On the Issues

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Healthcare

I support universally accessible, affordable health care. Every Michigan family deserves the security of knowing they will never go without affordable healthcare. When I was in the state legislature, I voted for the Medicaid expansion which provided healthcare for more than 600,000 Michiganders. This enabled Michiganders to go back to work and get an education because they had the tools to address their chronic health issues. Simply put, Michiganders work harder and better when they are healthy. I also support continued coverage for preexisting conditions.

We must do something about the rising cost of prescription drugs. The astronomical price increases in basic drug costs is unacceptable. People are dying because they can’t afford drugs for basic medical needs. Addressing the rising cost of prescription drugs will be a top priority as your next Congressperson. 

I also support comprehensive mental health coverage, and the requirement that all policies cover mental health care. Our communities have significant challenges with depression, anxiety, and addiction that are not being addressed. We also need to provide better on the ground resources for mental health treatment. 

Congressman Walberg voted against the bill that would lower the cost of prescription drugs last fall. He has been in Washington for more than a decade and has done nothing while prices increase by double digits year after year. He voted to eliminate the Affordable Care Act multiple times, which protected citizens with pre-existing conditions. We deserve a representative who will support the health and wellness of our citizens.

Political Corruption

I have worked my whole career to increase transparency in government. Government should work for the people, and an informed democracy is the strongest democracy. As mayor, I started televising our sessions for the public and put our financial records on the internet. As a state representative I introduced legislation which mandated that lobbying by former legislators be prohibited for a set period of time after leaving state office. I am a strong proponent of campaign finance reform and will support anti corruption bills like H.R. 1 if elected to Congress.

Unlimited and unchecked contributions to political figures weakens the strength of our democracy by allowing special interests to unfairly shape our elections and influence policy making. It should be American voices and votes that send our elected officials to Washington and influence their legislative work, not special interests and dark money. I pledge to not take corporate PAC money.

Congressman Walberg has voted consistently against campaign finance reform. He voted no against H.R. 1, the “For the People Act of 2019.” This bill would require Super PACs and other dark money organizations to disclose their large donors and enact stricter limitations on foreign lobbying. He also voted to bar enforcement of McCain-Feingold. Walberg is opposed to transparency in our electoral system because he reaps the benefits from special interest and corporate investment.

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Social Security
and Medicare

I am offended that Social Security is called an “entitlement” by folks in Washington. We have to protect our seniors and every worker who has paid into our systems for decades. I will work tirelessly to protect and strengthen Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, including opposing efforts to raise the Medicare and Social Security eligibility age and gut Medicaid spending, two thirds of which covers our seniors living in long term care facilities.

Too many seniors struggle with economic uncertainty, and are faced with difficult decisions on how to prioritize their limited income. The care-giver tax credit needs to be improved, so families can take care of their aging parents to support dignified aging in place. Our seniors have invested so much in this great state – it is time we in turn invest in them and their families.

Congressman Walberg does not share the same commitment. He suggested social security should be privatized and is a ponzi scheme. He even voted for a budget which would recklessly phase out Social Security and Medicare as we know it, shifting costs to seniors and the sick. We deserve better.

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Michigan Jobs

I will work for all Michiganders to ensure that we have good paying jobs in our hometowns. It used to be that people around here could get a job that paid a decent wage and had benefits, like earned sick leave. Bad trade deals, automation, and poor representation have hurt our way of life. We need to support job growth by helping our small businesses and diversifying our job market with high-tech and green jobs. Clean energy jobs are good paying opportunities that can benefit both workers and the environment. We should eliminate unnecessary regulations to ensure business success. I worked as mayor of Saline for 14 years to attract and retain businesses and to revitalize our downtown into one of the best small towns in America.

We should support community college programs that train students in growing technical fields, including trade schools and apprenticeships, and work with our local businesses to match workforce requirements. The good paying jobs of the 21st century require an education beyond high school.

Walberg, on the other hand, voted against the PRO-Act, which would have protected workers’ right to bargain for better wages and safer working conditions. He even voted against raising the minimum wage when it was only $5.15. It’s time we have someone who will stand with working families.

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Education

A strong local economy requires an excellent public school system that prepares our children to be successful in the 21st century economy, regardless of their background or zipcode.

I support universal preschool to help our children get a great start in education, and help offset the significant childcare burden so many of our working families have. Trades need to be reemphasized, and students need the knowhow to start their own businesses. In Congress, I will ensure that our schools and teachers have the resources and support they need to provide an excellent education for all of our children.

