AOC’s Platform

Key Issues

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Medicare For All

“We need to respond to COVID-19 with permanent systems and structures so that we never find ourselves in this fragile position again.”
Read time Abstract: 1 min | Full: 2 min
Our broken healthcare system made this novel coronavirus exceptionally crippling. Now, because our health insurance is tied to our job, over 30 million Americans are facing not only unemployment but losing their health insurance too. As we begin to reopen, we have to ask ourselves what our new normal should look like. If you lose your job, you shouldn’t lose your healthcare too. And if you get sick, you shouldn’t be put under a mountain of debt. Medicare for All guarantees healthcare to everyone, curbs costs, and improves long-term health.

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.

 

CURB COSTS

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
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Housing As a Human Right

Read time Abstract: 1 min | Full: 8 min
Alexandria believes housing is a human right. As a result of COVID-19, millions are facing the anxiety of eviction or foreclosure, but government leaders have done little - due in part to the outsized influence of large landlords and the real estate industry. To emerge from this pandemic and lay the foundation for future housing stability, we need to refocus housing policy to protect current occupants, repair public housing, and build new affordable housing.

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.

Alexandria supports:

  • 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

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Creating Public Safety

Read time Abstract: 1 min | Full: 5 min
Instead of investing in mass incarceration, we need to invest in the most vulnerable members of our society.

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 beating them with batons, pulling their masks off to pepper spray them, and pushing them to the ground without regard to life and injuries. 


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. 

  • Ending the school-to-prison pipeline, including decriminalizing truancy and 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

  • Making police disciplinary records and histories of misconduct transparent - in New York that means repealing  the 50-a law

  • Banning the use of tear gas and rubber bullets by law enforcement

  • 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;

  • H.R. 1714 - Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act of 2019;

  • 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.

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Honor in Immigration

Read time Abstract: 1 min | Full: 3 min
Undocumented individuals fill so many of the essential jobs that kept this country running during COVID-19. It is past time to make them full members of the country they call their home.

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
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A Just Recovery for Puerto Rico

Read time Abstract: 1 min | Full: 5 min
Dissolve La Junta, cancel Puerto Rico’s debt and rebuild the island with a Green New Deal.

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.

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Elevate Public Education

Read time Abstract: 1 min | Full: 1 min
Our schools should never be on the chopping block, even when budgets are tight. Now is the time to strengthen our education system and make it more affordable to all, so that students are prepared for jobs in a post-COVID economy.

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
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Other Plans

A Peace Economy

Read time Abstract: 1 min | Full: 3 min
America should not be in the business of destabilizing countries. 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.

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.

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A Federal Jobs Guarantee

Read time Abstract: 1 min | Full: 1 min
A federal jobs guarantee program would establish a floor for wages and benefits for the nation’s workforce.

Alexandria endorses a Federal Jobs Guarantee, because anyone who is willing and able to work shouldn’t struggle to find employment. 


A Federal Jobs Guarantee would create a baseline standard for employment that includes a $15 minimum 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. 


Furthermore, a federal jobs guarantee program would establish a floor for wages and benefits for the nation’s workforce. This program would provide a baseline minimum wage of $15 an hour and guarantee for public workers a basic benefits package, including healthcare and childcare. By investing in our own workforce, we can lift thousands of American families out of poverty.

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Gun Control / Assault Weapons Ban

Read time Abstract: 1 min | Full: 8 min
Alexandria supports the strictest gun laws in the country - including bans on assault weapons, bump stocks & high-capacity magazines.

School shootings have become all too routine in America, and in urban areas like the Bronx and Queens, gun violence is a regular reality in many communities. In some states, it’s easier for teenagers to buy assault weapons than it is for families to get health insurance. Every year, more than 15,000 Americans die due to gun violence, excluding suicides. In America, gun violence is occurring at a rate 10 times higher than in other high-income countries.

