Addressing Systemic Issues
Drugs are ravaging our communities. If we hope to resolve this crisis, we must treat opioid use disorder as the medical problem it is rather than a criminal one.
Where to start:
Ensure first responders have the resources they need to save lives in emergency situations.
Increase the number of substance abuse treatment providers, especially in underserved communities, by incentivizing practitioners and investing in community-based programs.
Stem the flow of opioids into our communities. Prosecute drug dealers; hold the pharmaceutical companies responsible for knowingly flooding our communities with highly addictive medications. They must be made to pay for the damage they have caused and face criminal penalties for their gross negligence.
Federal Job Guarantees
Across America, there are children and elderly people in need of care, failing infrastructure that needs rebuilding, schools that need more teachers and support staff, and parks that need to be cleaned and revitalized. People need good jobs with living wages, and America has work that just is not getting done. A federal job guarantee needs to be explored and could open the door to other bold ideas. This includes the stanch support of unions; Democracy cannot thrive without healthy and vibrant unions.
We need greater investments in SNAP, WIC, and school meal programs so that America ends its embarrassing record with hunger. Too many in this district go hungry every day — I know because I lived it as the son of a single mother who worked and put herself through school why raising children. Food is a human right that should be guaranteed to every American.
We need to take bold action to address homelessness and our affordable housing crisis in the Central Valley and across the United States. Every American has a right to a roof over their head, and I will work to explore out of the box ideas to make this a reality including but not limited to:
Good housing grants and access to good schools, grocery stores, social services, and more.
Dignity and Independence for People with Disabilities
We must support the Disability Integration Act as fundamental civil rights legislation that will protect disabled and elderly Americans from unnecessary institutionalization. We must provide increased support to disabled persons and families. I am against any legislation that would tie benefits of any kind to the ability to work.
Repair and Upgrade Infrastructure
Our infrastructure is crumbling. The highways and freeways that move people and goods in this district lay in disarray with cracks, potholes, and increasingly dire warnings of collapse from lack of maintenance. The water infrastructure built to provide drinking water, water for agriculture, recreational use, waste, and more is overdue for maintenance and upgrades.
Fixing and upgrading our infrastructure to meet carbon-free standards will require huge investment, but it will create millions of well-paying jobs, spur our economy and guarantee a better future.