Key IssuesClick on the icons and learn about what Alexandria is fighting for and her plans
Medicare For All
Housing As a Human Right
Real Public Safety
Honor in Immigration
A Just Recovery for Puerto Rico
Elevate Public Education
Medicare For All
GUARANTEED HEALTHCARE, NOT TIED TO YOUR JOB
Before the pandemic, over 30 million people in the United States were without health care, with another 75 million classified as underinsured. Now as a result of COVID-19 there are approximately 40 million people who have just lost their jobs, and, along with it, their employer tied healthcare coverage, in the midst of a pandemic. This is why Alexandria is calling to provide Medicare access to those without insurance for the duration of this pandemic.
Medicare for All uncouples healthcare from your job. It allows everyone to receive quality care that is affordable at the hospital, pharmacy or doctor’s office. It will cover primary, mental, dental, vision, women’s health, and emergency room care in addition to prescription drugs.
We pay 70% more in costs because of insurance companies, billing costs, hospital administration, and drug companies.
A national healthcare system has stronger buying power and can negotiate lower prices for drugs and medical equipment as well as curb the astronomically high administrative salaries.
Moreover, this pivot towards a national system unburdens thousands of companies that are saddled with onerous health insurance payments for their employees.
IMPROVE LONG TERM HEALTH
Under Medicare for All, Americans are far more likely to engage in preventative healthcare measures, like annual physicals, or to see the doctor before an illness progresses.
Medicare for All will improve long-term health by reducting underlying health conditions, which are both the main contributors to COVID-19 hospitalizations and more common in lower income communities both urban and rural.
Alexandria is advocating for:
- Healthcare as a human right;
- Safe and affordable prescription medications; and
- H.R.1384 - Medicare for All Act
Housing As a Human Right
PROTECT CURRENT OCCUPANTS
Rent Cancellation During COVID-19
As the impact of COVID-19 ripples through our economy, keeping people in their homes is critical for a full recovery.
Right now it is imperative we enact rent cancellation and mortgage deferment, and that is why Alexandria is fighting for the passage of the Rent and Mortgage Cancellation Act and was one of the first representatives to call for ‘rent cancellation’ including speaking about it vocally on the house floor. Alexandria supports the creation of a HUD fund for small landlords, so they would be protected from financial repercussions of ‘rent cancellation.’
Curb Rent Increases
Rent increases have outpaced wage increases, leaving families struggling to afford groceries, healthcare, clothes, or school supplies. The Place to Prosper Act, introduced by Alexandria in 2019, curbs rent increase for landlords who own 5 or more properties to just 3% of the preceding year’s rent or the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers, whichever is greater. This creates clear guidance for both sides on what to expect and ensures families are not displaced because of large rent increases.
Stop Unjust Evictions
The Place to Prosper Act ensures that tenants are only evicted if they have violated an explicit lease term, caused substantial damage, or failed to pay rent in two consecutive months (COVID-19 and post-pandemic withstanding). The sole exception to these guidelines is if a landlord wants to rent the unit to an immediate relative or live in it themselves.
To protect tenants and their rights, The Place to Prosper Act guarantees tenants legal counsel during eviction proceedings, providing $6.5 billion annually for legal services. This levels the playing field against well funded landlords and prevents meritless evictions.
Holding Landlords Accountable
The Place to Prosper Act creates new public oversight of large landlords (anyone who owns more than 100 housing units in one metro area or more than 1,000 rental units nationwide or any property in at least three different states). These landlords must provide a quarterly, public disclosure of the median rent, the number of evicted tenants, and the identity of the landlord’s three largest shareholders, among other details. The act also prevents landlords with a history of harassing tenants or if they own more than 100 units in the same metropolitan area from receiving federal mortgages or purchasing federal property.
Ensuring Rental Access to Lower Income Renters
The Places to Prosper Act also prohibits landlords from refusing to rent to federal assistance tenants, cracking down on discrimination against low-income renters.
Protections for Homeowners
Although most of the Place to Prosper Act focuses on rental properties, it is also important to continue to provide mortgage relief to homeowners during and after the pandemic. Alexandria supports extending tax benefits to working and middle-class homeowners so that they too can secure housing.
REPAIR PUBLIC HOUSING
COVID-19 has disproportionately affected those with underlying health conditions including respiratory conditions caused by mold from water leaks, poor ventilation, mites from dirty and old carpeting, and pest infestation. New York City’s public housing buildings are notorious for containing these inhabitable physical conditions. NYCHA apartments are plagued with faulty elevators, crumbling infrastructure, and sometimes, no water, or worse, yellow water. This has to stop. We need to invest in repairing our current public housing units and envision a brighter future for public housing in the United States.
