I recognize that economic insecurity hits marginalized groups hardest, especially women. I believe women should not have to choose between their jobs and their families, and I'm committed to championing paid family leave, paid sick leave, fair scheduling, and universal health care.
I am also a strong defender of reproductive justice. I know that we must protect access to safe, legal abortion and protect funding for vital women’s health centers like Planned Parenthood.
To ensure gender equality under the law, we should also put an Equal Rights Amendment on the Minnesota ballot and ratify the federal Equal Rights Amendment.
We must ensure that all children, especially the most vulnerable, have access to an excellent education that prepares them to succeed. This starts early, by funding access to high-quality early childhood education for all Minnesotans. Minneapolis faces huge funding deficits that can be directly traced to the state. If we fully funded the mandates that school districts cover the costs of special education, we would not only do better for special education students we would also fully close the Minneapolis budget gap. Teachers are the most important part of a child’s success, and we need to ensure we are supporting them with good pay, mentoring and development, as well as recruiting and preparing well-qualified, diverse new teachers.
We must fully fund our government by raising tax rates on the wealthy and closing loopholes, as well as asking corporations to pay their fair share. Particularly in a time when the richest Minnesotans continue to reap the vast majority of the gains from economic growth, they can afford to spread those gains to assist the state in providing services. We can also save money and tackle our criminal justice inequities by moving away from mass incarceration and towards a treatment model for non-violent drug possession. We need to promote economic fairness by raising wages to $15 an hour, promoting collective bargaining and protecting organized labor, and dramatically increasing access to affordable housing and affordable healthcare.
Americans have the highest gun murder rates in the developed world. We must enact common sense gun safety reforms like universal background checks, closing gun show loopholes, and eliminating conceal and carry laws. We must also eliminate weapons of war and high capacity magazines for sale on our streets. Reducing the availability of guns will also lead to lower sentences for many first time offenders, who are disproportionately people of color. Sentence enhancements for having firearms result in much longer incarceration terms. Our laws should be smart and target the causes of gun violence, like illegal sales and assault-style weapons.
Our immigration system is broken. I support a path to citizenship for DREAMers and for other undocumented immigrants, who represent at least 5% of the U.S. labor force. We must stop the misguided policies of the Trump administration, which are tearing apart families and deporting individuals who have been living in the U.S. sometimes for decades, paying taxes and even starting businesses. We must pass commonsense immigration reform that includes a pathway to citizenship. At the state level, I support providing drivers licenses and health care access to our aspiring citizen neighbors.