Healthcare For All
3 million Californians don’t have any health insurance and 12 million are underinsured. That is morally unacceptable. We need a universal single-payer system that guarantees healthcare as a right. The Healthy California Act, or SB 562, would do exactly that. This bill passed the State Senate last year and has since been frozen in the State Assembly. We need to immediately pass this landmark legislation—or its equivalent—so that all Californians can get the healthcare they need, regardless of their economic status.
Protecting Our Climate & Environment
Climate change is the most urgent issue of our time, as it poses an existential threat to modern civilization itself. California is particularly vulnerable to climate change because of the increasing likelihood of devastating droughts and wildfires. But despite being a world leader on addressing global warming, our state is still the third greatest oil producer in the nation and responsible for massive amounts of greenhouse gas emissions. We must move rapidly towards 100% renewable energy, ban fracking, halt all new oil and gas projects, put a price on carbon, and start to sequester carbon in our soils through regenerative agriculture. We need to protect our coastline from sea-level rise, development, and offshore drilling; we need to preserve our watersheds and natural ecosystems, which provide invaluable biological services; and we need to eliminate our use of pesticides, which contaminate our air, water, and soil.
Tuition-Free College & Quality Public Education
Our average college graduate completes school with over $20,000 in student debt, a tremendous burden they should never have to bear. We need to provide tuition-free public college and trade schools so that our young people have every opportunity to both thrive in our modern economy and to actively participate in our democracy. We also need full and fair funding of our public schools so that all our kids have an equal chance to go to college. Our public school system needs reform. But attacking our teachers and their unions is not the solution, nor is directing state funds to privately-run charter schools. We must honor the principle that education is a public good that benefits society as a whole.
There is a housing crisis in California. A quarter of the nation’s homeless population lives here; one-third of our renters spend more than of half of their income on housing; and about half of all state residents can’t afford to live where they work. We need affordable housing that allows our nurses, teachers, firefighters, restaurant workers, and others to live in the communities they serve. We need an affordable housing strategy that combats pollution and climate change by cutting down commutes and that protects our natural environment by preventing sprawl into our open and agricultural spaces. In short, we need housing that is truly affordable, environmentally sustainable, and locally appropriate.
Equality & Justice for All
It is our collective responsibility to protect the civil rights of all people, regardless of their race, gender, immigration status, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation. The Trump administration is pushing a blatantly racist, sexist, and xenophobic agenda that is trying to turn us against each other. Instead, we need to come together and reaffirm that all people must be treated with the dignity and respect we all deserve as human beings. That means protecting immigrants families from being separated, standing with Dreamers, and refusing to cooperate with Trump’s mass deportation agenda; it means implementing police accountability and criminal justice reforms that demonstrate that Black Lives Matter; it means ensuring equal pay for equal work for women, and protecting reproductive rights; it means securing equal rights for the LGBTQ community; it means providing a dignified life for our senior citizens and disabled community; and it means honoring our veterans with the public services they need and deserve.
A Real Democracy
We should have a government that works for all people, not just big money special interests. In 2016, nearly a billion dollars flooded into California politics. Wealthy campaign contributors and giant corporations are essentially allowed to buy our elections, resulting in a government that is beholden to an economic elite instead of everyday people. We need to get big money out of politics and implement a system of publicly funded elections, so that all people have an equal voice. We are running a vigorously grassroots campaign, funded by ordinary people. We do not and will not accept any corporate donations.
A Fair Economy
California has the fourth greatest level of income inequality in the nation, with the bottom 60% of the population getting only 26% of the state’s total income, while the top 5% gets 22%. We have the highest poverty rate in the country, with one in five Californians living below the poverty line, largely due to our high housing and healthcare costs. While ordinary people are working longer hours and taking on two or three jobs just to get by, billionaires and giant corporations are making record profits without even paying their fair share of taxes. This is outrageous. We need to make sure every Californian earns a living wage so that if you work full-time you can take care of yourself and your family. We need to make it easy to form and join a union so that workers can collectively bargain with their employers. And we need to provide paid family leave for all Californians so that working parents are not penalized for taking time off to be with their newborn child.
Safe Schools & Gun Control
There have been 13 school shootings in California since the Sandy Hook massacre in 2012. In 2016 alone, there were 3,184 firearm deaths in our state. We need to fix the serious loopholes in our current gun control legislation that have allowed shooters to legally purchase assault weapons marketed as “modern sporting rifles” and to legally modify them with “bullet buttons” that allow for rapid reloading. We need a complete and total ban on assault weapons, as well as any technology that would turn weapons intended for hunting or sport into weapons of mass murder. But that is not enough. In addition to universal background checks, we should be treating firearms similarly to how we treat motor vehicles, with a rigorous licensing and license-renewal program that enforces responsible gun ownership. It is time for us to protect our kids and address the endemic gun violence that pervades too many California communities.