“Washington is broken and Valley families are suffering because of it. Politicians in DC put special interests and their party bosses ahead of fixing our health care system, which is leading to increases in costs for premiums and prescription drugs. We can do better. It’s time for new leadership.” - Josh Harder
Fight for Medicare for All
By voting for Trumpcare, Mr. Denham has once again put his party ahead of the people he’s supposed to represent. In this campaign, I will work to make sure every resident of California’s 10th district knows that their congressman voted to take away health coverage from 23 million Americans and eliminate protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Nonpartisan estimates calculate that 100,000 individuals in the CA-10 would have lost healthcare coverage as a result of Jeff Denham’s vote. He even voted in favor of allowing insurance companies to make pregnancy a pre-existing condition for which coverage may be denied. I will work to improve our healthcare system, not devastate it:
Double down on the part of our healthcare system that works best by expanding Medicare to encompass all Americans. For private insurers, nearly 1 in 6 dollars goes to administrative costs. For Medicare, it’s 1 in 50. Furthermore, polls show Medicare beneficiaries are more satisfied with their insurance than those with private plans.
Provide immediate relief by making common-sense fixes to strengthen the Affordable Care Act. Insurance premiums on the ACA marketplace in Stanislaus County rose 24% in 2018. We can provide short-term relief by increasing competition on the marketplaces by letting people buy into Medicare, curtailing prescription drug prices, and bringing more people into the marketplace.
Reduce healthcare costs to ensure the long-term sustainability of our system. America spends far more on healthcare than any other country, but we’re less healthy. The big drug companies jack up prices on life-saving medicines that can be bought for a fraction of the cost in Canada. And for too many working people, premiums, co-pays, and deductibles are so expensive that they can’t even afford to use the insurance they have. It’s time to attack high costs by targeting monopolistic practices and price gouging; allowing imports of medicine from Canada; and doing more to pay providers for the quality of care, not just the volume.
Encourage fair and humane immigration reform
For years, Mr. Denham has paid lip service to immigration reform in the Valley while doing nothing in Washington to solve the problem. He'll cosponsor and support bills up until they have a real chance of being passed, and then back away to please his party. Now, by supporting the Trump Administration, he is making our immigration problems even worse.
Denham supports Trump’s wasteful and ineffective wall. Furthermore, he’s remained silent while this administration has broken up families and deported law-abiding immigrants who own businesses and create jobs.
I will fight for our immigrant communities and push back against Trump's devastating policies:
Get relief for our Dreamers NOW. I see DREAMers every day as a teacher at Modesto Junior College. These are the bright stars of our community who just want to work hard to create a better life for themselves and their families. Jeff Denham has recklessly endangered these individuals by refusing to vote for a clean DREAM ACT to come to the floor. I will fight every day to protect my students and young immigrants nationwide.
Fight for a Pathway to Citizenship. America is a nation of immigrants and we rely on immigrant labor to keep our economic engine humming. Nowhere is that more obvious than in the Central Valley, where immigrants are the bedrock of our community. We need to welcome these hardworking individuals out of the shadows and provide them a simple pathway to citizenship.
Pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform. In 2013 we had a bill passed by the Senate and approved by Obama that was waiting for the House, yet Denham backed his political party and kept the bill from reaching the floor. It's time to elect a representative that will work to pass such a bill: one that not only reforms our immigration process to make it simpler but also enhances our border patrol to keep our country safe.
Create more good jobs for the Valley
I’m running for Congress because I’m tired of seeing the Valley’s economy fall behind. Our unemployment rate is double the California average. After 17 years in politics, Jeff Denham’s only idea to improve our economy is to give even more tax breaks to the very wealthy. How does that benefit the farmers, small businesses, and families of the Central Valley?
In my business career, I have helped entrepreneurs and small companies develop their ideas and grow high-paying jobs. As your Representative, I will work to help small businesses and working-class Americans have the opportunities they need to be successful. In Congress, I will:
Build on our success in agriculture by working to make the Valley the agricultural technology capital of the nation.
Work to make college and technical training programs more affordable and accessible in the Valley, including by fighting for tuition-free community and technical college.
Invest in infrastructure, so that new companies have a strong foundation from which to build.
Fund apprenticeship programs that teach students the skills local companies need. We need to make sure our graduates have pathways to careers that have a future.
Build a sustainable water future for the Central Valley
Water has been the critical issue for agriculture in the Valley since my great-great-grandfather began farming in Manteca more than 170 years ago, and we will never solve our problems by shipping it to Southern California. For too long, politicians have haggled over our water crisis instead of working to solve it. I’ll work with Republicans and Democrats alike to find solutions to secure our water supply for future generations. That starts with three things:
Invest in water efficiency by providing tax incentives for Farmers to buy micro irrigation drips. They've been shown to dramatically decrease water usage while increasing production.
Build more water storage so that when it does rain we use it to recharge our aquifers and groundwater. Six years of drought were followed by one year of flooding. We have to be better prepared to take advantage of the rain when it comes.
Increase water production with a system of inland desalination plants. As the coastal cities grow, we can't sacrifice the Valley's economy. Instead, we have to find ways of increasing the water supply directly at the source.
“I’ll fight to keep our water here because anything that hurts our farmers hurts our whole community.” - Josh Harder
End Citizens United and institute electoral reform
Corporate greed and Super PACs are corrupting our political system and nowhere is that more obvious than in our electoral process. Jeff Denham has been bought and sold by corporations and the Republican party, taking more than 70% of his contributions from special interests. That is why I have taken a pledge to refuse Corporate PAC donations.
