I won't accept so much as a free meal from a corporate lobbyist.

I believe in a free-market system, but one that is regulated to protect the average citizen from corporate overreach and abuse.  It is no secret that today in America the top .1% own as much as the bottom 90%.  To make matters worse, 99% of new income goes to the .1%. People rightfully feel the economy is rigged, jobs don't pay what they used to and unionizing efforts are in decline. It's time for the billionaires to pay their fair share.  

We have the power to change all of this. Will you join me in taking on the most powerful people in the world in an effort to reduce their influence on Washington?  I don't believe there is any other way forward.   We must recalibrate our economy, so the pie begins to grow for everyone.  Unity is our way forward.  America is the greatest nation on Earth. 

I'm asking you to join me in the fight to make our democracy serve everyone equally.


our STUDENTS & TEACHERS FIRST

The greatest gift we can give to our future generations is powerful, purposeful public education.  I support increases in Federal funding for education.  

☆ I oppose Betsy DeVos's "privatization" & "school choice." Her plan is a wolf in sheep's clothing for corporate lobbyists and legislators who are working to de-fund our public schools. 

☆ We need to increase benefits and incentives, including maternity leave for teachers & school staff. 

☆ Funding for arts, music, wood shop, home ec, drafting, and other vocational courses in high-school is essential for our children's development.  

☆ We must end Federal programs that profit off student loans, and work toward making public college tuition & trade schools debt free for students.


improve transportation

Instead of funding a $67 billion border wall, we need to invest in our crumbling mass transit and upgrade new train lines. We suffered through the MTA's "Summer of Hell" this year and it's time we put our foot down and demand improvements. A 50% reduction in commuting time means more quality time with our families. 

☆ Divert Federal funding for the border wall to new North Shore Connection with NJ PATH Train. 

☆ Keep the Staten Island ferry free.

☆ Reduce commute times for South Brooklyn by getting more Federal dollars to fund the MTA.

☆ No toll increases for Staten Islanders.  


CLIMATE ACTION now

In 2014, the Pentagon released a Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap that declared "climate change will affect the Department of Defense's ability to defend the nation and poses immediate risks to U.S. National Security."  We must put the interest of the men, women, and children of NY's 11th District over corporate interest.  There is a belief that taking action to protect our climate will harm our economy.  This is untrue.  Elon Musk made a bet on electric cars and solar panels and the market value of his company Tesla, has exceeded the market value of General Motors & Ford, in under a decade.  By investing in innovative technologies, we will protect our communities and local businesses from future climate catastrophes.

☆ Renew our commitment to the Paris Climate Accord.

☆ Exchange fossil fuel corporate subsidies in the tax code for funding of clean energy technologies.

☆ Increase EPA milage standards and renew subsidies for electric vehicles.


medicare for all

I fully support insurance coverage for people with preexisting conditions.

Furthermore, I support Medicare for All.  Health care is a right, not a privilege. 

If you receive health insurance from your job or through a union, the average total contribution between employee and employer is an average of $6,800 per year and this cost will continue to rise.  A Medicare for All system could reroute these contributions to badly needed wage growth and retirement benefits.  

If you are the owner of a small business, work in the growing gig-economy, or if your job doesn't provide health insurance, you must pay out of pocket -- this new system will improve your life.  Warren Buffet stated recently, that health care expenses are the "tapeworm of American Competitiveness".  He advocates for the government to provide Medicare for all, as our current system hurts global competitiveness.  

We rightfully provide Medicare efficiently to our nations senior citizens.  This is not accidental, insurance companies are in the business to make profits, and insuring senior citizens, or people with preexisting conditions, is a losing proposition. There is a profit margin on people without preexisting conditions and it's those profits that needs to transfer into Medicare.  I support a free-market economy, but government must get involved in certain instances.  

The winner here is the middle class. The loser is the entire corporate health care industry, which spent $150 Billion last year alone on lobbying and the politicians who accept these contributions.  

☆ Medicare is accepted in 95% of hospitals.

☆ Reinstate pre-2005 rules allowing Medicare to negotiate lower rates. 

☆ No denial of coverage for preexisting conditions. Ever.

☆ When employer healthcare costs are dramatically reduced, they will be able to reinvest the savings in hire wages and new jobs.  

☆ Small businesses who currently can't acquire the best talent due to the high cost of health coverage will now be able to compete with large corporations.


women's rights

We believe that a woman's right to her own reproductive decisions are protected by the constitution and should not be infringed.  We stand with all women to promote equality in the workplace and in society.

☆ Support reproductive rights.  

☆ Ensure equal pay for equal work.  No one should be discriminated against based on their gender.

☆ Protect and increase funding for family planning organizations like Planned Parenthood.


workers rights & strong unions

Collective bargaining is key to insuring work standards are safe, and that wages and benefits rise with inflation.  Unions make our middle class strong.  As a second generation union member, I will support workers' rights and unionizing efforts.

☆ Increase union jobs and protect workers' rights.

☆ Union members are verified US Citizens, which decreases undocumented labor at job sites.  The rise in undocumented labor directly correlates with the war against unions. 

☆ Protect all workers from unfair "Non-Compete" clauses.  Employers are quietly using these to claim ownership of a worker's personal skills, while preventing them from starting their own companies. 

☆ Lower taxes on the middle class and close all loopholes that benefit the 1% percent.


reject the white house "staten island tax"

The White House is proposing removing all deductions for NY State Income Taxes,  NYC Income Taxes, and all Property Taxes; we call this the Staten Island Tax.  Why?  Because it adversely affects Staten Island residents more than almost all areas of the country.  Don't take our word for it.  Ask your accountant.  I strongly reject the Staten Island Tax and you should too!


