Science Is Real – Clean Air and Water are Important
Our society achieves its greatness by embracing education, meritocracy and scientific fact as rational to create public policies based on facts. The idea of peer reviewed consensus being the basis for policy is under attack. We must fight for objective truth in the face of distorted information based upon bias.
Our great country realized in the 1970’s that destroying our water and air creates immense societal costs and must be reined in. Many powerful actors on the national stage are in the process of eroding the progress which as been made on the issue of clean air and water. The EPA must be empowered to embrace scientific fact and have the tools to prevent the attacks on air quality and our water systems.
The rights of citizens to not have neighboring industries pollute the public air and water is not an attack on any industry’s rights, but an acknowledgement that if your pollution leaves your property and affects streams, rivers, lakes or air in an area, you have, by your own actions, forfeited your rights to not be regulated by the government.
When you capture all the carbon you create and keep it on land you own then the public should not regulate you. So long as an industry’s pollution affects other citizens air or water rights, these actions are properly within the domain of public review and government regulation.
- Make sure all citizens understand the dangers of pollution
- Acknowledge that Pollution creates climate change
- Climate change makes storms more powerful, drought more common and sea levels rise
- Leadership for this crisis must come from both the government and private sector
- Invest in the future of energy for our planet and economy
- Make Chicago a foundational City for Green Develeopment
Medicare in the Marketplace – Health Care Policy
The health care system in the United States currently fails our citizens for both a lack of affordable coverage and costs which are higher than the majority of the world. First, we must acknowledge that we have a legacy system in place which provides good coverage to some while not efficiently providing health care service for all. A direct transition to single payer would create too much upheaval and have unintended consequences. The Affordable Care Act moved our county in the right direction.
Legislation is needed to allow Medicare to sell insurance in these health care marketplaces and compete with private insurers. Americans would have a choice between maintaining their current coverage and existing insurance provider or purchasing a defined Medicare Plan. The Medicare plans would be priced on a sliding scale based upon income and ability to pay. This public option would make Medicare solvent for the foreseeable future by bringing younger people into the program, thus offsetting those over 65 who need more care.
Cost control will be achieved by allowing Medicare to negotiate pricing directly with drug companies or have the power to import drugs as leverage to correct our overly costly system.
- Pass Legislation allowing Medicare to be sold to all Americans in the existing marketplaces
- Price for Medicare Insurance becomes a sliding scale based upon income level
- The diversity in age of Medicare enrollee makes it solvent for the long term
- Allow Medicare to bulk negotiate drug prices
- Use Medicare to bring down the cost curve of health care
Legalization of Marijuana – A Return to Freedom
The full Federal legalization of Marijuana for recreational use by adults is key to ending a failed drug war. Treating drug use as a health care policy problem and not a justice system problem is fundamental to making progress. The use of drugs other than marijuana has devastating effects on many families and communities and the Drug War has exacerbated these problems. The effects of the Drug war are often more harmful then the drug use itself. Mass incarceration, the costs of incarceration, and separating families are avoidable by creating a rational public policy.
Industrial Hemp is a cheaper and environmentally responsible fiber upon which we can build a better economic future. The US Constitution is written on Hemp paper. Hempcrete, clothing and paper will create jobs, reduce the chemical processes to create these items and provide affordable materials to our citizens.
The legalization of Marijuana in Chicago and throughout the first district must be implemented with vary small barriers to entry. Legalization can lower the murder rate by a minimum of 20%, create jobs, become a new industry for our local economies and provide a revenue source for our public schools. Local citizens have to be able to grow and sell in zoned areas without large up front costs or regulations.
- Legalize Marijuana and Hemp
- Allow local businesses to have licenses with low barriers to entry
Property Rights – 4th Amendment Issues
Property rights are under attack in the United States of America by municipalities, states and the Federal Government. The right to own real property is fundamental to our Republic.
I will fight for our Property Rights against overzealous taxation and regulation which occur at the Federal, State or municipal level.
In 2016, government agencies and police forces seized more assets from citizens then all burglaries in the country combined. This use of civil asset forfeiture is a threat by big government to law abiding citizens everywhere.
Property taxation has reached levels in Illinois which border on a violation of the 5th Amendment to the Constitution’s clause that, “nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation”.
Too many of our neighborhoods have seen property tax increases to such a degree that many building owners simply stopped paying and walked away. Over time these buildings where acquired by the City of Chicago due to lack of payment, demolished and left as vacant lots with no property tax income flowing to our schools.
My proposal to remedy this situation and reaffirm Property Rights throughout our country is a nationwide restriction on the taxation of real Property. Property taxes must never exceed 2% of the market value for any real property which is used by a citizen for their primary residence. Property tax rates will be capped at 4% of Market value for all other real property.