With every mass shooting, we see lots of thoughts and prayers from our politicians, but continue to see no action. Republicans ban studying gun violence and write legislation designed to help gun stores that break the law. The NRA, a vehicle for gun manufacturers that disguises itself as a civil rights organization, is run by a man who helped arm narco-terrorists in what became the Iran-Contra scandal. Instead of fighting to save American lives, politicians bend over backwards to protect the billionaire-backed gun lobby and propose measures that would actually increase gun sales, such as the incredulous proposal to arm teachers.

Alexandria knows that it doesn’t have to be this way. Even in the United States, cities and states with strong gun laws have managed to cut gun violence significantly without running afoul of the Second Amendment. New York – and the rest of the country – has the potential to be much safer. Alexandria believes that supporting common-sense gun legislation is necessary for any politician who claims to care about the lives of constituents. She understands that gun control can save lives and make communities and schools safer.

Ban Assault Weapons, High-Capacity Magazines, and Bump Stocks
It’s clear that the Founding Fathers did not have assault weapons in mind when they wrote the Second Amendment. These machines of war were brought over to the civilian market in the 1980s, alongside high-capacity magazines, and dramatically increase the death toll of mass shootings where used. Alexandria believes that the Federal Assault Weapons Ban should be reinstated, strengthened, and made permanent.

Require Domestic Abusers and Stalkers to Surrender Their Firearms
The availability of guns heightens the stakes of intimate partner violence and domestic abuse. On average, more than 760 Americans are shot to death by current or former partners each year. Yet federal laws meant to block domestic abusers from obtaining guns do not close the “intimate partner gap,” in which a partner convicted of abuse can buy a gun if they don’t live with, or have a child with, the victim of abuse. Federal laws also fail to prevent convicted stalkers or subjects of restraining orders from buying guns. Worst of all, once convicted of domestic abuse, abusers can keep any firearms they currently possess – and then continue to commit crimes with guns they would fail the background check for. Alexandria believes that anyone convicted of relationship violence has no right to own a weapon of any kind, and that stalkers or subjects of restraining orders should never be armed.

Mandate Universal and Improved Background Checks for Firearm Purchases
The federal background check system has a dangerous loophole: felons, domestic abusers, and the seriously mentally ill can buy guns off of the internet or at gun shows without going through a background check. These cases are not rare: 1 in 5 gun owners obtained their most recent gun without a background check. And unsurprisingly, those barred from buying guns gravitate towards a “private sale”—another dangerous loophole in the background check system where firearm offenders are overwhelmingly likely to obtain weapons.

Alexandria knows that closing background check loopholes will save thousands of lives, as will changing regulations to prevent gun sales from proceeding without sufficient background checks.

Require Congresspeople to take no money from the gun lobby or private equity companies that invest in the firearms industry
Gun lobby money is the number one barrier to getting any meaningful action on guns accomplished in Congress. The NRA has invested millions of dollars to make sure our politicians keep our gun laws weak and our children at risk. This is also not just a Republican problem -- many Democrats take millions of dollars from private equity companies that own large stakes in gun companies and stand to lose millions of dollars if gun laws are made stricter.

We need to make sure our Congresspeople are making laws to protect Americans and not the gun lobby, and until we take away the financial incentive for our elected officials, we will continue to have Republicans blocking any gun regulations and Democrats not having the will to fight hard enough against it.

Alexandria will work with the Democrats in Washington to overcome Republican resistance to life-saving, common sense gun reform, and ensure that policies are made for the American people—not the NRA. She will fight to end America’s gun violence epidemic caused by weak gun laws, NRA-controlled politicians, and the apathy preventing progress on addressing this issue.

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Mobilizing Against Climate Change

“Unemployment numbers and global temperatures are at record highs. Now is the right time to create millions of jobs transitioning to renewable and clean energy.”
Read time Abstract: 1 min | Full: 5 min
With our country facing the greatest levels of unemployment since the Great Depression, the plan to create millions of quality, high-wage jobs has never been more important. We must take action to stave off another global crisis and address unemployment, now.

