Tawana Cadien Policy Positions
Homeland Security is important to all Americans. We all want our country to be secure from threats beyond our borders. As your Congresswoman, I believe Congress must be able to respond to threats from beyond our borders through diplomacy, foreign policy, international alliances, and as a last resort, military intervention.
As military spending increases under the Trump Administration, our citizens are fighting their own battles against financial instability, lack of access to affordable health care, the threat of gun violence and more. As your Congresswoman, I will support foreign policy that decreases military spending and is driven by diplomacy and progressive values. I will also support policies that care for the needs of refugee and vulnerable populations in regions where armed conflicts affect their safety and quality of life.
While much importance is placed on Homeland Security, what I term Domestic Security is also a critical issue for Americans. I define Domestic Security as how we, as a nation, deal with the needs of, and threats to, our families, children, workers and intersectional populations. Some of the threats to our Domestic Security include:
· gun violence
· lack of access to medical care
· economic inequality: income disparity, lack of a living wage; spiraling cost of college and vocational training
· inhumane immigration policy
· racial injustice & social injustice
· underfunded, sobotaged public school system
· underserved veterans
· undersupported seniors
· unethical politicians
· unfair, budget-busting tax plan that redistributes wealth upwards
As your Congresswoman, I commit to working to further policies that promote Domestic Security for the most vulnerable among us, and the average, hard-working American.
Gun violence has pervaded our way of life as Americans. For decades the drumbeat of gun death has decimated our Communities of Color, has impacted our LGBTQ youth, our teens, and yet the ONLY voice that has been elevated on the issue has been the voice of the INDUSTRY. This UNREGULATED industry chooses our state and federal gun policy, and controls the messaging on this epidemic, while the number of gun deaths rise. We are approaching 2 MILLION dead from gunshots over the last 40 years, and countless more living with injuries (both physical and emotional), many disabling.
The reality that our school children are being gunned down by men armed with AR-15’s, by classmates armed with handguns, and are living in fear of being murdered while they perform the most important task of their young lives – attending school – is UNACCEPTABLE. It is PAST time for this country to pass Federal, Universal, Comprehensive Gun Reform that fits within the confines of the 2nd Amendment. The voices of our children demand that we act to protect them.
As your Congresswoman, I will work to pass Federal, Universal, Comprehensive Gun Reform by bringing the Gun Reform Act of 2018 to Congress. This reform is focused on public safety through the regulation of firearms, a long overdue concept that most Americans support and even Former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia supported. Our federal government has become a surrogate of the NRA.
The NRA is the lobbying and campaign hit squad for an unregulated industry that writes and passes its own legislation, and is profiting handsomely off the deaths of 35,000 Americans a year. There is, on average, a mass shooting a day in this country perpetrated against our school children, and women and their children in their very own homes. 72% of all murder-suicides involve an intimate partner; 94% of the victims of these murder-suicides are female. Firearm suicides accounts for 2/3 of all gun deaths and yet they are 80-90% preventable. It is estimated there are a million shooting survivors in the US, yet we pay no attention to the injured and what they experience. An estimate of the yearly cost of gun violence is $229 billion.
Gun Reform MATTERS, and can drastically reduce our rate of gun death, rate of mass shootings and firearms suicides.
Some of the main provisions of the Gun Reform Act of 2018 include:
· Requiring a federal firearms license for all those that wish to become handgun owners or who currently own handguns and/or military-style weapons.
· Requiring those that wish to be licensed to pass an exhaustive criminal background check and psychological screening.
· All handguns and currently owned military-style weapons must be registered with the ATF. All prospectively owned handguns would be registered with the ATF.
· There will be a prospective BAN on all military-style firearms including the manufacturing, distribution, sale and transfer of.
· Military-style weapons currently owned will be subject to strict storage policies that would not allow for them to be stored or used anywhere but at an ATF-certified gun range.
· Storage policies are strict and hold licensees criminally liable if their firearm is used in a shooting due to improper storage.
