The climate crisis is one of the most urgent challenges we face as a country, and here in the Central Valley, we are on the front lines. With a dwindling window of time to solve this crisis, we must elect leaders who will take action on the climate crisis.
Our district has some of the dirtiest air in the country according to The United Nations Health Agency, including the highest asthma rate for children in the nation. This affects both the quality and longevity of life for us all. According to the American Lung Association State of the Air report, the Visalia / Porterville area ranked first on the list of cities most affected by year-round particle pollution. This is a critical issue of public health, one I take seriously as a business owner serving on the board of the Environmental Justice Advisory Group.
Safe and Affordable Drinking Water
California has recognized clean, safe drinking water as a human right since 2012. It is unjust that nearly 100,000 people in our district lack access to this basic human necessity. The number of cases of water contamination in our rural towns such as Orosi is simply unacceptable. There’s no easy fix to this crisis, it won’t get any easier if our Representative in Congress lacks the leadership and vision to bring stakeholders to the table for a frank conversation about solutions.
Supporting Family Farms
Agriculture is a vital part of our Valley’s economy, and farming can and must have a positive impact on our environment. Bringing carbon back into the soil through the use of regenerative agriculture has the capacity to reverse climate change, using carbon sequestration while addressing public health concerns and the financial well-being of farmers. Nationally, the suicide rates for farmers is on the rise due to the pressure of extreme weather, financial stress, and trade uncertainty. We must do all that we can to support the health of the longevity of our land and the people who work in it.
In Congress, I will:
- Aggressively work to transition our carbon economy towards a 100% green economy by 2030
- Support and strengthen existing legislation such as the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act
- Work to subsidize the use of electric vehicles and promote public transit and other low-carbon forms of transportation
- Support legislation that mandates the Department of Defense (the single largest user of carbon fuels) achieve carbon neutrality by 2030 and develop a climate action plan
- Author legislation to create scalable methane capture systems with a soil-based approach
- Provide incentives to farmers utilizing regenerative agriculture practices
- Provide incentives to farmers to improve water efficiency through improvements in technology such as irrigation
- Promote grazing as a tool to protect public lands
- Utilize California’s Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards to create a federal program that mirrors California’s standards
- Invest in the maintenance or repair of water infrastructures such as aqueducts, dams, and more
We all know our current healthcare system isn’t working. I’ve experienced the failures of this system first-hand when my dad died of lung cancer at 58. It wasn’t even 24 hours after he passed before the medical bills began coming in — it’s hard enough to lose someone you love, much less worry about the cost of the vital care required to keep them alive. A system where consumers will pay nearly infinite amounts to keep their loved ones alive is rife for profiteering when that care is being sold by a company whose primary responsibility not to its patients, but its shareholders.
We spend more on healthcare than any other developed nation, yet health outcomes aren’t any better…and in many cases, they’re worse. According to a study by Peterson-Kaiser, of the 12 wealthiest countries in the world, the U.S. ranks last in life expectancy. We need bold change to ensure that the people of California’s 22nd District have access to high quality, affordable, and effective healthcare.
Across our Central Valley, almost all of us struggle with access to care. Many of our neighbors don’t even have access to basic preventative care such as a visit to a primary care doctor. Our emergency rooms bear the brunt of this problem and are filled with patients suffering from preventable illnesses that have advanced to critical stages but could have been avoided altogether with proper care. The Central Valley’s shortage of primary care physicians is nearly double the state’s average, making it one of the worst shortages in California. We can only expect to see that increase if we do not take action.
In Congress, I will:
- Introduce or co-sponsor legislation that guarantees universal healthcare coverage for all Americans
- Make sure we repeal the ridiculous, pharma-sponsored law that makes it illegal for Medicare to negotiate drug prices and allow patients access to less expensive — but equally effective — generic medicine.
- Protect those with pre-existing conditions
- Encourage preventative care by increasing the number of primary care clinicians and furthering opportunities for training and education.
