Pushing for the strongest possible response to ensure our safety and assist those out of work
COVID-19 has turned all of our lives upside down overnight. We need the strongest possible healthcare response to keep our families safe and get the economy going again. That means using state dollars for testing and contact tracing to track the virus and get it under control. It means that every healthcare worker and first responder must have uninterrupted access to adequate personal protective equipment. And it means that we must take every step necessary to end the delays on unemployment benefits and get people who are out of work through no fault of their own the relief to which they, as taxpayers who have paid into the system for years, are entitled.
Fighting against racism and intolerance
We need at all times to uphold our core Democratic values of equality, inclusion, and respect for all citizens. At a time when the Trump Administration is routinely promoting bigotry and division, we need at all times to fight against every form of intolerance and discrimination. It is imperative that such behavior is taken on forcefully and publicly when it occurs, and that those responsible be held to account.
Fighting for expansion under President Obama’s Affordable Care Act
Healthcare is a human right that should be universally available to all citizens. President Obama led the nation in passing the Affordable Care Act to vastly expand healthcare options for all Americans, and healthcare in Tennessee consistent with President Obama’s vision must continue to be our top healthcare priority. It is also imperative that we protect Medicaid and Medicare against continued Republican efforts to defund and undermine those programs.
Demanding sensible background checks and other measures to reduce gun violence
Gun ownership does not have to mean school shootings and senseless violence. We need background checks for all gun purchasers to ensure that mentally unstable persons, domestic abusers, and similar individuals cannot buy powerful weapons and endanger our communities. We also need to create “red flag” laws that allow families to go to court to disarm those who become a danger to themselves or others, and laws that require sensible storage of guns to prevent thefts and accidents. If we set politics aside and think creatively, we can dramatically reduce gun violence
Women’s Reproductive Rights
Fighting to ensure women control their healthcare decisions
Women do not need politicians to interfere with private decisions about reproduction and healthcare. A woman’s right to choose, long protected by the Constitution, is currently under attack federally and in Tennessee. We need to strenuously oppose these efforts. At the same time, we need to continue to make all forms of birth control free and readily available so that women and men are empowered to plan their families for future success and happiness.
Fighting for public schools, teachers, and families
Our public schools are essential to the success of our families, community, state, and nation. With all the missions they are expected to accomplish, Nashville’s schools are not surprisingly always in need of more funds. We need to push for additional BEP funding while opposing misguided experiments, such as the Lee Administration voucher program, which threatens to take more money away from schools that are already financially stretched. We also need to elevate teachers, who are the key to any school’s success, in their professional role, providing them the training and resources they need to be truly successful and giving them time and space to teach beyond the narrow demands of standardized tests. Finally, we need to continue the Tennessee Promise program and take other steps to ensure that every qualified Tennessee citizen who wants to go to college can do so without incurring debt at levels that will hinder their future opportunities.
Ensuring that prosperity benefits all families
When people have good jobs, they can take care of themselves and their families. When that happens, other challenges, from building great schools to preventing crime, become easier for all of us. It is therefore essential that our economy create jobs that pay decent wages and allow all working Tennesseeans to share in our states’ economic success. That means ensuring that employee’s healthcare benefits and pensions are protected. It means that privatization schemes such as have been proposed at state parks and universities should be rejected. And it means that workers should have the right to organize to obtain better working conditions and benefits.