· There is an Extreme Protective Order provision that requires the temporary confiscation of firearms owned or possessed by someone under a Domestic Violence Protective Order.
· Licensed gun owners will be required to carry liability insurance on their firearms and will pay a federal gun tax.
As a registered nurse, caregiver and mother, I believe that health care is a right. The Affordable Care Act has insured 20 million Americans, but still, almost 30 million more are left uninsured. As your Congresswoman, I will support the House (HR 676) version of the Medicare-For-All Bill. One of the key provisions of HR 676 is to separate employment from access to health insurance, which would allow people more autonomy to change jobs, careers, to innovate, and live their lives more freely. I believe this legislation is the answer to taking care of every citizen’s health care needs in a complete and responsive way. It is affordable for all Americans and is a long-overdue approach to health care in this country.
Here are some of the other provisions of the bill:
· Every American receives the same quality and access to care regardless of income
· Middle class families could save over $5,000 on this place, while businesses would save close to $10,000 on this plan;
· This plan will cost $6 trillion less than our current health care system.
· This plan will be paid for by a shared tax plan that requires the rich to pay their fair share.
· The plan covers an entire continuum of care for all people including, inpatient to outpatient care; preventive to emergency care; primary care to specialty care, including long-term and palliative care; vision, hearing and oral health care; mental health and substance abuse services; as well as prescription medications, medical equipment, supplies, diagnostics and treatments.
Income Equality - Despite the passage of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in 2009, women are still paid less than men – 20% less - in almost ALL jobs. It will take 40 years for white women to get parity in wages, while it will take Women of Color much longer. Almost three times as many women as men work in occupations with poverty-level wages. Most retirement-aged women live in poverty. As your Congresswoman, I will work to bring women’s wages into parity with men’s. The unemployment rate for African American graduates is 18%.
As your Congresswoman, I will support policy that provides income equity to all minority groups and to women. I will support a living wage, ending the income gap and making college affordable for all.
Living Wage - Roughly 78 million workers, many of them young, are minimum-wage earners. 43 million people in the US live in poverty, and of those, 18.5 million reported living in deep poverty. Almost 49 million Americans suffer from food insecurity and 16 million of those are children. Children and teens from poverty are at greater risk for negative outcomes like poor academic achievement, school dropout, abuse and neglect, behavioral and socioemotional problems, physical health problems, and developmental delays.
Earning a living wage keeps workers from working excessive overtime hours or multiple jobs, it keeps people from being denied their basic rights to food, shelter, nutrition, health, housing, transportation, education, and from experiencing social deprivation. As your Congresswoman, I will work to pass federal living wage legislation so that ALL American families can truly live the American Dream.
Ending the Income Gap – The US now suffers from more income inequality than any western country on the planet, and the gap between the super-rich and the rest of us is wider than at any time in the last 80 years. We are working more hours for less money, and we are earning less than we earned 40 years ago. Wealth has been redistributed in a way that has allowed 1/10 of 1% to accumulate almost as much wealth as the bottom 90%.
As your Congresswoman, I will work to end the income gap by supporting the ability of Americans to join unions, requiring the richest Americans and corporations to pay their share in taxes, providing universal preschool and child care, passing a paid family leave law that allows for workers to take 12 weeks off to care for a newborn or newly adopted child, an ill relative or to recover from an illness themselves, and by working to employ people of color that live in communities where job opportunities are few.
Access to College - Americans owe over $1.48 trillion in student loan debt. The average Class of 2016 graduate has at least $37,000 in student loan debt. Over the last 20 years, college tuition has increased by 200% at public four-year colleges. It is time we end this spiraling rise in tuition and the subsequent terrible burden of debt we have forced upon our young people who are being punished for pursuing the American Dream. State college tuition should be affordable for ALL students, and as your Congresswoman, I will work to bring college tuition down to manageable levels for all families.