SENSIBLE gun laws

We can defend the Second Amendment and advocate for more sensible gun laws. The two are not mutually exclusive. 

☆ Update our laws to include universal background checks on all gun sales in the U.S.  Background checks are supported by 90% of Americans. 

☆ Reinstate the Federal Assault Weapons Ban.

☆ Ban 'bump stocks' which played a role in the Las Vegas terrorist attack.  


WE NEED UNITY

Some are playing an infuriating game of race-politics in an effort to divide America.  We will not fall for this distraction, it is an effort to keep us away from what our country really needs:  billionaires to pay their fare share, Medicare for All, stronger worker and union rights, and reduced corporate influence.  

We must unite on the protection of all in our community, regardless of race, religion, or gender.  Everyone has the right to feel safe and respected.  


Protect Social Security

Our job is to ensure the earned-benefits of social security are strengthened and expanded for generations to come.  The most successful program in our government's history has lasted the test of time, paying a reliable income to our nations treasured senior citizens. People falsely allege the system is "bankrupt" or "imploding" but the truth is Social Security has a $2.8 Trillion Dollar surplus, and has proven over time to be more reliable than employer pension funds and the stock market, which have actually failed the American people.  The system can be strengthened.

☆ Currently, billionaires pay the same amount into Social Security as a person that makes $127,200 per year.  I am for removing this cap so billionaires will pay the same percentage into the system as everyone else.  This will increase the system's solvency for the next fifty years and increase benefits by as much as $65 per month, while increasing benefits for low income seniors.  At a time when most new income goes to the 1%, this will help in reducing income inequality.

 ☆ I am firmly against "privatization" of Social Security.  


VETERAN'S BENEFITS

We will honor our veterans and provide the best possible care & benefits for the sacrifices they made for our country.  

A dear family friend, Bill Peterson, may he rest in peace, served as a Marine in the Vietnam War and was decorated with a Purple Heart.  Bill was a true patriot.  He sacrificed all for his country and returned home scarred from war. I promise to honor Bill's memory, by providing every means of quality care to our veterans.

☆ Expand VA Hospital benefits and include comprehensive dental.

☆ Provide excellent mental health counseling, family assistance, and transition assistance. 

☆ Increase military pensions and housing benefits.


Affordable Housing

We should not be surprised that a luxury real estate developer like Trump would call for a $35 million dollar cut to the NYC Housing Authority.  The NYCHA is the largest affordable housing program in the country and nearly two-thirds of its budget comes from Federal dollars.  I call for increases in funding for affordable housing.  We must strike a balance that protects both landlords and tenants as the cost of rent can be influenced directly by property taxes, heating, and water bills. 

☆ I firmly oppose the White House tax plan which calls for the removal of the property tax deduction.  The trade-off of a double standard deduction, while losing the property tax deduction, is a raw deal for Staten Islanders.

☆ I support funding increases to NYCHA.

☆ I oppose Trump's proposed $876 million cut to FEMA, just prior to the Houston Flood, in an effort to grant the top 1% further tax breaks.

☆ Storm Walls to lessen the impact of climate change related super storms. 


Protect net neutrality

I am firmly against the Trump administration's move, at the behest of lobbyists at Verizon, Comcast, etc., to remove net neutrality rules.  True innovators, like Netflix, will be severely threatened if internet service providers are able to lower their bandwidth at the flip of a switch.  This will be disguised by those who receive corporate dollars as a "free market" solution, but in actuality, it will stifle the spread of information to everyday Americans.

☆ I support Title II, Net Neutrality Rules.


Lower prescription drug costs

Today in Washington D.C., there are over 1,200 pharmaceutical lobbyists; that's two for every member of congress.  This lobby spends more than any other industry and Americans pay higher prices for prescription drugs than any other country in the world. 

When people call for a "free market",  they are only telling a half-truth. It's often left out of the discussion that many life-saving medicines are paid for by Federal taxpayer funds.  They are developed, tested, approved by the FDA, and then given away, nearly for free, to large drug companies.  These firms often turn around and gouge the very taxpayers who footed the bill.  The system must change.  A man like Martin Shrekli and his peers, must never be able to hold life saving medicines hostage ever again.  

☆ Allow Medicare to negotiate with drug companies for lower prices.  This could save Medicare nearly $500 billion over the next decade.  

☆ Medicines that result from taxpayer funded research must be available to Americans at affordable rates. 

☆ Allow the import of FDA approved Canadian medicine from licensed pharmacies. 

☆ Restore discounts for low-income seniors. 


Foreign Policy

President Trump has put us on a path toward an "isolationist" foreign policy, our first since before WWII.  FDR pleaded with America to take a stronger role in world politics, but it wasn't until Pearl Harbor, that America joined him.  We cannot isolate ourselves on the world stage.  I'm calling for America to lead on climate deals, not pull out of them.  Trade deals must work for American manufacturing before the CEO's of large corporations.  Our fight with ISIS must never allow the alienation of peaceful Muslims. Our feelings about trade and immigration, must never alienate our Mexican allies.  We must not threaten North Korea, an isolated, poor nation with "fire & fury."  Remember Teddy Roosevelt, when he said, "speak softly, and carry a big stick".

☆ Sign onto the Paris Climate Deal and lead the world in clean renewable energy. 

☆ I disapprove of Trump's visit to Saudi Arabia.  Saudi Arabia is an offender of human and women's rights and they indirectly fund extremism through religious studies. 

☆ Honor the Iran Nuclear Deal.  We were on track for peace with Iran, but the Republican Party, perhaps in search of another Iraq War, has taken steps to isolate Tehran.  Peace with Iran is within reach.



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