The Issues

An Economy for the Middle Class

Workers and middle class families are working harder with fewer opportunities to get ahead. I pledge to bridge the income divide by lowering taxes and helping and empowering working families, workers, and the middle class. This will be my top priority.

I was proud to be an original co-sponsor of the Raise the Wage Act of 2021 to boost the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour and the Protecting the Right To Organize Act which will enhance workers’ rights, making it easier for workers to collectively bargain for better pay, safer working conditions, and better benefits. 

In Congress, I will continue to fight to:

  • Make the ultra-wealthy millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share of taxes
  • Elevate wages by raising the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour plus cost of living increases
  • Prioritize affordable and universal child care
  • Guarantee paid family leave
  • Create workforce training, short-term certification training, and skills training programs for new and displaced workers in community colleges for gig economy jobs, green jobs, trades, and tech opportunities
  • Empower unions through requirements to include a member of labor management on every board of directors, 6-12 grade vocational training opportunities, access to new job and apprenticeship programs
  • Convene community leaders, developers, local elected officials, and grassroots groups in discussions to expand the number of affordable housing units in IL06
  • Enforce affordable housing requirements and creating pathways to income growth by means of home ownership
  • Expand access to public transportation and allocating federal funds to do so, prioritizing community development on vacant and under-utilized land and fostering neighborhood growth
  • Allocate funds for green space in every community. When there is more green space in a community, it not only creates recreational amenities, but it also improves physical and mental health outcomes

Health Care for All

Health care is a human right, period. Our current health care system is incredibly impractical for a 21st Century economy and, worse, it is not built to maximize the quality of care for Americans. The faltering of our health care system under the strain of the global COVID-19 pandemic is the single strongest argument for bold change that will protect and advance quality care for every American.

I am an original co-sponsor of the Medicare for All 2021 Act as well as an original co-sponsor of the Improving Medicare Coverage Act, introduced in September of 2021, which would expand Medicare coverage to roughly 23 million Americans by lowering the age of eligibility to 60.

I was also successful in securing $2 million in federal funding to expand health services in communities across the Southwest Side. These funds would support evidence-based services for those dealing with trauma, substance abuse prevention programming for teens, and expand access to substance use treatment for communities hard hit by the opioid epidemic.

In Congress, I will keep fighting to:

  • Reduce drug pricing significantly with negotiated pricing and trade with other countries
  • Expand Medicare to include vision, dental, hearing, and long-term care, and lower the eligibility age to 60
  • Roll out Medicare for All
  • Bringing mental health services to all health care facilities, decreasing the stigma of mental health diagnoses, and restoring a budget for mental health research
  • Prioritize funding for cancer therapy and cancer research
  • Fight for and protect health care for all, including access to birth control and abortion
  • Address the opioid crisis as a public health issue
  • Pass the CARE Act, which would expand funding for treatment, support, and research on addiction through a 2% “wealth tax” on ultra-millionaires
  • Expand access and funding for addiction treatment and facilities in communities that need them the most

Immigration

Our nation was built by immigrants who emigrated here for a shot at a better life and the chance to pursue the American Dream. We need to honor that legacy, ensuring that America continues to be a destination for those seeking a fresh start, and establishing a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who have been, and will continue to be, crucial in pushing this nation forward.

I was a proud original co-sponsor of the American Dream and Promise Act and the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, which passed the House earlier this year, bringing us a step closer to a more fair and equitable immigration system.

In Congress, I will keep fighting to: 

  • Secure and advance immigrants’ rights
  • Protect DACA recipients, DREAMers, and TPS holders
  • Implement a path to citizenship that is unambiguous and expedient
  • Reform Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and end detention of children and families
  • Provide information about a path to citizenship in a kiosk in every library and post office
  • Create a strong guest and temporary worker pathway to citizenship
  • Strengthen, improve, and streamline the visa and green card process
  • Partner with border countries on practical solutions to solve their crises in their countries to reduce the need to leave

Transportation and Infrastructure

Chicagoland is the hub of our nation’s transportation network. The health of our regional transportation systems and transportation infrastructure are critically important to the functioning of our regional economy as well as regional economies on both coasts and south to our southern border. As a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I will never stop working to keep Chicagoland moving.