Immigration Policy – Immigrants to the US improve our way of life as Americans; they do not detract from it. Immigrants are students, innovators, business owners, employees, neighbors, office-holders and taxpayers. Nationalistic rhetoric that drives regressive and harmful immigration policy does not honor or reflect who we are (and have always been) as a country – a nation of immigrants. As your Congresswoman, I will support the Dreamers and DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), which protects eligible immigrant youth who came to the United States when they were children from deportation. I will also support a humane path to citizenship for other immigrants especially those that have been living, working and contributing to American society for years.
Racial Justice/Social Justice
Criminal Justice Reform – The vast expansion of the criminal justice system grew out of the War on Drugs and is called the New Jim Crowe by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The US imprisons nearly 2.2 million people every year, and on any given day, 7 million more are under the supervision of the correctional system. Black men are twice as likely as white men to arrested and four times as likely to be victims of force by police, and even though African Americans and Latinos make up only a quarter of the population, they make up half of the prison population.
As your Congresswoman, I will support policies that focus on:
1) community policing and a new model of training for police officers, including de-escalation training and a re-orientation for how best to serve and protect communities of color
2) changing the rules to limit what kind of force is allowable by law.
3) Supporting the Fair Sentencing Act
4) Implementing policies put forth by the Southern Poverty Law Center that are designed to:
· end the incarceration of youth for minor crimes and school-related offenses;
· transform a juvenile system that subjects children to abuse and neglect without providing necessary medical, mental health, educational and rehabilitative service; ensures that prisoners are not subjected to unconstitutional, inhumane conditions and that they receive proper medical and mental health care;
· stop the prosecution of children in the adult criminal justice system and their incarceration in adult prisons and jails;
· advocate for rational policies and laws that keep communities safe while vastly shrinking the prison population and reducing the social and economic impact of mass incarceration on vulnerable communities.
Climate Justice – Polluters (whether government or private) engage in environmental racism and classism by discharging primarily into marginalized communities: low-income neighborhoods, and communities of color – and building Industrial plants, toxic and hazardous waste sites that negatively impact them. The Centers for Disease Control reports that 11.2 percent of African American children, and 4.0 percent of Mexican-American children are poisoned by lead, compared with just 2.3 percent of white children. As your Congresswoman, I will further policies that will hold polluters accountable for their past actions, and prohibit further exploitation of this kind.
Social Justice - Over the decades, many laws have been passed to protect the rights of People of Color, women and the LGBTQ community. Yet today we see states passing outright discriminatory laws meant to directly impact equal access to professional services, employment, credit, housing, public accommodations, and health care.
As your Congresswoman, I will support legislation that will provide the same nondiscrimination protections to LGBTQI Americans as any other protected class under federal law. Women can rely on me to support legislation that protects us from harassment on the street and in the workplace, to fund Planned Parenthood and neighborhood well-women clinics low-income women reply on for their essential reproductive and other health care services, and to legislate best practices that will reduce our shameful and dreadful maternal mortality rate. People of Color can count on me to focus on legislative remedies to fight discrimination against them.
Our children are languishing in a public-school system that is being purposefully sabotaged by chronic underfunding, is facing the threat of spending cuts and privatization, is not meeting the educational needs of students, is often militarized and punitive, and is suffocating under the pressures of high-stakes testing. As well, schools are more segregated than they were 40 years ago, with 39% of African American students living in poverty.
Teachers also suffer the inequities in this system. Instead of being free to implement true curriculum and function autonomously, they are forced to become part of the militarization of schools – engaging children in active shooter training, worrying about their safety and the safety of the students – and are under great pressure to force their students to perform well oin standardized tests, all while hoping it is enough for them to keep their jobs.
As your Congresswoman, I will work to return the classrooms to the students and teachers, working to eliminate high-stakes testing, providing equity for all students, and fully fund our schools.