During her first year in Congress, Alexandria called for $70 billion in funding to fix our nation’s crumbling public housing system. But that is not enough. Alexandria also called for an additional $10 billion specifically dedicated to remove lead from public housing. In addition to the repair funding, Alexandria also introduced the Green New Deal for Public Housing Act, which would create 32,552 jobs per year in New York City and transition the entire public housing stock of the United States into safe and habitable zero-carbon homes.
BUILD NEW AFFORDABLE HOUSING
During this pandemic we see the need to ensure everyone has housing. COVID-19 spreads in overpopulated apartments and shelters. It disproportionately affects the communities in our district where up to 25% of the buildings are overcrowded--the highest overcrowding rates in New York City.
The Place to Prosper Act incentivizes local governments to promote affordable housing in their communities by offering additional funds to local governments that advance the public interest by taking measures such as streamlining permits and timelines to accelerate the building of affordable housing, and prohibiting landlords from rejecting a rental application on the basis of the applicant’s source of income. Alexandria is also calling for a repeal of the Faircloth Amendment, so that cities can start expanding their public housing options. Lastly, Alexandria advocates for substantive Low Income Housing Tax Credit and permanent funding of the National Affordable Housing Trust Fund.
In a just United States, our public housing should be a source of pride for our society and a place of comfort, safety and stability for residents. It’s up to us to make it happen.
- An end to unjust evictions;
- Reduced homelessness;
- Holding landlords accountable;
- Ensuring that every U.S. resident has a home they can be proud of;
- H.R.6515 - Rent and Mortgage Cancellation Act of 2020
- H.R.5185 - Green New Deal for Public Housing Act
- H.R.4546 - Public Housing Emergency Response Act
- H.R.5072 - A Just Society: A Place to Prosper Act
Real Public Safety
Ending Police Violence
People all over the country have risen in sustained mass protest against the police killing of George Floyd, as well as the murders of Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and countless other Black people. We’ve also seen police commit acts of brutality against protesters and essential workers on their way to work or on their way home, trapping them for violent arrest, pulling their masks off to pepper spray them, beating them with batons, running them over with a vehicle, and many more.
Alexandria has called for significant reductions in the police budget. She believes we must divest from policing as a one-stop-solution to community problems and instead invest in healthcare, housing, education, and supportive services. She recognizes that when people’s basic needs are met, we have real safety in our community. She also believes in ending the school-to-prison pipeline, decriminalizing truancy, taking police out of schools, ending ‘qualified immunity’ (which shields police from liability for their illegal or unconstitutional acts), ending the pipeline of military weapons and goods to police departments, establishing a public national database that tracks all police officers decertified in any state or locality (to ensure transparency when the same officers seek employment in law enforcement elsewhere), fully repealing New York’s 50-a (which makes police disciplinary records and histories of misconduct secret), banning the use of tear gas and rubber bullets, and ending broken-windows and quality-of-life policing.
Protect Incarcerated People During COVID-19
In March, as the reality of COVID-19’s impacts became more clear, Alexandria joined advocates and service providers in raising awareness of the increased risk to the incarcerated population. By freeing vulnerable people locked away in cages, we could help save the lives of tens of thousands of juveniles, elderly and medically vulnerable people held in custody at the state and local level.
Invest in People, not Prisons
Throughout New York State, over 200,000 people are behind bars right now. And in New York City, 77% of people currently in jail have not even been convicted of a crime. Today, Black people represent 16% of New York’s population, however, they make up 53% of the population in New York jails and prisons.
Instead of investing in mass incarceration, we need to invest in the most vulnerable members of our society. Alexandria introduced the Just Society: Mercy in Reentry Act, to ensure that all persons in need are eligible for the social safety net, regardless of prior involvement with the criminal justice system. This includes access to any retirement, welfare, health, disability, public or assisted housing, postsecondary education, food assistance, and unemployment benefit.
Alexandria also supports Representative Ayanna Pressley’s H.Res. 702, “The People’s Justice Guarantee,” which includes ending the death penalty, ending life sentences without possibility of parole, ending mandatory minimum sentences, decriminalizing activities that are byproducts of poverty and homelessness (such as sex work and drug use), ending solitary confinement, expanding Pell Grants, paying incarcerated people at least the Federal minimum wage for labor, and ending the use of cash bail, among other things.
