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, the small businesses and the families of the Central Valley?

In my business experience, I have helped entrepreneurs and small companies develop their ideas and I’ve helped provide the capital they need for growth and more 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, from water storage to better roads, to create good-paying jobs in the short term and to lay a strong foundation for further growth in the future.

  • Help attract more companies to locate in the Valley and create high-skilled, well-paying jobs for our Valley’s youth.

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. Now, by supporting the Trump Administration, he is making our immigration problems even worse.  

Denham supports Trump’s wasteful and ineffective wall. And he’s remained silent while this administration, instead of deporting “bad hombres”, is breaking up families and deporting law abiding immigrants who own businesses and create jobs.

I will fight to stop Trump’s Wall and hold this administration accountable for its shameful and inhumane tactics.  And, unlike Jeff Denham, I will end the special visa programs used by wealthy real estate developers, including Trump family in-laws, to sell U.S. residency to foreigners.

We are a nation of immigrants. Nearly all of us, including Mr. Trump and Mr. Denham, have immigrant ancestors. It is what has made this country great. Here in the Valley we know all too well that our immigration system is broken. I will join Democrats and Republicans who are pushing for comprehensive immigration reform and a path to citizenship for law-abiding undocumented immigrants.

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 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, including joining the fight against for-profit charter schools.

  • Work to modernize our schools not only with new technology but also investments in STEM 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.

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.

While the drought is officially over, what remains of the drought is the severe toll it has taken on our community.  We must be smarter and more aggressive to be sure that the water crises of past several years does not happen again.

I will work to build more water storage, offer tax incentives for farms, businesses and homeowners to use water more efficiently, and invest in new technologies to recycle and reuse water.

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.

Keep America safe and secure

America’s security is the federal government’s first and most important responsibility.  But the Trump Administration’s foreign and domestic policies are making us less safe by the day.

Trump’s unconstitutional immigration ban empowered America’s enemies and hurt our friends. He continues to alienate longtime allies like Australia and Mexico and cozy up to foreign dictators. He seems to enjoy threatening war with a nuclear-powered North Korea.

On each of these issues, Jeff Denham refuses to stand up or speak out. When I am in Congress I will exercise my constitutional responsibility to conduct rigorous oversight on national security, not just roll over.  I will:

  • Fiercely oppose building an ineffective and wasteful border wall. Those same resources would be better served building infrastructure that creates employment while also creating better roads, schools, and water systems.

  • Respect the right to bear arms, but while responsibly enforcing sensible laws. I will fight to expand and strengthen background checks and close dangerous loopholes in our current laws, while safeguarding the role of guns for sport or home defense.

  • Prioritize prevention and treatment over incarceration in the war on drugs. The war on drugs has led to the imprisonment of millions of Americans, disproportionately people of color, with the data indicating little reduction in drug use. I believe when it comes to addiction and substance abuse disorders, we should prioritize prevention and treatment over incarceration.

Ensure affordable and accessible healthcare

By voting for Trumpcare, Mr. Denham 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 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 will lose 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 more Americans. For private insurers, nearly 1 in 6 dollars goes to administrative costs. For Medicare, it’s 1 in 50. And polls show Medicare beneficiaries are more satisfied with their insurance than those with private plans.

  • Make common-sense fixes to strengthen the Affordable Care Act. We should start by increasing competition on the marketplaces and making sure people can afford to use their health insurance when they need it.

  • 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 importation of medicine from Canada; and do more to pay providers for the quality of care, not just the volume.

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.

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.

I believe in a woman’s right to choose, and I will vehemently oppose all efforts to restrict access to safe, affordable and quality reproductive services, including safe and legal abortion.

I 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.