Our veterans are committing suicide at rates higher than non-veterans, and often suffer from homelessness, mental illness (often in the form of PTSD), substance abuse, underemployment and unemployment and lack of medical services.
Our veterans deserve access to medical and psychiatric care and counseling, substance abuse treatment and aftercare, financial support, housing and disability support without facing barriers or obstacles. Veterans need coordinated care that provides transitional, structured housing, nutritional support, personal development, and job assessment, training and placement assistance. These services are best when administered non-profit veterans helping veterans organizations. As your Congresswoman, I will support such programs, and legislation that will support the needs of our veterans.
Seniors - Our seniors deserve to live out their retirement with dignity and ease. Congressional extremists should not be threatening our seniors with Social Security benefits cuts, or further erosions to their Medicare benefits. As your Congresswoman, I will fight to not just protect but expand the benefits that all seniors have spent their lives earning, and that many rely on solely to support themselves.
Ethics in Politics
Campaign Finance Reform - Our Congress has lost its way. Instead of working daily to pass policy that promotes the common good and is focused on the needs of the citizens of this country, it is working to feed its donors. As your Congresswoman, I will work to get money out of politics and return the work of the federal government to THE PEOPLE. I will work on campaign finance reform as a way of nullifying the Supreme Court Citizens United decision, which gave corporations the right to buy votes from our lawmakers.
Voting/Elections – It is the right of all Americans to be able to engage in the democratic process though elections. However, we are forced to wage a constant battle to secure the voting rights of poor democrats, seniors and People of Color. There has been a calculated effort to disenfranchise these populations for some time now.
As your Congresswoman, I will support the following policies to truly re-enfranchise voters:
· Make Election Day a national holiday.
· Put automatic voter registration in place for 18-year-olds or upon issuance or renewal of a driver’s license or state ID.
· Allow ex-felons that have served their time to regain their voting rights.
· Make it illegal to purge minority voter rolls.
· Expand election day polling locations with a special focus on communities of color. Expand early voting locations and the voting hours and number of days of early voting.
· Make absentee ballots available to all Americans.
· Restore the pre-clearance section of the Voting Rights Act which protects minority voters in states and counties where the protections are most needed, and keeps states and counties from passing regressive voter I.D. laws, shortening early voting periods, and closing polling locations.
I will work to stop the assaults on voters of color, seniors and the poor and I will work to keep our voting system protected from domestic hackers, and those from countries that wish to manipulate the outcome of our elections.
Since the 1980’s the top tax rate has been cut from 70% to 21%, and that is without taking into account tax loopholes. President Trump signed a tax law that is a trillion-dollar giveaway to the richest Americans and corporations. The money comes from cuts to college tuition subsidies, Medicare and Medicaid, housing, cancer research, etc. This plan cuts $2.4 trillion from federal revenues, which leaves the federal budget in a precarious situation. Yet, the cost to Americans of necessities like housing, transportation, health care and education are on the rise.
When working Americans do well, and when we have a well-trained workforce, we have a strong economy. Middle-class and working-class families will bear the burden of the regressive tax cuts in the 2018 tax plan. As your Congresswoman, I will support a tax plan that increase taxes on the richest Americans and wealthy corporations – forcing them to pay their fair share, ensure that working-class Americans are paid a living wage, create infrastructure programs that put Americans to work rebuilding our roads and bridges around the country, bringing jobs and job training to dis-enfranchised communities.
Domestic Violence – Domestic violence encompasses so much more than a woman or man simply getting into a physical altercation with their spouse or domestic partner. This very serious issue also includes the abuse of children, the disabled and the elderly. In addition, emotional, mental and financial abuse is often not recognized nor given full weight as part of domestic abuse. Over ˝ of all relational homicides are committed by men against their domestic partners and involve firearms (find when the shift downward in the gun homicide rate was). This number is still too high.
Gun speech – We won’t discriminate against children and women and POC by not supporting gun laws in the South. We need every gun violence org to support the GRA.
Source: Institute for Women’s Policy Research