For too long our country has used our laws to hold back some while giving others advantages and privileges. It's time to level the playing field and ensure everyone has an equal chance to succeed.
In order to make this happen, we must:
Freedom of Religion and Separation of Church and State are fundamental concepts in our constitution. Freedom of Religion means every person has the ability to find their own truth, but it does not give them the right or authority to force their beliefs on anyone else or to discriminate based on their beliefs. No one has the right to force their standards and morality on another. We all must live by the Law of the Land, and the highest law in this land, our constitution, includes a definite freedom of religion.
Healthcare is a fundamental human right and no person should be denied treatment, care, or medication because it's cost-prohibitive or denied by insurance providers. We need Universal Coverage. If that coverage is going to be Medicare For All then we must ensure that it covers:
This system will not only cost less than the current system, but will eliminate all out-of-pocket costs associated with premiums, deductibles, and co-pays. This allows every person to, not only, have insurance but use that insurance. Medicare, as it currently stands, is underfunded and not good enough to be expanded to all people. If it is going to be expanded, then it must be fixed first.
As a result of the Opiate Epidemic, insurers have stopped covering lifesaving opiates pain management for patients with chronic and debilitating pain. Doctors have been forced to stop prescribing opiates or risk losing their license to practice medicine and face possible prosecution by the DEA if they continue to do so. The policy of withholding opiate pain management, which is prescribed under the supervision of doctors, in an attempt to halt addiction is not only ineffective but forces those with chronic and debilitating pain to the bottle, the streets, or suicide as means of pain management. Less than 1% of chronic pain patients become addicted to their opiate medications. We must stand by UN General Assembly resolution 1 , which states "untreated pain is tantamount to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment". As a result, Amanda proposes a law to protect the rights of pain patient, including their right to:
Cannabis must be legalized nationally for adults age 21 and older and for patients of all ages under the care and supervision of a doctor who require it.
The tax revenue generated from legalizing Cannabis should be reinvested into minority communities. These communities have suffered a disproportionate amount of the criminalization and legal repercussions in the effort to legalize this plant. These communities also need reparations for the systematic oppression and criminalization that these minority communities have suffered throughout our history.
Medical cannabis, when used to replace a pharmaceutical alternative, should be covered by insurance if the medication it's substituting would have been covered by insurance. Currently, patients are paying hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars each month out of pocket for Cannabis leaving it cost-prohibitive for many patients who would benefit from it. That cost should be covered by insurance carriers, especially when the pharmaceutical alternative often cost more and have more side effects that in and of themselves require more pharmaceuticals to manage. Patients deserve an option and alternatives should be covered by insurers.
No one should go into debt or bankruptcy for medical care. The effects this amount of debt can have, not only on credit, but on a person's quality of life can be disabling in and of itself. It can be used to deny housing, employment, loans, and opportunities while trapping individuals in a cycle of fear, harassment, and systematic poverty. Medical treatment is a necessity and should not result in a financial burden that can affect every aspect of a person's life. Medical debt should be forgiven and healthcare should be treated like the human right it is.
Our healthcare professionals are some of the most trusted members of our community and deserve respect for the job they do. Just like every other worker, they should be entitled to mandatory meal breaks and rest periods. These professionals are tasked with caring for us during emergencies and in our time of greatest need and their pay should reflect the importance of their job. They should be properly compensated for the time they spend away from their own families caring for ours by ensuring they receive overtime and holiday pay like every other worker.
Medical malpractice is the 3rd leading cause of death in America. Our healthcare professionals, including nurses, EMT's, and paramedics, should receive the same rest periods and overtime pay as any other profession. Denying these workers proper rest periods only increases the likelihood of medical malpractice.
