A Fair Economy for Working People

 "Trickle-down economics" has been a massive scam. For decades our political and economic system has been squeezing all the wealth to the top.

I'm the only Senate candidate in North Carolina who refuses to take money from corporate interests. That's because I want to work for the people - not the powerful.

As your Senator, my top priority will be policies to build a fair economy for working people:

-True Living Wages: Raise the federal minimum wage to a true living wage, with the minimum wage annually adjusted for the cost of living in each county. This would allow working people to live and thrive where they work, and not be forced out of their homes. In North Carolina, the average true living wage in 2022 would be $17.14 per hour. See MIT’s Living Wage Calculator to find the true living wage for your county.

-Workers Rights: Support workers’ rights to form unions. Replace “right-to-work” with the right to a job and create living-wage jobs for everyone who needs work with a real Green New Deal and other programs to revitalize our communities.

-Worker Ownership: Support development of worker and community cooperatives. Incentivize worker ownership and give workers the first right to buy out a company that is for sale or is going bankrupt or being outsourced. Give workers the right to elect representatives to sit equally with management on Boards of Directors.

-Housing as a Right: We are experiencing the worst housing crisis of our lifetimes. For both homeowners and renters, housing has not been this unaffordable for over 100 years. The homeownership rate for Black Americans is actually lower today than it was in the 1970s. Over 550,000 people experience homelessness every night in the richest country in world history.

We need massive investment in public housing to address the critical shortage of housing, especially housing that is affordable to working people. We also need universal rent control to prevent massive rent hikes from forcing people out of their homes and communities. We should immediately house people experiencing homelessness in hotels, and begin construction of enough long-term supportive housing to end homelessness for good.

-Public Banks and Utilities: Create democratically-run public banks and utilities, including water, energy, gas, telecommunications and internet. Public utilities remove profiteering from essential services that today are often controlled by monopolies. Public banks operate for the benefit of their communities and customers, not private owners. Both public banks and public utilities are more responsive to community concerns than private companies are.

-Cancel Student Debt: Abolish student debt to free over 43 million people from debt servitude to Wall Street. As of 2022 US borrowers owe over $1.6 Trillion in student debt, about 92% of which is federal debt. While there are people of all ages trapped in student debt, the burden falls disproportionately on young people and those without generational wealth. Canceling student debt will free tens of millions of people to pursue their dreams and contribute to the real economy.

-Free Public Education through University: In the early 20th century the United States made free public high school universal, with the understanding that it would improve our society, strengthen our economy, and give students the opportunity to build a better life. It’s time to take the logical next step and offer free public education through the university level, as well as technical schools and community college. Many countries have seen excellent results from free public university education, including Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Norway, and Sweden.

-Free Childcare and Pre-K for All: The difficulty of finding affordable childcare has become a crisis for working families. We need universal childcare and pre-K, to give children a good start to their development and allow working people to attain economic security for their families.

-Guaranteed Sick and Family Leave Pay: The US is the only high-income country in the world that still doesn’t have paid family leave. New parents should be guaranteed at least 4 months of paid leave. Guarantee all workers 21 days minimum family and medical leave per year, plus a social insurance program to cover extended sick days, family leave, and disability should more than 21 days be necessary.

These policies would be in line with the majority of wealthy countries in Europe and Asia. Workers should not be forced to make decisions that affect their health, and the health and safety of others, in order to keep their housing and provide for their loved ones. Untold thousands of lives would have been saved both before and during this pandemic if workers had these basic humane guarantees.

-Cancel Medical Debt: 1 in 4 adults in North Carolina is in collections for medical debt. That’s especially outrageous considering that in many countries, medical debt is practically nonexistent. Receiving essential healthcare shouldn’t put you in crushing debt. That’s why we should cancel medical debt along with making healthcare a human right.


Healthcare for All as a Human Right

I’m tired of watching my loved ones forced to make a choice between paying their essential bills and seeking necessary medical care.