Alexandria strongly supports:
H.R.5070 - A Just Society: The Mercy In Re-entry Act;
H.Res. 702 - The People’s Justice Guarantee;
Defunding police and investing in healthcare, housing, education and other services;
Ending qualified immunity for police and making police misconduct records public;
The use of clemency and emergency powers to reduce vulnerable populations and limit the spread of the Coronavirus in prison;
The release of individuals over the age of 50 currently serving a sentence of one year or less or serving time for a parole violation at Rikers Island.
Honor in Immigration
Undocumented individuals fill so many of the essential jobs that kept this country safe, healthy, and fed during COVID-19.
They are cleaning and disinfecting our workplaces and businesses to stop the spread and often at great personal risk. They are currently working the farms to feed us. They are also delivering our groceries and driving us from one place to another. While undocumented people continue to work and support this country during the COVID-19 epidemic, they also suffer from the same economic insecurities as many U.S. citizens today.
The IRS estimates that undocumented people pay over $9 billion in withheld payroll taxes annually. However, undocumented people remain ineligible to participate in several stimulus programs established by the government in response to the novel Coronavirus. Immigrant workers are not only on the frontlines of the essential workforce; millions of immigrants have jobs in industries hardest hit by the pandemic. Absent government relief for the nation’s undocumented people, many will experience siginificant economic hardships that can impact entire communities.
While COVID doesn’t discriminate by nationality, the current Administration certainly does. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez makes it a point to hold the Trump Administration accountable and inquire about the health and safety of undocumented children and all people held under federal custody during the pandemic. Alexandria is not afraid to raise the alarm over irregular practices occurring in immigration courts during COVID-19 and call for the release of all undocumented people in detention.
Our nation must recognize our history--immigrants, enslaved peoples, and refugees built this country. But they are treated dishonorably. We all do better when we create a just society that embraces our most vulnerable populations and paves a path to prosperity for all. This is why Alexandria introduced The Embrace Act during her first year in Congress, to help ensure that all persons in need are eligible for the largest programs of the social safety net.
Alexandria is in favor of:
- Undocumented people having access to testing and treatment for the virus;
- Providing all taxpayers with access to expanded unemployment benefits;
- Allowing all income-eligible residents to receive the maximum amount in stimulus checks, regardless of immigration status; and
- H.R.5071 - A Just Society: The Embrace Act
A Just Recovery for Puerto Rico
Months after Hurricane Maria, which ravaged Puerto Rico, our fellow Americans still suffer for want of basic utilities and billions in federal aid that they are entitled to as citizens. In that time the United States has allowed its own citizens to go without reliable electricity, potable water, and open schools. That includes Alexandria’s own family. Our friends and family in Puerto Rico thus suffer the double humiliation of being denied disaster relief from their own government on the basis of their disenfranchisement. As a member of Congress, Alex commits to championing justice for Puerto Rico on the House floor.
The US Government has done nothing while Puerto Ricans have suffered an island-wide blackout, seen public tuition double for all aspiring collegiate students, and been deprived of their humanity with under-reporting of hurricane-related deaths. A recent Harvard report stating that the real numbers are approaching 5,000, more than 70 times what is being reported. Americans would not stand for this in any other city or state, and we can’t stand for it now. Our government has a responsibility to act and pursue a just recovery in Puerto Rico.
As a Congresswoman, Alexandria intends to fight for sweeping change in the way that the United States relates to Puerto Rico, including 5 main policy priorities:
1) A Marshall Plan for Puerto Rico, helping the island not only recover from Hurricane Maria, but thrive with modern infrastructure and renewable energy systems.
2) A community-led, sustainable, and just recovery - including protections for Puerto Rico’s public education system from kindergarten to college and trade school.
3) An immediate waiver and full review of the Jones Act, which hamstrings the Puerto Rican economy with restrictions that other American communities do not have to face.
4) Cancellation of Puerto Rico’s Wall Street debt: this debt has been accrued by vulture funds using irresponsible and unjust behavior reminiscent of the 2008 financial crisis.
5) Condemnation of the PROMESA Act, which handed over the island to “La Junta,” a corporate governance board installed with the support of my opponent and his private equity donors.