We need to change our prison system from one based on incarceration and punishment to one based around rehabilitation. It should not be based on corruption, greed, private wealth, and stock prices. We need to ratify the 13th Amendment and stop the last source of legal slavery in the United States. We cannot simply cage people, treating them like an animal, then expect them to act any differently when released. The United States has more people incarcerated than any other country and it's wrong. We must end the cycle of incarceration and the criminalization of parts of our population. Everyone deserves respect, dignity, and rights, including the right to:
It's time to stop throwing the poor and minorities in jail for drug offenses. We need to decriminalize all drugs and stop treating addiction as a criminal offense. It's time to start treating addiction as the mental health issue it is. No one should be placed in jail for using drugs. Those suffering from addiction are medical patients and they deserve proper treatment for their medical conditions.
The War on Drugs has prevented studying the medical uses of many potentially beneficial substances. We need to study the medical uses of Cannabis, psilocybin, LSD, and other potentially useful substances. Some of these substances have shown promise in the treatment of anxiety, depression, pain, and PTSD. We have 20+ vets committing suicide every day; it's time we look for alternative solutions to improve quality of life. What we are doing now, placing anyone who uses these substances in jail, only keeps them in the endless jail-to-street-to-jail cycle, which costs taxpayers money and helps no one. It's time for real solutions.
We've seen over the last few years how broken our criminal justice and policing systems are. It's wrong when citizens do not know if the officer at their door today is the same officer who last week shot an unarmed citizen. It's especially worrisome that the major punishment for shooting an unarmed citizen or breaking the law as an officer is the equivalent of a paid vacation. We need to rebuild trust between the community and the police who are tasked with protecting us. Our officers should be the epitome of our community. And if an officer breaks the law, they should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law as an example. They should never be above the law, which is what we have happening now. It's time to implement real reforms to rebuild that essential trust and part of those reforms must include:
These private facilities make money by denying care, services, quality food, and basic hygiene items. The more bodies they have crammed into their facilities for the cheapest amount possible only increases the company's profits at the cost of the physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing of those whose care these facilities are tasked with overseeing.
Prisons and detention facilities should be focused on rehabilitation and care. Not profits and share prices. We need to put an end to these private facilities and start putting people above profits.
Our police should be tasked with the protection of everyone within its borders. We should not be giving the police military-grade protective equipment and weaponry to be used against civilians. In order to restore the trust between the police and communities, the police cannot look and act like an oppressive military force coming into a community to implement martial law.
No one should be incarcerated simply because they lack financial stability. The ability to post cash bail or afford proper representation shouldn't be the difference between freedom and incarceration. We need to put an end to:
Innocent defendants shouldn't be pressured into accepting plea deals because they are threatened with what could happen if they lose. Defendants shouldn't be told "for $5,000 I can get you off, but if you don't have $5,000 you might as well plead guilty..." That's not how our justice system is supposed to work.
All fines and fees should be assessed on a sliding scale based on income. A $200 ticket for someone who lives on $735/month is a way different punishment than it is for someone who earns $90,000/year. It's time to take that into consideration.
The only way to save our planet from the catastrophic effects of the climate crisis is to aggressively attack the problem head-on. The Green New Deal is the best step toward saving our planet.
Every year we put change off is another year the legislation must become more radical to counteract the compounded effects of human-impacted climate change.
Plastics have become a major contributor to polluting our land and our oceans as well as a contributor to the death and extinction of animal. We need to take drastic steps to stop the continued pollution and destruction to our oceans, land, and wildlife by making small changes that will have huge impacts. It will go a long way in helping keep plastics out of our oceans and stop them from killing our animals.
Originally started in Oregon, the Bottle Bill has gained traction and is now functioning in 11 states. With an annual return rate of 60-85%, it's time to take this bill nationwide and cut down on the number of new products being produced.
Fracking has poisoned the water we need to live. We've poisoned our groundwater. That poisoned water has then poisoned our children, ourselves, our animals, and our foods. It has caused earthquakes in areas where earthquakes should not occur. It's time to ban the practice of pumping toxic chemicals in our ground to release the Natural Gas. We need to commit to protecting life and finding better, renewable sources of energy.
