Pro-Choice – Roe vs. Wade is settled law and it’s about time we stop trying to force the religious views of one group on everyone else— Enough! This country was founded on Judeo-Christian values and Judaism teaches that life begins at birth. Women should have the right to choose what they want to do with their bodies, Period. Don’t misinterpret me, I am for life, but I recognize that there are many reasons why a woman or girl, may choose to terminate a pregnancy. It is not for any one of us to create barriers or prevent access to modern, safe medical procedures for anyone.
Full LGBTQI Equality – Since I’ve grown up and raised my children to truly love thy neighbor as thyself I completely support enforcing full equality for LGBTQI individuals. It is unfortunate that there is prejudice and judgement by those who, once again, are trying to put their religious beliefs onto others. I want all people to feel free to be themselves in the U.S. I know in other parts of the world, LGBTQI people are murdered because of their identity. This country was founded on freedom. Prejudice is not the American Way!
Reasonable Gun Laws – I respect the 2nd Amendment and support reasonable gun laws. So much attention is put on school shootings and mass shootings, however of equal and great concern are suicides and murders. Crimes of passion and domestic violence account for numerous shootings each year. I am not against guns, but I am against gun violence! Yes, we have a right to bear arms, but we also have a right to life, a right to live free from fear. We do need universal background checks and an improved technology platform/database for law enforcement and gun shop owners to use. People with mental illness or a history of domestic violence should be prohibited from purchasing firearms. It is time for gun owners, manufacturers and the NRA to stop being absolutist. I can appreciate diverse points of view on this issue, but we need to find a way to work together to come up with reasonable solutions.
Small Business – prosperity is our national security. If we have a healthy economy, and, people have jobs to provide for themselves, we should see a reduction in crime. I’m all for personal accountability. However, I’d love to see a free market economy that protects small business owners and freelance employees. Right now, our laws favor big corporations, with too few incentives and protections for small businesses… this needs to change.
Tort Reform – I don’t even know where to begin with this one, but it’s essential we find a way to minimize or disincentivize frivolous lawsuits in this country. There are so many instances where large companies find themselves in frivolous lawsuits, for “class action” or otherwise nuisance complaints. In fact, our cost of health care is impacted by this because many physicians cannot afford to practice medicine due to medical malpractice lawsuits that drive up the cost of medical malpractice insurance. Regardless of innocence or guilt, every time a physician is sued, their insurance premium goes up. Consider your own auto insurance rates and then multiply by 10. Our legal system is cost-prohibitive where only the wealthy can afford to seek justice. Our courts are overloaded, making the process far from speedy. The only courts that guarantee legal representation involve criminal cases, never civil matters, including family court cases.
Term Limits – recently several members of Congress have announced their retirement… I think that’s terrific! Our system of government presupposes the election of citizen legislatures, so we wouldn’t end up with career politicians. I will propose a constitutional amendment to mandate term limits for the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate. A constitutional amendment is needed to insure fairness. If left to the states to enforce term limits on congressional members and U.S. Senators states that don’t impose term limits would have an unfair advantage over states that do because seniority plays a major role in determining committee assignments, chairmanships and leadership positions. A term limits amendment will ensure no one individual or group of individuals could gain enough power to prevent Congress from representing the people of the United States.
Education – As someone who has spent half her life in school I can attest to its importance. I’m not even talking about college— I’m talking about all education from elementary to high school as well as trade schools. Some of our most successful CEOs and entrepreneurs did not finish college… it is not for everyone. However, as a nation, we should want to provide our children with an educational foundation that develops life skills to thrive, grow and become productive members of society. Yes, college education is expensive, but I would challenge universities to re-evaluate how they spend their money and I’d encourage the higher education industry to audit themselves, look for ways to cut costs. I’ve been a student, an instructor as well as a parent so I can empathize and appreciate diverse views and perspectives on education in America.
Family Law – I often call family law domestic terrorism, because it is. Our family law system is broken— badly. The current process of breaking up a family or trying to make parents accountable for the care of their children is abominable. It costs less than $100 to get a marriage license in this country, but it can cost thousands, hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars to get divorced. Some cases take years to close. Occasionally, former spouses or parents use the legal system to continue abusing their opponents! Frivolous lawsuits have become a cottage industry which thrive on keeping families in contentious circumstances so that lawyers and experts can make a fortune off the calamity of others. This is not the American Way! Not one state in 50 does divorce well. I will find a way to bring civility to divorce in a national manner, make it as easy as getting a passport, really. The child support guidelines must be modified and adapted to realistic understanding of current and local economic climates, including the real costs of raising a child. Divorces put many families into bankruptcy and home foreclosures; enforcing child support would take some of the financial burden off the states, and let’s not forget how many people go to great lengths to hide their income to avoid paying child support or alimony; the states and the federal government pick up the tab while losing out on tax revenues. We need safety nets for children in this system, we need to improve laws and standards, so all citizens can exercise their right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Environment – As a scientist and communicator who has spent lots of time on farms in the U.S. and in other countries I can safely say, that global warming is real. Garbage, especially plastic, is going to suffocate our planet and destroy our natural resources. We must find clean, efficient and new methods for energy production, land preservation as well as water, soil and oxygen. Food waste is among the biggest causes of greenhouse gases, yet millions of people are hungry. We have found ways to preserve green spaces and farm land in NJ and we need to do more of it nationally. We must work together to find solutions that are good for us, the animals and our planet. We are all but passengers on this planet earth!
Legalization of Cannabis – How ironic that former Speaker of the House John Boehner now serves on the board of a Cannabis company. I find great humor in that. When most people, including health care professionals, agree that cannabis should be legal, I find it strange that elected officials do not. When you look at the science and facts around cannabis, its medical use is compelling. Recreational— well, let’s face it, for thousands of years, across continents and cultures, people have always found a way to relax, escape in their minds or find a way to get high. So, just like alcohol, I’d like to see it legalized and taxed. This way we ensure that what people are using is safe and perhaps we’ll put drug dealers out of jobs while finding a few more effective ways of treating people with various medical conditions.
Healthcare – By far this is among the most challenging issues we face as a nation. The cost of insurance is ridiculous. There was nothing affordable about the Affordable Care Act and those who are uninsured, ultimately cost all of us money. We must look at best practices. Are there any good examples here in the United States? The business of health insurance has morphed in my lifetime from providing protection from medical emergencies to literally becoming a healthcare banking industry— the only people making money are the insurance company executives and stockholders! The health care organizations and providers are not the problem, it’s the health insurance companies. Doctors must be permitted to make decisions that are best for patients not insurance company administrators who are neither trained in medicine nor know the individual seeking care. Being healthy is the foundation for life. It impacts our ability to learn, work and function in society. We also cannot price fix the cost of health care (we don’t it in any other industry), or let our federal government administrate healthcare— have you called a government agency lately? Perhaps looking at single payor systems like Kaiser Permanente in California where there would be competition within health care systems we could establish a single-loop model which allows costs to be cut without compromising care by simply eliminating a layer of administrative waste, kind of like trimming the visible fat off meat!
Privatization of Prisons (prison lobby is larger than the gun lobby) – Also referred to as the prison industrial complex, it’s become a pipeline for prison! We spend more money keeping people incarcerated than any other industrialized country.
Civility and Respect – during this campaign process then after I’m elected I will work to end the polarization that poisons our politics today. Let’s teach our children how the Democratic/Republican process really works— let’s all of us lead by example!
My campaign chant/cheer— “The status quo must go!”