- Provide incentives for primary care clinicians to stay within the district
- Increase federal funding to build additional hospitals and other healthcare centers to keep up with population demand
- Fund mental health care and substance abuse services
- Address the over-prescribing of addictive medications such as opioids by stopping kickbacks and incentives to doctors for prescribing medication
- Ensure that women have full access to reproductive healthcare – including timely pre- and postnatal care
- Protect Medicare and support full funding of Medicaid coverage including long-term care for aging seniors
- Expand Access to Social Security/SSDI/SSI and bring those programs up to a living wage
I still own the automotive shop in Fresno that my dad and I started when I was 19. I was taught that working hard in this country will get you ahead, so I put my head down and earned my degree in Accounting from Fresno State.
While working to audit public financial statements at one of the largest accounting firms in the world — PricewaterhouseCoopers — I saw firsthand how a few large corporations are able to game the system and manipulate the economy, making it harder for most Americans to keep a roof over their heads and put food on the table. The worst part? It’s perfectly legal because Congress is captive to the monied interests that fund their campaigns.
In California’s 22nd district, people are working multiple jobs just to make ends meet.
1 out of 3 people in Fresno lives below the poverty line, and in Tulare County, the poverty rate is nearly double the state average. This is unacceptable. For too long the Central Valley has been left out or left behind in economic prosperity. As a small business owner and accountant, I know that we can do better if we have a Member of Congress who actually represents the people who live here.
In Congress, I will:
- Create an economy that works for the rest of us, with a Livable $15/hour Federal Minimum Wage, paid family leave, universal pre-k, and long-term care programs. Nobody should fall below the poverty line at the end of a 40-hour week, have to choose between keeping a job and caring for a new child or elderly relative, or worry that they will be a burden to their family if disaster strikes. As part of the minimum wage increase, Congress should assist small businesses by evaluating the financial impact of wage increases and tax breaks or other support.
- Aggressively work to transition our carbon economy towards a 100% green economy that protects the Central Valley’s agricultural heritage
- Protect workers rights to with legislation like Right to Organize Act of 2019 and strengthen the rights of workers to collectively bargain and expand union membership
- Increase America’s investment in job training. We can make technical training programs accessible and affordable, and we can increase funding for apprenticeship programs geared toward local companies that provide a pathway to civilian careers for veterans leaving active service.
- Increase employment, educational, and social opportunities for persons with disabilities
- Support the repeal of harmful Trump tax-cuts to fund an expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit so working people can get a bigger take-home paycheck
- Work eliminate structural inequalities by fighting for equal pay and non-discrimination laws, end all exceptions in wage laws and workplace protections for individuals with disabilities
Immigrants are the reason the Central Valley thrives. We are a nation of immigrants, and nowhere is that more clear than right here in our community. America’s broken immigration system we are facing isn’t working for anyone. Too many families are living in fear, and that is hurting the entire Valley. We need comprehensive immigration reform.
As a member of Congress, I will:
- Find a permanent solution for DACA recipients that creates a pathway to citizenship, and I will sponsor legislation such as Dream and Promise Act, DREAM Act, both of which have enjoyed bipartisan support.
- Make sure that Veterans who serve our country in the Armed Forces are not deported by co-sponsoring the ENLIST Act
- End family separation at the border by evaluating ICE and CBP practices and making sure Congress fulfills its constitutional responsibility to provide oversight of these agencies
- Support a path for legalization that allows immigrants working and living in our country illegally to come out of the shadows onto a path towards citizenship
- Invest in more caseworkers to process the decades-long backlog of visas and protect asylum seekers
Education is a core building block of our society. As an alumnus of Fresno State, I know how vital it is to have access to quality, affordable, and accessible education in our community and California’s 22nd district is lucky to have some of the best schools in the state.
At the same time, 44 million people in this country are struggling to repay $1.56 trillion in student loans. The effects of this massive mountain of debt ripple through our entire economy and is hampering a generation of Americans who are unable to invest in their communities, start innovative companies, or even buy a home of their own.
For this reason, I believe student loan debt should be forgiven in full so that young families have the freedom and economic mobility to start the next chapter of their lives. This is a bold move that would put $17 billion back into the U.S. economy annually.
At the same time, we must expand public education to cover a 4-year debt-free college and cap the rate interest rate of federal loans for graduate students.
Education is the greatest equalizer in this country and higher education should be accessible to anyone who wants it, regardless of where they fall on the socioeconomic ladder.
