Defending Our Freedoms and Advancing Equality
I believe that every Michigander, no matter who they are, where they come from, how they identify, who they worship, or who they love, deserves to be safe, healthy and thrive in their community. I have spent my life working to keep Americans safe, to defend the rights that are promised to each of us in our founding documents – and that’s a fight I’ll continue in Congress. Doing one’s duty as a public servant means defending equal rights, but also ensuring equal opportunity – when it comes to access to quality schools, equitable employment opportunities, dependable and affordable healthcare, safety, and security.
Fighting for Women’s Rights
When women succeed, families succeed, and communities succeed. While we have made great strides as a society, we must do more to ensure women have every opportunity to chart their own paths, rise up in their careers, and provide for their families. Women deserve equal pay for equal work, and there is far more to do to ensure all women are treated equally in the workplace. The United States lags far behind other nations with regards to access to maternity care and paid family leave, which helps women and families stay healthy and get ahead. I believe that women should make their own personal decisions about their reproductive health, and that politicians should not tell women what to do with their bodies.
The national conversation regarding sexual harassment is long overdue. For far too long, women have been unable to come forward to report sexual misconduct due to a hostile work climate, or because of policies that make reporting difficult or detrimental. Workplaces and institutions in every sector must have robust, transparent, and consistent processes for handling misconduct, and offenders must be held accountable for their actions. This includes members of Congress on both sides of the aisle.
DEFENDING LGBTQ RIGHTS
Members of the LGBTQ community deserve to have full and equal protection under the law. There have been important advances in LGBTQ equality in my lifetime, but that progress must be defended. I have always been a strong supporter of equality for the LGBTQ community, including marriage equality. It is a deeply personal issue for me: my mother came out in the 1980’s and was in a committed same-sex relationship prior to her passing away. From equality in the workplace, to access to critical healthcare services, LGBTQ Michiganders deserve equal rights and opportunities.
I was serving in the Pentagon when the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy was repealed, an action I strongly supported. No service member who meets the requirements for service should be turned away based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, including transgender service members who are currently serving on the frontline. I am proud to have the endorsement of Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest civil rights organization working for equality on behalf of LGBTQ Americans.
ADVANCING EQUALITY FOR COMMUNITIES OF COLOR
It’s time that our representatives in Congress truly put the public first – and that means fighting to break down the barriers that still hold Michiganders back. We have a long way to go to address the racial inequities in economic security, education, housing, safety, employment, and our criminal justice system – and these issues must be at the center of an agenda to build a stronger economy that works for everyone, and a safer and fairer Michigan.
My first job out of college was working for an organization that helped address educational disparities in marginalized communities. In Congress, I will fight to ensure every child is given the chance to succeed, level the playing field in our criminal justice system, protect and expand voting rights, and promote fair hiring practices that give Michiganders a second chance to thrive and contribute in their communities.