One of my key values as a candidate is to continually educate myself on the issues that matter to the people of the Fifth, so I look forward to hearing from all voices in our diverse community. Share your thoughts on what matters to our district here.
We must meet the challenge of climate change, develop a 21st century energy system nationwide, and refocus our environmental policies to recognize where there are inequities and how we can address them. I am committed to identifying opportunities in policy areas such as transportation, housing, and farming, to reduce our carbon footprint, and create healthier spaces for people to work and live. It is our responsibility to be good stewards of our environment and ensure we are passing on a healthy, sustainable planet to future generations.
The first step in tackling climate change is to reverse the harmful decision of the Trump Administration and reenter the United States into the Paris Climate Accords. We cannot address this issue without a coalition of nations that can count on us to be not only partners, but leaders. Reestablishing this partnership is a first step in developing bolder strategies going forward.
A key part of any solution to climate change is transitioning away from our reliance on fossil fuels and towards clean energy sources. Electricity accounts for approximately 28% of our carbon footprint. By creating an electrical power grid that relies on sources such as wind, solar, and nuclear, we can end our dependence on oil, natural gas, and coal. This makes off-shore drilling, fracking, and massive pipelines unnecessary—further protecting our environment from harm. Another key investment is developing the next generation of power storage technology for renewables such as solar and wind.
I will push for a carbon tax to reduce the efficiency of fossil fuel reliance across industries, and provide a mechanism to fund federal investment in green tech and energy. It is time that companies pay the full cost of their carbon footprint, and are incentivized to add to the solution.
Too often, marginalized people and communities bear the burden of pollution in their air and water, environmental degradation, and displacement. We need to do better. All policies must consider these historic inequities and not create new ones. I will support legislation that does this, and I will oppose legislation that does not.
We have a fundamental duty to achieve universal healthcare in this country. Despite the great progress made under the Affordable Care Act, we still have a long way to go to improve both the cost and quality of care in America. Too many people are facing rising costs, reduced services, and lost coverage. We need to create a public option at the federal level. By having to compete with a public option, insurance companies will be pushed to provide better care that people can afford. We also need to expand Medicare and Medicaid to better cover the needs of our seniors and those who are most vulnerable.
We must fundamentally change how mental health is addressed in this country. Almost 1 in 5 people live with mental illness, and almost all of us know the challenge of helping those who struggle. It is time our healthcare system reflects that. I will support increased investment in mental healthcare.
No one should be forced to choose between paying for their prescriptions or paying their rent. Unfortunately, the cost of pharmaceutical drugs creates this dilemma for many and is another barrier to affordable care. Between drug plans under Medicare/Medicaid and a public option, we can negotiate with drug makers from a position of strength that will drastically reduce prices and help keep overall costs lower.
I will always be an ally for choice. Reproductive rights are a cornerstone of a just society. We must protect every person’s right to bodily autonomy from legislative and judicial attacks and all Democrats must stand united against efforts to undermine this basic freedom.
Criminal Justice & Public Safety
Our criminal justice system is in need of comprehensive reform in order to address bias against low-income people and people of color. This is the product of both a long history of discrimination and well-meaning policies that further exacerbate the problem. It will take time and a dedicated focus to fix our criminal justice system, and I am committed to getting it done. Until this is corrected, we cannot have a just system.
Police are the primary public face of our criminal justice system. We must refocus our national conversation about policing around building trust between law enforcement officers and the communities they serve by requiring every officer to be trained in implicit bias, crisis intervention, and de-escalation. Police also need better training to interact with people suffering from mental illness and trauma. Training models for officers such as the “Warrior Model” are harmful and must be discontinued.
Law enforcement agencies and the courts are spending too much time on low-level nonviolent drug crime, and not nearly enough time on dealing with serious criminal issues such as sex trafficking, and violence against women, particularly native women and women of color. We need to remove the obstacles that hobble tribal authorities from seeking justice in their jurisdictions, and secure the resources necessary to finally test the shameful backlog of rape kits across the country. We also must create a mandatory review process for Death Row inmates’ cases where new DNA evidence is available.
We must end the private prison system. The incentive to chase profits corrupts the purpose of our penal system, and leads to inadequate facilities and rehabilitation programs, and increases rates of recidivism and crime. We also need to reduce reliance on cash bail programs. These programs create a disparity of justice for lower-income people, and often result in job loss, homelessness, and debt for individuals caught in the system as well as their loved ones.
