As a genderfluid/trans person, I am fully committed to defending and advocating for all LGBTQIA people. We've made so much progress in the past decade, which has unfortunately begun to unravel under our current administration. California has been a leader in establishing LGBTQIA rights, and as someone who has experienced discrimination first-hand on both a personal and political basis, I intend to do everything in my power and through the power of the community to ensure that we protect the LGBTQIA community and gain full equality under the law. It is still legal in more than half of the states to fire someone because of their sexuality or gender identity. Our current leadership has also banned transgender individuals from serving in the military. This policy is reprehensible and discriminatory at its core. Nonpartisan organizations, such as the RAND Corporation, have researched this subject and have come to the conclusion that the supposed justifications for banning transgender people from the military are invalid. Furthermore, transgender individuals, particularly trans women of color, are being assaulted and murdered at an alarmingly disproportionate rate. The current Civil Rights laws in the United States do not protect LGBTQIA individuals. If elected, I intend to put forth legislation that will secure the protections of LGBTQIA people in law. We have been ignored for so long, but we cannot and will not be ignored, disregarded, or treated like second-class citizens anymore.
No one should decide the fate of a woman's health except for the woman in question. This is especially true when the laws dictating our behavior are mandated by a government that is overwhelmingly male. This speaks to the inequality of female representation in Congress and to the restriction of females to advocate for their bodies and selves . I will implore our representatives to consider the unconstitutionality of restricting a woman's right to an abortion. While I fully support religious freedom, I do not support religious representatives in government who vote on behalf of their religion instead of their entire constituency. Religious convictions are often the great motivators in these situations, and we need to remain cautious about the interaction between Church and State -especially while considering most religions are patriarchal. Religion is a cherished liberty that every American has the right to engage in, but no American should ever be obligated to follow laws dictated by religious beliefs. And no woman should ever be obligated to follow a man's rule for her own autonomy.
America relies on immigrants. It is beyond hypocritical for a nation established and built by immigrants to deny immigrants a fair opportunity for citizenship, and in many cases, simply sanctuary in the United States. Mexico, our close and friendly neighbor, has been vilified by our current government. An ineffective border wall has been suggested and partially built at the financial and environmental expense of Americans and our neighbors. Families and children are being held in cages by our current government officials. We cannot and will not tolerate this. This is unjust, inhumane, and antithetical to American values. I promise to speak for and vote in favor of immigrant rights. We need to abolish our current detention system and ICE, and restore dignity to all humans seeking to come to the United States.
America was built on minorities and thrives on minorities. Historically, the most elite members of our society have exploited minorities for financial gain while limiting the rights of those minorities -especially racial, ethnic, and gender minorities. I recognize the intersectionality of minority oppression, and invite discussion on how minorities can unite for the greater cause of true equality. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects certain minorities under the law, however it often skirts the microaggressions of racism and gender bias, and black Americans are still subject to institutional racism and police brutality in our nation.
I am in full support of the New Green Deal, and/or any propositions that aim to eliminate our industrial effect on climate change. Americans have undoubtedly benefitted from the very sources that are causing irreversible, adverse effects on our climate and environment. It is unethical for us to reap the benefits of this industrial society and then leave this place a wasteland for future generations. We look back at the New Deal with admiration and gratefulness for how it brought the United States out of the Great Depression and transformed it into the modern landscape it is today. Future generations will look back at us and either thank us for saving our planet, or beg to understand why we didn't make a change when we had the opportunity. Now is the crucial time for our government officials to take action.
When it comes to National Security, one of our greatest threats comes from within. As a supporter of the Constitution, I support the right to bear arms, but not without restriction. There are more guns in America than people, and not coincidentally, the United States is one of the leading nations in the world when it comes to death by guns. We are also one of the few constitutional sovereignties in the world that guarantees the right to bear arms. We live in a different world than when we established our Constitution and thus need to reconsider how we interpret the Second Amendment. There needs to be greater emphasis on background checks and restrictions on how easy it is to obtain a firearm.
We cannot claim to be the greatest nation in the world while ignoring one of the most vulnerable groups of people here at home -the homeless and impoverished. We are leaving far too many of our own on the streets without access to adequate resources or shelter. In the past year, homelessness increased 12% in LA County and 16% in the City of LA. Alleviating homelessness is important to me, especially because homelessness disproportionately affects people of color and LGBTQIA people. I have volunteered as an overnight supervisor at a shelter, and I currently serve as one of the Homelessness Liaisons on the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council. As your representative, I will work to make sure we immediately address homelessness in LA County and nationwide.
Working and middle class stability goes hand in hand with homelessness in California and in America. We cannot expect decreases in rates of homelessness when the middle class is getting smaller and rents are rising. I'm in favor of a program similar to the Works Progress Administration that would employ Americans, both skilled and unskilled, to build a better and greener nation (Green Works Progress Administration). Projects would include clean energy centers to capture wind, solar, and ocean power, and improvements to our local and national infrastructure, serving a duel purpose of jobs creation and clean energy production. Homeless and jobless people would be given priority for local projects.
Healthcare should be a human right, but it isn't -at least not in the United States. Healthcare should not be an industry, but will continue to be until we take it out of the hands of private insurers. No American should suffer or die because they can't afford health insurance, but this is the reality many Americans face because of the inadequate and unaffordable healthcare model in place. I fully support Medicare for All, and not just for those 65 and up. When more Americans have easy and affordable access to preventative health care, less of us will suffer.
America has been the standard for innovation and technology, but will soon lose that distinction if it fails to educate its public. Although school is compulsory for American youth, not every American is receiving the same quality of education. Many of our public schools are setting our students up for failure without the proper tools and funding, and our teachers aren't paid nearly enough. Although we have many of the best higher-education institutions in the world, they are often out of financial reach for many Americans. I propose free state college for all Americans. There is nothing to lose in education. Without it, we undermine our own capabilities and opportunities.
America's role in the global order has long been regarded, for better or worse, by the rest of the world. Our current administration has undermined the expectation of the United States to be a leader of peace through it's unstable relationship with the United Nations and deteriorating relations with foreign governments across the globe. The United States has been a superpower longer than anyone on earth has been alive, and unfortunately much of that power is the result of colonialism and military force. I support the American military, but I do not support the American military using its might to undermine the sovereignty of other nations. I am a pacifist plain and simple. I will never vote to invade another country because we think it is our job to control global power, and especially not because we believe another nation has weapons of mass destruction, when we ourselves are unwilling to disarm. In our evolving world, the United States needs to be a leader through diplomacy and collaboration, not through force.
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