On Campaign Finance Reform: I believe that the current fundraising system undermines democracy. Period. This system has corrupted local and national politics. Money makes campaigns less about the best ideas and character, and more about influence peddling. We must stand together to determine alternatives to giving candidates for political office a mechanism – paid or otherwise – to share their platform. Ultimately, that’s what the money is used to do: introduce, influence, and persuade. If we leveled the playing field and offered people a balance of choices, I believe that our democracy would work better.
The best way to reach the objective of a fair system for residents and voters is public financing. I support full public financing. As a fall back, I support a small donor program that unlocks public financing like the one used in New York City. On the Council, I would champion public financing and work with like-minded colleagues who support a more open, democratic system.
On Universal Child-Care: I support universal child care. This is a wrap-around service that forms the core of how we can improve the lives of residents, and this aspect ties directly into the question of the minimum wage, job training, and ultimately adding stability to the homes of working families and those on the edge. As soon-to-be first-time parents, my wife and I are struggling to understand how we will afford child care. Sadly, we are not alone. Universal child care that offers productive and educational opportunities also goes a long way towards better preparing our kids for school, and it is proven to generate stronger academic achievement for students from low-income families who now do not have the same early education opportunities as their more affluent counterparts. When our kids have a stable situation, when parents can afford extra time with their children, and when families have hope for the future, I believe that we’ll see dramatic improvement in our classrooms.
On Paid Leave: I fully support Paid Leave. We absolutely must establish paid family leave in D.C. It is unacceptable that people’s very lives are put in jeopardy due to a family emergency or when a parent has a new baby.
As a first-time father with an infant daughter, I know how important it is to have a stable income when going through a major life event. It seems clear that this bill will not pass with sixteen weeks of leave. However, I believe that public sentiment is clear, and residents want to know how much leave our economy can handle. We must get this done now.
Additionally, to protect and grow our workforce, we need: an effective job-training program (which we currently do not have), a program for better integration of returning citizens, and a new set of incentives that the city can use to create jobs.