We have to address the financial burden of a secondary education. I support a free thirteenth year at our local community colleges so our young people are guaranteed job training skills to help secure a better paying job. We have to ensure that every Michigan student who wants to pursue a college degree has affordable access to it by protecting the at-risk public sector student loan payoff program, and by enhancing the Pell Grant program. We also need to develop a bipartisan plan to help pay down the over $1.5 trillion in student loan debt so that our graduates can get back to investing in their own homes and communities.

Congressman Walberg has voted to slash education funding at all levels, and suggested the Department of Education be eliminated. I pledge to make higher education more affordable while preparing our students, of all ages, for careers. When our children succeed, our communities succeed.

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Environment

Michigan has one of the most diverse and beautiful environments in the county – from the Great Lakes, to our national parks, forests, and lakeshores, to our nationally recognized trails and greenways. The first public commission I served on was the Saline Environmental Commission, where we worked to protect the health of our community, raise public awareness of environmental issues, and implement the city’s recycling program. I share the concerns of many about the extreme impacts of climate change now and in the future.

Clean water is a human right, and it is unacceptable that families in our Great Lake state have to worry about the safety of their children if they drink their home tap water. PFAS and other contaminants are a serious threat to public health and safety. Our Michigan way of life is at risk; we can no longer eat the fish we catch in the Huron River. The River Raisin Watershed contributes to overwhelming algae blooms that can make our drinking water toxic. Many of our residents are being flooded out of their homes by rising waters and eroding lakefronts. We need to protect the beauty Michigan has to offer so we can enjoy it for generations to come.

Congressman Walberg’s voting record on the environment is abysmal. He famously said that “if there’s a real problem, [God] can take care of it.” and voted to eliminate funding in renewable energy and energy efficiency. He also voted against the bipartisan PFAS bill that would treat the threat of PFAS more seriously.

Infrastructure

Our infrastructure is failing Michiganders and our citizens across the country. Our communities need to be rebuilt with better infrastructure by fixing our deteriorating roads and bridges, and water and sewer systems. We should have the ability to have high speed internet in every home.

I will work to get more federal roads money to Michigan, so that we get our fair share for the needs we have. We should ensure that our drinking water is safe and that our sewer systems don’t overflow into our streams. I worked for years to help families and small businesses in rural Washtenaw County gain access to broadband internet, which allows students to do their homework at home, families to start home-based small businesses, and seniors to age in place. If elected I will expand that effort across the district.

Walberg’s home county has the highest amount of lead poisoning out of any county in Michigan after Wayne. He voted against an investment in infrastructure programs bill and against a grant for technology infrastructure in our schools.

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Veterans

I was raised in a family with strong military traditions. My grandfather was a rear admiral and my father was a Navy LTJG, both serving in WWII. My son, Matthew, is a naval aviator stationed in Whidbey Bay. I understand the importance of serving your country and the need to respect our servicemen and women.

I believe that we should take a holistic approach to supporting our veterans, from job placement programs to providing comprehensive healthcare that addresses both mental and physical health concerns to comfortable retirement. Michigan is one of the worst states in the country when it comes to supporting our veterans – we need to change that immediately.

Congressman Walberg has depleted veterans of critical resources, including voting against additional funding for suicide prevention and PTSD and voting against additional funding for the Veterans Health Administration.

(Use of military rank, job titles, and photographs in uniform does not imply endorsement by the Department of the Navy or Department of Defense)

Agriculture

Michigan is the 2nd highest producer of diverse agricultural products in the country. We grow everything from fruit to grains to vegetables to flowers. The agricultural sector is vital to our economy, especially here in the 7th. We need to do a better job supporting our farming community, especially our family farms and young farmers. We need to promote sustainable farming practices and support soil health and conservation by expanding the USDA working lands program.

We can increase the renewable energy investment in our rural communities by expanding REAP (the Rural Energy for America Program), and improve access to broadband by supporting a rural digital opportunity fund. To promote sustainability and energy efficiency, we need to assist in the installation of methane digesters, which would offset energy costs and help keep our water clean.

Walberg supported legislation that has made it easier for millionaire and billionaire “farmers” instead of helping our young farmers and family farms. He also voted against limiting farm subsidies to those making less than $250,000, and he voted against biofuel and biodiesel tax credits.

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