These issues just scrape the surface of the long and difficult history of the U.S. in Puerto Rico. In fact, many of our most pressing issues of justice today - from Puerto Rico, to Standing Rock, to Riker’s Island - are extensions of the dark histories that our nation has never fully remedied: whether that be slavery, Jim Crow, and the War on Drugs; the genocide of native peoples and the plight of modern-day reservations; or the colonization and continued disenfranchisement of Puerto Ricans and people in U.S. territories. To move forward, we must recognize that our present-day issues have deep-past roots. That healing feat is both emotionally and legislatively difficult, but ultimately, it’s the right thing to do.
Over time, we hope to continue our work with activists, community leaders, and policymakers to figure out what social, economic, and racial justice looks like in the modern day. As your Congresswoman, Alexandria will seek to make sure that everyone in the United States is treated fairly by our government, and that the unequal, traumatic relationships of the past are replaced with the true spirit of this great nation: liberty and justice for all.
Elevate Public Education
Support K-12 Public Schools
Due to the strain COVID-19 has placed on local government budgets, many school districts are facing budget cuts. Our historic public school system should never be on the chopping block, even when budgets are tight. That’s why Alexandria voted for the HEROES Act, which would provide funding to state and local governments and hopefully prevent many of these cuts to public education.
Tuition-Free Public College
Rising tuition costs have made college and trade school inaccessible for millions and saddled millions of others with student loan debt. That is why Alexandria is working to liberate people suffering from student-debt and make our public college system affordable once again.
In her first year as a Member of Congress, Alexandria co-sponsored the College for All Act, a law that will establish tuition-free public college and trade school, and through the Student Debt Cancellation Act of 2019, we will forgive outstanding federal and private student loans of all previous and current students in our education system. In doing so, we’ll create an easier pathway to economic stability and provide a $1 trillion boost to our economy over a 10-year period.
Alexandria is working to:
- Protect our public schools from corporate greed and budget cuts;
- Enhance the public school curriculum to educate and prepare our children for the high demand, skilled trades of the present and future;
- Make public college tuition-free for everyone; and
- Cancel all student debt
- Enact H.R.3472 - College for All Act
A Peace Economy
Justice for Workers & Small Businesses
Green New Deal
Support LGBTQIA+ Rights
Aging with Dignity
A Peace Economy
Since the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the United States has entangled itself in war and occupation throughout the Middle East and North Africa. As of 2018, we are currently involved in military action in Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Pakistan, and Somalia. Hundreds of thousands of civilians in these countries have been killed either as collateral damage from American strikes or from the instability caused by U.S. interventions. Millions more have fled their broken countries, contributing to the global refugee crisis.
This continued action damages America’s legitimacy as a force for good, creates new generations of potential terrorists, and erodes American prosperity. In times when we’re told that there’s not enough money, Republicans and corporate Democrats seem to find the cash to fund a $1.1 trillion fighter jet program or a $1.7 trillion-dollar nuclear weapon “modernization” program. The costs are extreme: the Pentagon’s budget for 2018 is $700 billion dollars, all to continue fighting an endless War on Terror and re-fighting the Cold War with a new arms race that nobody can win.
According to the Constitution, the right to declare war belongs to the legislative body, and yet many of these global acts of aggression have never once been voted on by Congress. In some cases, we've even acted unilaterally, without the backing of the United Nations.
America should not be in the business of destabilizing countries. While we may see ourselves as liberators, the world increasingly views us as occupiers and aggressors. Alexandria believes that we must end the "forever war" by bringing our troops home, and ending the air strikes that perpetuate the cycle of terrorism throughout the world.
By bringing our troops home, we can begin to heal the wounds we're opening by continuing military engagement. We can begin to repair our image. We can reunite military families, separated by repeated deployments. We can become stronger by building stronger diplomatic and economic ties, and by saving our armed forces only for when they're truly needed.
Justice for Workers & Small Businesses
REBUILD THE UNIONS
Unions stand with people and the workers who are the backbone of our economy. The labor movement of the turn of the 20th Century fought tirelessly for the workplace protections that helped bring power to the working class through greater economic democracy. It was that wealth and labor protections that were directly responsible for the New Deal and also allowed for the Golden Age of the U.S. economy.
Unfortunately, over the last 40 years, far-right and reactionary movements - strengthened under Ronald Reagan, and continued under neoliberal establishment Democrats - have been able to undo many labor protections which were hard-won by workers in the face of brutal oppression.
