As a New York State Senator, I’ve delivered progressive change in Albany. Now I’m ready to do the same in Washington.
I am running for Congress to protect and defend our democracy, to halt the climate crisis, to grow our supply of affordable housing, and to transform our government and economy to serve us all. Several of the most important fights in our country’s history are taking place in Washington right now, and I want to be on the frontlines.
New Yorkers need a new generation of strong, fearless, and relentless leaders in Washington. And that’s exactly what they can expect from me.
I ran for State Senate in 2018 because New York was failing to live up to its highest potential. New York is one of the bluest states in the country, but had a Republican-controlled State Senate, enabled by turncoat Democrats like my predecessor, who was blocking many pieces of legislation that would protect New Yorkers (during the Trump administration, no less) for personal political gain. The legislative session after I unseated him was the most prolific and progressive legislative session in the history of New York State.
Three years later, the people of New York have rewarded us with a Democratic supermajority in the State Senate and I can proudly say that we have accomplished 100% of my 2018 campaign promises. We passed the Reproductive Health Act. We delivered on education funding for New York schools. We passed landmark voting rights legislation. We legalized marijuana. We passed gun safety laws and criminal justice reform. And we passed the most aggressive climate change law in the country.
When the pandemic began, and our community quickly became one of the hardest hit in the country, we mobilized and delivered billions of dollars in assistance for tenants and small landlords, and created the Excluded Workers Fund providing aid to undocumented New Yorkers. And we made it safe for all New Yorkers to exercise their right to vote while in a global health crisis.
I’m proud to represent an incredibly vibrant and diverse district now, and it’s been the honor of my life to form such strong bonds with these communities.
We’ve made hard-won progress in Albany, and now it’s time to bring that same energy to Washington. New York deserves more experienced progressive leaders in Congress who aren’t afraid to hold powerful people accountable, and who will fight on behalf of hardworking families every single day.
Creating a Resilient Future.
Much of New York will be 6 feet underwater if we don’t act with urgency to address the climate crisis. We must electrify everything, build a 100% zero-carbon electricity grid, and explore a wide range of sequestration technologies that will support carbon drawdown. That means strategically investing billions and creating millions of jobs in every form of clean energy: hydro, wind, solar, and modern nuclear. We must also invest heavily in adapting to climate change even as we fight to reverse it, weatherizing homes and building coastal infrastructure that protects us from increasingly extreme storms and weather events.
Protecting Our Democracy.
Our country is a uniquely special place, not just in the world but in history. If we lose our democracy, nothing else will matter. We must pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Act and the Freedom to Vote Act to ensure free and fair elections. We must address election subversion head on, reform the Electoral Count Act, and hold those who assault our democracy accountable to the fullest extent of the law.
Delivering for Middle Class Families.
Americans across the income spectrum have been crushed by a series of economic shocks over the last two decades, and we need to relieve the financial stress that has crept into every household. We must make the child tax credit permanent, raise the SALT cap to help middle class and first-time homeowners, and we need to build enough housing to keep rent costs and home prices affordable.
Investing in Education.
Our children deserve the best, and their education must be a key priority. We need to create universal pre-K to support working parents, and deliver funding for schools and teachers to ensure they can open – and stay open – safely. We need to reign in the absurd costs of higher education.
Preventing the Next Pandemic.
The devastation of the coronavirus pandemic will be repeated with a new pathogen in our lifetime unless we take steps to fight the next pandemic before it starts. Members of Congress, including Democrats, are refusing to fully fund the White House’s proposed $30 billion pandemic preparedness plan, but it is imperative that we do. We need to speed up the creation of life-saving vaccines and therapeutics. We must enhance ventilation and air filtration in buildings, particularly schools and airports. And we should invest in the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, increase funding for the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, and fully fund pathogen detection and genomic surveillance so that we can isolate viral threats before it’s too late. We also need to prevent access to pandemic-capable agents and enhance dual use research of concern regulation to include all potential pathogens. Finally, we must prepare states for the eventuality of another pandemic, from food distribution to automatic stabilizers to keep the economy afloat and people in their homes.
Supercharging American Competitiveness.
We must embrace the possibilities of technology and innovation, and insist that industries of the future be built in New York, and in the United States. That means reshoring high tech manufacturing, increasing high-skilled immigration and investing in emerging technologies from robotics to personalized medicine to space manufacturing. It means ensuring we have proper digital infrastructure like broadband in place in all of our communities. And it means passing the PRO Act and Workplace Democracy Act to strengthen organized labor, which has been the backbone of middle class prosperity for decades.
Protecting Access to Abortion and Reproductive Healthcare.
Abortion and contraception are health care. The right to an abortion is under attack and Roe v. Wade is likely to be overturned soon. We must repeal the Hyde Amendment, pass the Women’s Health Protection Act, and ensure the United States treats abortion as health care and a fundamental right for people seeking to make the best reproductive choices for themselves.
Protecting Women’s Rights.
Women’s rights are human rights. We must protect reproductive rights, ensure access to child care, and stand against any type of abuse and assault– including sexual harassment and domestic violence. Congress must pass federal paid sick leave, work toward pay equity for all women, and pass the Equal Rights Amendment. And we must protect trans women from violence.
Ensuring Public Safety and A Fair Justice System.
We need to dismantle the false choice between a just criminal legal system and public safety. Democrats in Congress must stand up to the NRA and get guns off our streets to fight the wave of violence facing America. We need to decriminalize marijuana federally, and focus our police forces on reducing gun violence, domestic violence, and other violent crimes.
Delivering Affordable Healthcare.
Good healthcare is a human right. Every American deserves affordable, quality healthcare that meets their needs. The Affordable Care Act was a critical first step, and we should still work towards creating an effective single-payer healthcare system.
Combating Systemic Racism.
We need to dismantle the false choice between a just criminal legal system and public safety. Democrats in Congress must stand up to the NRA and get guns off our streets to fight the wave of violence facing America. We need to decriminalize marijuana federally, and focus our police forces on reducing gun violence, domestic violence, and other violent crimes. We must pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act and ensure a fair, accountable criminal justice system.
Advancing Full LGBTQIA+ and Gender Equality.
We must expand Title VII and rewrite its standard to protect women in the workplace from sexual harassment, ban the harmful practice of conversion therapy on minors and pass the Equality Act and the Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act (banning conversion therapy on minors) immediately.
Securing Immigrants’ Rights.
Immigrants of all statuses and backgrounds are a crucial part of our community. Many of them helped New York through the pandemic, filling essential jobs to provide healthcare, food, and other frontline services that allowed New Yorkers to stay home. We must pass a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented people who have been waiting for Congress to act for decades. It is far past time for Congress to protect undocumented youth, immigrants with temporary protected status, and essential workers from the daily fear of deportation. Only Congress can provide the security needed for our undocumented friends and neighbors to finally be able to seek permanent legal status.