Oil spills have poisoned our waterways killing wildlife and industry alike. We must stop expanding these operations when we already cannot keep the lines we have from leaking. These new lines are often run straight through minority neighborhoods and Native American lands resulting in some of the poorest and underserved communities baring a majority of the brunt of the environmental, fiscal, and impact of these pipelines.
These are the fundamental rights that every person needs to survive. It's essential we protect these things from chemicals, pesticides, pollution, GMO's, and other toxic substances. Our children and grandchildren deserve a future free of cancer-causing carcinogens being pumped into our waterways, air, and food. They deserve a safe and secure future.
While gun ownership was guaranteed in our constitution it does not say that reasonable limitations and requirements cannot be established. We've lost too many citizens to senseless gun violence. Our children should be safe at home, in the school, in the car, walking to the store, out playing... The fact they are denied their Right to Life is a tragedy that must be rectified. Our children deserve better than having to fear being killed, especially in school.
No civilian should own a weapon where the sole purpose is to fire off as many bullets as quickly as possible to kill as many as they can. These weapons are weapons of war and should not be held by civilians.
We must not give incentives to companies to hire part-time workers rather than full-time. We must remove these incentive by requiring all employers to provide:
Currently, Workers Comp Companies deny coverage and care to injured workers to increase their profits. This should not happen. The same private insurance companies that have ruined our healthcare system have also butchered the Workers' Compensation system. We need to ensure the focus remains on the injured worker's rehabilitation and care rather than profits. A worker's body and care should not be worth more in one state over another. We need to ensure that all employees, no matter the state or size of the company, are ensured the same protections to promote the employee returning to work and protect those who become permanently disable due to their work related injury and cannot return to work.
ICE has become an organization synonymous with terror. After the horrendous policy of separating families and ICE's willingness to comply with such an abhorrent policy, ICE can no longer be trusted to do the right thing and handle all immigrants with compassion, respect, dignity, and understanding.
ICE was a department created in 2002 in reaction to September 11, 2001. Since then they have been used as a weapon of the government to terrorize individuals and families while discriminating based on race. This country was able to function for over 200 years prior to ICE, we'll be able to function again after ICE is gone.
President Donald Trump's wall is not only a waste of tax payer money, but ineffective. It will not stop the flow of illegal drugs or undocumented people. All it will do is cost tax payers year after year as it is breached or broken. The wall is not simply a one time cost.
In addition, it disrupts the natural flow of wildlife that calls that area home. The economic and environmental impact of this presidential tantrum make the entire project a giant waste of money, time, and energy.
DREAMERS, for all intents and purposes, are American except for one crucial thing, they do not have the same legal protections and rights as every other American simply because they were not born here. These young adults were brought into this country, through no fault of their own, but they are still American and should enjoy every protection, right, and benefit that every other Americans does.
This disgusting policy should never have been a part of our immigration system. Not only should it NEVER happen again, but every family who had to deal with the trauma of forced separation, be reunited here in the United States and automatically given asylum so they can receive the counseling and services they need to heal after such a traumatic experience.
We need to change our policy that gives preference to the wealthy and corrupt while neglecting the poor and destitute who live under the fear and threat of violence. Everyone should be able to get an equal shot at entry into the United States which is why we need to protect and expand programs like the Visa Lottery.
We also need to ensure that each and every migrant has a right to Due Process, including the right to proper legal representation. We should not have toddlers representing themselves in court. It is ridiculous and criminal. It's time to change the laws that allow this to happen.
A degree has become a prerequisite to obtaining a job but is no way the guarantee to the high paying career it once was. Students should not be forced into massive debt with no guarantee of a job after. The more students with a college education the stronger our country becomes. We must offer tuition free public college and university for all students who qualify for admittance.
Child care is one of the major expenses for working parents apart from rent. Removing this burden for parents with preschool age children will not only relieve that financial burden, but ensure all children are prepared for kindergarten and on the path to success.
Teachers are valued members of our community tasked with shaping our youth into functioning adults. Their pay should reflect the importance of their jobs.
