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We want American commerce to succeed, but it should not be at the community’s cost. Experts cite the lack of regulations in the financial sector as one of the main causes of the financial collapse in 2008. Lauren firmly believes that this lack of regulations was caused by politicians who accepted corporate money for their campaigns which swayed their decisions, and these same politicians failed to protect the country from unstable markets.
Lauren also believes that the way that Amazon’s HQ2 played out in her district is evidence of corporate money in politics. Many politicians who offered unconditional tax incentives to Amazon have accepted campaign donations from Amazon. These politicians are now citing 25,000 jobs lost for the district. Lauren believes that this is a false narrative. We do not know that the 25,000 jobs would have been local hires, or if Amazon would have brought 25,000 people to Long Island City and the surrounding areas to add additional stress to the skyrocketing cost of housing and the crumbling subway system. Would Amazon hire at least 50% women in management roles? Would the type of labor complaints against Amazon that have been publicized in the last years be an issue in Long Island City? Lauren believes politicians should have pushed for more answers as part of the negotiation, but instead, they offered a one-sided deal which benefitted Amazon, possibly at the cost of the constituents. Lauren will negotiate on behalf of her constituents, not on behalf of her campaign bank account as she accepts no corporate PAC 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.
Lauren supports criminal justice reform that ends arrest quotas, encourages the development of positive relationships between police forces and the communities they serve, and ends for-profit prisons and mass incarceration which has historically impacted People of Color at a much higher rate.
Lauren also supports federal legislation requiring an outside special prosecutor for cases involving killings by police to eliminate conflicts of interest.
Lauren believes the tax dollars saved by ending mass incarceration should be used to reintegrate those who have been incarcerated back into society.
Our healthcare system is broken, and much of our costs fund a middleman (private insurance companies) rather than actually helping save lives. The last thing someone who was laid off from a job should have to worry about is whether they will be able to pay their hospital bills. Receiving mental healthcare and addiction treatment should also be covered as part of this expanded Medicare. Research shows that the costs for receiving medical treatment will drop if more individuals have access to affordable, preventative treatment, and she believes our society will reap the benefits of addiction treatment through lowering demand for drug trafficking and decreasing instance of drug-related crime.
Lauren believes that the reason we have not developed a universal healthcare system is, again, that politicians accept campaign donations from pharmaceutical lobbies and private insurance companies.
Most of us are in this country as a result of immigration in our family. Lauren’s family is no different. Lauren stands with immigrants of all faiths, creeds and origins while supporting immigration reform with a path to citizenship, and endorses the Dream Act of 2017.
The Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) was created in 2003 in the same legislation as the Patriot Act and the Iraq War. However, ICE operates outside of the scope of the Department of Justice and has not been held accountable for its actions. With thousands of reports of sexual abuse of children in detention facilities along the border, and due to the general inhumane treatment of those placed in those facilities for seeking a better life in our country, Lauren believes ICE should be defunded and replaced with a more responsible and humane safeguard for our border.
Acclaimed scientists are warning of catastrophic and irreversible effects of our irresponsible environmental policies. Given the urgency of this issue, Lauren supports proposals that meet the scope of this enormous problem (such as the Green New Deal) in order to counteract the damage done by humans to this earth. District 12 surrounds the East River and would bear the effects of the entire country’s choices regarding environmental policy. Lauren strongly supports reversing budget cuts to the EPA. She has worked in low-income energy research and is ready to be a vocal advocate for our environment and future.
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