Alexandria’s campaign team is one of the very few unionized campaigns in the country. She understands that the only way for our country to progress beyond what Martin Luther King, Jr. called “the evils of capitalism,” is movement towards a society where people have democratic rights in their workplace, which means:
We must secure the union and labor regulations that are commonplace in most countries around the world.
We need to repeal the Taft-Hartley Act, which limits the power of workers and unions to fight and push for better working conditions.
It is the responsibility of leaders to talk about general strikes, to expand consciousness about a general strike, and to create the conditions in which working people can generate and really exercise their own power.
The federal government should not be allowed to do business with companies where workers do not have union protection
Corporations and greedy business owners who commit union-busting practices should be heavily fined.
We must create a country where our government values the economic security of everyday people over the whims of the corporate oligarchy.
INVEST IN COMMUNITIES NOT CORPORATIONS
Far too often the United States government chooses to side with corporate wealth at the expense of working people and small business. This must end.
In order to create more equitable opportunities for small businesses and workers, Representative Ocasio-Cortez continues to push for:
Greater public investments in community workforce training, apprenticeship programs and support for small businesses.
Her Green New Deal for Public Housing Act, which will maximize hiring and contracting opportunities at the local level by requiring resident engagement, and support for strong labor standards.
Prevailing wages, project labor agreements, no arbitration clauses, employees not contractors, and collective bargaining in these conversations. These principles create stable secure communities that allow our small businesses to thrive.
And as our nation continues to face a severe economic emergency caused by the pandemic, Representative Ocasio-Cortez has called for priority support to small businesses and workers in the form of loans and direct payments. Furthermore, she introduced legislation to ensure that any corporation receiving Federal aid related to COVID–19 must:
Maintain at least the same workforce levels and benefits that existed before the COVID–19 emergency;
Maintain all worker pay throughout the entire duration of the covered period at or above the pay level the worker was earning before the COVID–19 emergency;
Not alter any collective bargaining agreement that was in place on the date of the COVID–19 emergency.
A FEDERAL JOBS GUARANTEE
Alexandria endorses a Federal Jobs Guarantee, because anyone who is willing and able to work shouldn’t struggle to find employment. By investing in our own workforce, we can lift thousands of American families out of poverty.
A Federal Jobs Guarantee would create a baseline standard for employment that includes a livable wage (pegged to inflation), full healthcare, and child and sick leave for all. This proposal would dramatically upgrade the quality of employment in the United States, by providing training and experience to workers while bringing much-needed public services to our communities in areas such as parks service, childcare and environmental conservation.
We need a Federal Jobs Guarantee so we can repair and improve our infrastructure, employ workers at a living wage, produce and revitalize communities across the United States with federal jobs in construction, caregiving for seniors, community development, and deliver real investments to communities.
AOC on Federal Jobs Guarantee:
Alexandria strongly supports:
H.R.2474 - Protecting the Right to Organize Act, amending the National Labor Relations Act and related labor laws to extend protections to union workers by expanding the rights to strike and unionize and the penalties against employers engaging in abusive labor practices.
H.R.5185 - Green New Deal for Public Housing Act
H.R.5073 - A Just Society: The Uplift Our Workers Act
H.R.1080 - Fairness for Farm Workers Act
H.R.1423 - Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal Act
H.R.1521 - EMPOWER Act
H.R.2749 - Restoring Justice for Workers Act
H.R.3760 - Domestic Workers Bill of Rights Act
H.R.4278 - Federal Jobs Guarantee Development Act of 2019
Paying a livable-wage to staff members in Congress.
Labor Protections for workers of Companies that received Federal Aid during the coronavirus pandemic, such as:
H.R.6360 - a bill to create protections for paid leave, a minimum wage, and limits on executive compensation, and additionally requiring certain businesses to have one-third of their board of directors be elected by employees.
H.R.6778 - a bill to place certain requirements on corporations receiving Federal aid under the CARES Act
Green New Deal
With over 30 million people unemployed, we need an economic program on the level of the New Deal. Alexandria’s Green New Deal would provide a living-wage union job to every worker who wants one. These jobs would also provide adequate family and medical leave, paid vacations, and retirement security. Much like the original New Deal, these jobs would exist across a wide variety of fields - but they would all be in service of preventing yet another global crisis - climate change.
The Green New Deal has the potential to create millions of jobs. The Green New Deal for Public Housing - a bill Alexandria introduced last year to improve public housing stock in the U.S. - would create over 240,000 jobs per year across the United States, while improving living conditions for 2 million residents. This is the kind of stimulus that will revitalize our economy and uplift our neighbors.
