We have this concept called bodily autonomy. It's this cultural notion that a person's control over their own body is above all and cannot be hindered. To tell people that they MUST sacrifice their bodily autonomy for 9 months against their will in an expensive, invasive, and difficult process to save what YOU view as another human life is unethical. I stand with Planned Parenthood, affordable reproductive healthcare for women is extremely important. Whether safe and affordable abortions are available do not determine if women will seek them out. By any means necessary, a desperate pregnant woman can and will perform DANGEROUS at home abortions.
Being a pansexual person of color, I do know the struggles associated with growing up in such a heteronormative society. The fear of being different and not being able to conform is absolutely heartbreaking. To hate someone for their way of life is un-American. Acceptance and love is the answer to strengthening our bonds and defeating unnecessary hostility. I believe in a world where a young child can grow up to be open about their sexuality and not fear the wrath of society.
Institutional and unintentional racism are still an issue today. I hope that one day we can shine light on these issues and make it known that hate and intolerance are not welcome here. I believe in a future where true equality is not only attainable, it's mandated. Equality of the disabled and able-bodied, of races, classes, and backgrounds, etc. I also believe whether you believe in a god or not, your freedom to SAFELY practice your own religion should be upheld.
I support getting veterans back on their feet. They risked their lives to protect our freedoms and we owe it to them to ensure that their life back home is stable and grounded. No veteran should have to suffer in a country they fought for. Counseling services should be offered at minimal cost to help ease their return as well as a shared house where veterans who do not have a home can live for a period of time while they get back on their feet.
One of my many goals in office will be to open the primary elections to all voters, specifically independents. Their voice is just as important as anyone else's, modified voter primaries are the only way for them to be heard.
One of my first duties in office will be to propose a bill that grants students more financial aid if they get good grades, volunteer, or participate in clubs governed by their school. We really should be giving incentives to those students who go above and beyond what is expected of them and I feel as though this may be a feasible and highly rewarding system.
Mental Health Advocacy
We need to destroy the stigma associated with mental illness. There is nothing wrong with having a mental illness and we must promote seeking guidance from those who can help. Making counseling services more readily accessible, having yearly school presentations or PSA's are a few ways this can be done.
Teaching sex-ed is crucial. We need to teach young teens about safe sex to protect against unwanted pregnancies and STI's. Sex-ed also promotes open talk on sexual health and helps make it easier for young people to reach out to adults or family members. Teaching abstinence only is a mistake, we are leaving it up to the media and internet for this young generation to learn about subjects that could determine the outcome of their lives.
We are so much more than a percentage, if they want to know about us or what we are capable of, then they need to find a better alternative to standardized testing. I would love to help make this change because as it stands, Florida is not doing so well in education. We need a national standard in order to test our methods of teaching and fix the education system but standardized tests are not the solution.
It takes patience, determination, and pure intellect to be able to teach our children. I propose that Teacher and Professor pay should be increased because right now, we barely compensate them for their hard work. They literally determine the future of our country through the minds of new generations. They will forever have an impact and should be treated as such.
I support the elimination of out-of-state tuition costs for public universities. Why should a student be penalized for wanting to further their education elsewhere at an institution of their choice where they believe they will thrive? I do not understand why there is a need for out-of-state tuition, we live in the same nation, we do not need to separate our education systems by state. Along with this, I also believe tuition rates are way too high. Students should not be forced into debt for trying to better their lives.
Energy and the Environment
Best Management Practices (BMP's) should be made stricter in all areas around the country. We absolutely do not need to be contributing anymore to leaching, runoff, and the poisoning of our water and soils. More regulations on what you can put into your land is something I support.
To say climate change is a hoax when thousands of researchers who have devoted their lives on the matter have stated it is a problem is ridiculous. IT IS REAL. IT IS EFFECTING OUR PLANET. AND WE NEED TO FIX THIS NOW.