JOBS

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.

deCARBONIZATION

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
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Women's Rights

Read time Abstract: 1 min | Full: 3 min
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.

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 women, Native women, poor women, immigrant women, disabled 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. 


Reproductive freedom is especially essential for all individuals of marginalized genders, including cisgender women and trans people. 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, HIV/AIDS care and prevention, 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.


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 labor legislation that reduces the discrimination and exploitation of working women. She believes we should be creating workforce opportunities for caregivers and parents; and stands in opposition to gun laws that allow those convicted of domestic abuse to have firearms and the criminalization of sex work, both of which increase violence against women. In Congress she will support 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—benefit society as a whole. 

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Support LGBTQIA+

Read time Abstract: 1 min | Full: 2 min
Discrimination at both the local and federal level concretely impacts queer and trans people from an early age – among LGBTQIA+ youth, rates of homelessness, incarceration, and substance abuse are all disproportionately high. Clearly, we must do more to end intolerance and bigotry throughout our nation.

Given the current administration’s attacks on LGBTQIA+ rights, one thing is clear: support for and solidarity with the LGBTQIA+ community is more important than ever. At the federal level, our President has rescinded guidance protecting the rights of trans students in federally funded schools, and wants to take away the rights of trans people to serve in the United States military. Republicans at every level of government are eager to make trans and non-binary people targets for persecution, and routinely draft legislation that would deny many people their rights to basic employment, housing, healthcare and education on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation. This legislation especially affects queer people from low-income communities of color.


Discrimination at both the local and federal level concretely impacts queer and trans people from an early age – among LGBTQIA+ youth, rates of homelessness, incarceration, and substance abuse are all disproportionately high. Clearly, we must do more to end intolerance and bigotry throughout our nation.


Alexandria believes in the urgency of acting to safeguard the livelihoods of LGBTQIA+ people. To this end, Alex will advocate for legislation such as the Equality Act, which would expand existing civil rights law to make discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity illegal. As we advocate for Universal Healthcare, we must also do more to provide affordable healthcare coverage that is gender-affirming and conscientious of the unique medical struggles faced by LGBTQIA+ patients. The issues facing the LGBTQIA+ community are not isolated from the issues facing many of us regarding race and class. It is critical in times like these that we stand together in solidarity, to build just public policy that works for all of us, not just some of us.

Alexandria Endorses:

Equality Act (H.R.2282)
Every Child Deserves a Family Act (H.R. 2640)
Student Non-Discrimination Act (H.R. 5374)

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Aging with Dignity

“Elder is an honorific that doesn't come with age—it comes with universal acknowledgement of wisdom. The mentorship of elders is what got me here.” -Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Read time Abstract: 1 min | Full: 2 min
Our seniors were hit especially hard by COVID-19 and will continue to feel the effects long after normal life returns. We must do all we can to ensure they can live their lives with Respect, Independence, and Health.

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 drugsShe 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.

Alexandria supports:

  • 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.
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Curb Wall Street Gambling: Restore Glass Steagall

Read time Abstract: 1 min | Full: 1 min
We should restore Glass-Steagall to make sure our banks can’t gamble with our money, make sure that no bank is allowed to become “too-big-to-fail”, and make postal banking a reality in the United States.

Systemic risk in our banking system leads to the concentration of wealth and power into fewer and fewer hands and also leads to increased risk that individuals will lose their savings due to the irresponsible decisions of bank management. We should restore Glass-Steagall to make sure our banks can’t gamble with our money. 


We also should make sure that no bank is allowed to become “too-big-to-fail” and that oversized banks are broken up to reduce the likelihood of a financial crash. 


Finally, we need to make postal banking a reality in the United States, which will revitalize the United States Postal Service, provide a low-cost  source of basic banking services for disenfranchised communities, and increase competition in the banking industry. 

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