JUSTICE FOR WORKERS IN FOSSIL FUEL INDUSTRIES
In our mission to defeat climate change, Alexandria refuses to leave anyone behind. This is why the Green New Deal calls for a just transition for the millions of workers currently employed in the fossil fuel, automotive and manufacturing industries, among other sectors that emit large quantities of greenhouse gases. The Green New Deal will offer these workers ‘first-dibs’ on union jobs in developing green industries, as well as benefits and pay equal to those they received in their old jobs.
JUSTICE FOR COMMUNITIES OF COLOR
A ‘just approach’ to climate change also requires us to address its disproportionate impact on communities of colors. In areas of The Bronx, air pollution is so high that residents are hospitalized for asthma at a rate 21 times higher than the rest of New York City.
In 2017, climate change gave additional strength to Hurricane Maria as it killed 3,000 people in Puerto Rico, including Alexandria’s grandfather. And here in NY-14, areas like Throggs Neck, College Point and City Island are threatened by erosion and rising sea levels. Through the Green New Deal principle of democratic and participatory processes that are inclusive of and led by frontline and vulnerable communities and workers, we will finally guarantee clean air and water, healthy food, quality healthcare and affordable housing, so that the nightmares experienced in vulnerable communities may never be experienced again.
At our current rate of global greenhouse gas emissions, we are on pace for the atmosphere to warm by as much as 1.5 degrees celsius above pre-industrial levels by 2040, according to the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. When we reach that point, scientists say we will face rapid increases in coastal flooding, droughts, wildfires and food shortages, as well as more than $54 trillion in global economic damages.
In order to avoid these horrors and stay below 1.5 degrees of warming, our 2030 emissions must be 40-to-60% lower than they were in 2010. The Green New Deal aims to reach this target by bringing the U.S. to net-zero emissions by 2030, through a large-scale government investment program that allows us to meet 100% of our power demand with zero-emission energy sources.
As part of the Green New Deal, we will dramatically expand and upgrade our renewable power sources, build energy-efficient power grids, retrofit our buildings for energy efficiency and invest heavily in zero-emission manufacturing and infrastructure. In addition, we will build clean, affordable transit systems connected by high-speed rail.
Alexandria is proud to be a part of this movement for:
- A Green New Deal that creates millions of high-wage jobs, and forestalls another major economic, public health and safety crisis
- A Just Transition that commits to providing generous transitional support for workers and communities tied to the fossil-fuel industry;
- H.Res.109 - Recognizing the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal;
- H.R.5185 - Green New Deal for Public Housing Act
Alexandria believes that Women’s Rights are Human Rights, and that all women deserve equal access to workplace safety, equal pay, paid parental leave, full access to healthcare, and more. She wants to create a society in which women - which includes Black and Brown women, Native women, poor women, immigrant women, disabled women, working women, Muslim women, lesbian queer and trans women - are free and able to care for and nurture their families in safe and healthy environments, free from structural impediments. And that is why Alexandria supports economic rights, reproductive rights, and the end to oppression of all women.
INCREASE ECONOMIC AND LABOR EQUITY ACROSS GENDERS
Working class women are often the hardest hit by unequal pay, unfair labor practices, and lack of laws around parental protections. While all women often bear the brunt of the work of family care -- often unpaid and undervalued work -- this burden is especially hard for poor and working class families who can’t afford to pay others to do that work.
Alexandria is a firm believer in equal pay for all genders. The pay and hiring discrimination that women, particularly mothers, women of color, Indigenous women, lesbian, queer and trans women still face each day in our nation, as well as discrimination against workers with disabilities, is atrocious and must end. Equal pay for equal work will provide families with upward mobility and boost the economy.
Alexandria is a proponent of legislation that reduces the discrimination and exploitation of working women, including women outside of traditional spheres of work. She believes we should be creating workforce opportunities for caregivers and parents, as well as additional support for them at home as workers caring for their families. In Congress, she has supported legislation that promotes caregiving and basic workplace protections — including benefits like paid family leave, access to affordable childcare, sick days, healthcare, fair pay, vacation time, and healthy work environments — which benefit society as a whole. Additionally, the AOC stands in opposition to the criminalization of sex work, criminalization which only increases violence against women.
