- What are three top national legislative priorities for the country?
First, we need a just economy that benefits all people, not just the top 1%. This is achieved through a fair minimum wage that ensures that no one who works full-time should live in poverty. Florida ranks near the bottom in pay in the nation. End corporate welfare that allows multi-billion or trillion-dollar corporations that pay their workers sub-standard wages. Repatriate the assets outhouse same corporation that offshore their profits and bring that money home to put Americans to work. Also, institute fair trade agreements that protect American jobs and manufacturing instead of shipping jobs overseas. Additionally, we must address responsible immigration reform and provide a path to citizenship to those already here so that they can come out of the shadows and fully participate in society in which they have a stake. Those are three concerns but there are many others such as expanding and protecting social security, single payer healthcare such as that in Canada and most of Western Europe, a fact based discussion about climate change. Although we have made progress in equality, there is still a long way to go to achieve full equality for LGBT and women’s reproduction rights.
- In your district specifically, what are the three most important issues on which you believe the federal government needs to act? If elected to Congress, how would you take action on one of those issues?
Central Florida has close to full employment but many of those jobs are low skilled, low paying ones. We need to foster and economy that produces well-paying jobs such as in tech and industry.
- What is one thing that distinguishes you most from the other candidates in this race?
As a first time candidate for public office, I have no ties or commitments to special interests. My sole concern would be to serve the voters of District 10 without regard for any personal benefit. In order to bring about change, we must have people in office who are not part of the establishment and who will perpetuate the status quo.
- What are the most important actions Congress can take to reduce the threat of ISIS abroad and at home?
American needs to rethink it’s foreign policy, particularly in the Middle East. It may not be popular to say, but it has been our interventionist “regime change” model that has given rise to groups such as ISIS and others. We can no longer afford to be the world’s hall monitor.
- Would you support legislation seeking to make it harder for Syrian and Iraqi refugees to enter the US? Are there any “bans” you would support in the name of national security?
Again, U.S. actions in the Middle East have contributed heavily to the destabilization that has given rise to the refugee crisis. As a matter of humanitarian concern, we must find ways to responsibly vet those seeking asylum while maintaining the integrity of our national security interests.
- What do you believe is the best strategic course for the United States to take in the Syrian conflict? Do you support a Syrian no-fly zone or the U.S. enforcement of Syrian humanitarian safe zones? Why or Why not?
The U.S. must work with others in the region who have a shared interest in defeating ISIS and addressing the civil war in Syria. I would not favor no-fly zones largely because they are provocative and ineffective and reasonably likely to escalate the situation.
- Would you support legislation giving U.S. authorities more access to encrypted or “dark web” communications about potential terrorist plots? What measures, if any, would you support?
We must balance the need for national security with the Constitutional rights to privacy of Americans. While the threat of terrorists plots and cyber attacks are real dangers, we must also acknowledge that there are no measures that cannot be overridden. We must work to strengthen our cyber security infrastructure while preserving individuals’ privacy.
- What is the single most important action Congress can take to reduce U.S. gun violence?
Stand up to the NRA and stop cowering to their demand. Period. I would favor a full ban on assault weapons in the hands of private citizens and explore an Australian type buy back program to get those assault already out there, off the streets.
- Do you support or oppose the “Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act?”
- Do you believe there is scientific evidence of climate change, and it is caused by human activity? What is your position on the Paris climate change agreement?
The greater weight of scientific evidence is clear that climate change is real and that it caused in large part through human activity. The Paris Agreement is largely symbolic in that most of the provisions are non binding and do not go far enough to address the issue in a meaningful way. We need to push back against the influence of the fossil fuel industry in order to make any real progress in this area.
- What changes, if any, to the U.S. tax code do you support and why?
- What are the most important actions Congress can take to ensure the solvency of Social Security?
- Do you support raising the minimum wage, and to what amount and by when?
That is a complex question that is not solved by slogans like “Fight for 15.” While $15 maybe a livable wages in some places, it will be inadequate in other high cost parts of the country such as New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, etc. I would support a minimum wage for employers who employ 50 or more employees.
- Should Obamacare be overturned, left intact, or changed? Please explain.
I favor a single payer, Medicare for all model.
- Do you support federal funding of health care services provided by Planned Parenthood? Why or Why not?
Yes. Until we have single payer, Planned Parenthood provides essential access to healthcare for men and women who would otherwise have to care.
- What are the most important actions Congress can take on immigration reform?
Create a path to citizenship, force border security humanly and responsibly vet those seeking entrance to the U.S.
- President Obama used his executive powers to prevent the deportation of “Dreamers” – youth who came to the U.S. illegally as children with their parents. Would you support legislation to prevent Dreamer deportations? Do you support putting Dreamers on a path to citizenship?
Yes and yes.
- Would you support building a wall across the southern border?
- What congressional reform do you favor to address America’s student loan crisis?
Student loan restructuring or loan forgiveness on a case by case basis.
- Any closing remarks or other issues you would like to address?
Thank you for considering my campaign.