We need real change in this country; now that Trump's "Drain the Swamp" promise has been broken by flooding his cabinet with Wall Street and Big Oil executives, we must acknowledge that the GOP agenda is still the same as it has always been. We must unite America behind a middle and working class agenda first set forth by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and echoed by Senator Bernie Sanders. We need to strengthen the safety net, not tear it down.

Living Wage for Texans

We’ve all played the board game Monopoly; we know that the economy can’t survive when the top one percent has all of the money and the ninety-nine percent cannot make enough to make ends meet. This is called the velocity of money, and it disproves the ‘trickle-down’ economic theory.

Minimum wage, had it been tied to inflation back in the 70’s, would be well over the $12/hour that was originally proposed by some Democrats. To that end, I want to see the $15 minimum wage come gradually by the year 2024. This way, small businesses could handle it and the increase of money in the hands of the 99% will be immediately spent to stimulate the economy, as real-life 'Gordon Gekko' inspiration Asher Edelman has explained with the concept of the velocity of money. The wealthy have been hoarding money as they earn more, while the poor are cutting goods and barely making ends meet, having to resort to charity and welfare.

It has been proven that every dollar that the government spends in the food stamp program generates $1.73 in economic stimulus, as it helps keep grocery stores in business and generates revenue, keeping the most vulnerable areas from turning into food deserts. Likewise raising the minimum wage will increase the velocity of money to grow the economy from the bottom us.

Further, I’m for abolishing the sub-minimum wages such as tipped wages and wages to disabled people. $2.13 an hour is way too little, as is the pittance that disabled people get paid as they are still American citizens and should be treated with the same dignity and respect as anyone else.

Immigration Reform

My family were immigrants as recent as two generations ago, and I refuse to turn others away due to racial or religious fears. Immigrants have enriched our society and we have been stronger together by embracing our melting-pot culture.

In order to be striving towards a more perfect union, we must remember the benefits of diversity. The Windtalkers and the Tuskeegee Airmen helped save our country during the Second World War, and today we’re deporting US Veterans who served faithfully because the DREAM Act hasn’t been fully implemented. 

Besides, the costs to round up all of the undocumented workers and deport them is more expensive than if we give them a path to citizenship, which would only expand our tax revenue base once they are naturalized and would pay into social security.

Single-Payer Healthcare

I do not agree with the recent repeal of the affordable care act and the TrumpCare 2.0 replacement. Now, while the ACA was flawed, it was a step in the right direction. I believe that healthcare is a right, not a privilege restricted only to those who can afford it.

I support a medicare-for-all, single-payer option that gets the for-profit insurance corporations out of the picture as middle-men bean-counters profit off of human suffering by denying claims, charging high co-pays, and raising rates. We currently pay the most per capita than any other country, and far too many people are dying from a lack of comprehensive coverage, which also needs to include dental health.

We need to force big pharma to negotiate better rates for the US, and to that end, we’re going to have to bring in competition to drive down the cost of prescriptions, including removing the Part D donut hole as well as getting safe, generic medicine from Canada.

With the single-payer option, we would have a state-run Medicare for All non-profit competing with the predatory insurance companies who used to deny the unborn for ‘pre-existing conditions’. If you want to pay ridiculous premiums for pre-existing conditions, and deal with middle men profiteering off of human suffering of the American people… go right ahead. But I believe that the free market can and will thrive if we create healthy competition.

Thorium & Green Energy

We should get off of foreign oil, not just because burning hydrocarbons is bad for the environment, but because our money winds up helping fund countries who sponsor terrorists. If we look at this like we did the challenge to get to the moon, we could be on clean, renewable energy by 2024. This would help America out as it would be a 21st century Works Progress Administration, putting people back to work with a Green New Deal.

We must also look into evolving our aging nuclear energy plants and retrofit them to be hybridized to use a safer radioactive element, Thorium, that is cooled by salt rather than water. This would create more energy from less material and the ‘waste’ would only have to be sealed and buried for a fraction of the time that Uranium and Plutonium have to be.

Election Finance Reform

I’m a staunch opponent of dark money in politics, and I’m against SuperPAC money that doesn’t disclose their donors. We need to fight for a constitutional amendment that declares once and for all that corporations are not people and do not have the right to spend money to buy our politicians as ‘free speech’. Groups like ALEC and the NRA thrive on using money as puppet strings to get their legislation passed, drowning out the voices of regular citizens to be heard by their legislators. I will introduce the ‘Read the Fine Print’ bill, requiring any bill that originates from outside sources, such as ALEC on the right or SiX on the left, to clearly state who really wrote the bill since they get to hide their dark money donor base.

SuperPACs are equally deleterious to Democracy and need to be reigned in as well; I will call for the full disclosure of funding sources for political advertisements, including the largest major financers of all political television, radio, print, slate mailer, and online advertising for ballot measures, independent expenditures, and issue advocacy.

Narcotic Reform

Drug abuse is one of the biggest problems we face today, and it's about time we admit that our 'war on drugs' isn't the solution. It costs more to jail people for non-violent drug offenses rather than it does rehabilitating them. Because of decades of mandatory minimum sentences on drug convictions, private prisons have thrived and are directly lobbying to keep the penalties stiff in order to profit off of human suffering.

I supported President Obama's move to end the Private Prison industry, and will continue to do so due to the impact it has on the African American and Hispanic communities. Even our judges and schools have begun to create a school-to-prison pipeline, destroying young lives before they can even be considered an adult by our criminal justice system.

Finally, we need to take a lesson from history. The Eighteenth Amendment that enacted the Prohibition of Alcohol never stopped Americans from drinking; even the Presidents during Prohibition smuggled alcohol into the White House. Having Cannabis similarly prohibited as a Schedule I drug hasn't worked either, and has instead stymied the scientific research behind the medicinal benefits of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). It's time that we legalize and treat it similar to alcohol.

Let us work for a better tomorrow together, because Midterms Are Coming.