Once we fix the imbalance in our tax system, we will have a huge surplus to rebuild our national safety net. Economic success requires equal access to resources that allow working families to live with dignity and free from violence and poverty.
In Congress I will fight for :
Free child care and pre-k: America is changing fast, and far too many working parents simply can’t afford safe childcare for their kids. As childcare costs soar across the country to upwards of $20,000 a child per year, taking action is key to gender equality, the success of our children, and for working families. I propose a national public child care and pre-k program on the same scale as current calls for free college. Early investments in child success will pay enormous dividends, and create millions of good jobs for early childhood educators.
A federal $15 minimum wage so everyone who works full time can put food on the table and pay rent.
To expand social security, by ending the cap on taxable income, so that more older Americans can retire with dignity. Current Social Security for many seniors is simply too low to meet basic needs like food, housing, and healthcare. Right now, only income up to $128,400 per year is taxable on social security, meaning our country’s highest earners aren’t paying their fair share.
Fair scheduling legislation at a national level, so that low-wage workers in retail and food-service jobs can have families and pay the bills. Oregon has passed a model bill for the nation, now we need to nationalize it so that low wage workers can plan ahead for childcare, rent, and school.
A national paid family leave program -- with six months of leave for all -- so that we can be there for our families in the times that matter most. No one should die alone because their families can’t afford to be there, and babies born into poverty need their parents just as much as babies born into extreme wealth. As a single mom, I believe this policy is especially important to single parents and working families without wealth across America.
A federal job guarantee. Across America, there are children and elderly people that need caretaking, failing infrastructure that needs rebuilding, schools that need more teachers and support staff, and parks that need to be cleaned and revamped. People need good jobs with living wages, and America has work that just isn’t getting done. A federal job guarantee needs to be explored, and could open the door to other bold ideas like a national childcare program to address our child care affordability crisis, universal pre-k to address the education gap, and public art to make our cities more vibrant and livable. As automation increases and climate change shifts our landscape, we need to think about how to keep America working.
Federal funding to end hunger. We need greater investment in SNAP, WIC, and school meal programs so that America ends its embarassing record with hunger. Too many New Mexicans go hungry every day -- I know because I lived it as a single mom trying to put myself through school. Food is a human right that should be guaranteed to every American.
A national resilience fund: climate change is here, and extreme weather is leaving many poor, black, and brown communities to pick up the tab for America’s addiction to fossil fuels. I propose a national resilience fund to create more climate-resilient infrastructure in America’s most vulnerable communities, and to support communities in rebuilding who are already being forced from their homes. This fund should be paid for through a national tax on big polluters.
Affordable housing. We need to take bold action to address homelessness and our affordable housing crisis across New Mexico and America. Good housing grants us access to good schools, grocery stores, social services, and more. Every American has a right to a roof over their head, and I will work to explore bold ideas to make this a reality.
More investments in renewable energy to create more good paying jobs;
Dignity and independence for people with disabilities. I support the Disability Integration Act as fundamental civil rights legislation that will protect disabled and elderly Americans from unnecessary institutionalization. I believe in a strong Americans with Disabilities Act and will vote against any attempts to weaken this essential legislation. I am against any legislation that would tie benefits of any kind to an ability to work, and for abolishing the sub-minimum wage for disabled Americans.