As a physician with decades of experience, I know first-hand how important access to affordable healthcare is to quality of life. It’s time we sent more people to Congress who understand this. Our citizens deserve it.
Obamacare was a step in the right direction, but there are still coverage gaps and Republicans in Congress have done everything in their power to try to undermine the law, leaving many Americans vulnerable. I promise to fight for legislation that will expand coverage for all Americans and make sure that no one has to incur mountains of debt or is denied medical coverage because of inability to pay.
Climate change is the most pressing environmental issue facing the planet. We need people in Congress who take bold steps to move us toward a green energy future and reduce our carbon footprint. In Western North Carolina, we live in an environmentally-sensitive area, where a few degrees of climate change could lead to the disappearance of plants and animals native to our region. We also need to stand firm against rolling back measures like the Clean Air Act to ensure our mountain vistas are unimpaired. Environmental stewardship is economic development in Western North Carolina.
Like most Americans, I believe the 2nd Amendment gives us the right to keep and bear arms. I own guns, a lot of them. But I know we need common sense solutions to prevent tragedies. We must limit access to guns for people with mental illness, place limits on high capacity magazines, and ban civilian ownership of weapons that were clearly designed for military purposes. Universal background checks and mandatory wait times are also a no-brainer.
These steps will not infringe upon the rights of law-abiding gun owners and will prevent and reduce the severity of future tragedies. We must not allow the gun lobby to dominate our political discussion around guns and limit our to protect their interests. We must enact common sense reforms for the benefit of all Americans.
The power of dark money and special interest groups has corroded America’s faith in our political process. This has to change. While the US Supreme Court has limited Congress and regulators’ ability to stem the tide of anonymous money into our elections, Congress must act in the margins to reduce the influence of money on our political system. In the long-term, we must push for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United and give the power back to the people.
Of course, it starts with candidates recognizing the problem and pledging to do something about it. That’s why I’m refusing to take corporate or PAC money to fund my campaign. Instead, I’m relying on the citizens of North Carolina for support. You can rest assured that when I get to Washington, I will be beholden to no one except the people of this state.
DACA & Immigration
I support a path to citizenship for dreamers. People who were brought into this country as children should not be punished for decisions their parents made years ago. The vast majority of these young people are honest, decent, hard working Americans who are ready to fully contribute to the American project if we only give them the chance. They do not deserve to be held in limbo while the Trump administration uses them as bargaining chips to fund an ill-conceived border wall. There are smarter ways we can protect our borders while maintaining our legacy as a nation of immigrants.
Family Planning & Women’s Health
I believe abortion should be safe, legal, and rare. No politician should come between women, their families, and their doctors when it comes to important health decisions. The best way to reduce abortion is to prevent unwanted pregnancies by ensuring all women have access to education, affordable healthcare, and contraception.
We must work to prepare American citizens for the careers of the future. That starts with an excellent education beginning in pre-k and continuing into adulthood, no matter what career paths our young people choose. We must ensure America’s public schools, community colleges, trade schools, and universities receive the funding they need to prepare our young people for the jobs of tomorrow.
None of our young people need to come out of college with a debt the size of a mortgage. That doesn’t just hurt people starting their careers, it hurts our economy because they are servicing debt instead of buying homes and goods. We need free community college for everyone and debt free college degree.
The American economy has changed dramatically over the last several decades – in many ways for the better. However, not all of our citizens have benefitted equally from this change, and many have been left behind. Many North Carolinians I’ve talked to feel ignored by business elites and politicians in Raleigh and Washington.
There are steps we can take to even the playing field and restore America’s vibrant middle class. We can strengthen organized labor, empower regulators to crack down on employers who mistreat their workers, and raise the minimum wage to make it a living wage. This is how we will ensure the benefits of our modern economy are shared by all.
The Social Safety Net
Decades ago, our country made a promise to our citizens that no elderly American would ever have to live in poverty. We instituted programs like Social Security and Medicare to secure this pledge. We must ensure that these programs are well funded and that our senior citizens receive the benefits they have earned over a lifetime of hard work and contributions to our economy and society.
Furthermore, we must ensure our youngest citizens have access to healthcare, nutrition, and education. No child should be denied these basic human rights because of their parents’ inability to financially afford them.