DEFEND AND EXPAND REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE
Reproductive justice is especially essential for all individuals, whether cisgender or transgender. Alexandria does not accept any federal, state, or local rollbacks, cuts, or restrictions on the ability of individuals to access quality reproductive healthcare services, birth control, or medically accurate sexuality education. This means open access to safe, legal, affordable abortion, birth control, and family planning services, as well as access to adequate, affordable pre- and post-natal care, for all people, regardless of income, location, or education.
As Republican politicians attempt to utilize the Supreme Court and the Judicial Branch to crush privacy rights, medical rights, and human rights, Alexandria is fighting to expand access to abortion services to protect the hard-fought rights of people to choose what to do with their bodies, and to get the healthcare they need, because abortion is healthcare.
END ALL FORMS OF OPPRESSION AGAINST WOMEN
Alexandria knows that the oppression women face has been felt the hardest by women of color, and women who are immigrants, incarcerated, LGBTQIA+, disabled, or otherwise marginalized by our governments and society. These same women are more likely to face violence and abuse, both in their personal lives and from capitalist institutions that are built upon economic and racial injustice. Due to these systems, the United States faces maternal health crises in the Black community, the Latinx community, and the indigenous communities, which include American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian women. Women who are homeless, in shelters, or incarcerated often lack access to basic goods and services, like menstrual hygiene products. Transgender women of color face historic levels of violence. DHS, ICE, and police departments are shackling and restraining pregnant immigrants incarcerated in their facilities. Even more horrifically, Immigrant Detention Centers have forcibly sterilized women in their facilities, a practice rooted in theories of eugenics and hundreds of years of colonial imperialism. Alexandria is enraged on behalf of these communities and is fighting to pass legislation to end these systems and all systems of oppression that women face on a daily basis.
Alexandria is working to:
Pass Medicare for All, Abolish ICE, a Federal Jobs Guarantee, and a Living Wage
Protect abortion access across the country, particularly in the south, black and brown and working class communities where people are already routinely denied access to reproductive care
End provisions preventing foreign aid to organizations that provide access to abortion services and other reproductive healthcare
Reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act
Expand Social Security, Medicaid and FMLA programs to cover doula and midwife services, diapers and other basic childcare costs, menstrual hygiene products, and other services so that all women, including poor and working class communities, have access to thee care and services they need
Alexandria strongly supports:
H.R.2975 - Women's Health Protection Act * - Protects a woman’s ability to determine whether and when to bear a child or end a pregnancy, and protects a health care provider’s ability to provide reproductive health care services, including abortion services.
H.R.7 - Paycheck Fairness Act - Addresses wage discrimination on the basis of sex.
H.R.2694 - Pregnant Workers Fairness Act - Eliminates discrimination and promotes women’s health and economic security by ensuring reasonable workplace accommodations for workers whose ability to perform the functions of a job are limited by pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition.
Support LGBTQIA+ Rights
QUEER RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS
As the Vice Chair to the Congressional Oversight Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, Alexandria is dedicated to ensuring equal rights and protections for the LGBTQIA+ community in all aspects of life.
Alexandria is is committed to:
Making schools safe for LGBTQIA+ students through proper accommodations.
Granting asylum to refugees fleeing persecution due to their sexuality or gender identity.
Restoring open service by transgender people in the military.
Ending discrimination in health care.
That’s why she voted for the federal “Equality Act” that bans discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in jobs, housing, and public accommodations. These fights are especially important for young LGBTQ+ people, who - due to a combination of parental rejection, foster care discrimination and abuse, and lack of acceptance in their communities - make up 40% of homeless youth even though they are only 7% of of the youth population. The Equality Act passed in the House of Representatives but has been blocked in the Republican-controlled Senate. It is long overdue.
EXPANDING PROTECTIONS FOR LGBTQIA PEOPLE OF COLOR
Despite substantial gains since the Stonewall Rebellion in 1969, there is much work that remains, and Alexandria will work shoulder-to-shoulder with the LGBTQIA+ community to get it done -- especially to end the appalling epidemic of violence against transgender women of color and to fund meaningful options for them in terms of housing, jobs, and education. This stark inequality has become all the more clear during the recent uprisings in response to the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, as LGBTQ activists have shifted their focus to black and brown siblings in the community, and continue to highlight the phrase “Black Trans Rights are Human Rights.” Not only do trans women of color face high rates of violence from the police and courts, but they are facing violence and being murdered this year at a higher rate than we’ve ever seen. LGBTQIA+ individuals continue to face legal discrimination in areas such as housing and healthcare, where they are legally denied protections, and it is black, brown, and indigenous queer and transgender individuals who often face the brunt of these discriminations. We are fighting to guarantee housing and healthcare are human rights for everyone, and that will not be true until oppressed communities are defended, specifically including the LGBTQIA individuals in those communities.
