Supporting and Protecting the Voting Rights of All Americans
The right to vote is at the core of our democracy and upon which so many of our civil liberties rest. But the right to vote and the democratic political process are under assault in our country. The Republicans’ have engaged in a decades long battle to undo the Voting Rights Act and engage in voter suppression through restrictive voter ID laws, closing polling locations in minority community precincts, installing barriers to early voting, purging voting rolls, and now with an all out assault on the Post Office. Make no mistake, these laws are enacted in order to suppress the votes of historically disenfranchised communities. This is unconstitutional, immoral and an underlying cause of the systemic racism that we have in our country today.
Voting is integral to protecting our diverse communities and to restoring faith in our institutions. Diversity in our elected officials is especially vital to end the systemic racism that is so prevalent. If we are to eliminate racism, we must have the ability to elect diverse leaders who truly understand the diverse perspectives of their communities. If you are Black or Latino or any other person of color, why would you trust a country and a political system that has consistently prevented you from even partaking in the democratic process? If our black and brown communities have no voice in government, then the government will never work for them or for our society as a whole.
We need to make voting, simple, fair and convenient to participate in. We need to ensure that people may use the collective power of their voice to make real lasting change by voting. We must make voting inclusive and empower and engage our electorate to participate in one of the greatest freedoms our country has – the right to vote.
As your next Member of Congress, I will:
Protect the Right to Vote
- Eliminate Restrictive Voter ID Laws – Voter ID laws shut down the voices of lower income and communities of color. I will use my position to end these laws.
- Fight for Automatic Voter Registration – If we want diverse voices with diverse perspectives we need to make it easier to vote. I support automatic voter registration laws to ease the process of voting.
- End Voter Roll Purges – We must immediately end blatant dishonest methods to remove voters from the rolls.
- Fight for Same Day Registration and Online Registration – We must allow same day voter registration so people can register and vote in one trip, and not allow arbitrary registration deadlines confuse people. We should also allow for online registration in order to make voting and updating voter registration more convenient.
- Increase Funding for Election Security – Especially given what happened during our last election by the Russian government, we must conduct regular post-election audits, and undertake continuous threat assessments and remediation. We must increase our voter election security especially to protect us from cyber attacks.
- Upgrade our Voting Infrastructure – We must increase funds to upgrade voting machines and registration databases.
- Eliminate All Voter Intimidation or Suppression – We must penalize and correct false information aimed at preventing voting or voter registration.
- Eliminate Any Barriers to Voting and ALL Restrictions on Early Voting – We must celebrate our right to vote and encourage voter participation. We must eliminate any restrictions to any early voting and all barriers constructed to make it more difficult to vote.
- Pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act – After the Supreme Court recently gutted the Voting Rights Act, we saw several states enact voter suppression laws targeting black and brown communities, low income communities, students and the elderly. We need the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to restore these protections and end all voter suppression in honor of a man who fought his whole life to protect these rights.
- Fight to Prevent Long Lines at the Polls – We must set and enforce minimum national standards to ensure all polling places have sufficient voting machines, poll workers, and other resources to avoid long lines. Making voting simple, fair and convenient must be at the core of what we strive for in our election process.
- Restore Voting Rights for Felons – Upon release, all felons should receive automatic restoration of their voting rights and voter registration information must be provided to all formerly incarcerated people.
- Fund the USPS and Protect Mail-in Ballots – This Administration has reached new lows by defunding the Postal Service to protect the President by hurting mail-in ballots. This Administration has turned our mail into a partisan issue. Putting aside that they are putting millions of Americans who rely on the Postal Service critical services like the delivery of prescription drugs, social security benefits, paychecks and tax returns, this direct attack on our democracy can not go unanswered. We are in the midst of a pandemic made worse by this Administration’s incompetence. Now, they are putting millions of Americans at further risk by denying their right to safely submit their ballots by mail. We need to fund the USPS now.
