Invest in Modern Jobs & Industries
Our economy naturally adapts to changing technologies, but too often the biggest beneficiaries are Venture Capitalists and others with money to invest in emerging markets. Meanwhile, it's the hard workers of displaced industries that suffer with stagnant wages, fewer opportunities and even job cuts.
Many New Mexicans are facing these challenges today. With traditional boom industries such as mining and oil on the decline, working families are finding it harder to get by. Hard-working New Mexicans see little to no prospects on the horizon, and they deserve better. They deserve a New American Dream built for the modern world.
We need to embrace technology for the many benefits it can provide, but we have to ensure we are doing right by the workers who laid the groundwork for these new industries. We should be investing in on-the-job training programs to give workers the opportunity to enter new fields and learn the new skills that are in higher demand in today's economy.
Free & Fair Elections
Our democracy is our greatest asset, but our current system makes it difficult for the will of the people to be represented by our elected officials. Regular citizens have unnecessary barriers to voting, while the wealthiest Americans can use their money to buy influence and control messaging with little restrictions.
I believe there are several important steps our country should take to shift the power back into the hands of the American public:
- Make Election Day a Federal Holiday - With full-time jobs, children to raise and all the other hassles of a working class life, it can be difficult to even find the time to vote. The long lines at many polling stations don't help. If Election Day were a holiday, we would ensure more people have the time to show up at the polls and we send a message to our citizens that voting is important. It's not just any other Tuesday!
- Automatic Voter Registration - Many Americans get locked out voting due to arbitrary voter registration deadlines. Every American eligible to vote should be allowed to vote. Voting should not be a right you have to opt into, but rather it should automatically come with being an eligible US citizen. With confusing voter registration forms and deadlines that vary across states, we're creating a needlessly complicated hurdle to a basic democratic right.
- Abandon the Electoral College - The Electoral College was a creative solution to an 18th century problem. With modern communication, we can hear from the people directly. No more need for a few hundred intermediaries to determine the will of the people. Let the people's will speak for itself.
Protect Public Lands & Natural Resources
New Mexico is undoubtedly the most beautiful state in the Union. We have such a diverse offering of the best Nature has to offer, right here in a single state. Whether it's the spotless ski slopes of Ruidoso, the majestic plains of the Llano Estacado to the rugged mountain range outside Las Cruces, we must fight to preserve this natural diversity and protect it from over-exploitation by corporate interests.
We've already seen politicians in Washington making moves to decrease National Monuments and cut away priceless pieces of our American heritage. This cannot be allowed to continue. National Monuments must be defended and strengthened so that future generations can experience the beauty they have to offer, and we must protect our public lands and ensure that usage rights and access are granted fairly and with respect for their conservation.
Renewed Investment in Public Education
It is an extreme disservice to all Americans for us to ignore the problems of our public schools. We are not only depriving children of important skills to become successful in life, but we are also contributing to increases in crime and the decline of our own competitive edge on the global stage.
Wealthy families can easily pull their children out of public schools and into private ones, but many families do not have that option. Poorer and more rural children are stuck in a broken public school system that doesn't have the funding nor the policies to provide real world skills and enlightenment to a generation of students.
We have to address the problems with our public schools and empower teachers to put knowledge and education above arbitrary test scores. We have to stop throwing away money into our educational industrial complex that only rewards companies with lucrative government contracts and instead invest in teachers and programs that provide direct and meaningful value to the students.
Protect the US from Cyber Threats
Our top intelligence and defense experts agree that Russia has interfered and continues to interfere with our elections. They and others are using complicated computer exploits and networks of fraudulent social media accounts to attack our country and undermine our democracy. We cannot stand by and let this happen!
Unfortunately many politicians are ignoring these very real threats to our sovereignty, allowing foreign adversaries to control and influence our political processes. Investigations into the reach of these attacks and vulnerabilities must be supported and action must be taken to defend our electoral process from foreign influence in the future.
Avoid Unnecessary Conflicts in Foreign Countries
As the world's largest superpower, we undoubtedly have an immense responsibility in the world. However, we have to make sure that we are not wasting resources and risking American lives in vain. We can maintain our leadership position in the world without getting involved in every regional squabble, and we should always look to diplomacy first in resolving conflicts.
Let's not needlessly provoke other nuclear powers or developing nations. Grandstanding is not how mature, responsible leaders behave. If we are to be respected in the world, we must learn to respect others and lead by example. Let us earn the respect of the world through our good works instead of putting Americans and allies at risk stubbornly demanding it.
Restore Our Fourth Amendment
We have given away so much in the name of national security, and our government has abused that trust in many ways. We have to elect leaders who will rein in this overreach and protect the rights of regular Americans. No more warrantless spying. No more unauthorized searches and seizures. Let's repeal the Patriot Act, hold the NSA accountable and implement effective security protocols instead of relying on a bloated jobs program disguised as security.