- End Civil Asset forfeiture
- Cap Property Taxes at 2% of Market Value for Homeowners
- Cap Property Taxes at 4% for an Investment Property
Stop the Violence – Criminal Justice Issues
The violence and murders currently affecting the First Congressional District of Illinois must stop. We must end the drug war, end policing for profit and empower our police officers to investigate personal and property crimes with all the tools they need.
Historical common law will be our guide. An investigation of citizens by police should be triggered by a criminal act which directly affects a citizen who has become a victim. A citizen complaint should be the starting point.
The criminalization of people who have not harmed other citizens erodes our rule of law. When too many actions are criminalized, it leads to a situation where people then don’t respect any laws. These policies are Creating Criminals of otherwise law-abiding citizens.
The militarization of our Police departments and the enforcement of laws against non-violent citizens has created a disconnect between the police and our communities. We put our officers in bad positions when our politicians make them revenue collectors instead of allowing them to do the hard and necessary job of policing and maintaining order. We must support good cops and give them the training and set them to the tasks of protecting our freedoms from criminals. We must work with our departments to make sure that bad cops are removed from the field.
- End the drug war
- End civil asset forfeiture
- Empower our Police to deal with violent offenders and those who would intimidate our community
- Work on making the application of laws Equal
Voting Rights – 14th Amendment Issues
The 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution allows for due process and protection of equal rights. One of these rights is the right to Vote. This right is currently under assault by States throughout the country.
Gerrymandering our legislative districts has eroded our democracy. The makeup of the US House of Representatives has been impacted so that House seats do not reflect a direct correlation between the number of votes in a particular state for a particular party and the number of seats which a party receives.
These hyper partisan districts have caused us to lose the middle debate and make primaries the deciding election for a district. This leads to more fringe and extreme candidates and policy positions gaining power in the Congress, while not reflecting the will of the American People.
Access to voting machines has been purposefully and systematically reduced throughout our country for the specific objective of preventing citizens from exercising their constitutional right to vote.
The integrity of the vote has become subject to attack due to the electronic nature of voting machines. I would introduce legislation to require that every voting machine have a paper component which could be viewed by the voter prior to finalizing their vote. This would also allow for back up in case any machine’s integrity is in question.
- End Gerrymandering for Political Gain
- Require Paper back up for all Voting Machines (like ATM Machines)
- Ensure Equal access to Vote for All Citizens
Jobs, Jobs and More Jobs – Economic Policy
The free market is the greatest way to lift all economic boats. It is the foundation of the meritocracy upon which America has become the greatest innovator on earth.
The great flaw in our system which pervades the 1st district is a lack of access to capital. Whether buying a home, an investment property or starting a business, access to capital is critical to success.
We need to loosen regulations which are preventing private banks from dispersing capital to small businesses and citizens throughout the first district.
I would use the congressional seat as a bully pulpit to work with any private entities I could to bring both investment in jobs and provide capital to partnerships with local entrepreneurs to build our economy.
I would fight to increase our national minimum wage to $12 per hour. Our economic pie is split between capital and labor. Over the last 40 years we have witnessed labor losing its share of the pie. This creates the foundation for the income inequality which me must reverse to maintain our meritocracy and place in the world.
- Remove layers of government requirements so private lenders can disperse money
- Remove burdensome local regulations to allow local business to thrive
- Increase the Minimum wage to $12 per hour
Education is a Right-Education Policy
Education is the foundation of the economic ladder and the savior of our meritocracy in America. We must move from a Property Tax based funding formula to one which is funded via income tax, consumption taxes and sin taxes. Funding education via local property taxes leaves schools in less affluent neighborhoods with sufficient funding and damages property values due to high property taxes.
- Fund all Public Schools equitably via Income, Consumption and Sin Taxes
- Legalize Marijuana, tax it at 20% and earmark these revenues for Public Schools
- Legalize Sports Betting, tax winnings at 20% and earmark these revenues for Public Schools
- Support and Honor our Teachers
Promoting Republics- Foreign Policy
Democracy only works when you have an educated public and basic individual rights which are protected from swings in the majority opinion by a strong Constitutional Republic. The idea of a Republic is the first step towards any pluralistic society in which we can protect the rights of all citizens in any country. Specifically, minority rights must be acknowledged and protected. The right to property, speech, personal sovereignty, due process of law, a free press and personal freedom must be enshrined before a democracy can grow.
The United States of America has the greatest military strength on the planet. We must use this power both wisely and cautiously. Use of force is our responsibility when America has the power to prevent atrocities.