- Fight for Vigorous Accountability and Integrity – Our election process must not only be accessible, it must have integrity and accountability in order for people to trust in the election process and in our democracy so they will vote.
Restore Trust in our Political Process
- Overturn Citizens United – Citizens United did two things, removed the limit on political spending, and declared corporations are people, allowing corporations to jump into the political fray. Now SUPER PACs are everywhere. To win a seat you do not need a deep base, you just need to either self finance or know someone who can buy the seat for you. Billions of dollars of outside money are spent per cycle to protect the status quo. The effects on our political system have been devastating. Fewer people trust the government than ever before because they believe that much of Congress is corrupt. SUPER PACs also do not support regular every-day people. If we want a government to work for all of us we need to get money out of politics through a Constitutional Amendment.
- Ethical Conduct and Government Accountability – President, Vice President and all candidates for these offices must disclose their personal and business tax returns. We must also enforce the Foreign and Domestic Emoluments Clauses and articulate which payments and benefits under these clauses are prohibited and how it is going to be enforced.
- End Partisan Gerrymandering – We need independent redistricting commissions to oversee the upcoming redistricting process to ensure that districts at the Federal and State levels aren’t unfairly drawn to shut out the voices of any one party.
- Enact Public Financing of Federal Elections – Self-funding millionaires and billionaires or those who are well connected to wealthy special interests should not be able to buy your vote. Congress should be composed of diverse representatives who come from diverse backgrounds and understand the diverse perspectives of communities, racially, geographically and economically, and not just be composed of wealthy un-diverse millionaires. We must create a small donor public financing system that provides a multiple match on modest donations.
- Disclose All Political Spending – We should require all groups engaged in political spending in federal and state races to disclose every donor.
- Close Fundraising Loopholes – We must stop any coordinated activity between candidates and super PACs. Elected officials and candidates must not be allowed to accept any dark money that comes from nonprofits in which they sit on the Board or are engaged with.
- Fix the Federal Election Commission – We must overhaul the country’s dysfunctional campaign finance enforcer and regulator so that the commission can actually do its job effectively.
- Stronger Disclosure Laws – We must require greater transparency about the sources of paid political messages and strengthen our disclosure requirements for online ads to make them the same disclosure requirements as TV ads.
- Make Election Day a National holiday – We need to ensure everyone can vote. Low income workers who do not have access to early voting are put at a disadvantage and are disadvantaged. We need to enact this now.
- Abolish Electoral College – Although not a perfect system, I do believe we must abolish the Electoral College in favor of a national popular vote.
- Protect the Census for ALL Americans – Latinos, Blacks, Asian Americans, Native Americans and children are consistently undercounted in the Census, which leads to further unequal political representation and unequal access to vital public and private resources for their families, neighborhoods and communities. The census takes place every 10 years and is underway right now. We must encourage and empower all of our communities, especially those historically undercounted, to fill out their Census Questionnaire to be accurately counted, to ensure equal representation and to make sure they receive equal access to an appropriate level of federal resources, or else they will be left further behind. We must also ensure we have enough funding to complete an accurate Census count.
- Grant DC Statehood – Washington, DC must be granted Statehood. DC has a larger population than Wyoming and Vermont and residents pay more in federal taxes than 20 other states. There should be no taxation without representation. Each resident of DC deserves to be represented fully in the House of Representatives and Senate and the federal government must stop encroaching on its limited autonomy. The decision to admit DC as a state should not be based on politics, but rather on the premise of their citizenship as Americans.
- Puerto Rico’s Right to Self Determination – Puerto Rico must have the right to self-determine whether it wants to become a State, independent, or remain with the status quo.
- Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) – No one with less than a majority of the vote should win an election. We need an election process that is fair, effective, and efficient. RCV promotes majority support, discourages negative campaigning, provides more choices to voters, saves money instead of having runoffs, promotes reflective representation, and minimizes strategic voting.