We can improve public education by building the bench of teachers and committing to end our teacher shortage, strengthening the retention of teachers and attracting young people to the teaching profession. We must also eliminate the teacher pay gap and pay teachers for the vital work they do to educate our next generation like the professionals that they are.
In Congress, I will:
- Aggressively pursue a national student loan cancellation program
- Support reauthorizing the Higher Education Act
- Advocate for co-enrollment of high-schoolers in college courses to reduce the cost of an associate or bachelor degree, and increase the availability of online courses to reduce overhead in higher ed
- Increase federal resources for Title I funding and tie investment to student population
- Support universal pre-k and childcare
- Proactive support for mental health education including combatting bullying, mental health resilience, and increasing suicide prevention
- Increase access to vocational school, secondary school education, and job training
- Fund apprenticeship programs that pair with local companies to provide a pathway to the workforce
- Expand Head Start programs in elementary schools
- Fully fund the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA)
- Repeal the Trump tax cuts for millionaires and restore the 2% tax deduction for teachers to get the vital supplies they need for their classrooms
Across the nation, over 21 million Americans are facing housing cost burdens. California makes up 12% of the U.S. population with nearly a quarter of the total homeless population.
While the cost of a home in the Central Valley is lower than the rest of California, many are still struggling to make ends meet. Almost 60% of renters in Fresno County spend a third of their income just to put a roof over their heads. The average cost of an apartment has increased by 6.2% in Fresno, the second-highest jump in the state. Central Valley resident’s income is not rising with the cost of housing, causing low-income families to pay more with fewer resources.
This strain puts individuals and families of California’s 22nd district at risk of being unhoused with the number of people who are unhoused and have increased by 25% in both Fresno and Tulare Counties.
There are hundreds of people in our district who are experiencing homelessness right now due to a lack of affordable housing, emergency services, disability, or access to mental health services.
Every American deserves a safe, affordable, and decent place to live. We are not doing enough to combat this crisis and we must elect leaders that will take action on housing.
In Congress, I will:
- Expand funding for HUD and HUD-VASH vouchers and caseworkers
- Maximize the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit to create affordable housing through tax incentives to property owners while also ensuring that LIHTC projects serve low-income families
- Providing housing navigation for veterans, disabled, LGBT and other at-risk communities to address barriers to housing
- Support legislation to create affordable housing and protect renters like 2017 Public Housing Tenant Protection and Reinvestment Act and Housing and Services Act
- Incentivize equitable zoning through block grants for community amenities
- Use a Housing First approach to increase federal funding for low and middle-income housing, as well as transitional housing, emergency shelters, supportive housing for at-risk communities such as veterans, disabled, youth
- Aggressively advocate for Fair Housing that is connected to public transit and job centers
- Support federal investments to increase the availability of affordable housing for seniors nationwide
We have more people in prison than anywhere in the world. We have more than 2.3 million people locked up in more than 6,000 prisons across America and more people being put away every day. In California, the incarceration rate is 581 to 100,000 people. This system disproportionately affects communities of color and people in poverty while our government spends billions of dollars on subsidies for-profit prison industry that profits from more people being put behind bars. Our prison system must focus on rehabilitation and reintegration — We must reduce the incarcerated population.
In Congress, I will:
- Eliminate cash bail that disproportionately affects communities of color
- Ban privatized prisons on a federal level in order to push resources toward education, employment, civic engagement, and housing to formerly incarcerated people
- Decriminalize mental illness and addiction
- Provide mental healthcare for law enforcement and incarcerated communities
- Reduce sentences of drug offenses, expluge past records, eliminate mandatory minimums
Every person in California’s 22nd district deserves an equal voice in our government. Dark money and special interests are undermining our democracy as we know it and drowning out the voices of everyday Americans. I decided to run for Congress after seeing wide-spread corruption and know that it will take leaders who are willing to stand up and fight for a government that works for all of us.
In Congress, I will:
- Advocate for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizen’s United and improve public transparency by requiring campaign finance limits for corporations and PACs
- Abolish the Electoral College in favor of national Popular Vote
- Champion public campaign financing reforms that match grassroots funds like the Seattle Democracy Voucher Program
- Utilize existing Antitrust Laws to break up corporate monopolies
- Fight for restoring key provisions within the Voting Rights Act, make election day a holiday, institute automatic voter registration