We need to properly fund out schools to ensure that our students have the best chance at a successful future possible. We should not be cutting the arts and sciences or require teachers to fund the programs and field trips out of their own funds. We need to properly fund schools so that teachers are able to take home every cent they earn rather than being forced to reinvest their wages back into their classroom and students.
For-profit schools use the promise of a better life and career to lure vulnerable and impressionable young adults and families with predatory lending and false promises they have no ability to deliver on. We need to protect our students from a life of crushing debt for the sake of someone else's profit.
Too many students have been convinced to take out massive student loans with the promise that a college education would ensure a good-paying job. Students were lied to. Theses loans were forced on many low-income students who were told this was the only way to get a job and have a successful career. It's time we have a program to unburden students of their crippling debt which can prohibit them from getting a good job, buying a house or car, renting an apartment, etc.
Every candidate should be able to stand and be judged on their policies and beliefs, not the amount of money they can raise. We need to stop auctioning off our politicians to the highest bidder. With Publicly Funded Elections, our politicians can focus on their jobs rather than spending their time raising money for their party and future elections. We need to stop the system that requires our Congressmembers to spend 6 hours a day fundraising when they should be spending that time working on legislation and issues that are important to the people.
The United States prides itself on being the epitome of Democracy in the world. At the same time, we have a system that denies the will of the people. We need to fully embrace the political system we boast to the rest of the world and abolish the Electoral College. Let the will of the people speak for itself.
All elected officials should have term limits no matter the position.
Career politicians have allowed the system to be corrupted for personal gain. In order to end the corruption and greed plaguing our country, we must have turn-over in Congress and ensure all people have the ability to run and win.
Members of Congress are living on huge salaries while a majority of American workers earn less than $45,000/year. It's time to either cut the salaries or require that members invest at least 40% of their salary back into their communities directly to community development programs and NPO's.
If elected, I promise to invest $100,000/year of my salary back into Oregon District 1 and into projects that will directly benefit the low-income, homeless, and youth in our community.
For too long, the super rich have profited from a broken tax system. They've manipulated laws and policies to profit them at the expense of every one else. It's time to ensure we fund the social programs that keep American families going with as much enthusiasm as we fund our military. We need to ensure the top 1% are paying their fair share by implementing a marginal tax rate that would only affect any income after $2.5 million. A 70% marginal tax rate would provide the capitol we need to ensure a basic living standard to the poorest Americans.
We need to stop giving big tax breaks and loopholes to the biggest companies and start redirecting those credits to small business to off-set the added expense that raising the minimum wage and providing benefits to all employees would cost.
The Trump and Bush tax cut took money directly from the poorest families to give big tax credits to individuals who already are some of the richest in the country. We need to stop giving money to those who already have more than enough and invest that money back into our families, communities, and crumbling infrastructure.
We should not be interfering with the sovereignty of other countries by implementing policies of regime change. We can support the people of other countries with humanitarian assistance, but under no circumstances should we be sending US troops into Venezuela.
The Iran Deal should be reinstated. We've had more confrontation and problems with Iran since Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the deal than when it was in place. As long as Iran continues to comply with the agreement, it never should have been ended and should be re-implemented immediately.
Our goal with other countries should be to strive for peace and mutual understanding. Under Obama, our policies in regards to Cuba, began to normalize. Trump unilaterally changed that. We must strive to revive the partnership that was established under the Obama administration.
Middle East peace is a delicate situation and should be treated as such. We need a 2-state solution that ensures the rights of both Israelis and Palestinian people. The US embassy should never have been moved to Jerusalem and the illegal settlements by the government of Israel should never have been acknowledged by the Trump administration. We need to ensure we are not favoring one side over the other and that all people in that area have a right to life, freedom, and happiness. We must remember that our role in the US is to help facilitate peace, not to make the situation worse.
We must stop supporting and propping up governments who commit blatant Human Rights Violations. Countries like EEAU, Bahrain, Qatar, and others should not be given the benefit of a US friendship and alliance while they torture and commit atrocities against their own people.