights of our children.

I support taking actions to end the school-to-prison pipeline.

I support making debt-free college a reality.

I support a full-day universal pre-school so parents can work while their children learn and thrive. 

Combat Climate Change a Clean Energy Economy

Hilltop Orchards in Richmond Massachusetts

I support environmental and climate justice and will take strong measures to protect our clean air and clean water, rural communities, public lands and waters, and natural resources. 

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