Our region is poised to lead the way on transportation innovation, creating a future in which freight and commuters can move across Chicagoland more efficiently, reducing our dependence on fossil fuels, helping us combat climate change, and creating good paying union jobs all at the same time.

I was proud to have helped pass the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, a historic investment in our nation’s transportation systems. Two critical pieces of legislation that I introduced, the All Stations Accessibility Program Act and the Rail Center for Excellence Bill, were passed into law in this package, and will make commuter and freight rail operations more safe and efficient for our communities.

I have convened leaders across all levels of government, organized labor, and industry to tackle train safety issues on the ground in our community, helping to cut train idling and delays by up to 100% on the Southwest Side.

In Congress, I will continue to fight to:

  • Reduce emissions and address climate action by improving public transit systems
  • Drive electrification of transit, cars, and fleets
  • Make housing and new buildings greener, sustainable, and more affordable
  • Advance transportation and infrastructure in IL06 and the entire Chicagoland area
  • Review the entire transportation market and assess it as a fully integrated system from top to bottom to prioritize top sites, particularly crumbling bridges throughout the district, congested areas, and address transportation deserts throughout IL-06
  • Convene all levels of government with the RTA, CTA, Metra, and class 1 freight providers to address safety and congestions issues due to blocked crossings and train idling
  • Make our public transportation systems and local infrastructure more accessible to persons with disabilities
  • Fill transportation deserts to allow new businesses to thrive and allow individuals to travel easily

Take Money Out of Politics

Now, more than ever, we need to work on defining the term Democracy for the American people, and that means removing the influence of corporate special interests and dark money lobbyists from our law making process.

I have co-sponsored the For the People Act of 2021 and I am the only candidate in this race that rejects corporate PAC money.

In Congress, I will continue to fight to:

  • End Citizens United and adopt a small-dollar fundraising model for all federal campaigns
  • Stop legislators from being able to take money from corporations and corporate lobbyists

Green Economy

As a mom, nothing is more important to me than my kids. And right now, one of the greatest threats to my children is the climate crisis. If we want to leave a habitable world for our children and grandchildren, we need to act now to roll back the damage we’ve done to our planet.

I like to say that fighting climate change and growing our economy are not mutually exclusive. Combatting the climate crisis is an opportunity for us to create millions of good paying union jobs. Our only path to net-zero emissions and solving the climate crisis is through the creation of a green economy.

That’s why one of my first actions in Congress was to introduce the America’s Clean Future Fund Act to create new, good-paying jobs by investing in clean energy and a green economy, and ultimately help us reach the goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

In Congress, I will continue to fight to:

  • Facilitate a transition away from fossil fuels while ensuring a just transition for fossil fuel industry workers
  • Encourage and create programs to develop renewable energy projects and jobs, such as wind and solar, and reducing our dependence on foreign oil
  • Rebuild the EPA to enable the protection of our air and water for future generations

Commonsense Gun Reform

Every single one of our communities are affected by the crisis of gun violence. As the former spokesperson for Moms Demand Action Illinois, I believe we can effectively support the second amendment while dramatically reducing gun violence and the toll that it takes on families across this country.

I proudly co-sponsored H.R. 8 the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021, which passed the House in March.

In Congress, I will continue to fight to:

  • Reinstate the Assault Weapons Ban
  • Support the Second Amendment for law-abiding and responsible gun owners
  • Require gun safety training with any issuance of a license
  • Champion red-flag laws to prevent purchases of firearms by people who are demonstrating threatening behavior in-person, people who have restraining orders or have been arrested on assault, battery/other threatening behavior on social media, or who have a history/pattern of making threatening statements

Education That Leads to Real Jobs

I scrubbed floors in college to help pay my tuition. I understand how difficult it can be for families to send their children to college. We need to create pathways to secondary education that are affordable and accessible to all so that high school students can look forward to opportunity after graduation without worrying about how they’ll pay for it or the crushing weight of student loan debt.

We also need to invest in alternatives to four-year institutions, expanding access to job opportunities for graduates by building stronger pipelines to community colleges, trade schools, and organized labor.

