My son’s preschool teacher asked him recently what his dad did for work. My son looked up at him and said “my dad tries to help people.” I couldn’t have said it better myself.
I’m not a politician, I’m a public servant who was proud to work under both Republicans and Democrats. I believe there is a better way to govern. One that treats people with respect. One that defines politics by the personal, guides itself by asking what it can do to help our constituents. One that is more about moving forward than about today’s big fight. One that places the voices of the people over the voices of the special interests.
Rebuild American Infrastructure: In Congress, I have been push for a major investment in infrastructure right now. If ever there was an issue that was bipartisan, it would be infrastructure. It is a win-win issue as we can rebuild America and also create a new generation of jobs if we make the right investments. Our economy won’t succeed without the right infrastructure. Roads, bridges, tunnels, power grids, and ports across New Jersey and the country are crumbling and need to be rebuilt and maintained in a smart way. We must also invest in our technology infrastructure to make sure that every community has affordable access to the high speed internet connection that is vital to growing local economies.
Campaign Finance Reform: One of the first things I did when I was elected to Congress was co-sponsor legislation to strengthen our democracy and help end the corroding influence of money in our politics. We need to fight against dark money that allows millions of dollars to pour into our elections without requiring disclosures of donors. We need to find more ways to encourage public financing and other tools so Americans don’t need to be millionaires in order to run for office. We also want to explore the use of matching contributions and other steps to empower grassroots supporters and ensure they have a voice.
Fight Against Corruption in Washington: Our leaders should absolutely be held to the highest standards. Corruption, harassment of any kind, abuse of power, fraud, and other concerns must not be tolerated. I co-sponsored and led the way to pass legislation to strengthen ethics rules and improve enforcement, and I’m working on steps to stop Members of Congress from being able to own and trade individual stocks that can cause enormous conflicts of interests as we saw when Senators dumped stocks before the Coronavirus hit.
End Gerrymandering and Voter Suppression: Voters should choose their politicians instead of politicians choosing their voters. Elected officials should never be involved in drawing political lines, and all states should have a bipartisan/nonpartisan approach to redistricting. It is also vital to ensure we work to stop voter suppression. I’ve worked to introduce legislation to protect the efforts to improve access to our democracy, and will always fight to lift up the voice of people in our democracy.
Change What It Means to “Represent”: We can’t expect a Congress full of members who don’t understand the struggles that Americans face every day to understand how important it is to solve them. I believe if you are going to fight for people across the country, you need to stay in touch with them and the battles they are fighting every day—to pay their bills, provide for their families, and save for retirement. It’s why I hold monthly town halls and post my schedule every day, so the people of New Jersey know that I am fighting for them.
Protect Against National Security Threats. My children are growing up in a world more dangerous than the one I grew up in. The threat of nuclear weapons has returned, and instability and conflict affect every corner of the globe. As a career public servant and national security expert, I am working in Congress to be a champion for a strong, responsible, and strategic national security operation that focuses on defense, but also diplomacy and development. As the world rebuilds in the wake of the coronavirus, I will fight for an America that steps up as a global leader in the community of nations.
Recover from Superstorm Sandy and Prepare for the Next One. Too many people are still struggling to recover after Sandy. That’s why I introduced a bill that would provide direct relief to New Jersey communities by forgiving all federal loans given out in the effort to rebuild after the storm. After what we saw in Houston, Florida, and Puerto Rico, we know it is only a matter of time before we get hit again. We are not ready. We need to help people in New Jersey to mitigate risks by raising the height of homes and protecting our communities, and stop Republicans from making changes to the National Flood Insurance Plan that would gut spending for flood maps and be a boon for the same private insurance companies that underpaid Sandy families and allow them to cherry pick who they cover.
Treat the Opioid Epidemic as a National Security Crisis. Our leaders in Washington aren’t doing enough to address the devastation of opioids. Six times the number of people are dying from opioid-related overdoses today than they did twenty years ago. This is a national security crisis that takes more lives than any war or conflict that we are engaged in, but President Trump is not taking it seriously. We need a real national strategy and full funding to stem the tide.
Respond to Climate Change as a National Security Crisis. Climate change is real, and our response must be swift and serious. Exiting the Paris Climate Agreement and gutting the Environmental Protection Agency are hurting all of us. I will advocate for legislation that will bring immediate, pragmatic solutions to addressing our climate crisis.
Restore American Leadership Abroad. The wake of the coronavirus crisis represents a critical moment to restore American leadership on the world stage. On the House Armed Services Committee, I am a champion for strong, responsible, and strategic national security operations that focus on defense, but also diplomacy and development.