We must keep our streets and schools safe. The lack of action to the national health crisis that is gun violence is one of the great failures in governance we have seen over the past several decades. The broad bipartisan support for common sense reforms among voters such as a universal background check, red flag laws, and reinstating the Assault Weapons Ban are solutions we could implement today if we have the will to act. I will make passing common sense gun safety legislation a top priority in congress.
For decades, the United States and Israel have represented a strong, united alliance in both the Middle East and beyond. In a region where too many people live under oppression and without basic freedoms, Israel has long stood as a beacon of liberal democracy. Our two countries are part of the same family of nations that recognize the rights of every citizen regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation. We believe in a free press and the rule of law. We believe in leaving a safer, healthier, and more just world for our children. We understand the importance of the land of Israel to the Jewish people.
It is vital to the national interests of both Israel and the United States that our two countries continue to be collaborative allies. It cannot be overstated how critical our Israeli partners are in pushing back against Iranian aggression, as well as setting the example of a vibrant democracy for its neighbors. This is why we should continue to support our mutual goals for the stability of the region and its people. Movements such as Boycott, Divest, and Sanction Israel (BDS) only serve to further the conflict, elevate the violence, and harm those they seek to help. That is why I will always oppose BDS.
It is my firm belief that the Palestinian people’s national aspirations are just, and that the United States must be a partner in realizing a modern, prosperous Palestine. That is why I support a two-state solution. We need to renew our focus as an international leader in peace and help end this conflict. The United States, acting as a neutral arbiter, can help administer a bilateral solution that relies on compromises from all sides, and incorporates the most critical values and objectives shared by both peoples, most importantly, the yearning for a safe and secure homeland. The most important factor in whether any peace plan can be successful, is that it is developed by the parties themselves, on equal footing, without the interference of outsiders.
Check back regularly to find additional information regarding Antone’s vision for America abroad.
As Americans, we’re privileged to live in such a prosperous nation. But not all of us have an equal chance to share in that prosperity. People are working more and more hours, but their paychecks often don’t get them through the end of the month. The wealth gap between families of color and white families continues to grow. And despite a strong economy with a record-setting stock market, too many of us are being left behind.
But I believe that by working together, we can create a more just and equitable economy that works for all of us. By putting working people and families first, we can set a better course for future generations and those struggling to realize their American Dream.
People shouldn’t have to work more than one job just to pay the bills. That is why I support a living wage, tied to inflation. We also need to protect those wages by passing a national Wage Theft law, and guarantee everyone takes home what they earn. I also support passing Paid Family Leave nationally, so that no one has to choose between losing their job and taking care of a loved one.
We need to empower people where they work. That means getting organized. I want to make it easier for workers to form a union, and protect the integrity of the process. Unions also deserve a fair shake at the negotiating table, so I’m for mandating productive first contract negotiations and including options for mediation and arbitration.
We cannot live in an equitable society until we address the racial wealth gap. I will support programs that encourage equity in banking, so more people of color are able to build wealth through home-ownership. I will create programs that provide knowledge of and access to opportunities to invest in the stock market. I will advocate for programs that support people of color who want to create and grow their own small businesses and build wealth. I want us to invest in programs for the next generation such as low-risk bonds set up by the government for every child in America at birth. By closing the racial wealth gap, we can renew the promise of an American Dream available to all who seek it.
We must be a nation that welcomes those who seek a better way of life, and those that flee desperation and danger in their home countries. How we treat those who arrive at our border is a reflection of how we value humanity. We need to keep kids out of cages and keep families together. We must again be global leaders in addressing conditions that force so many to make the difficult journey to seek asylum at our borders in the first place and also provide a path to citizenship for those who want to call America home.
Ending family separations and closing private detention centers will be my first priority. We need to direct the resources needed to effectively process those crossing our border, ensuring their safety, and providing stability and relief. Then, we need to develop a long-term asylum and immigration system that respects the dignity of individuals and recognizes their humanity. Finally, we need to reestablish protections for DREAMers, and provide an accelerated path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants living in the United States.
Immigration is not just an issue for our southern border. Right here in Minnesota’s Fifth Congressional District, we have many vibrant immigrant communities from every corner of the globe. Our diversity of experiences, traditions, and identities is our strength. We need to fight efforts to restrict who’s welcome here, and we must continue to be a refuge for those in need.