Mass shootings in public spaces like schools, concerts, restaurants, and banks have become far too regular of a topic in the news. The United States has the highest rate of mass shootings per capita in the world, and every year over 15,000 Americans die due to gun violence (as well as an additional 22,000 per year from firearm suicide). Lauren supports universal background checks for every single gun sale no matter the model or venue of the sale (close all loopholes). When the Second Amendment was written in 1791, Lauren believes that the authors could not foresee the types of guns that would become available for purchase in this day and age. Assault weapons, high-capacity magazines and bump stocks should be banned, as these weapons should have never been allowed in the civilian market after being designed for war. Lauren also believes that all domestic abusers, stalkers, and those who have been found guilty of violent crime should be forced to surrender their firearms. Lauren believes that the reason we have not been able to pass reasonable gun safety laws is because gun lobby money is being used to sway politicians’ decisions. Protecting tens of thousands of lives per year should not be a political issue, but rather, a moral issue.
Our society has inherited systemic ways in which it prevents people from improving their economic stances. For example, university is unaffordable and many students graduate with loans that they may never pay off. Minimum wage at 40 hours per week does not cover a 1-bedroom apartment or even a studio apartment in Lauren’s district. One trip to the hospital can bankrupt a family, with 4 out of 10 Americans unable to afford even a $400 emergency expense. Our system is failing our citizens. Multiple members of Lauren’s family have survived from small Social Security checks after unforeseeable tragedies, and she strongly supports expanding Social Security benefits to keep up with inflation and rising costs of housing and to compensate for falling corporate pensions. Lauren will also fight so that students can attend a public university and graduate debt free. She supports Elizabeth Warren’s proposal for universal child care which will remove one of the major burdens of becoming a parent, and she supports increasing the minimum wage so that anyone working full-time can afford to pay for basic living costs.
Lauren supports bills like the Equality Act which would expand existing law to make it illegal to discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Unfortunately, many Republican lawmakers still support legislation that further takes away the rights of the LGBTQIA+ community. Protecting this community by explicitly making illegal any discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation also means that no individual can be denied health coverage for gender-affirming medical care. Lauren’s true passion is fighting for equality across all genders, sexual orientations, ethnicities, ages, religions and ability, and she will never stop fighting until everyone’s rights are equal by law.
Voting Rights and Fair Elections Free of Big Money
In 2013, the Supreme Court struck down the Voting Acts Right requirement to have jurisdictions with significant histories of voter discrimination “pre clear” new voting practices or procedures, leaving voters vulnerable to discrimination at the polls. A bipartisan Voting Rights Advancement Act was introduced to the House and Senate and provides protections against discrimination to compensate for the 2013 edit to the Voting Rights Act. This piece of legislation now sits with Congress, and Lauren supports this and any legislation that protects every single citizen’s right to vote. Lauren also supports initiatives to allow for easier voting such as protecting voting rights for all citizens over the age of 18 without exception, automatic voter registration at the age of 18, and unconditional absentee ballots mailed to all registered voters with paid postage for returning the ballots. In order to help reduce the cost of campaigning, brief information about each candidate and their stances should be included in these mailings. Lauren also supports public matching funds for candidates who refuse to accept anything but small donations. This will decrease the amount of time and energy wasted on candidates wooing big money donations from Super PACs and donors outside of their constituency. Finally, Lauren supports a constitutional amendment to reverse Citizens United and fix the campaign finance issues which pre-date Citizens United. She believes the only influences to politicians should be their constituents and their needs.
Hold Congress Accountable
Lauren believes that one major factor which has caused our system to be broken is that some members of Congress have spent their entire careers in office becomingly increasingly disconnected from their constituents. Paired with accepting corporate PAC money, many members of Congress can no longer in good faith claim that they represent the people in their districts. Lauren believes that adding term limits in both the House and Senate would ensure that our representatives bring their best energy to serve their constituents for their entire tenure prior to moving on and serving their communities in alternative ways. Ideally, representatives will understand, empathize with and even face the same struggles as their constituents so that they fight for legislation with the same veracity as they fight to win their campaign. Finally, Congress should not receive pay when other federal workers do not (e.g. during a shutdown).
Net Neutrality/Internet Protection
A strong supporter of net neutrality, Lauren believes that open access to the internet should be a government-regulated utility rather than a corporate profit center. She understands that economic success is closely tied to internet access, and monopolizing the internet is yet another barrier preventing disenfranchised individuals from achieving success.
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I have received calls from residents of my district who are facing layoffs because of these tariff wars. I believe penalties should be in place to prevent things like dumping of steel into our economy, but when you arbitrarily tariff, it affects us all. https://t.co/v65i5x9itl
I stand with @FightForNYCHA and NYCHA tenants across the city in demanding: 1) No demolition of NYCHA property; 2) Total opposition to RAD, 3) No privatization of NYCHA 4) Full-funding for NYCHA city-wide, including $32 billion for repairs.
Who is with me? 💪🏻