Veteran and Military Affairs
We have to support our military families and troops by providing high quality veteran support programs for those who served. Building a stronger cybersecurity defense force within the Department of Defense is critical for our national defense against foreign adversaries.
In order for the U.S. to compete in the global market place, we have to provide quality public Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education from pre-k through the first two years of college. We can recruit from among America's best and brightest to participate in STEM programs that build a cybersecurity force that is matched by none to protect our critical infrastructure from cyber threats to our pipelines, power grid, food and water supply systems.
To help make this happen we should forgive up to $50,000 of student aid debt to give our college educated the chance at a new beginning; this is especially important for those who pursue cyberdefense or cybersecurity careers.
We need to protect environmentally sensitive areas and our tribal lands from exploitation or over development by passing the Green New Deal or THRIVE Act. The THRIVE Act is a transformational economic recovery package that puts over 15 million people to work in family-sustaining, union jobs across the economy — from clean energy to senior and health care work to manufacturing — to cut climate pollution in half by 2030 and advance gender, environmental, Indigenous, economic, and racial justice, with particular attention to Black and Indigenous people.
We need to protect the health of our children and families in our western communities of Pahokee, South Bay, and Belle Glade by moving away from pre-harvest sugar cane burning to the use of mechanical technologies that are currently in use around the world.
The effective management of Lake Okeechobee water releases is still of paramount concern as algae blooms continue to be a problem.
We have to expand health care to all by providing a public health care option. No American should face bankruptcy or have to agonize over how to pay for needed health care. Quality health care is a basic human right.
We have to support our labor unions by providing a livable wage, at least $15 per hour, for our workers who are the backbone of the U.S. economy. As an educator who was an active member of the United Faculty of Florida (UFF) and the National Education Association (NEA), I know the importance of unions in securing a livable wage and benefits for workers and their families. I am a strong supporter of the Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO ACT) and the Pubic Service Feedom to Negotiate Act that are before congress. The PRO ACT will restore fairness to the economy by strengthening the federal laws that protect workers' right to organize and join a union. The Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act guarantees that public service employees in every state has the freedom to unite and negotiate for fair wages and working conditions.
Foreign and Domestic Policy
American policy should promote democracy and human rights abroad and social justice and civil rights at home.
Our 21st century foreign policy has to give special attention to the plight of the people in Central America's Northern Triangle (Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador); support the Haitian people as they seek to create a stable and prosperous society; and standing with the Cuban people as they strip away the shackles of autocracy after decades of oppressive rule.
We have to build an unparalleled cybersecurity defense force to protect our critical infrastructure (food supply, pipelines, powergrid, municipalities, large and small businesses etc.). "When hacked we must hack back with unrelenting force to deter hackers and the countries that support them."
America has to continue its support for Israel which is an important international ally and the only democratic state in the Middle East. Ending tension between the Palestinian and Israeli people by bringing Israelis and Palestinians together to negotiate a lasting peace agreement under a two state solution has to be central to U.S. Middle East policy.
We have to support our children and families across the United States by making the $300 per month Child Tax Credit permanent and increasing the average Social Security benefit for our senior citizens to $2,000 per month. We have to ensure that corporations and the top 1% (the wealthiest among us) pay their fair share in taxes and use these funds to strengthen existing social programs. These are sensible measures that would raise children and families out of poverty.
UNIVERSAL BASIC INCOME IS A THREAT TO SOCIAL SECURITY, MEDICARE, ETC.
We have to oppose gimmicks that promise every adult $1000 per month, because it would require the elimination of existing social programs like Pell Grants, Unemployment Insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, veterans benefits, SNAP, and Social Security Benefits for our senior citizens. This so called Universal Basic Income (UBI) of $1000 per month plan can only be paid for by either requiring a regressive Value Added Tax (VAT), that would hurt poor and middle class families, or through massive deficit spending that would result in hyperinflation and eventually bankrupt the U.S. economy. Both these methods would require the elimination of social programs that children, families, college students, senior citizens and veterans depend on. The cost far out way any perceived benefits.
We need neighborhood revitalization not gentrification. Gentrification displaces current residents from their neighborhoods whereas the goal of neighborhood revitalization is development without displacement of current residents.
We have to provide affordable housing, rent controls, and continue the eviction moratorium for those who are housing insecure. It is imperative that we build, preserve, and retrofit millions of homes and commercial buildings to address the affordable housing crisis. Part of the solution is support for the bipartisan Neighborhood Homes Investment Act (NHIA) that provides $20 billion worth of tax credits over a five year period to build or rehabilitate more than 500,000 homes creating a pathway for more families to buy a home and start building wealth.