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Affordable Health Care for All
Low cost or free health care for all Americans should be one of our top priorities as a nation. Whether conservative or liberal, everyone would benefit from paying less for health care. If other countries can achieve this, so can we. I believe that healthcare is a basic human right just as are police and fire department protection. Healthcare costs need to be reined in and the focus needs to be shifted towards better health, better diet, and more preventative measures. As a family of 4 with our own business, we pay almost $2,000 a month for health care. This is 3-4 times as much as we would need to pay for private insurance in some European Countries. We need to continue the journey that the Affordable Care Act began.
Every individual deserves the autonomy to make informed decisions about their reproductive health. This includes the right to safe and legal abortion access, integral to personal freedom and bodily autonomy. Our complacency in voting has led to a nationwide erosion of these essential rights. In response, we must champion federal legislation that codifies Roe v. Wade, ensuring reproductive freedom is a protected right across the United States. This is not just about preserving choices; it's about advancing equality and upholding the dignity of everyone in their healthcare decisions. It's time to reaffirm our commitment as a party to safeguarding reproductive freedom for everyone, recognizing it as a fundamental aspect of equality and justice.
Revitalizing Education: From Elementary to Higher Learning
As someone with close family ties to public education, I understand the importance of investing in public schools and the families and communities that shape our students' lives. Equally crucial is the support and empowerment of our teachers, who are the cornerstone of our educational system. The challenges students and educators face often stem from circumstances outside the classroom. To truly empower them, we must adopt a holistic approach that enhances their learning environments at every level—from elementary schools to higher education institutions. This means ensuring that students and teachers are equipped with the resources and support necessary for success when they step into any educational setting. Beyond increasing funding, we need comprehensive strategies that address the myriad factors affecting student well-being, teacher support, and academic achievement. By nurturing strong families, communities, and supporting our educators, we can create a foundation for lifelong learning and opportunity.
Lowering the Cost of Higher Education
Higher education costs have increased by almost 170% since the 1980s. We need to make pathways to higher education, including both traditional colleges and trade or technical schools, more accessible and affordable. While visiting my wife’s family in Mexico, I have seen how her family can pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees without the crippling weight of debt. It is unacceptable that this is not the reality in the wealthiest nation on Earth. Expanding our support for trade schools and apprenticeship programs is crucial, recognizing that a traditional college degree is not the only route to success. We must commit to transforming our education system to offer diverse, cost-effective options for all students, ensuring they have the tools to thrive in an ever-evolving economy
A Prison System Based on Rehabilitation
The fundamental aim of our prison system must be rehabilitation, not punishment. While serving as a deterrent for crime, it's crucial that our prisons equip inmates with the skills and knowledge necessary for successful reintegration into society. This approach is not just humane; it's practical. Effective rehabilitation and education in prisons are key to reducing high recidivism rates, which ultimately lead to inflated prison populations and escalating crime rates in our communities. Regarding private prisons, their profit-driven motives are starkly misaligned with the goals of our justice system. We must take a firm stand against them, particularly their practices of lobbying for longer sentences, which only perpetuate a cycle of incarceration that is detrimental to individuals and society alike. I am committed to building a justice system that prioritizes real rehabilitation where former inmates can become contributing members of society.
The COVID-19 pandemic's supply chain disruptions have revealed the weakness of our global manufacturing model. It is critical that America shift towards a stronger economic structure. We need to incentivize the return of manufacturing jobs to the U.S., focusing on supporting small businesses and fostering entrepreneurship to diversify our economic landscape. Prioritizing the growth of unions and higher-wage jobs is crucial for ensuring fair compensation and protection for American workers. We have a pivotal opportunity to reindustrialization and rebuild our infrastructure, all while creating new union jobs. Equally important is the fight against corporate greed and price gouging; we must enforce stringent measures to prevent exploitation by large corporations, ensuring fair pricing and ethical business practices. Through these actions, we can build an equitable economy that benefits every American, not just the elite few.
Environmental Sustainability and Resiliency
New Jersey's position as a coastal state makes it increasingly vulnerable to the devastating effects of climate change, including rising sea levels and more frequent, severe flooding. We need a bold green strategy that embraces a comprehensive range of clean energy sources to combat these environmental challenges. Wind and solar power are key, but we must also consider the potential of other green technologies, such as safe nuclear energy. Our approach must focus on decreasing carbon emissions and fortifying our state against the growing environmental impacts of climate change. To enhance New Jersey’s resiliency, we must invest in infrastructure improvements, like reinforcing coastal barriers and upgrading stormwater systems, to mitigate the impacts of extreme weather events. By diversifying our clean energy portfolio and prioritizing resiliency measures, we can safeguard New Jersey's environment for future generations while leading the way in ecological innovation and sustainability.
AI and Big Tech
Artificial Intelligence (AI) stands as one of the most transformative technologies in our history, with the power to create new industries and reshape existing ones. It will bring significant changes to the job market, requiring thoughtful strategies to support those affected. As we begin to see the vast potential of AI, it’s crucial to recognize that technology can be a tremendous force for good. However, that potential can only be realized through robust implementation regulations for big tech companies. This approach will foster fair and equitable access to technological benefits and mitigate the threats posed by AI, ensuring its development and application align with our societal values and the well-being of all Americans.
The brave people of the Ukraine should receive all of the military support that the West can provide. We should also however do whatever we can to support their efforts towards a peaceful resolution. If there is a deal that can be reached that the Ukrainians find acceptable, it should be supported. Preservation of Ukrainian life should be of the utmost importance. I also believe that most Russians do not want Putin’s war, so we should also work towards a resolution for their sake as well.
While mass shootings tend to get most of the media attention, they only make up a small fraction of all gun deaths. We must take a comprehensive view of gun violence and deaths and work to decrease all incidents of gun violence. This should include both tougher gun regulations and efforts to increase mental health funding. If there is common ground that can be reached with gun rights activists, this should be the starting point.
The argument that guns are already too prevalent should not be a deterrent from continuing to work for meaningful gun reform. If we can cut gun deaths in half over the next 10 years, that would be a huge win for the survivors and the people who love them.
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