An improved "Medicare For All" single-payer public health insurance program will provide everyone with quality health care, at huge savings. Improved Medicare for All will cover all U.S.residents in every community for all needed care, eliminate out-of-pocket costs, fully fund public health programs, and allow for a unified response to national health crises.

For-profit healthcare has taken the lives of countless Americans, with over 300,000 dead of Covid since 2020 due to lacking health insurance or having inadequate insurance.

Even before the pandemic, a study published in medical journal The Lancet found that a single-payer system would save over 68,000 lives per year. Medicare for All would not only cover far more people and produce better health outcomes; it would actually save money compared to current U.S. health care spending, with savings of13% or more than $450 billion per year.


A Real Green New Deal to Fight Climate Crisis

Global heating threatens the survival of human civilization and life on Earth. We need a real Green New Deal now to tackle the existential threat of climate crisis and move our money from the war machine into creating millions of good, green, sustainable union jobs across the United States that cannot be outsourced.

We need a real Green New Deal to prevent climate meltdown from destroying the ecosystem that all economic activity depends on, and we can fund these necessary investments through reduction of the military budget and an increase in taxes on large corporations and extremely high earners. A real Green New Deal will guarantee a just transition, converting military and fossil fuel-dependent jobs to secure, sustainable jobs that are good for workers, communities and the planet.

See more details on what we mean by a real Green New Deal.


End the War on Drugs

It’s time to admit that the war on drugs has been a failure. It has done nothing to take dangerous drugs off the streets, but instead has been a war on marginalized communities and people who are struggling with addiction.

Drug overdoses increased by 40% in North Carolina from 2019 to 2020 alone. 12 North Carolinians die every day from drug overdose. It’s time to treat people who are addicted to drugs not as criminals, but as people who are suffering from a serious health problem who need access to services such as rehabilitation centers and mental health professionals.

Stop incarcerating people for possession and personal use of drugs. Provide health counseling and treatment on demand to any drug user who needs help. Enact harm reduction measures such as expanded access to overdose reversal medications, needle exchanges, and supervised consumption sites.

Stop big pharmaceutical companies from overcharging for prescription drugs and pushing drug use beyond what is medically necessary, and hold CEOs accountable for illegal advertising, marketing, or distribution of opioids.


End Political Corruption and Build Real Democracy

 Let’s reclaim our government from the corrupt political establishment that serves big money, and build a truly democratic government for the people.

  • Publicly-financed elections
  • Limited time window for campaigns
  • Free public airtime and open debates for ballot-qualified candidates
  • Strict anti-corruption financial controls for members of Congress and their staff
  • Ranked-Choice Voting for all elections
  • Proportional Ranked-Choice Voting for legislative elections - Fair Representation Act
  • End gerrymandering with Proportional Ranked-Choice Voting
  • End the filibuster
  • Term limits for Congress
  • National Popular Vote for President
  • Fair ballot access
  • End partisan election oversight
  • Full ex-felon voting re-enfranchisement
  • DC Statehood
  • Self-determination for US Territories (American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and US Virgin Islands)

See more on why we need these changes to end political corruption and build real democracy.


End the Wars and Bring the War Dollars Home

We have spent more than $14 Trillion on wars and the military since 2001, while both Democrats and Republicanstell us we don’t have enough money for healthcare, education, and real climate action, among other things.

These tragic wars have not made us safer. They have caused enormous suffering to tens of millions of people across the globe. That number includes hundreds of thousands of American families whose sons and daughters went to war and who never came home or came home permanently wounded with either visible or invisible injuries. The VA estimates over 500,000 veterans of Iraqand Afghanistan have been inflicted with traumatic brain injury and an equal number with PTSD and moral injury. Where is the justice and accountability for this?

We live under the constant threat of nuclear annihilation due to the current arms race with Russia and China, resulting from successive Republican and Democrat administrations building new nuclear weapons. This is madness. We have been amazingly fortunate to have avoided nuclear war for this long, perhaps by luck or by God’s Grace, but such fortune cannot last.