Support an amendment that says corporations are NOT people. Corporations aren't born, they can't vote, and they shouldn’t be able to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence our elections. We need to take their power away and to do that we need to amend the constitution.
Advocate for an individual's right to vote and reinstitute the Voting Rights Amendment that was recently rolled back by the Supreme Court.
Fight against gerrymandering nationwide. Representatives are chosen by the people, not the other way around. I will advocate for fair practices in drawing districts that keep like communities together instead of building districts which protect those in power.
Defend women's rights and access to healthcare
I will be a fierce advocate for women’s rights, including supporting their economic security and reproductive rights. I will defend Planned Parenthood against attacks to stop reimbursement for critical medical care like cancer screenings and STD testing.
Advocate for a woman's right to choose as well as access to affordable and quality reproductive services.
Support efforts to institute paid family leave. America is the only advanced economy in the world without guaranteed family leave, which often affects our poorest workers the most. I also support expanding early childhood education, which helps working parents afford the high costs of childcare.
Strengthen protections in the workplace setting up systems that punish sexual predators, empower victims, and promote equal pay.
Median earnings for female full-time, year-round workers is $51,291 while median earnings for male full-time, year-round workers is $68,088. Women make 75 cents to every dollar that a man makes and this is unacceptable.
Create quality public schools for all Valley kids
I was educated in the public schools of Turlock and Modesto, and I firmly believe in the power of public education to create opportunity, because that is what it did for me. I am committed to ensuring that every child in the Central Valley has access to a world-class education that will prepare them for any future.
Now, the same public schools that gave me a head start are threatened by the Trump Administration. I will:
Fight against the Trump and DeVos scheme to privatize our education
Work to modernize our schools not only with new technology but also investments in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Math) and computer science.
Fight to increase teacher pay
Ensure access to affordable, equitable, high-quality universal pre-kindergarten education.
Fight to make college more affordable and accessible. Too many students are crippled with high debt loads right as they start their careers. I will fight to make community college and vocational training programs tuition-free and invest in our public universities so more students have access.
Protect the Environment
The Central Valley has some of the most productive soil and land in the world. I believe we must be good stewards of our water, air, and land resources to make sure their use is conserved for the next generation.
Like many children in the Central Valley, I grew up with childhood asthma because of our high air pollution. We can and must improve our adherence to clean air and water standards and invest in our children’s health.
I strongly believe in the scientific consensus that climate change is real and man-made. I will fight back against the Trump Administration’s dangerous attempts to undermine the Environmental Protection Agency and undo international agreements on climate change. Instead, we must make sure there are adequate incentives to invest in clean energy sources and move away from polluting fossil fuels.
Reduce gun violence
Our country is plagued by school shootings, gun-related suicide, and gang-related shootings. Here in California, we stepped up to reduce gun violence and have since seen the effectiveness of 10-day waiting periods, assault weapons restrictions, and background checks. Instead of advocating to take these successes nationwide, Denham has looked to undermine California state and local laws, endanger our law enforcement, and make it easier for dangerous individuals to walk around carrying guns. It's clear that he has been bought by the NRA and the gun industry. I will:
Protect responsible gun owners and their right to protect their family. We must ensure the right for responsible gun owners to be able to hunt and protect their home is respected, along with the 2nd amendment.
Take the successes we've seen in California nationwide. In California, we've seen a huge reduction in gun deaths thanks to our common sense reforms. That's why I don't want to change anything for gun owners here in the Central Valley, but take our reforms and institute them nationwide. Not only will this help protect the people living across the country, but it will also reduce the ability for criminals, domestic abusers, and terrorists here in the Central Valley to get their hands on guns.
Josh's grandfather served two tours in Vietnam and Korea. Josh grew up hearing stories about his grandfather’s tours abroad and understands the dire need to take care of the veterans like his grandfather who have sacrificed so much for this nation. Increasing educational benefits, investing in job training, and expanding job placement services for veterans are top priorities for Josh. He will also work to provide our troops with high quality mental health care and substance abuse treatment while they serve and after they come home. In Modesto especially, too many of the men and women who serve our nation don't get the care they need. Josh will work to cut red tape, end the claims backlog in the Department of Veterans Affairs, and quickly get our veterans the benefits they’ve earned after serving our country.
Housing and Homelessness
Day by day, housing prices are rapidly increasing driving our neighbors, family members and friends from our community. Some move away and some are driven into homelessness. It is clear to me: We need more folks in Washington, D.C. tackling this housing crisis, and when elected, I will make this one of my priorities.
Lets implement Programs that solve Homelessness. Homelessness is an issue of rising housing prices and also mental health. There are a plethora of programs which save tax payers money in the long run and help solve for the root issue facing our homeless: mental health issues.
Solving our Housing Crisis. In California, and Modesto specifically, we have seen housing prices sky rocket, making the American Dream of purchasing a home a distant reality. I want our retirees, neighbors and kids to have the option to own a home or afford rent. I will tackle the housing crisis and increase support for housing affordability at the federal level.
“Washington politicians have forgotten they work for the people, not for the special interests or their party bosses. I’ll be different and put everything I have into delivering solutions that protect health care coverage and reduce costs, fix our broken immigration system and protect Dreamers, and bring jobs back to the Valley. Because you’re the boss.” - Josh Harder