Common Sense, Common Ground Platform

EDUCATION

COMMON GROUND:
QUALITY SCHOOLS. WE ALL WANT THEM.

COMMON SENSE:

  • We need an alternative to PARCC testing that will be designed with educator input. PARCC was promptly dropped by most states. NJ is one of six states still using it.
  • Let’s give teachers back their time to teach the subjects vs. teaching the test. Many of our current teachers want to leave the field while young talent that could be the future of education don’t want to enter it.
  • I’ll fight vouchers as they stand now and work towards fairer resolutions to improve the quality of education for everyone, not just some.  A system of charter and private schools leaves education potentially in the hands of for-profit companies which have not proven to be the ultimate authorities on good education.
  • I will support and develop legislation that will reform education to prepare today’s students for the future,  not yesteryear’s. Training in skilled trades and entrepreneurship are not emphasized enough, and should be part of high school education. There is more than ONE path to what society considers success, and we need to guide young people on the path that works for them. My work for 25 years has been with unhappy workers and employees. I understand how teen guidance got them where they are today. Not everyone needs to go to college and not everyone who goes to college is guaranteed a job.   We need to develop options that work.

HEALTHCARE

COMMON GROUND:
FAIR AND AFFORDABLE CARE FOR ALL

COMMON SENSE:

  • I will work to protect Medicare and Medicaid  and protect the good parts of the ACA in NJ and support programs that help our citizens receive quality and appropriate care, medication and humane treatment when they are at risk or suffering.  
  • I will oppose policies that put profits ahead of people. Healthcare decisions should be made between  patients and doctors, not by insurance companies or government bureaucrats.
  • I stand with women to preserve our reproductive rights.  I cannot and will not support legislation that puts women’s health at risk.  
  • I will support expansion of the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act and Medical Marijuana use for minors.  This is an issue that hits home.  I have friends in other states whose children had cancer and got pain relief from safe medical marijuana. I have a child with a seizure disorder who would benefit from non-THC (the element that provides a high) form of cannabis.  I cannot get this treatment for my child because New Jersey’s medical marijuana laws make it extremely difficult  to get different forms of medical marijuana, even if you qualify and carry a medical marijuana card.  Cannabinoids are a proven medicine that are used safely by patients across the country every day.

WORK ISSUES

COMMON GROUND:
FAIR AND EQUAL WAGES FOR GOOD WORKERS

COMMON SENSE:

  • It is 2017. Why are we still talking about equal pay?  Women in NJ still make 80 cents to the dollar a male worker makes for the same work. Women of color fare even worse.  That is unacceptable. Women fight in wars, women run multi-billion dollar companies, women lead in government.  I stand on the side of equal pay for equal work no matter what industry you are in.
  • We need to RAISE the minimum wage.  Businesses are more likely to show greater profits when their employees are well compensated. It improves morale, reduces sick days, increases productivity and makes people care about their jobs.  It’s de-motivating to show up to work in a job that can’t cover your basic living expenses much less provide an opportunity to improve one’s circumstances.
  • I am PRO-Union.  As part of the Actors Equity union in my twenties, I saw close-up how the union protected its members from unfair and exploitative working conditions, and how necessary those protections were.  I also saw incidents of the union rules going  too far.  I believe in the protections a union provides, and am proud to still be a member of Actors Equity. I believe we can find common ground and common sense solutions for labor.  

ENVIRONMENT

COMMON GROUND:
WE ALL WANT TO LIVE TOXIN-FREE AND
PRESERVE OUR NATURAL RESOURCES

COMMON SENSE:

  • The Highlands Act, which has been in place for seven years, is now in danger. The measure protected the open space from development and sprawl while protecting the water supply to 5.4 million residents. These kinds of protections  are vitally important to ensuring the health and well being of our citizens and our environment. I will also vote NO to the Pilgrim Pipeline.
  • I will develop and support legislation for renewable energy and green building and construction.  What we do today to protect our natural resources will pay off in spades for generations to come in terms of our health and safety, reducing the need for emergency measures in case of spills and treatment of illness brought on my environmental factors.
  • I’m committed to keeping our water and food sources free of poisons and potential hazards.  Without proper oversight, corporations’  short-term goals of convenience  and profits will always trump what’s right for people and the long-term health of the environment. I will fight for sensible regulation that supports people over profit.

TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY

COMMON GROUND:
WE WANT HONEST AND TRANSPARENT GOVERNMENT

COMMON SENSE:

  • NJ has some of the highest rates for everything that touches our lives. Transportation, property taxes, and auto insurance are just a few examples.  Let’s show people where their money goes.  I want transparency in  how tax dollars are used and what industries are influencing our representatives.  I will support legislation that puts truth over ‘spin’.
  • The contentious 23-cent gas tax is a platform discussion in this race for state assembly .  My issue with this tax isn’t paying it; it’s not knowing where the money is going. If I knew the revenue was being used to fund transportation construction projects, as it was intended, I would pay it gladly.  
  • I will work to cut waste and demand transparency in  government contracts
  • I’m all for lowering taxes. Ferreting out the waste and corruption in New Jersey will help balance the budget and allow an opportunity for relief to taxpayers.
  • New Jerseyans deserve better than our national reputation for political corruption. We need campaign finance reform in NJ.  I’ll work to see NJ develop a fair and democratic system that could become a national model.

HOW OUR CURRENT 26TH DISTRICT REPRESENTATIVES HAVE VOTED

(Just a few examples in 2016)

Accessible HealthcareNO (on accepting the Affordable Care Act)
Same-sex MarriageNO
Political Contribution Reform NO
Equal Pay for WomenNO (voted against bill making it illegal to discriminate based on gender when it comes to pay)
FirearmsNO (on surrendering firearms if there is a restraining order against you)
Minimum Wage Increase to $10NO
Lead Hazard ControlNO
Requirements School NursesNO (to requiring 30 hours of study credits)
Food/HealthNO (requiring chain restaurants to post nutrition info)
EnvironmentNO (renewable energy facilities in industrial areas)

Everything costs money.  Financing our best of intentions is not always possible. However, I must take a stand against our current representatives voting no to anything that has a price tag on it.  We are a community, a district, a county, a state and a country.  We  share a common ground of values that make us Americans.  .  Let’s stop fighting to extremes about who is right and approach the issues with tempered common sense so we can do right by the people of the Great State of New Jersey.

Thank you for your attention.  

Please vote on June 6th in the primaries.

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