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•How does this affect the economic security of working and poor people?
•How does this affect human rights and civil rights?
•How does this affect the climate?
Yana has strived to cover as many issues as possible in her official platform. If you have questions about an issue or would like clarification, send Yana a message and she'd be happy to chat with you!
Essentially our whole economy is structured around the interests of the wealthy and corporations, and everyone else is getting screwed. We have some brilliant economic warriors in the Senate right now, and I will follow their lead on many issues (student debt forgiveness, wealth taxes, breaking up big banks, capping credit card interest rates, etc.) However, we need to look more deeply at curbing corporate and CEO power. I propose a mandated Wage Ratio of 20:1, which was the average ratio of CEO to worker pay in 1951. I further propose a full empowerment of unions and worker owned cooperatives across the US to get economic power solidly in the hands of the people, including first right of refusal and material assistance to workers who wish to buy out the current owners of their companies. Banning “Right to Work” laws is key. I favor public banks with social and climate justice values built into their charters, and postal banking as a way to provide free and low-cost financial services to underserved communities. We should also restructure legal penalties (such as traffic tickets) to be set based on income, and end cash bail practices, as both disproportionately affect the poor.
Finally, Citizens United has to go.
Overall, I favor restructuring the economy away from mega-corporations (big banks, big pharma and big oil) and toward locally-specific worker-owned cooperatives, state-held public utilities, and green infrastructure projects that care for both the economy and the planet. Yes, I am a socialist, but not one who likes the idea of massive federal control. The federal government should limit their activities to those things that genuinely benefit from organization at a massive scale, such as healthcare, education, and sensible environmental regulations. My socialism focuses much more on local control, worker owned cooperatives and community-based organizing. The federal government can do a lot to simply get out of the way of these projects, and incentivize their formation, and that’s a core part of what I’d be advocating for.
The Green New Deal sets goals (which are great), but not specific policies. The policies need to include green infrastructure, transportation and energy, and focus on economic health for “fossil fuel states” like Wyoming. I favor the bipartisan Carbon Fee and Dividend bill promoted by Citizens Climate Lobby. This would provide monthly dividends to all people, rising over time. We must further use safe, proven technology to capture carbon. The most tried and true method for this is trees. My Billion Tree Initiative would draw labor from two places: states that rely most heavily on fossil fuels currently for their economic vibrancy, and a massive reallocation of military personnel away from overseas war-making, which is disastrous ecologically and leaves vets with high levels of PTSD and depression that is inadequately treated when they come home.
Note that my 2017 book, Together Resilient: Building Community in the Age of Climate Disruption, has a full platform related to climate.
I support Medicare for All at no cost to patients, and also believe that we must deprivatize both the insurance and the pharmaceutical industries. I’d propose making pharmaceutical companies into publicly owned utilities, with states being able to apply to have their own pharmaceutical research and production companies, and strictly enforced price controls that limit price gouging for life-saving drugs while bringing stable income to state budgets. In the more immediate term, putting price caps (like the state of Colorado recently did with insulin) on the most critical life-saving medicines would save a lot of lives while we work out the details of transitioning to the public utility model. Chronic illnesses, mental health, reproductive health (including abortion), disability and veterans’ care must be fully covered, with the elimination of economic and bureaucratic barriers to getting care.
Queer and Trans folks need full protections under the law. This includes the right to marry or live as domestic partners with the same rights that heterosexual couples enjoy as domestic partners, inlcuding adoption rights. Their children must be treated the same under the law as children of heterosexual couples. Protection from hate crimes is essential, and particular attention needs to be paid to trans women of color who are the most likely group in the country to be murdered. Another key piece of my platform is addressing the epidemic of mental health challenges faced by the LGBTQIA community and particularly for queer and trans youth, who are at especially high risk of homelessness and suicide when rejected by their families.
I favor significantly opening our borders, and an end to treating immigrants like criminals simply for seeking asylum and to join us in the US. The Wall is an ecological and human rights disaster that was sold to the American public (and pushed through congress) with the false notion that immigrants were dangerous and that we have a drug import problem coming over our southern border (it’s actually a much bigger problem with ports). The criminalizing of aid givers to people coming across the border also needs to end. Our current tight immigration practices are incredibly expensive, have led to thousands of families being torn apart and the deaths of multiple children, and has very little grounding in any kind of data.
I support abortion on demand as a core part of a functional healthcare system. I further support access to birth control, free of charge, for people of all genders. Finally, medical practitioners who perform abortions need to be protected from harassment and any legal consequences for doing their jobs.
I support the (re)recognition of treaty rights. Indigenous communities are sovereign nations, and we should start to act as if that is true. This affects a wide range of issues, including environmental impact assessments and the right to protest pipelines (a movement that has been led, worldwide, by Indigenous communities) a right being undermined in a number of states right now.
We also need to recognize and act on the epidemic of murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls, and the shockingly high numbers of indigenous people falling victim to human trafficking within the US.
Finally, we must fully protect Indigenous communities rights to practice their religion and live from their own cultural values without interference and consequences.
I believe that the correct moral and economic position is that the US government owes people of African descent reparations. Economic insecurity is a particularly stubborn, multi-generational phenomenon that s made significantly worse when compounded by racism. Reparations have two main parts to them: acknowledgement of responsibility and material repair. That material repair can take many forms, not simply direct payouts. I support the bill that Rep. John Lewis has proposed for years to study the best ways to enact reparations, and also believe that racial justice needs to be a consideration in the writing of all legislation moving forward.
Criminal justice reform is also a key place for both racial justice considerations and setting the table for any gun control legislation that we might consider. I support the efforts of the Movement for Black Lives to study and clearly articulate what is needed here, and will follow their lead on proposals for police reform.
I favor overturning Citizens United, fully enfranchising all voters (including people with felony convictions, legitimizing tribal IDs as identification for voting purposes, and ensuring that all people have reasonable access to polling places, early voting and mail-in ballots) and making election day a national holiday to allow working class and working poor people the ability to vote.
I favor the full legalization and decriminalization of marijuana, including releasing people who are serving sentences for marijuana-related charges, and wiping the records of all people with marijuana convictions. There should also be recognition of the uneven impact marijuana conviction have had on communities of color and poor communities, and legal corrections for those past harms.
The right to protest is fundamental for a vibrant democracy, and I am deeply concerned about seeing that right get chipped away in various states. We need increased federal protections for protestors, not decreased.
Public lands, national and state parks, and local recreation areas all serve an important role in both the health of our ecological systems, and the health of us as humans needing access to nature. I strongly favor an increase in publicly owned lands at all levels. I believe that an increase in public lands will from the cornerstone of climate stabilization, and that public land access is a core part of Wyoming’s identity as a state of natural beauty and outdoor recreation. I’m deeply offended by Liz Cheney’s recent attempts to sell of Wyoming public lands to the highest bidder, and I think everyone else in the state should be as well.
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