FREEDOM TO LEARN: It’s time for us to pass Universal Pre-K and a Fully Funded K-12 education – Every child has the right to a high quality public school education. We should have world-class, de-segregated, de-policed public schools, and ease the strain on parents of all sorts, especially low-income women of color, who are disproportionately burdened under the current model of American education. Beyond the end of high school we will also focus on funding pell grants until comprehensive student loan forgiveness and universally accessible college is achieved. Such steps will also need to focus on making sure federal dollars are available for Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the form of permanent funding.
HOUSING AND COMMUNITY: Creating federal programs directed at creating grants, loans and accessible mortgages for Black, Indigenous and Minority communities need to be a Federal priority. Extreme disparities are present in home ownership and housing affordability within these communities. For example, ownership applications submitted by black individuals and families nationwide see an 80% higher mortgage denial rate and also are being rapidly displaced from their neighborhoods due to gentrification. It’s been long overdue for our nation to make an intentional effort to level the playing field.
SMALL BUSINESS COMMITMENT: Intentional investments in communities of color are integral in mitigating racism and historic disinvestment. We must create financing for Black, Indigenous and People of Color Owned Businesses and close the revenue gap, especially between Black and white businesses. This starts with representation at the decision making tables, monetary incentives for small businesses, passing universal healthcare to lift this financial burden from employers, and fighting for renter equity.
FREEDOM FROM VIOLENCE: Our criminal justice system is built on a foundation of white supremacy, biased policing and judicial precedents rooted in anti-Blackness. Black people are incarcerated 5 times the rate that white people are. LatinX and Indigenous people are also overrepresented in prisons. The NAACP reports that 65 percent of Black adults and 35 percent of LatinX and Asian Adults have felt targeted by the criminal justice system because of their race.
Mass Decarceration – I’ll work to decrease sentences, provide alternatives to prosecution and incarceration, and end recidivism by ensuring economic and educational support. Reform at the Federal level should address and eliminate racial disparities in prosecutorial standards. We must eliminate private prisons which exploit prison labor that finance over 4,000 corporations and see $40 billion in taxpayer dollars go to for-profit private prison vendors. It’s time for our country to make bold investments in Cure Violence projects, trauma-informed mental health, and strong community organizations to mediate conflicts and provide restorative justice processes.
End the Drug War – It is well known that the so-called “War on Drugs” has actually been a war on poor people of color, particularly Black people. Chaotic drug use should be handled by the public health sector, not the criminal legal system. We must decriminalize drugs, invest in harm reduction, and provide all Americans robust and compassionate mental health and addiction treatment services.
GREEN ECONOMY: The Green New Deal will ensure that we stay true to the principles of social and environmental justice. Our campaign will push for legislation to elevate the healing, story telling, and accountability through restorative justice practices geared towards environmental racism. In our district, frontline communities like Globeville and Elyria-Swansea registered two of the most polluted zip codes in the United States in 2021. These communities are home to predominantly BIPOC families. When elected, I am ready to directly take on environmental racism by passing various Green New Deal legislation and maintaining my commitment to never accepting a single penny from corporate PACs, especially from the fossil fuel industry.
REPARATIONS: Our country is built on stolen land from the blood and labor of Black and indigenous people, as well as other POC communities over the course of history. Financial disparities continue to harm BIPOC communities. We know that white families tend to make 10 times more than that of Black families, and also have disproportionately higher rates of generational wealth. These gaps are the result of historically discriminatory policies and centuries of slavery. In order to build a more inclusive country, our district must join the fight for reparations. Our commitment to reparations can stem from existing models, such as Senator Booker’s (NJ) and Congresswoman Pressley’s (MA) “baby bonds” legislation or from what we have seen recently developed at Metro State University, who is now offering free tuition to students of Indigenous Heritage. We can also work within or district to define our own model of reparations that we want to champion at the federal level such as reparations in the form of a check from the treasury to families who have historically self-identified as black/African-American.
ENDING THE FILIBUSTER & EXPANDING THE SUPREME COURT: The filibuster has long been used as a racist tool, specifically when it was reformed by defenders of Jim Crow who used it to block the Civil Rights Bill. We now see Republicans weaponize the filibuster to suppress Voter Access and Reproductive Health. A world in which we pass legislation reparations, support voters rights and protect reproductive rights are all within reach, but only if we end the filibuster. Additionally, we need to fight fire with fire and seek to expand the Supreme Court to offset the damage Republicans have done in the last decade by appointing 2 hyper conservative judges to the bench. Democrats hold the majority in the House and Senate and have the presidency. We need to act while we hold power before it’s too late.