Enhancing and Protecting Individual Rights
From working for a human rights organization in Northern Ireland to being the public policy director for Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, I have a life-long commitment to protecting and expanding individual rights. I understand that the ability to collectively bargain helps level the playing field for workers. I am committed to remedying the racial disparities that plague Wisconsin and have worked tirelessly to reform policing and the criminal justice system. I have vigorously fought the roll back of the rights of women and the punitive policies targeting people of color and immigrants. I am committed to making sure that all individuals have an opportunity to thrive in our state – starting with working to make sure everyone has the fundamental rights we all need to succeed.
Safe Schools and Communities
One of the saddest days in my job as a legislator was grieving with a mother who had recently lost her precious daughter to gun violence. The depth of her sadness was truly shattering. I was changed forever by this and went on with my colleagues to found The Wisconsin Coalition for Gun Safety. Everyone deserves to live in a safe community and every child deserves to go to a safe school. Unfortunately, the response of my Republican colleagues has been to roll back gun protections, rather than pass popular, common-sense gun safety measures including background checks. I have made the issue of gun safety one of my top priorities.
Open, Transparent and Accountable Government
Wisconsin’s strong tradition of open, transparent and accountable government is under attack. As an attendee at the right-wing American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), I have been at the forefront of exposing a corporate agenda that is dominating policy-making in Wisconsin, leaving the people behind. The GOP has done everything to obfuscate who is driving their agenda by trying to repeal open records, gutting the Government Accountability Board, and making it harder for people to vote.
I am committed to rebuilding Wisconsin’s culture of the public’s right to know. I believe it is the government’s responsibility to be accountable to the public.
Creating Opportunities for our Children, Youth and Young Adults
Our children are the future of the state, and nothing is more important to me than advocating for opportunities for our young people. I have been so inspired by the youth mobilizing around the country for gun safety measures, and have tried to amplify their voices at every opportunity. I spend a lot of time visiting schools in my district and on the UW-Madison campus listening to and working with young people to make Wisconsin a better place. I believe that the state must invest in our children from the time they are born, through quality, early childhood development programs, affordable child care, 4K programs in every school, and a robust, sustainable state investment in k-12 education, our technical/vocational system and our UW System. Every child should have the opportunity to grow up with plentiful food in a safe environment with access to health care. These are just the basic things that every child needs to thrive and succeed.
We need to create an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top. I have been one of the loudest advocates for fair wages and a progressive taxation system to put more money into the pockets of low and middle-income working individuals and families. I support a minimum wage increase to $15/hour, repealing the myriad of corporate tax giveaways and tax cuts for millionaires and investing in a real low and middle income tax cut for working individuals and families, paying women equal pay for equal work, prioritizing affordable child care options, and more flexible work situations and paid family leave policies.
One of the biggest losers under the Republican reign of the last 7 years has been the environment. Every day we read about some corporation getting the a-ok from the Walker administration to pollute our air, our water, and our land. Not only do these policies jeopardize human and environmental health, but our economy. A successful economy depends on us preserving and enhancing our environment, whether it be in the agricultural, forestry or tourist industries. In fact, our economy is inextricably linked to our environment. Further, state legislators hold the water of the state in trust for the people, not private interests. We must restore the Department of Natural Resources to a functioning department that develops environmental policies around sound science, not political ideology.
Our state must also invest in the clean energy economy, rather than continue to export billions of dollars from our economy for fossil fuels. Wisconsin lags behind other midwestern states and most of the country in developing renewable energy resources that not only protect our environment, but create the jobs of today and tomorrow.
Quality, Affordable Healthcare
Every Wisconsinite should be able to access affordable, accessible health care without having to worry about going bankrupt or losing their homes. Our health care system is broken, and I favor a single payer system to take the profit out of health care while providing healthcare to EVERYONE, including dental and mental health care. In our current system, at the very least there should be a public option available in the ACA Health care exchanges.