The United States of America must view its soft power through a lens in which all ships rise together instead of the zero-sum game where one party must lose for another to win. We must realize the connection between how foreign aid today can save money and human life tomorrow. Doctors stopping potential global epidemics before they spread, diplomates working to stop wars before they start or engineers finding solutions to public needs thus negating future refugees.
Stop the Overregulation- A Litmus Test for Gov’t Regulation
The People’s representatives have an obligation to protect the citizenry from powerful interest who would damage this great nation. Regulations exist to protect the constitutional rights of Americans. The public sphere requires diligence.
Any action by an individual or corporation which affects the rights of any Citizen of the United States should rightly be subject to government regulation. When the smog from a coal plant rolls across my home, causing asthma or the chemicals pumped into groundwater for the economic benefit of the multinational energy company pollutes the groundwater on my property, you should be subject to regulation.
We must acknowledge that many regulations cause more harm to the market then the benefit they provide our society. Every government regulation must be have a cost/benefit litmus test before they are enacted. All regulations must be subject to our Constitutional Rights as Citizens and reviewed on a regular basis to see if they are effective.
Race to the Bottom- Ending Corporate Welfare
Large corporations profiting from American Taxpayers and writing legislation to hinder the free market system is a tremendous threat to our democracy. The race to the bottom which pits states against one another to provide taxpayer money as welfare to profitable corporations is a violation of the principles of our Constitution. Too many federal answers to market problems socialize corporate losses while privatizing the profits, always at the expense of the taxpayer.
The power the largest corporation’s effects the Free Market the same way the government can affect the market via laws. People unable defend their constitutional rights to speech or property because they can’t afford to go against these companies who are backed by politicians they financially support is a fundamental threat to our democracy.
Rebuild America-Infrastructure Policy
I will introduce legislation to bring in the Federal Government to fund a massive infrastructure program for the First District. We will replace every water pipe older then 1960 in the entire district.
Identify opportunities for a clean energy infrastructure. The economic return of investing in Wind, Solar, geothermal and ocean energy technology is astronomical. It is the moral thing to do for our children and grandchildren but also an economic boon for our economy and tax base.
Money will be set aside for an Each One Teach One program which will link unskilled people who live within a 3-mile radius of a project site to be paid $12 per hours as an apprentice on these federally funded infrastructure projects.
- A national gas tax increase of 2% to pay for Infrastructure
- Each one Teach one Jobs program to train the next generation of Construction Workers
We the People- Immigration Policy
America is a country of immigrants; this proud tradition makes us stronger. We must develop an immigration policy which allows both low skilled and high skilled workers to enter the United States and have a pathway to citizenship. We must also address those in this county currently without documentation. Mass deportation is both morally wrong and economic suicide. Those immigrants know as dreamers, those brought to America as children, are American in every way except a piece of paper, we must fast track their citizenship.
- Pass the DREAM Act
- Allow a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who have resided in the United States for more than 10 years.
- Expand the visa programs for both needed High Skill and Low Skill Workers
The rights of all citizens regardless of gender must be defended. Specifically, as it relates to health care decisions which should be between women and her doctor, not any male politician. Birth control is a core right regardless of religion, medicine should never be politized. A women’s right to Medically Induced Miscarriages should not be infringed.
The “Blessings of Liberty” stated in the first paragraph of our Constitution guarantees rights to all people regardless of sexual orientation. The right to Marry and adopt children should never be hindered by Government.
City of Chicago- Municipal Issues
Legalize the recreational use of Marijuana with low barriers to entry for small local people to grow and sell. Tax legal marijuana at 20% with all funds going to Public Schools.
Legalize gambling, including sports wagering and tax all winnings at 20% with money going to Public Schools.
Start dismantling overzealous regulations which hinder economic growth and punish small business and property owners disproportionately.
Encourage the City of Chicago to protect the economic interests of its citizens by filing a suit to have the parking meter contract nullified.
State of Illinois- State Issues
The State of Illinois’ most pressing problems include, a lack of budget, educational funding, tax revenues, too many special interests with too much power, too many government units and a general lack of common sense.
I propose a constitutional amendment to allow for a graduated income tax system. Call for an Illinois Constitutional Convention to allow for a progressive income tax. Create a 1% surtax for those making more the $150,000 and 2% for those making more than $500,000. Couple this bill with a 3% targeted reduction in government agencies, I focus on the word targeted because some agencies may need more funding while others can be eliminated completely. Split this new revenue as follows: 50% to the State of Illinois general fund, 25% goes as direct payments to local municipalities based on population and 25% goes as a direct refund to all property tax payers.
Allocating 25% of this new revenue to local municipalities will operated as a local income tax without the negative consequence of pitting one city against another.