Most importantly, we need to ensure that every American student receives a high-quality education in a safe, clean, and nurturing environment regardless of which zip code they live in.

In May of 2021, I introduced the bipartisan Supporting Small Business and Career and Technical Education Act to encourage students to pursue Career and Technical Education paths and to help place these students in careers after completion.

In Congress, I will continue to fight to:

  • Expand access to community college degrees and funding to enable more certifications, degrees, and programs to create more direct-to-hire graduates
  • Use community colleges for trades and apprenticeships training programs as well as other technical certifications and training programs
  • Engage the trades with education leaders to encourage employment after high school for students who choose not to attend college
  • Secure tuition debt relief with incentives and credits for taking on critical jobs that are unfilled
  • Support debt cancellation of up to $50,000 for those with outstanding student loans and incomes of less than $100,000 a year. Additionally, I support robust debt cancellation on a sliding scale for those with incomes between $100,000 and $250,000.
  • Work toward creating state colleges/universities and trade schools that are much more affordable and phasing into free tuition at state colleges

Promoting Small and New Businesses

As a former small business owner, I know that Main Street, not Wall Street, keeps our economy moving. I am committed to creating a space here in Illinois where small business owners can thrive.

That’s why I introduced the Relief and Equity for Small Businesses through Tax (REST) Act to provide mom and pop shops across this country with needed relief as we rebound from a global pandemic.

I have also worked across the aisle to expand microloans to small businesses and increase grant opportunities for women- and minority-owned businesses. I introduced H.R. 2449, a bill to extend the matching fund requirement waiver on Women Business Centers through the U.S. Small Business Administration, and introduced and passed the Microloan Improvement Act to make it easier for small business owners and entrepreneurs to access much needed capital.

In Congress, I will continue to: 

  • Diversify our base of businesses by encouraging green energy, renewables, green technologies, retail, manufacturing, industry, and infrastructure projects, while bringing new jobs to our district
  • Remove the cost of health insurance by supporting Medicare for All, so that small businesses will have a higher profit margin and will be able to raise their own wages
  • Increase awareness of and prioritize workforce training, especially green workforce training, to empower small businesses and increase their ability to thrive
  • Support the extension of tax credits to small businesses that are LEED certified
  • Support the creation of a workforce training center that would provide small business workshops and offer incentives to small businesses to build locations near said workforce center

Protecting and Advancing
Everybody’s Rights

In every vote I take, every piece of legislation I introduce, every bill I co-sponsor, the first question I ask is how does this action protect and advance the rights of the most vulnerable among us.

In Congress, I will continue to:

Champion voting rights by

  • Restoring the Voting Rights Act
  • Passing automatic voter registration legislation
  • Ending the practice of gerrymandering through establishing independent redistricting committees
  • Making Election Day a federal holiday
  • Getting corporate money out of politics

Reform the broken criminal justice system by

  • Fighting for the federal legalization of marijuana and working to roll back mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses
  • Banning private prisons and detention centers nationwide
  • Ending cash bail
  • Banning the death penalty

Fight for economic justice by

  • Creating jobs for every American through empowering trade schools and using green infrastructure for all projects across IL06
  • Enforcing affordable housing requirements and creating pathways to income growth by means of homeownership

Advance environmental justice

  • Through passing a green economy and establishing new programs, we can end the practice of environmental racism that still exists in Chicagoland

Defend LGBTQ Rights by

  • Supporting the Equality Act, which would guarantee legal protections to anyone that identifies as LGBTQ+
  • Fighting for full inclusion of all students in all spaces and discussions–including LGBTQ students, students with diverse religious or racial backgrounds, and students with disabilities–through full integration

Support people with disabilities by

  • Ending the sub-minimum wage. People with disabilities deserve a living wage, and there is no justification for paying them only a few dollars per hour.
  • Making our public transit systems and overall transportation infrastructure more accessible 

Fight for women’s rights by

  • Removing the arbitrary deadline and working to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment
  • Protecting and expanding reproductive freedom for all
  • Working to repeal the Hyde Amendment, which bans abortion coverage for low-income people
  • Fighting for paid family leave