Equality is a cornerstone of America. Our country was founded with the ideal that people are created equal, and should have equal rights before the law. That ideal has inspired centuries of movements, aimed towards allowing every person to pursue the American Dream.
I will do my part in fighting for the rights of all Americans, no matter their race, gender, citizenship, religion, or any other protected status. Our differences make us stronger as a people, and I will vehemently oppose any religious travel bans, voting restrictions, or discriminatory labor policies. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice”. We cannot allow fear to deter us from reaching that justice.
Institutional racism is used to keep people of color and immigrants suppressed and to divide voters. We will not end institutional racism until we admit it is a problem, and unite with our brothers and sisters of all races on a common goal of eradicating it. Until we unite and fight together, we will never see increases in our quality of life.
I desire to live in a country where every race is politically and economically equal. However, we must admit and accept that we have much work to do. Institutional racism is present in every major institution in our country, from housing and schools, to public services and policing. Institutional racism is used to keep people of color and immigrants suppressed and to divide voters. We can no longer allow racist institutions to divide us, but instead must work through grassroots activism and the legislative process to stop the suppression of all minorities.
Feminism and Women's Rights:
The fact that feminism is a dirty word in some political circles is proof that we have much work to do. While we have made considerable progress for women in society, there is still much work to do. Many women in America are forced to deal with unequal pay, social stigma, "mansplaining", sexual harassment, and discrimination at work. While some of these issues must be solved through education and grassroots actions, some need to be reinforced through legislation. I will fight for women's equity in political, economic, personal, and social rights!
Despite the supreme court ruling that marriage is a constitutional right for LGBT people, there are many who would work to strip this right away. We must protect these rights from those who don’t support equality. However, that is not enough. I will fight for equality for LGBT Americans in the workplace, as well as access to public services such as healthcare. Our constitution guarantees rights for all, regardless of sexual orientation and gender.
Programs for Trans Youth:
While we all have difficulties adjusting in our youth, one of the most alienated and bullied groups are trans youth. Trans youth have a shockingly high rate of suicide, as they are not only targeted for harassment by peers, but are also ostracized by their own families, and in many instances, kicked out of their homes. Many trans children and adults become homeless, simply because they are living their truth.
I support funding after-school programs and support groups for transitioning children and teens. Trans youth should be represented in housing programs as well.
Our identities bring oppression from different angles. While we have the right feel that the defense our own personal identities are important, we must remember that others have identities that may not correlate with our own. Ignorance of our differences, and our different experiences, can lead to unintended oppression of others. We must develop a society of mutual respect and understanding, and open our own minds first, to accept others as they are.
Native American Rights:
Treaties made with Native American Nations should be upheld, and their sacred places protected. I will fight to ensure that none of these rights are abridged for profit.
We must end the horrifying trade of pets in "puppy mills" and similar inhumane breeding operations. We have plenty of animals needing homes, with more brought into shelters every day. We must end the unregulated trade of comfort animals and focus on the needs of the animals, and not our own.
Fostering programs allow for caring residents to foster animals in their homes so they are not confined to small cages in a shelter.
Catch, spay/neuter, and release programs are critical to keeping the feral/stray population from exploding. This program allows animals that cannot be tamed to live out their life without creating more of an issue by reproducing.
As someone who has fostered kittens and volunteered with animal programs for several years, I support and will seek funding for programs like these.