From Western Africa to Pakistan, officially secret US wars are waging in more than a dozen countries. These wars are growing terror groups, motivating people to join insurgent militias, causing massive harm to civilians, and bringing blowback on the US.

Now decades of maneuvering by the US/NATO and Russia in Eastern Europe have erupted in war in Ukraine, devastating that country and moving the world to the brink of nuclear disaster while the US government spends billions to pour fuel on the flames. We call for the US to make every effort to negotiate an immediate ceasefire between Russia and Ukraine, and enter diplomatic negotiations to bring lasting peace and security to Ukraine, Europe, and the world. See our statement on the crisis in Ukraine.

The US supports nearly 75% of the world’s non-democratic governments, such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia, with weapons, cash and military training. That number does not include nations that are gross human rights violators likeBrazil, Colombia, and the Philippines. US support for nations like Israel and Saudi Arabia enables the apartheid oppression and occupation of Palestine and the genocidal war against Yemen. US support for occupations, wars and mass human rights abuses by allies must be stopped.

The Democrats controlling the White House and Congress passed a record-high $840 Billion military budget in 2022. With their belligerent rhetoric towards China, Russia, and others, it seems that many in Washington would rather push for an apocalyptic world war than figure out how to live together in peace.

How much longer will we go along with this madness of militarism where we risk the lives of our sons and daughters and murder those overseas, all the while neglecting our people at home?


Real Racial Justice

End police brutality: In many of our communities, particularly indigenous people, people of color and lower incomes, police violence is rampant.

Establish community control of police through elected local police oversight boards with subpoena power to investigate complaints about police behavior and hold offending officers accountable. These boards will be empowered to hire and fire police officers and chiefs. This will ensure that communities control their police rather than police controlling our communities.

End “qualified immunity” to create accountability for police brutality and change the standard for police misconduct from willfulness to recklessness.

Charge the Department of Justice with prosecuting excessive uses of force and rooting out white supremacist elements from our police forces. Hire full time federal investigators to look into all cases of death in police custody. Enact national legislation against hiring police officers who have been fired for excessive force or discrimination.

Local police forces must come from the communities they serve and meet high standards for recruitment (and be compensated justly – police, like all civil servants and all workers, should be able to afford to live where they work).

Demilitarize the police and end the 1033 program that transfers military-grade weapons and equipment to police departments. Police need to be prioritized as public safety or peace officers, and not the growing paramilitary forces we see in NC and the US.

Invest in our communities to address the poverty and neglect that are the root causes of most crime.

End mass incarceration: We like to call the United States the “land of the free” yet we have roughly 20% of the world’s prisoners with only 4% of the world’s population. Fund and convene a commission with the goal of drastically reducing the number of people incarcerated in the United States. Release everyone serving time for drug-related, low-level, nonviolent offenses and expunge their criminal records.

Reparations: We support reparations to the African-American and Native American communities for the historical wrongs of slavery and genocide, and the ongoing legacy of systemic racism. These efforts must be led by members of those communities. I will work to open a national discussion on reparations with a Truth, Reconciliation, and Reparations Commission to understand and eliminate the legacy of slavery, xenophobia andIndigenous genocide.

Stop Abusing Immigrants: At the border and elsewhere, tens of thousands of immigrants are held in humiliating, painful, and sometimes fatal detention, separated from their families, and often deported, without due process, back to the circumstances from which they fled. In a repeating and circular process, those conditions are too often the result of US foreign policy.

The U.S. needs a complete overhaul of its immigration laws, procedures, and programs. Our current situation has created extreme injustice.

We support the following changes:

  • Welcoming path to legal residency and citizenship for immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers
  • Permanent border passes to citizens of Mexico and Canada whose identity can be traced and verified, and who aren’t wanted by authorities
  • Make work permits easily obtainable to decriminalize the act of gainful employment

See more on why we need these changes to stop abusing immigrants.


Protect and Empower the LGBTQIA+ Community

 I will fight to ensure trans people have the same rights as all Americans while safeguarding the progress the LGBTQIA+ community has made in recent decades.

