The methods

Here are methods I'll use to get your input on proposed legislation before a vote, instead of just telling you how I voted:

I will consult individuals, organizations, government offices, and businesses about an issue before I vote.

I will conduct opinion polls on Facebook or my website to allow people to express how they feel about a topic or bill.

I will hold town halls to hear what constituents are saying about current issues.

I will make public the number of calls, emails, and letters I receive on topics of great interest, identifying the numbers for and against legislation.

My approach

Here's how I will approach each issue as it comes up in the form of a specific piece of legislation:

I will be open to the opinions of all constituents in the 4th Congressional District, not just those in my same party.

I will not vote the party line unless I wholeheartedly agree with it.

I will be open to change my mind on an issue based on new information.

I will ask you to be willing to review proposed legislation with an open mind and provide your constructive critique.

Issues

My stance on

Health Care

I believe health care is a right, and not a privilege for the rich or folks lucky enough to be employed by a company offering medical coverage as a benefit. I would work tirelessly to continue the basic coverage features of the Affordable Care Act. In addition, I would encourage my colleagues in Congress to push this to the next level, which is health care for all. All other advanced countries in the world have found a way to accomplish this goal. My confidence in American ingenuity and innovation to solve this problem is steadfast. A recent Gallop poll indicates nearly six in ten Americans want a single-payer system. Even Republicans support the idea with 41 percent favoring a single-payer system.

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My stance on

Climate Change

We cannot ignore the changes occurring on our planet. We already know they are responsible for new migration patterns of people as they seek food or water. And in some areas of the globe people are retreating from too much water. We have two choices, be a leader on this issue or be left behind. We need a leader on the issue of climate change, a person who will work with others to find solutions to a problem that is real and not going away. You deserve a leader willing to dig deep into how proposals affect working people and to see through the distortions promoted by the money interests in this issue.

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My stance on

Immigration

Congress has been kicking this can down the road for more than two decades. I believe now is the ideal time to find a solution to immigration that will not only benefit thousands of people living in our congressional district, but will bolster our local economies as well.

I will be a strong voice in Congress to demand we address this issue now, not later. Creating a path to citizenship for eligible individuals is our future. This system must include a detailed application process and a stringent e-verify program. In addition, we need a manageable Agricultural Guest Worker program.

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My stance on

Consumer Financial Protection

The level of greed displayed by many of the wealthiest people and corporations in our nation today is frankly appalling. It's also the strongest argument for the need to embrace collective rule making. If we didn't have laws to create a sense of fairness, we'd still be in the system of land barons and serfs.  

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My stance on

Republican Tax Plan

The top 1% of Americans will pay substantially less in taxes, and some corporations may end up paying nothing in this new tax plan. Republicans plan to vote on their massive overhaul of the tax code. Economists have repeatedly told us the economy is stimulated when people have more money to spend. But a sizable portion of the middle class will pay more, not less. Americans in states with an income or sales tax will no longer be able to deduct those taxes from their federal taxes.

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Beliefs

I believe

Russia and Putin hacked the U.S. election. This demands sanctions and a rigorous, independent investigation protected from White House interference or intimidation.

I believe

In health care for all. As a society, we have moved ever closer to the idea that health care is a right, not a privilege. I will work to expand the Medicare system to include all people.

I believe

Our country needs a massive infrastructure jobs program . . . not a wall on the Mexican border.

I believe

We desperately need campaign finance reform; get the big money out.

I believe

In science. Climate change is real and must be addressed.

I believe

Our tax system is upside down. The very rich and big corporations should pay their fair share.

I believe

The U.S. is a world leader and that means cooperation, not confrontation.

I believe

Religion is not a test for entry into the U.S. I reject a Muslim ban and registry.

I believe

Immigration reform has to include a path to citizenship.

I believe

Government has no business making my birth control decisions.

I believe

In the rule of law. Democracy fails if our leaders don't obey laws.

I believe

Our President must show his tax returns. We have to know if he has conflicts of interest.

I believe

In diversity. I welcome all people as my neighbors, co-workers, and community leaders.

I believe

Medicare works well and should not be turned into a voucher program giving insurance companies control to raise rates.

I believe

We already have plenty of bombs and war-making capabilities. I don't want an arms race.