Autoworkers have watched their jobs go overseas. Teachers are striking for higher wages and better working conditions. Hardworking men and women across the country are fighting for the same thing — to earn a living wage for a hard day’s work. With factories closing, wages not growing, and healthcare costs rising, the American Dream is out of reach for way too many.
The working class is the backbone of America. But today, too many working families go to bed wondering how they’re going to pay the bills. How does a family choose between paying for their children’s medicine and putting food on the table?
There was a time when government championed growth and entrepreneurship. The government can do that again. We can build an economy that inspires. One that invests in entrepreneurship. The government can and should protect the worker.
Together we can build an economy that works for everyone. Where workers are cut in on the deal and actually benefit from the economic gains they help create.
Climate change is one of the greatest threats facing our planet and the clock is ticking. We can’t just reduce climate change — we need to reverse it!
With the number of deadly “once-in-a-lifetime” storms, floods and fires, we owe it to our kids to stop the debate and start addressing this issue head-on.
As President, I will rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement. Republicans are rejecting science as it stands. They’re rolling back protections already put into place. Every other country around the world is making real strategic investments in carbon emission reduction and clean energy technology. We’re not. The United States’ inaction is unacceptable. We must show greater leadership through strong, decisive action. That means committing to a future that is 100% carbon free and laying out a pragmatic, Earth-friendly energy policy to get us there.
A social pact to clean energy also creates opportunities for new, good-paying jobs across the country. There are 8,000 component parts that make up a new windmill. There will be almost 30 million electric cars on the road by 2030. The solar industry is growing at 50% annually. This stuff has to get built somewhere and I want everything built right here in the United States.
Every student deserves a quality education and the constitution requires it. But unfortunately, too often only students from affluent communities get the things that are critical to educational success – highly-trained teachers, social-emotional learning programs, afterschool programs, mental health counselors, healthy lunches, pathways for family engagement, and up to date books, technology, and curriculums.
No matter where someone grew up, working families in every zip code deserve the same opportunities for their children. But that is not the case today.
Right now students in schools that primarily serve students of color and students from low-income families receive $23 billion less than students lucky enough to be born in the right zip code. This is a broken system. We must close this funding gap so that hard work and determination — not neighborhood — are the primary determinant of student success.
That’s why, as President, I will work with Congress to enact proven policies that guarantee, all students have the resources and support services community schools provide. LeBron James’ I Promise School in my Congressional District is an excellent example of what a community school can do. But you shouldn’t need a superstar to come from your community to fulfill the guarantee of a high-quality education in this country.
Healthcare is a right — not a privilege. I helped pass the Affordable Care Act (ACA) which allowed millions to afford coverage for the first time in their lives.
But, while the ACA made great strides in access to healthcare, our healthcare system is still broken. We have a long way to go and that is just the fact. Monthly premiums are still too expensive. Prescription drug prices continue to rise. And our life expectancy continues to drop year after year. A cancer diagnosis or a long hospital stay could lead to bankruptcy. In the wealthiest country in the world, this is unacceptable.
We need to think big when it comes to making healthcare more accessible. That’s why I have supported the idea of Medicare for All for over a decade. But as we move towards that ultimate goal, we need to be realistic on how we get there. I believe the first step needs to be the creation of a public option. The option will allow Americans to buy into Medicare without getting rid of private health insurance options. We can do this until we can implement Medicare for All in a way that makes sense for the country.
It is time for us to help our farmers and fix our food system. Farmers are struggling. Obesity and diabetes rates are rising. There are so many communities without access to fresh produce. We need a comprehensive plan that strengthens our country’s small and regional farms, eliminates food deserts, and promotes healthy eating.
We can’t talk about food without first looking at our farm system. Our farmers are hurting. Retaliatory tariffs from China have lowered prices. Extreme weather has delayed the planting of crops and even destroyed some crops. This is leaving many farmers unsure of what the future holds. We need to strengthen and expand safety nets for farmers, such as crop insurance. We need to protect farmers against unpredictable circumstances.
As President, I will push for a Farm Bill and agriculture policy that moves our country’s food system forward. We need to promote sustainable farming practices. We need to support local and organic farms. We need to start city farming programs. We need to teach people about conservation practices. Most importantly, we need to increase access to healthy, fresh foods for all Americans.
We need to enact federal policies that protect family farms. The numbers don’t lie. Big producers of crops get billions of dollars in subsidies each year. While the smaller, regional farmers producing diversified specialty crops receive next to nothing. Additionally, 60% of these subsidies go to corn and other grains. Only 0.45% goes toward fruits and vegetables. This is unacceptable. Government subsidies need to shift away from highly processed foods, and more to fruits, vegetables, and organic farms.
Our veterans put their lives on the line for our country. They deserve a government that matches their dedication. As President, I will reform the Veterans Administration (VA) in a way that will heal our veterans. This means fighting against efforts to privatize the VA, and making significant investments into modernizing and improving military health services through innovative care. This approach includes growing the VA’s Whole Health program. The Whole Health program provides a more balanced treatment focused on wellbeing and customized health plans for individual vets.
Over 20 veterans die from suicide each day in the United States. I won’t rest until that number is down to zero.
As the founder of the House Military Mental Health Caucus, I understand the importance of advancing evidence-based treatment when it comes to mental health and substance abuse. While the Whole Health program is vital to suicide prevention, it is not available everywhere. As President, I will make sure suicide prevention is front and center by ensuring every veteran gets the care they need.
Reforming the VA is only the first step. We must push federal initiatives that ensure we do not turn our backs on our veterans. These efforts should include legislation like Reducing Barriers for Veterans Education Act of 2019 that would include the price of applying to higher education institution. And legislation to support the survivors of fallen service members like the Military Spouses Surviving Equity Act. These pieces of legislation are just the beginning of what the federal government can do to make sure veterans and their families get the services they need and deserve.
Our veterans answered the call of duty, put their lives on the line, and were there for us when we needed them the most — now it is our turn to be there for them.