END THE CRIMINALIZATION OF LGBTQIA+ IDENTITIES
Alexandria stands with LGBTQIA+ individuals who continue to be targets not only of societal violence, but also police violence for simply being who they are. LGBTQIA+ individuals face higher incarceration rates and are over-policed more than the general population, particularly if they are members of multiple oppressed communities, and it is especially true that people with trans- and gender-expanding identities are harassed and assaulted more by police than cisgender people. While in prison, transgender persons are often treated horrifically, housed with the wrong gender, or thrown into solitary confinement at higher rates simply for being trans. Alexandria stands with her queer siblings who face this violence.
Further, Alexandria believes that all workers deserve respect for their labor, including sex workers. She knows that sex workers, who are often queer and transgender women of color, are often criminalized not because of their line of work but because of the color of their skin. By criminalizing their labor, politicians are in fact criminalizing survival. Despite facing some of the highest rates of sexual violence, queer sex workers are the targets of legal violence in the form of legislation such as SESTA/FOSTA, which Alexandria thinks should be repealed, and the EARN IT Act, which she opposes. These bills do nothing to help protect children or women from sexual violence; rather, they perpetuate violence, and are simply an excuse to further oppress LGBTQIA+ individuals.
AOC is working to:
Prohibit all discrimination on the basis of sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation in places of public accommodation by supporting the Equality Act.
Make sure that transgender and genderqueer individuals receive the healthcare that they need, which is why all healthcare is covered by Medicare for All.
Build LGBTQIA-affirming housing and shelter programs
Repeal SESTA/FOSTA and implement real protections against sexual violence against the LGBTQIA+ community.
End the criminalization of LGBTQIA+ identities, particularly the criminalization of queer and transgender black and brown women
Alexandria strongly supports:
H.R.6637 - Health Equity and Accountability Act of 2020
H.R.6308 - Housing is a Human Right Act of 2020
H.R.4101 - Build Local, Hire Local Act
H.R.3509 - LGBTQ Data Inclusion Act
H.R.3114 - Every Child Deserves a Family Act
H.R.2775 - Protecting LGBTQ Youth Act
H.R.5 - Equality Act
H.R.3570 - Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act of 2019
H.R.2312 - Elder Pride Act
H.R.1777 - Ruthie and Connie LGBT Elder Americans Act of 2019
H.R.223 - Hate Crime Victim Assistance Act of 2019
H.Res.124 - Expressing opposition to banning service in the Armed Forces by openly transgender individuals.
H.Con.Res.98 - Supporting the goals and ideals of GLSEN's 2020 Day of Silence in bringing attention to anti-lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) name-calling, bullying, and harassment faced by individuals in schools.
H.Res.1014 - Encouraging the celebration of the month of June as LGBTQ Pride Month.
H.Res.465 - Expressing support for the designation of June 26 as "LGBTQ Equality Day".
H.Res.388 - Supporting the goals and ideals of the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia.
H.Res.722 - Supporting the goals of Transgender Day of Remembrance.
Aging with Dignity
No sector of our population has been hit harder by COVID-19 than those over the age of 65, particularly those living in long-term care facilities.
Nursing homes are meant to be safe places for the elderly population to receive residential care and age gracefully. But, all too often, that’s not the case. Across the country, about a third of all COVID-19 deaths have occurred at nursing homes and adult care facilities.
One way to address the lack of quality long-term facilities is to enable our seniors to age at home. Alexandria supports expanding Medicaid to include home health care, so seniors can stay in the homes they love and age in place.
Alexandria also believes we should continue to build affordable housing complexes for low-income seniors - like the HANAC Corona Senior Residence in Queens. The Corona Senior Residence is a model for the country to follow because it is one of the largest low-income senior housing developments in the nation to meet Passive Housing Institute Design Standards, which cut energy consumption by up to 90%.
The Congresswoman also believes we must protect, strengthen, and expand Social Security and Medicare -- and increase access to affordable prescription drugs. She is fighting to ensure that wealthy individuals pay the same percentage of their income into Social Security as middle class and working families. And, she’s working to end price gouging and monopoly practices by pharma companies.
- Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid expansion;
- A living wage, training and safety equipment for elder-care professionals; and
- The freedom of choice for elderly people to age with dignity, and comfort.