Democracy

Our DEMOCRACY is at risk, and we must fight to protect it.

The right to vote is the cornerstone of representational democracy. Our elections shape representation, drive policy, and decide futures. Voting affects every individual across MA-01 and around the country, yet the right and ability to vote for millions of people is systematically compromised in every election. 

Just as voting needs to be accessible to everyone to keep democracy healthy, the government itself must be accessible, transparent, and accountable to the people. 

In Holyoke, I’ve worked to open the doors of City Hall and bring more of our community into city government. My top priority has been to ensure that every person is represented, and that our government works for everyone. In Congress, I will fight to do the same by being accountable and accessible, and answering solely to the people of the First Congressional District.

This year we’ve seen people risking their lives to vote as the country continues to be ravaged by COVID-19. In Wisconsin, we saw tens of thousands of voters put their health and safety in danger to vote in the presidential primary, and in state after state since. People endured long lines in masks and gloves amidst a global pandemic to exercise their constitutional right because they know that being counted in an election is truly a matter of life or death. The acts of voter suppression we’ve witnessed have silenced millions of voices and brought our democracy to the brink. The United States has the lowest voter turnout of any post industrial nation on Earth, and this is no accident. This is by design, and as such, it can be changed.

Uphold and Expand the Voting Rights Act:  With Shelby County v. Holder, the Supreme Court effectively gutted the Voting Rights Act. Subsequent voter suppression efforts have allowed for a continuation of deep racial disparities in the voting process. In Congress, I will fight to fully restore and further expand the Voting Rights Act. Voters of color, in particular, must be fully enfranchised in this constitutional right. 

Fight Voter Suppression: Voter suppression disproportionately affects people of color. This is why I support an end to gerrymandering and partisan redistricting.. I also support ending voter purges, which is a direct attack on our democracy and an erasure of American voices.

Restore Voting Rights to the Formerly Incarcerated: 5.85 million Americans are barred from voting due to current or historical felony convictions. This injustice converges with our broken and racist criminal justice system, restricting even greater numbers of people from voting.

Make Voting Simple and Accessible for All: Voting is a constitutional right and should be simple and easy to do. I support creating a National Election Holiday enabling millions of people to participate without taking time off from work, which for some is simply not an option. I also support Universal Vote By Mail. COVID-19 has highlighted the need for a national vote by mail initiative that will allow for not just a population facing a pandemic, but those who have faced barriers to voting their whole lives, whether because of challenges with health, physical abilities, or transportation. I also support Automatic Voter Registration to help ensure no one is turned away from the polls. 

Overturn Citizens United: The influence of unlimited corporate money in politics must be stopped. Since the Supreme Court ruling in 2010, we have seen an exponential increase in election spending by the nation’s wealthiest people. Large corporations and wealthy individuals have more influence over government than ever. This crushes the majority of working people’s voices, keeps young people and poor people from running in campaigns, favors incumbency unfairly, and mutes voices of working people. Corporations are not people. Our democracy is not for sale. We need publicly funded elections.