  • Pursue federal anti-discrimination policies that will protect LGBTQ rights in employment, housing, legal proceedings, and other areas of life.
  • Stand against all laws that punish LGBTQ children, their caregivers, their teachers, and their doctors.
  • Pursue a ban on the trans panic defense in court
  • Support single-payer healthcare that’s inclusive of LGBTQ people’s needs, including STI-related care, gender confirmation care, reproductive care, and elder care.
  • Stand against the criminalization of homosexuality in other countries. We stand with LGBTQ people in these countries in their fight for liberation.
  • Support policies that will provide asylum for LGBTQ people fleeing persecution.
  • Support the development of LGBTQ-inclusive sex education curricula.
  • Support policies to protect homeless LGBTQ people, especially youths.
  • Support the legal recognition of nonbinary people and the inclusion of nonbinary markers on government documents.
  • Support the right of same-sex couples to adopt, foster, and co-parent children.

Women’s Health, Abortion and Human Rights

 The United States government has waged war on women’s bodies for decades. The Matthew Hoh for Senate campaign calls on all US federal, state, and local governments to fully legalize abortion and protect the reproductive rights of all people. We support the following policies:

  • Sign bills into law that protect all people’s reproductive rights, instead of relying on the Supreme Court.
  • Repeal all bills that seek to punish or prosecute abortion seekers or providers (e.g. so-called “heartbeat” bills).
  • Crack down on crisis pregnancy centers, which provide dangerous misinformation about abortions to vulnerable pregnant people.
  • Protect abortion providers and clinics from violence and terrorism.
  • Repeal the Hyde Amendment, which blocks federal funding for abortion. Provide funding to build and operate abortion clinics in all states.
  • Provide full insurance coverage for all forms of reproductive healthcare (abortions, birth control, etc.)
  • End abstinence-only education. Implement comprehensive and age-appropriate sex education curricula that teach children about safe sex, birth control, consent, abortion, etc.
  • Prevent workplace discrimination, wage cuts, and job termination for pregnant workers. Require all employers to provide paid parental/family leave.
  • Ensure equal access to care for all regardless of race, gender, or socioeconomic status. Drastically reduce the high maternal mortality rate among Black pregnant women in particular.

Liberty and Justice for All

The federal government and corporations have seriously violated civil liberties since 9/11 and continue to seek to erode those liberties. State governments are likewise pursuing laws and policies that restrict our rights.

I will work to end the unconstitutional government surveillance programs and indefinite detention programs; restore our Constitutional rights; terminate unconstitutional surveillance and unwarranted spying, end persecution of whistleblowers; and abolish the death penalty.


Privacy

Regulate the collection and use of personal data tightly. In the Digital Age, participating in society inevitably means using devices and visiting websites that can create huge volumes of personal data without our knowledge. The U.S. government should extend its own rules for use and collection of personal data, the Privacy Act of 1974, to the private sector. We should always be informed when our data is collected alongside the justifications for that collection, we should always have the ability to see what data an organization has collected about us, and we should always have the right to request that data be deleted. Facial recognition technology should not be deployed in public, whether by the government or by private organizations. In private settings, such as social media sites andin private establishments, everyone should always have the right to object to the use of facial recognition technology, and no person’s face should be stored in a facial recognition database without their express consent.


Protect and Expand Social Security

Protect Social Security from any attempts to cut benefits. Lift the ceiling on Social Security taxes for high-income earners. End the Windfall Elimination Provision. Finance increased Social Security benefits through progressive income and wealth taxes on the highest earners, instead of regressive payroll taxes on low-income workers.


Disability Rights

Protect and expand the Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income programs. Ensure the rights of people with disabilities to get community-based mental health services. Provide robust federal funding to schools for the additional costs of serving students with disabilities. End sub-minimum wage for workers with disabilities. Advance the full inclusion of people with disabilities, and ensure every aspect of our public resources isADA compliant and that the civil rights of people with disabilities are protected and expanded.

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  • David Doonan
    published this page 2022-08-19 15:07:58 -0400