Fracking is destroying our water, our land, and our planet at an exponential rate. A common misconception is that filtering water is cheap and efficient. At that point, the amount of energy we are wasting on cleaning our water is not worth contaminating it in the first place.
The shift to solar energy needs to start somewhere, and fast. Our planet cannot take much more of this abuse. It is so sad that we live in a world where the money made by fossil fuels is more important than the health of our beautiful planet. We will not get a new one, treat it with respect.
Courses in gun safety need to be administered before any firearms are purchased. period. We need a comprehensive background check on every single person at least once every five years in order to ensure the safety of our masses. I do not approve of firearms being brought onto public parks, schools and universities, places of worship, movie theaters, or official government property unless you are granted permission to do so. I also only approve of small handguns. People should not be allowed to purchase assault rifles. It is quite irrational to believe you will need that in practical, everyday life. I propose a 7 step process to purchasing a firearm:
1. Previous addresses and employment are registered in a database
2. Purpose of purchase is noted
3. Search for family history of gun violence and/or substance abuse
4. Health screening
5. Psychological evaluation
6. Gun Safety Course
7. Oath of Safety to do no harm to another human being with your firearm unless no other choice and escape is not possible
Medicinal cannabis has so much potential. Marijuana is not just for teens who want to get high, there is solid research on how it aids people with various types of disorders including, but not limited to, Parkinson's and Tourette's syndrome. If you do not believe me, do some research. This drugs works miracles for patients that have run out of options and for you to reject the use of it is unethical. Thankfully, Florida has just legalized medicinal marijuana, now we need to make the push and get our voices heard so that national efforts can be made.
Needle Exchange Programs
Providing clean needles is necessary to minimize the spread of blood borne illnesses such as HIV, and hepatitis A, B, and C. It is in no way providing drug users with a means to do drugs, they will be doing them regardless. This just ensures that the spread of disease is limited.
As disappointing as it sounds, healthcare revolves around dollar signs and not patient health. Preventative care would be more constructive and would, in the long run, cost us so much less. Instead of treating illnesses that could have easily been avoided, let's prevent them from even happening in the first place.
I do not disagree that there are not some scary and debilitating side effects of marijuana, but I also do not agree that the government should have a say in what people do with their bodies. Recreational use of marijuana should not be mandated by the government unless it is for age restrictions. Just like smoking cigars, and cigarettes and drinking alcohol, it should be up to the individual to make an informed decision about what they will put into their bodies.
Universal Medical Records
Medical records should be kept in a database that is universal to all hospitals and doctors offices so that you will not have to wait weeks for records to be faxed over to your primary care physician from an emergency department. It promotes solidarity in the healthcare world and makes it easier for both patients and those employed in the health field.
Entry Level Jobs
I believe entry level jobs should be made more accessible. You should not need 3 years experience for an entry level position at a supermarket, sometimes some of the requirements can be insensible and absurd.
As it stands, the minimum wage is not livable. This has been backed up by research for years now yet nothing has been done. I support the cause to raise the minimum wage because most people that would benefit from this are not young high school students as most would believe, but grown men and women with families that have been working their life away with 2-3 jobs just to make ends meet.
I support the ideal that if you are hired for the same position you should be paid the same wage regardless of age, sex, religion, etc. The only reason someone should be paid differently is if one of the workers has more experience.
Unions fight to protect the rights of the working-class citizens that cannot fight individually. They create a solid force that can effectively ensure that employees are not taken for granted. I support unions and believe that an attempt to disband them is an infringement on the basic rights everyone has for fair employment. It is the most efficient way of protecting the rights of the masses.
The working class is constantly being undermined and taken advantage of. We need to protect our working-class citizens as well as ensure job safety and quality. The majority of our citizens are in the middle class which just continues to shrink and the lower class continues to grow while the already wealthy get wealthier. We need to stimulate our middle and lower classes to promote equal economic growth for all, not just the rich.