Priorities

Representing vulnerable children, families and the community, is what I know. Fighting for the voiceless and things that matter is what I do. Showing up with energy and innovation, listening to and being accountable to the people who live and invest in the district is how I get those things done. It is your stories, your hopes and dreams that will shape my work.

This election and every election should be about providing for our safety, health, economic wellbeing and quality of life. Those are the things most of us discuss around kitchen tables; things that sadly keep many of us up at night.

Before entering this race, I spent months in the 13th Congressional district listening to your voices; to the things that matter to you and your family.  This district is big and diverse.  We are part of the metro Atlanta area, but we are not the city of Atlanta. We are where Main Streets matter; where people matter.

I heard time and time again that people simply want the best for their kids, to be safe in their community, to see their neighborhood thrive and to realize equity in opportunities they work hard to achieve.

I will be a bold and brave advocate in Congress for the things that matter to you and your family. Some of those priorities:

Healthcare

One of my very first tie breaking votes as Mayor was in support of expanding healthcare options for city employees. The plan we had been using just kept going up and had become unaffordable for some of our first responders and that was unacceptable. Just as members of Congress have, we all deserve access to good health care that does not exclude those with preexisting conditions. Whether you are taking care of yourself, your kids, grandkids or parents, healthcare should be affordable, and no one should go broke paying co-pays or for medicine and medical bills.

Healthcare is a human right and in Congress I will support:

  • Moving this country to a single payer healthcare/ Medicare for All system
  • Expanding the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act
  • Any and all efforts to reduce the cost of prescription drugs

Education

I come from a long line of teachers in my family. My grandmother was a teacher and I was her shadow.

The quality of public education in the 13th Congressional District varies greatly. I will support and fight for initiatives to increase access to pre-kindergarten and to supplement teacher pay. I believe 2-year and 4-year community college and technical trade schools should be tuition free.  We also need an aggressive plan to address education inequities

  • Fully fund our public schools and particularly those that are chronically underfunded
  • Return the classrooms to our teachers by eliminating highstakes testing and paying teachers what they are worth 
  • Tuition free public universities and technical schools
  • Address student loan debt by creating earlier retirement guidelines for teachers and those in fields of public service
  • Many students suffer because their families are transient. Addressing the issue of affordable housing and a living wage would go a long way.

Women’s Equality

Closing the gender pay gap is long overdue. We can no longer ignore the differences in the barriers women and girls face. The gender pay gap is especially large for black and Latino women. How much longer must we wait? 

  • Extend the deadline for passing the ERA
  • Continue to reintroduce the Paycheck Fairness Act until it passes the Senate and is signed into law

Women’s Rights

I believe in a woman’s right to choose.  As a lifelong practicing Catholic, abortion has been a tough issue to address through the lens of politics. What is right for me is not right for everyone, but I believe unequivocally in a women’s moral, legal and ethical right to follow her conscience and choose what is right for her and her family in matters of reproductive health. Roe v. Wade is the law in the United States, and I support the parameters laid out by the court in that opinion. 

  • Codify Roe v. Wade
  • Repeal the Hyde Amendment
  • Reverse the GAG rule

Criminal Justice Reform

I have stood on the front lines of criminal justice reform as a Public Defender and have seen the system tear apart families and not always work as fairly as we expect. Decriminalizing some offenses, ending private prisons and mass incarceration, along with bail and sentencing reform will all go a long way in correcting errors in the system and moving toward equal protection under the law.

  • End cash bail
  • Abolish the death penalty
  • Close private prisons
  • Repeal mandatory minimums
  • Break the school to prison pipeline
  • Invest in diversion programs
  • Legalize marijuana and expunge non violent marijuana convictions

Environment

My family lost everything in hurricane Katrina. People were without food, water and shelter. It’s time to take seriously how our actions contribute to natural disasters and climate change.

As the former Mayor in a city that has a community owned water reservoir and is part of a consortium that generates and distributes its own electricity, responsible sourcing is important. I support re-engaging in the Paris Agreement along with consideration for efforts that both address climate change, infrastructure and economic inequality. From warmer temperatures to weather disasters, in Georgia we are experiencing the effects of climate change and it is threatening and reducing our crops and negatively impacting the livelihood of our top industry. We must act immediately to protect our health, natural resources, food supply and infrastructure.

  • Support a Green New Deal
  • Aim for net zero emissions with EPA regulations versus allowing companies to pay to pollute
  • Invest in cleaning up polluted sites that disproportionately affect low income and communities of color
  • Support the reduction of the use of coal with nuclear for its reliability and capacity

Gun Violence

Children do not deserve to fear being shot in school. I enjoy range shooting and have been a member of the Well-Armed Woman yet believe unequivocally, it is time to act to actively reduce gun violence in this country.  I support engaging in substantive measures, such as a national gun licensing program, renewing the assault weapon ban, restrictions on high capacity magazines and universal background checks to address mass shootings in this country.

Immigration

As a child advocate attorney, I have seen the result of children being separated from their family members and will fight to end this detrimental practice.  I support and will fight for comprehensive immigration reform. I support expanding access to legal immigration, including a manner for undocumented immigrants already in the United States to access a pathway to citizenship, because most of us believe there is enough for all of us, and know without question, there is strength in diversity. 

Voting Rights

Every vote must count and we must continue the fight for free and fair elections across the nation, and remove barriers to voter registration and voting itself.

  • Automatic voter registration
  • Limit the ability to purge voters from voting rolls
  • Require paper ballots
  • Give states the funding they need to defend their election systems

Veterans

Both my grandfathers were veterans. My maternal grandfather was a Marine and went on to serve the New Orleans Police force for over 30 years. My paternal grandfather served in the Army and went on to a 30 plus year career with the US Postal Service. Our veterans deserve better than what we are currently offering.

  • Overhaul the VA
  • Jobs programs for veterans
  • Reentry programs 
  • Housing programs.