Learn more about Eloy's progressive vision for America.
Every child deserves a world-class public education. Politicians have tried many disastrous reforms in the last 15 years that have left many children of the 8th district behind. Instead, I envision the federal government finally allowing professional educators the autonomy to truly meet the needs of their children. Working together we can roll back the disastrous reforms of the last 15 years and instead work together, as a community, to truly create a world-class educational system that our children deserve.
Every capable student should be able to attend college and graduate without student loans. Former and current college students have a combined total of 1.7 trillion dollars in student loan debt. This massive burden not only hurts individuals, but it also hurts our collective economic growth. I believe that we must commit to debt-free public college and help those currently in debt to better manage their debt. Doing this will unleash American prosperity.
Our cities need a Marshall plan to bring back prosperity. The United States spends billions of dollars investing in other nations when our own communities are ignored. In addition, many of our cities have had middle class residents move out further straining local budgets. Many of our renewal efforts have focused on gentrification, which is not a sustainable solution to our economic urban problems. A new covenant must be created for our urban cities. Creative solutions must be developed in order to help residents help themselves in achieving a secure financial future. Strategic and targeted investments and programs must be developed to raise the standard of living of current residents of our cities.
During the last 50 years our country has stopped investing in the middle class. I grew up poor and worked my way into the middle-class. I truly wish this was the reality of many but unfortunately our politicians have decided that corporations and the rich are the ones to be invested in. The truth is that we have a system in place that maintains the status quo and that is not acceptable. We cannot expect change if we don’t elect representatives that understand middle-class anxieties. I am from the working class and I will represent working class values in Washington D.C.
Supporting the right to unionize will directly start reversing income inequality. This, by itself, will begin reducing the income inequality that has been increasing for the last 50 years. As the percentage of people who belonged to a union declined, the wages of middle class families has also declined. This is not a sustainable trend and must be reversed to keep America strong.
Our minimum wage must be raised to a level that supports the dignity of our workers. This can be done while still being sensitive to the needs of small businesses in our community. In our district, we are fortunate to have many small businesses, which have been started by families trying to better their economic position. We must empower our small business community while not shielding corporations, such as Wal-Mart, from their civic responsibilities. The vast majority of Wal-Mart workers qualify for social services, which equals to taxpayers subsidizing the wages of one of the most profitable companies in the world.
WAR & PEACE
Diplomacy must be the cornerstone of our foreign policy. We are still suffering from the ill effects of the disastrous invasion of Iraq that depleted our nation of trillions of dollars, killed thousands of our soldiers, and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians. The war made us unsafe and has potentially led to blowback. As we confront the threat of ISIS, we must always remember the lessons of the war in Iraq. Many of our young people from the 8th district were the ones on the front lines of the war and quite a few paid the ultimate price. Any vote authorizing military action must be taken with ultimate care and analysis. Military action is not the only tool at the disposal of the American government. Diplomacy must be at the cornerstone of our approach towards dealing with other nation-states. As a representative of the 8th district, I would have voted yes on President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran.
District 8 deserves a world-class transportation system. Public Transportation continues to be shortchanged by Washington to the detriment of our district. The Northeast Corridor continues to crumble from lack of maintenance, investment, and vision. Our train transit lines function on the whim of luck. Amtrak has never been given the support it needs in order to fully service our Public Transit needs. This directly impacts the growth potential of our district. Moreover, not only are our people not getting good services through public transportation, but they are also paying a lot more in fares for said services. NJ gets back $0.48 for each $1.00 we send to the federal government. We do not get our fair share and we must have an advocate who fight's for NJ's fair share.
Undocumented workers must be given then chance to become full members of our society. Everyday thousands of workers across our district get up and go to work in the shadows. They live, work, and invest in our community yet they cannot fully participate in the fabric of our society. We must have immigration reform NOW.
Mental health must be as valued as physical health. Our nation has criminalized the poor and emptied them out into the streets with no care or concern. We have to put mental health at the center of our national consciousness. Mental illness should not be stigmatized. Many of our homeless people are afflicted by mental illnesses and do not get the proper treatment they need to help them attain personal success. Insurance coverage between mental and physical health must be equalized.
We must ensure that all are treated fairly under the law. Our nation has made major strides in becoming a more perfect union. Long gone are the days where only white male property owners had a voice. However, there is still much to do to ensure equal treatment under the law and economic opportunity for all minority groups. LGBT, Black, Latino, Women, Asian, and all people deserve to be treated as full citizens and partake in the American dream.
CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM
A rich person should not have more of a say than you. No issue has hurt the cause of democracy more than the unfettered avalanche of money in politics. We must pass campaign finance reform and make sure that all politicians are accountable to ALL Americans. Corruption cannot be tolerated and you cannot have an uncorrupt system with the campaign finance system we currently have in place.
Climate change is real, and strong action must be taken to reverse the current trend. Our planet is on course to suffer irreparable harm if we do not get serious about transitioning to clean energy sources. Status quo interests are determined to prevent this transition because they put their profits above the air we breathe and the water we drink. We can and must unleash a clean energy revolution that puts millions of Americans to work in new, well-paying jobs that can support a family!